So, I was thinking about what I write, what I’ve been writing my whole life, inside my head and out and I came to a conclusion. I write comedy. I know – Earth shattering revelation, right? The reason that it was interesting to me was that I realized that comedy has been he one constant in my life and in my writing. It’s how I’ve survived and it’s in my blood. I’m a member of a tribe of people who have survived for a few thousand years as a group thanks in large part to humor.
Years ago I wrote plays. I even had one produced and staged. Like for real – in New York and everything! That play was a one-act and it was about a friendship and the relationship between a parent and a child. There was no romance. There was no mystery – but there was comedy. I’ve also written some non-fiction under a pen-name through the years and I’ve written about some subjects that most people would not consider funny. I expressed some pain in that writing and I tilted at some windmills but I did it through satire and sarcasm and so it made a lot of people think. It was serious but it was comedy.
Right now, at least, I consider myself a romance writer. That is, I write books that have characters who fall in love and have sex. They’re comedies though. They’re not just amusing romance novels. They’re not erotica with a funny character or two. They are also not what the publishing industry generally defines as “romantic-comedy” because they break rules. As I mentioned, my characters have sex – hot, sexy, sex. Bridget Jones never got it on like Gabrielle Ginsberg. My characters also like each other. They don’t have a misunderstanding and fight for ten chapters. I have enough freaking angst in my life that I don’t need to create more. And to everyone who asks, “how can a romance be hot if the people like each other?” I want to say, “Christ on a cracker, honey! Have you never had great sex with somebody you liked? If not, I have a very good therapist you can talk to.”
What’s the point you may ask – and believe me, I don’t guarantee that I have one, but if I did it would be that first and foremost my books need to make me laugh. They need to be funny because that’s what I do. I need to do what I do. If my books don’t look like other romance novels it’s because they’re not like other romance novels.
I almost sabotaged myself recently. I read some reviews that made me think that I had to do things differently if I wanted to write well. I’m not talking about selling books. I’m talking about writing well. Here’s the thing, writing well isn’t the same as writing like everybody else. No matter what I write, I’m going to write it like me and I like to laugh more than I like to cry. I also like writing about sexy sex and people who are comfortable talking and laughing about it. Finally, I like writing about people falling in love who actually like each other and prefer to converse than break up for fifty pages. So sue me.