How do you know what you’re writing, especially when others define genres for you? I usually consider my writing to be part romance. I don’t always write a love story, but a lot of stories have romantic elements centered on the protagonist’s romantic relationships. They may not be the central focus, but they are a very strong element and are usually deeply woven with other plot elements. Does that not make them romance? I consider them romantic fantasy, romantic alternate history, steampunk romance, or paranormal romance. Yet people keep indicating that #romance needs to follow certain patterns.
I’ve never been one for too much conformity. I know some people will read my stories and say “This isn’t romance!”, but I disagree. The problem with the concept of genre’s and sections is having to define everything. I often wonder do I, as an African American author, go in the African American section or the science fiction section? Do I get put with Maya Angelou or do I get put in “poetry”. Things like that aren’t me overreacting, as some have told me, it is me being conscious of how genre placement can impact me. It is me being aware very few non-blacks will bother venturing to “black” sections of the book store. It is me being aware that someone who picks up a romance novel has different expectations then someone picking up a fantasy novel.
Do I have to conform to standards of Romance to make a romance? I don’t believe so. Every author in the world has probably wondered about their works classification at some point. Not because they don’t know what it is…but because the world may not agree with it.
Do I write romance?
I believe I write my romance. For now I can only hope that is enough.