Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Isabel Sharpe: But Is There Meaning in Gold Lamé?

At a recent cocktail party, a woman approached me, probably early sixties, but, you know, with work done, wearing tight gold lamé pants tucked into knee-high black boots, short spiky hair dyed dark, gold jewelry dangling everywhere.  She was clutching a large glass of wine and stood so close you could smell the alcohol on her.

Oh baby.

The inevitable happened, she found out I was a writer.  Ohhhh!  She’d always wanted to write a book!  Because wow, had she ever lived a life worth telling about!  Though when I told her I write romance, she immediately shook her head, “Oh, no, no, I’d write something with meaning.”

Well, then.

People sneer at romance.  Whatever.  If it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing.  But this was a new level of dismissal.  (Granted, I dismissed her, too, but at least I interacted with her first—she’d never read a romance.)

I wanted to tell her about the letter I got from a woman who’d spent all night in the hospital worrying about a loved one, and how my book (a comedy) made the long wait bearable.  Or the letter from the therapist in Tennessee who handed out my romances to female clients as examples of strong women getting their needs met.  Or, more personally, how reading romance helped me come to terms with what was missing from my first marriage.

Mostly, I wanted to tell her about the story I just finished* for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Foundation, about a woman starting life over after escaping a violent relationship.  Print copies will be distributed to women’s shelters and the e-novella will be available for free, to spread the word about the Foundation’s Give Back a Smile program, which enlists dentists to repair women’s teeth damaged by an abusive partner without charge.  No meaning?  Come on.

Okay, I wanted to tell her a few other things too, but I was raised to be polite.

So there’s a beginning list.  I’m curious to hear your additions.  What has the romance genre meant to you? 
My favorite answer wins a copy of Back in Service, one of the Harlequin Blaze Uniformly Hot miniseries, about men and women serving in the military.  Check out this cover.  I have to fan myself every time I see it.

Look forward to hearing from you!


* The e-novella, For One of Your Smiles . . . will be available in early 2014.  Check my website later in the year for details,  A really good cause and a free book!  And while you’re at it, take time in the remaining days of October to think about National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and help a friend if she needs it.

***Erin is the winner! Please email with your mailing details.***


erin said...

Thank you for spotlighting such a great cause. Reading romance is my great escape from the mundane. It puts a smile on my face and gives me renewed hope that good things can and do happen despite real life. Thanks for sharing!

Mary Preston said...

Romance stories do indeed have meaning. My parents were married for 66 years & knew each other another 10 years on top of that. Theirs was a great romance and marriage. When I read romance I reflect on what is & what could be. Romance stories are magic and powerful and there should be more love in the world, not less.

Eli Yanti said...

Reading Romance sometimes touching my heart, make me happy, smile, sad and always dream that it's happen to my life :)

kim h said...

i love a hea romance and like fairy tales since I was little. and reading romane takes u to fantasy land and meeting a soul mate. it takes u from realty some days, and it just fun to read and I love the men in uniform series whoo thanks, such a hot cover.
Kim H

Laurie G said...

Romances have kept me sane through raising 4 children. Romances kept me occupied as I waited to pick them up from school related activities: clubs, practice games, sporting events, plays, car washes etc.

My husband is always late. This waiting drives me crazy! Reading allows me an escape.

I love to visit new places, learn about different cultures, jobs and role models. The romance genre has a lot of sub-genres: suspense, historical, inspirational, contemporary, futuristic, time travel, Medieval,paranormal, whatever my mood I know I will find a book which will entertain me.

I like the camaraderie of the whole romance community. Readers feel included.

I need the HEA romances guarantee!

Isabel Sharpe said...

These are all such great comments! I was in CA when the blog ran so though I checked in a couple of times, I didn't have a lot of time to respond. Thank you all for responding.