Yesterday's issue of Kristin Lamb's blog hit a chord with me. I follow her blogs, and have gotten lots of useful information from them. Her writing and marketing advice is solid, and I devour her posts when they come in my inbox.
Her post yesterday has had me thinking, though, about what makes my writing different from all the other romance authors out there.
One of the primary reasons I started writing novels, was that I couldn't find any to read that I really enjoyed. Protagonists were always in their early twenties, idiots, or the love interests were kazillionaires. The trope of kazillionaire sweeps virgin off her feet, only to fall in love and live HEA was starting to get to me.
I wanted to write about real people. Reall people with real jobs, and real issues. Sure pregnancy scares are real. I've had my share. But I'm not twenty-something anymore, and that doesn't really bother me as much now. If I were to get pregnant NOW, that would be something different. After I wrote a few books about real people, I found myself wanting to tackle some social issues in an entertaining way, to give my books a little more depth. Notice I said little.
See, I'm happy writing the burgers of literature. People want burgers more than they want fois gras. And I can't write fois gras anyway. I don't think I have that kind of talent. Besides, I personally can't relate to that kind of stuff. I never have. Granted, I've read lots of classical literature: Canterbury Tales, Candid, Shakespeare, etc. I love it all. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is probably my favorite book. But in the grand scheme of things, most of those are just the burgers of their time period, with on-going themes that people still find relevant.
So, my books are still fast-food romances, brain candy. But they have older heroes and heroines, with real jobs and real problems, that hopefully, readers can relate to. They're still escapist fantasies, but not so unrealistic to be ludicrous. I have no idea if I've actually gotten that out in my "platform", so I'm thinking I need to revamp my pages to make that clear. Someday, I'll get to that...