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October 10, 2011


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"That's why I write romance."

Donna, If I first met you at a romance convention, that would be the phrase that I would be most eager to hear.

Having visited many writer's web sites and blogs, its the romance writers who leave me with the feeling that I would really like to know these people better.

They are invariably humorous, sometimes mischievous, occasionally possessing rapier like intelligence and always fun-loving imaginative and kind. All qualities that I admire.

I think that I understand why many people dismiss romance as an inferior genre. Book stalls in England display a lot of rubbish with outrageous covers and these are the books that casual observers remember. But when you think of Eloisa James a Shakespearian professor, or Stephanie Laurens a retired scientist of some eminence or numerous historians like Philippa Gregory, all with superb literary styles, then the shallowness of the critics becomes apparent.

Many people who don't read much also like films based on romantic novels: Gone with the wind, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Lorna Doon .....

Romance is also the largest sales sector. All those people buying romance can't possibly be wrong. LOL

Really sorry about your mum Donna. But if her dying led you to writing romance then it shows that there is light in the darkest depths.

I now check Amazon kindle for 'Donna Cummings'. I know it won't be long!

Thanks for sharing *smile*

Donna Cummings

Q, you're not supposed to make me misty like that! *sniff* You've made my day.

What a wonderful description of romance, and romance writers. I'm appointing YOU the official spokesperson, and sending you on a tour to enlighten the world. :)

You're so right about all the qualities of romance writers--and it's why I like hanging out wiht them too. And romance readers--they're are the BEST!

I'm hoping to have something on Kindle soon. There's a bit of a learning curve there, and once I've conquered that, I'll hopefully have a couple different things up there. I can't wait to let you know I'm there. :)

carrie spencer

Donna...let me know if you need Kindle help...I'm through the curve and going back a second time. =) I write romance because I love to read it. Been reading it for probably 35 years now, and crave the happily ever after. The funny thing? Until I started writing, I didn't know romance stories always HAD to have a HEA! I thought it was just miraculous all the books ended up with one! Whew, I'd think, another one ended up with a happy ending! Yay!

lol.....I know better now!


Donna Cummings

Carrie, thanks for the offer of help -- I'm sure I'll take you up on it. :)

And you are too funny about the HEA. I'm still cackling about that.

I can't wait to read more of your stories. I love your sense of humor, and your New Voices entry is just my type of story. :)

Anita Clenney

Donna, I write romance for a lot of the same reasons. It's a pet peeve of mine that romance writers are looked down on by literary snobs. The world has enough sadness without me adding to it in a book. Sure their may be some sad moments, and lots of emotion in our books, but with a romance you'll get thrills, puzzles to solve, sometimes a world to save, and still it will end in such a way that the reader feels good. Romance makes the world go around, so why not write about it?

Liz Lipperman

Donna, I couldn't agree more with what you say and what Quantum said. I chased romance for a lot of years before I realized I wasn't a "romance" writer. However, I love romance and put it in all my mysteries. (New genre- Romantic Mysteries!!) Nothing better than a kiss before you kill 'em!!


"I'm blonde, but it doesn't mean I'm brainless. It means I have a great hairdresser." Snort!

Right there with you - with the romance writing, not the blonde bit. I'm Polish; that's enough to deal with. ;-)


What a great post, Donna! I too found, on more than one occasion, that romance helped to keep me sane when my world was falling apart. For many years, I was a closet romance reader because the genre was held in such contempt within academia. It was the warmth, intelligence, and comraderie of the online romance community that transfomed me into a reader who boasts of reading Proust and Putney, Chase and Chaucer, Eloisa James and James Joyce.

Donna Cummings

Anita, that was beautifully said! I agree about not wanting to add any more sadness to the world. I prefer to add hope, and I think romance does that so well.

Donna Cummings

Liz, you crack me up! A kiss before you kill them -- LOL. I think it's great that you put romance in all your mysteries. It means you're a romantic at heart, even if you love to kill people off!

Donna Cummings

Kiersten, it's fun to mess with people's preconceived notions, isn't it? LOL Maybe we'll convince non-romance readers one of these days too. :)

Donna Cummings

Janga, I love the writers you paired together - that's perfect! And you're so right about the warmth and welcoming nature of the romance community. It's another reason I love romances--because of the wonderful people who love them like I do!


I love how this post and the comments show that romance writers and readers are among the most educated (including self-educated) segments of society. It makes sense that there is a correlation between experiencing so much of the uncertainty of the real world that we gain a greater appreciation for the fantasy and optimism of romance. :)

Donna Cummings

Melissa, I agree! With all of your points. :) And I particularly liked the last part, since it really explains so well that we like the fantasy escape it provides us, so that the real world is a little more bearable afterwards. Thanks for sharing that. :)

julie gardner

Cheers to you for owning what you do and love and for being GOOD at it!

Your analogy about feeling like you just told someone you dropped out of school in 5th grade cracked me up.

It rings true for YA, too. Not necessarily taken seriously. Not "literary" enough.

But hey. We string words together to please ourselves and hopefully others.

No need to apologize for that.

So I say, once again, CHEERS to you, my friend!

And carry on...

Donna Cummings

Julie, it's taken a while for me to get to this point, and sometimes I tell non-romance folks that I write "romantic comedy"--which is true, as well as easier. LOL

And it's funny that a lot of the literary "classics" were the genre fiction of their day, so I guess we just have to make sure OUR books last 100+ years.

Or, as you said, we can just enjoy what we do, which I think is the best way to go about it. :)

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