Among the many things I wanted to correct this year--along with formatting, book organization, marketing, website design, blogging consistency, and unconstructive conversations with people--was the perception of romance in my works. I've never included much of it. When I read books, they tend to be children's, some Christian devotional, a little memoir or book about crafts and fashion--very rare YA. Romance isn't common on my periphery and that is because I TRULY do not usually find it an interesting aspect of a story.
But in a market saturated with this topic, it became easy for people to assign this silence to the reverse--a great deal of interest that I was concealing. After all, people often find it hard to talk about something they really care about. They feel personal, lacking in confidence, and very much involved. For many years I've experienced snaps, snipes, whiplash remarks, and accidental slips that have revealed people assume romance is on my mind. I'm "really" a romance writer. One person believed I wrote romance for literally no reason and seemed nonplussed to find I wrote fantasy. Another accused me that my work was "really" 50 Shades of Grey and sent me endless skits that were "spoofs" of what I really wrote, supposedly. Another naturally told me one of my characters must be really me because, although this character was a small child, she was set up in opposition to a boy for most of the book. The message was clear--I was writing "romance" and hiding by making the characters children. And on and on and on.
Because lack of clarity might have led to some errors about what my position is, I'm taking care to adjust book descriptions to hint what the character relationships might be. Who is in a relationship or might be interested in being in one. Because I am now talking about them, it will be impossible to assume I am concealing them, and you will also notice that the focus is always on broader themes.
And there will be more updates.
I live surrounded by cultivated fields that rapidly give way to wild flowers, wild plants, and wild life. I get most of my ideas while drifting innocuously around my house and some of those ideas get into print.