Unapologetically Romantic

Celtic heart knot
I love to read romance and have ever since I read my first chaste, sweet, Harlequin as a young teenager in the 70’s. At the time my favorite books were set in Australia. Then somewhere along the way I chanced across a slightly steamier historical romance and was instantly hooked. I read other genres as well but historical romance, particularly those set in the Highlands, is my go-to when I want a relaxing, enjoyable, escape.

For years I dreamed of being an author and writing my own romantic novels. I even majored in English for a while at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) until I was overcome by a wave of practicality and transferred to Salisbury University for a BS in nursing. Eventually I was able to merge both skill sets and become a successful medical writer. While I dwelt in the world of early drug development, I still dreamed about my novels. Finally, when my kids needed less of my time I wrote Highland Solution, a medieval Highland romance.
When, to my surprise, Champagne Books offered me a publishing contract I was thrilled and wanted to tell everyone I knew. Of course the first question from most people was, “What is it about?”

I generally responded somewhat apologetically, “Oh, well—um—it’s just a romance.” The author inside me who fell in love with romance and worked hard to craft a beautiful story yelled “What the hell is that about?” While the stuffy adult medical writer said, “Well—you know—romance? It’s not very important.”

Clearly, I needed to shut that snotty witch up but I needed to speak her language to do it.

While romance is often scorned by literary critics, according to statistics published by the Business of Consumer Book Publishing and reported on the Romance Writers of America website (http://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=580), romance was the top-performing category on the best-seller lists in 2012 generating $1.438 billion in sales in 2012.

So why do critics turn their nose up? Frankly, I’m not sure. Perhaps the sheer escapism that romance provides combined with the expected “happily-ever-after” leaves them cold. But why would I care about that? The escapism and the “happily-ever-after” is exactly what I seek in a romance. I love the fairy tale qualities inherent in most romance and I suspect I am not alone.

Having effectively gagged the apologetic medical writer with the statistics she so loves, now I answer, “Oooh, it’s a medieval Highland romance. It contains great characters who I can respect, a few villains, a little intrigue and a heartwarming romance. You’ll love it!”

About cecigiltenan

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6 Responses to Unapologetically Romantic

  1. ann leeson says:

    Here, here Ceci that’s exactly what I love about romances, my time frame is also set in the medieval Highlands, all those sexy highland warriors, and also a few set in the regency and Georgian periods, I’m also not adverse to a few modern day thriller romances but all in all Romances. They are escapism from the humdrum, and I know I’ve said it before but I loved highland solution and am eagerly awaiting more. Keep up the good work, I’ll definitely keep reading. x

  2. cecigiltenan says:

    I think we are a lot alike Ann! I am pushing to finish the next one in this series and I have several more planned. I also have one modern romance featuring a feisty fairy and two time-travel romances under development. Still Highland Romance is my absolute go-to.

  3. Mary Morgan says:

    Great post, Ceci! When I explain to people that I’ve written a paranormal romance they automatically assume it has vampires in it, lol! So, I state that it’s a romance and leave out anything else unless they ask me. 🙂

    This reminds me of a question I’ve often been asked: Do you hide your romance cover as you’re reading the book? Or do you proudly display it? My answer: Proudly! Love romance!

  4. cecigiltenan says:

    Hi Mary, Since I usually only read on a Kindle now anyway so the covers don’t show. However but I never cared when they did.

  5. Kay says:

    I enjoyed reading Highland Solution. I am really glad that you are writing fiction now, just keep making that medical writer inside get out of your way.

  6. cecigiltenan says:

    Thanks Kay. I hope we can get together in November. If you enjoyed the book, I would appreciate a review on Amazon. 😉

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