It’s funny. When asked what I do, people seem impressed by the simple response of novelist. They then ask the genre. If I say Visionary Fantasy, they appear confused. If I say Romance, they almost shake their heads.
Romance means a lot of things to a lot of people. Sure, the stereotypical, Fabio covered romance novels are generally predictable fluff. (Hell, hand me one and within a chapter I can sum up who will end up with who along with what page it will happen, not to mention when the conflict will kick in and how it will resolve.) But sometimes romance is merely the catalyst exposing the real story. (In my case: Forbidden Flower books, civil rights and the freedom to love: Scary Modsters, split souls, being a free spirit despite society’s obsession with popularity: Something To Dream On, we possess the strength to overcome our inner demons: Voices Carry, life is a chain of events that often breaks, leading us to a stronger future.)
Romance is a part of life, and not just in the lovey dovey sense we generally think of. Romance is merely another word for passion. In It’s A Marshmallow World, Darla ponders how Rosalyn’s love of music (as seen in Scary Modsters) is a love story all its own. In Scary Modsters, Peter’s desire for vengeance over the record industry executive who wronged him, fueled by his loves of music and performing, is a stark contrast for his love of Jane; yet it is this contrast that makes the romance part of the novel (Rosalyn and Niles) so compelling.
So yes, I am a romance writer. When you come right down to it, all writers are.