Crabs and Ticks

I haven’t posted in a long time. I thought about posting almost daily, but each time when I got close enough to the computer to write something for my blog, I backed away and checked email instead. You see, I’m been afraid to post as I’m afraid I’m going to be myself.

I’m going to put my foot in it and it won’t be pretty.

I never get emails about my rants.

I got at least a dozen emails about my Peeps.

I’ve gotten emails about the fun laugh out loud things I might say but not always Jane on a soap box blogs. And Jane isn’t just on a soap box right now, she’s dragging it behind her like a two ton elephant.

In Hawaii last week Surfer Ty took me on two different hikes and during the hikes I kept thinking about what I want to say but I couldn’t say. I told Ty after the second hike I was going to write a new blog and he asked what I intended to write. I told him. He wasn’t so sure it was a good idea. More bluntly, he told me it wasn’t a good idea and I should do something light. Funny.

Okay, funny. Sure. I will.

As soon as I get this other thing off my chest.

Because it’s been a week and I’m still obsessed with this thing in my head.

So, apologies to Surfer Ty and the Peep Lovers out there, but I’m going to tell you what’s making me mentally itchy. I’m going to tell you why I’m scratching at myself like a dog with crabs and ticks and fleas.

In the past two months I’ve gotten awesome reviews for Flirting with Forty, ones that give me the shivers.

And then in the past two weeks, I’ve had two not so shiny reviews from the literary establishment. And fine, one of the two reviews was sooooo mean that I actually found it funny. And the other one, the one from PW, wasn’t so much mean but they used a phrase that is making me act like a circus clown on acid.

The PW reviewer said that in Flirting with Forty ‘my romance roots were showing with gratuitous sex scenes and blah blah blah’.

I don’t have a problem with the blah blah blah. Good point. I’ll make a note of it. But gratuitous sex? And romance roots showing?

Baby, those ain’t no roots.

That’s my frickin head of hair.

Roots, huh.

Of course my romance ‘roots’ show. I am a romance writer. I write romance and I write fiction and sometimes its more romantic and sometimes its less, and some are hot and sexy and others are called chick-lit, which others call women’s fiction. But for me as a writer, it’s one and the same. I write for women. I write emotional, personal stories and in some stories the romance is paramount and in others its a mother-daughter relationship but I wouldn’t be here, with my own website and my own JaneBlog if I weren’t a romance writer.

And I love being a romance writer. I love my readers, I love my reviewers, I love the booksellers and librarians. I love my fellow authors and even the aspiring writers. There’s a lot to love in this industry. There’s a lot to be proud of, a lot to respect.

In 2004 romance generated 1.2 billion in sales.

There were 2,285 romance titles released in 2004.

Romance fiction comprises 54.9% of all popular paperback fiction sold in North America.

Romance fiction comprises 39.3% of all popular fiction sold.

To compare:Mystery/Detective/Suspense is 29.6% of popular fiction sales; General Fiction is 12.9% of popular fiction sales; Science Fiction/Fantasy is 6.4% of popular fiction sales; and Religious, occult, westerns, male adventure, general history, adult and movie tie-ins was 11.8% of popular fiction sales

So great, the romance industry is big business, but beyond that–why does the industry hold a place in my heart? Because this genre empowers women. In romance, women are the heroes, and women get a complex role, great dialogue, awesome supporting cast AND a happy ending. In romance women aren’t tortured, mutilated, or abandoned. In romance, a woman’s choice to love isn’t mocked, and her decision to love and cherish is validated.

I like women in romance because we get what we deserve—kindness, honesty, humor, intelligence, tenderness, hope, success AND great sex.

The PW review said my romance roots were showing in the gratuitous sex scenes and fine, my July release, Flirting with Forty has some love scenes but I tell you this, I wouldn’t write it any other way. The day my heroines don’t get good lovin’ is the day I hang up my hat.

But I’m not hanging up my hat. In fact, I’m just getting going. And those romance roots?

Those are the roots I *want* to show.

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