I had heard this term on social media and while reading a few accounts I honestly thought it was much ado ‘bout nothin’, so what if you think what I write or read is silly. I’m always thrilled to see or hear that someone reads- period. To me the key is that people are choosing to read instead of watching TV, gaming, or doing the hundreds of other things that eat up our free time.
Recently I attended a lecture at my local library. A group of library employees sat at my end of the table and I took the opportunity to pimp, err market, my books. The woman next to me asked what I wrote?
So I answered excitedly, “ROMANCE.”
She turned her nose up and sniffed, “I don’t read that fluff.”
What???? Did this woman just snub me? I pressed. “I’m not sure what you mean?”
Then she shifted in her chair and started to look uncomfortable. “Well, it isn’t very realistic is it?”
I pasted a confused look on my face and asked, “Do you mean like the alcoholic murder suspect who solves the murder of the woman that she saw from the train? Or the orphaned boy who goes to a school for the magically gifted?” I could go on and on but I dropped it and chatted with the man to my left.
I’ve been thinking about the librarian’s comments. I spent my early teen years reading the Harlequins’ of the seventies. The basic story was the same, the rich, powerful, old man falls for the young, innocent, shy woman and then after the one hot kiss, there is a misunderstanding and she runs away. He always comes after her, and they declare their love. Even as a young teen, I knew the twists and turns before I opened the cover. I devoured them for the exotic locales and the characters’ exotic names. No matter what the roadblocks were, they always ended up together, ready to face their new life.
The popular and well-spoken Romance Author, Damon Suede believes that, “Romance is the literature of hope.” In my new book, Better, my hero has grown tired of his current way of life. He’s not sure what has him feeling unsettled but when he meets Layla, he knows that she’s the key. Forde and Layla are too old for love at first sight, but they find that they want to make changes to the status quo. They want more for themselves, better.
The world we live in is crazy, my life can feel out of control sometimes, my county is in the midst of a frightening Heroin epidemic and the crime rate is rising. I share my stories because they offer hope. Not the sappy, sweet, everything will be perfect now that I met you kind, but where people decide to take control of their lives and try to make an improvement.
So hell yeah, I’m a Romance Writer- I hope that when you read one of my books, you feel that you have the chance to make your life better if only for a moment. We all need a little hope!
About Melanie Jayne
I live on a grain farm southeast of Indianapolis, Indiana with my very patient husband of twenty-five years and our two English Mastiffs, Buster Brown and Ginger. I graduated from Indiana University when it was the #1 party school in the country and I took great pride in helping the school achieve that ranking.
I haven’t figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I change careers every decade. I have worked in retail, a federal courtroom, traveled across the state closing loans, and behind the scenes in a casino.
I’ve always had an active imagination so when a good friend suggested that I try writing a book, I thought why not, it should be fun. It has, but I have had to work very hard to learn how to do it. I am so lucky for the outpouring of advice and education from so many in the industry, plus the hand-holding and cheerleading from My Gurls. I also have an incredible Ad-man-istrative Assistant, who tries to keep me under control. He rolls his eyes so much that I worry about a permanent condition.
When I ‘m not working or writing type stuff, I sleep, watch courtroom TV shows, and sports. I was a competitive pro-am ballroom dancer for ten years and I read as many books as I can.
I love to attend Author-Reader Conventions and look forward to meeting you.