The Art of Romance Novels

Publication year
Para.doxa: Studies in World Literary Genres

Reprinted in Kay Mussell and Johanna Tuñón's North American Romance Writers.

I can live with snickers from the media. I don't even hear those snide little asides about my work from uninformed parents at school meetings any more, and I can manage ridiculous questions about how I research sex with calm good humor.

But even after years of this, I'm often still wounded when a fellow woman artist or academic dismisses me and my art. [...] I am often simply dismissed for my choice.

And it was a choice. I didn't stumble into writing romance - how many writers and artists stumble into it? I chose romance. Deliberately, with much thought, I chose it because I am a feminist, and because I wanted to bypass the male culture of the mainstream publishing world. (78)


I wanted to write for women. To weave legends we feel in our guts; reclaim history from a woman's point of view; explore sex from our viewpoint and see what it meant and how we felt about it - both in terms of what it is, and what it should be.

I also wanted to give rest, a moment's peace, to some overwhelmed sister who had no time for herself. (79)