Another Thing about That Bloody Salon Article
A former romance author has generated some flak for her comments in the letters section. Go to this page
and then scroll down to the letter from Jennifer Horsman. She's a former writer of
historical romances who identifies herself as a midlist writer. I never read her books, but from what I hear, she wrote during the era of true "bodice rippers." (Yeah, yeah, I know, most people think that all romance novels are "bodice rippers." Ignorance will always be with us.)
Then she goes on to identify herself as an author of "trash." She clarifies "...or to be specific, historical romance novels, bodice rippers, soft porn for the ladies, whatever". She admits that after writing 10 of them, she had to quit because she had fantasies of killing off her heroines. (From what I've heard about her novels, as popular as they were, her heroines may have been annoyingly typicl "bodice ripper" heroines.) She goes into the amount of money she earned and then adds "The point? Writing for
money is naive; there has to be another motivation."
To be fair, some people think she was just venting about her troubles with the publishing industry and being ironic about the scorn romance novels receive. Sure, that could be the case. But if that's the case, as a poster on why be "ironic" on canwetalk
said, why be ironic on Salon of all places? Salon is the type of place filled with regular readers (and forum posters and letter writers) who already think that romance novels are trash (as I said before, the ignorant will always be with us) and that all romance readers are ignorant slobs. (Never mind the fact that romance readers are !@#$ reading while vast numbers of Americans are not
, let's not let logic enter the argument, shall we?) It's like a dog owner going to a cat show and shouting, "You were right all along. Dogs drool and cats rule." You might be saying that because you're being sarcastic, or because you just had a bad day with poochie. But they're not going to know that. They're going to nod knowingly and say "Told you so. We were right all along."
And the wording... hmph. Well.
So it looks to me like she damn well meant what she said. If so... Aaargh! As a reader who might have picked up one of your books, thank you for thinking so little of me. Phhhbbbttt. As a writer... Ack. I can't imagine writing stuff that pissed me off that much, stuff that meant so little to me. Believe me, I've tried, and those projects always go phhhsssttt. And it's not as if I'm a "hoity toity" writer. I'm the one sitting around the campfire and telling stories about Gorok and Wulf, and a female werewolf who saves a village from a killer, and a mediator who kicks ass and falls in love with two men, that sort of thing. Why bother writing something that I think sucks when I know 1) I will waste my money writing it and 2) my disdain will show?
Oh, and you can read romance author Alison Kent's nifty take on both the "midlist" article and the Horsman letter here
. Lydia Joyce
also tears the article apart, although she hasn't gotten to the topic of Ms. Horsman yet. ;-)