Happy Valentine’s Day!
What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with you than to have a best selling romance author tell us why we are so in love with love? I knew who to call to answer this question. Today, I am delighted to have Teresa Medeiros, the uber super duper hugely successful romance author join us. New York Times bestseller Teresa Medeiros wrote her first novel at the age of twenty-one, introducing readers to one of the most beloved and versatile voices in romantic fiction. She has over ten million books in print and is published in over seventeen languages. And, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know her a bit, she is lovely, funny and kind!
Five of you lucky readers here will win a copy of Teresa’s new book, The Pleasure of Your Kiss from her loving publisher, Simon and Schuster. Simply leave a comment below.
According to the latest issue of the Romance Writers Report, the revenue from romance fiction is predicted to jump to $1.368 billion in 2011. The romance industry is the largest consumer category tracked by Simba Information and has a 13.4 percent share of the consumer market. Over 74.8 million people will read at least one romance novel last year. There’s no question about it.
Oprah used to say she didn’t feature romance novels in her book club because she felt they fostered “unrealistic expectations of relationships”. While I respect everything Oprah’s book club did for the publishing industry, I think she’s missing the point. The classic romance novel chronicles the “courtship” phase of the relationship. And who wouldn’t want to relive falling in love for the very first time over and over again?
Do any of you remember those days? (And nights?) The roses that arrived on special occasions? The late night telephone conversations that lasted for hours? How you got all misty-eyed when “your song” came on the radio? (For me and my hubby, it was actually Elton John’s YOUR SONG, which made it even easier to remember.) As Mark told Abby in my novel GOODNIGHT TWEETHEART, you’ll never have more in common than you will on your first date.
In a romance novel, before the heroine drags the hero home to meet his prospective mother-in-law and the hero starts throwing his socks in the floor instead of the hamper, we send them off with a rousing, “And they lived happily ever after!” We skip the more mundane aspects of love but leave the reader confident the first spark of attraction will deepen into a glowing ember strong enough to last a lifetime.
Probably the most subversive thing romance novels have been doing for years (long before heroines like Katniss Everdeen in THE HUNGER GAMES) is make the woman the hero of her own story. Would J.K. Rowling would have been such a success with HARRIET POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE? Traditionally, it’s been the guys who get to go on all the thrilling physical and emotional quests. Oh, he might have a female sidekick like Hermione Granger, but she’s rarely allowed to overstep her role as facilitator of his self-discovery.
In romantic fiction, our heroines don’t just “stand by their men”, they “stand up to them.” And guess what—their men love it! We celebrate a woman’s softness and her strength and introduce her to a man capable of recognizing the value of both. Is it any wonder that both our heroines and our readers fall in love with him?
Another naughty little secret to our success? Romance writers write about sex. And we do it well. The modern romance novel made it possible for women to be depicted as being able to enjoy sex without being punished for it—unlike Tess of the D’Urbervilles or poor Anna Karenina who had to suffer for her pleasure by being thrown beneath the wheels of a train.
Falling in love is universal. It transcends time and translates into all languages. It’s how families are formed, which ensures the continued survival of our species. So if you’re looking for a way to celebrate this Valentine’s Day, join the other 74.8 million people by picking up a romance novel and falling in love all over again!
So what was “your song” the first (or last) time you fell in love? (We promise not to giggle unless it was the PINA COLADA SONG.)
Simon & Schuster will send the 5 giveaway copies of the book. All opinions are my own. U.S. entries only please. Giveaway terms are here.
What are you reading and where are you going?