Thursday, November 10, 2011

And a Rant Rant Here, And a Rant Rant There

It might not come as a surprise that I'm a major fan girl of Jane at Dear Author. Or I'm a DA fangirl with my little girl crush on Jane. Carolyn saves her girl crushing on SB Sarah and together we've been known to squee in our pants over Meljean Brook and do NOT get me started on Loretta Chase thankyouverymuch.

But I am so pissed pissed pissed off at DA right now that I cannot even calm down. (And this is like day three.)

One of the DA intillektual reviewers did a post about Small Town Romances and suggested they might be *cough cough* rape fantasies for readers.

WTF? WTH? What the diddley do wop are you talking about? Say what Willis?

I like small town romance. I even occasionally like the Christian, moralistic, small town romances. BUT, and this is a big but (like mine), I do not like them because they represent my desire to have my choices taken away and to be oppressed and barefoot and pregnant. I like them because I live in a fucking city and I like to imagine that a smaller town might be a different and enjoyable place.

Many many years ago before I even started reading romance, I read an article in a magazine written by a Southern male writer about the small town he lived in. He didn't talk about lynching the nee-grows or knocking up the town ho's or how they like to spray paint the word kike on the synagogue doors. He talked about tailgate parties and community and amazing fall nights on the beach where they'd light a bonfire and people would gather.

It sounded like something I wanted to experience. Something I could imagine on days when I felt disconnected. And when I started reading romance, one of the first series I discovered was Promise, Texas by Debbie Macomber.

I don't really read Ms. Macomber anymore because she's not my style. But back then she was and I liked the books. I liked the community she created and the HEAs for everyone. Damn.... HEAs for everyone. Isn't that nice?

Nowadays I read Jennifer Cruisie and Kristan Higgans and Sarah Addison Allan. Still small town romances and still a delight to me. Sometimes they're magical, sometimes they're ordinary. But they still have that community and people have that belonging. Belonging to a place.

I wrote a small town romance once and I intend to write more. My small town is called Apple Jack, Alabama and it's populated by a whole bunch of people. (And to the crack-head commenter on DA who suggested small town romances were read by white, racist Grandma's who dream of the good old days: I hope you choke and die on your constant stream of venom. Okay, maybe not. That's harsh. I just wish you'd stop being such a fucking huge bitch who brings out my desire to crack you over the head with my flaming cross.)

Apple Jack is where my porn actrss heroine went to live with her Aunts who are both in love with the same Hispanic man. And Sugar (my heroine) falls in love with Jerusalem Cannon, my black hero. Oh and there's a best friend who is also of color and a reporter who's hispanic too and a character who has the name of my Philipina friend and there's a character who happens to be Somalian...

What? Multi-cultural? Not Christian?

Yeah... explain to me the rape fantasy in all that, you pin headed small town romance haters.

Phew! Do I feel better after this rant? Not really. But I really wanted to say this. Oh, and we haven't even addressed the rape fantasy thing. But really, we can't. because it's one of those stupid things that people say to marginalize someone else. You! Yes you! Reader of romance. I don't like what you read so I shall mock you and say that you want to get raped and you're a racist and your ovaries are raisins.

And this was on a romance blog. Now that's the part of it that makes me the saddest.


  1. Okay, now calm down and tell us how you really feel ...

    Seriously, what does it matter where the setting is? The story should be about the people.

    I write small towns because that's my experience. I know nothing about big cities; maybe if I'd stayed in Toronto, it would be different.

    People are people, no matter where they live. You can try to intellectualize Romance all you want but the fact remains it's stories about people, their quirks and foibles, their fears and courage, how they relate to others in their world.

    The writer and the characters - that's all you need.

  2. I agree Carolyn.

    Isn't hte point of fiction to be un-like reality? I have all the real life I can handle at hte moment and I use fiction to escape it.

    And as a personal aside, I love the idea of 'small towns'. Having travelled so much and seen both city and non-city, I know which I prefer. If some tool wants to think that makes me interested in all that negative stuff, well, bugger them.

    I don't need their approval or sicko commentary to like what I like and I won't be put off it either because of small minded stupidity.

    So there.