Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Meet Regina West

My guest today in My Writing Corner is Regina West, author of  The Long Way Home.

 

Hello, writers and readers, and thank you, Rebecca, for letting me take over your blog for a day.
I’m about to jump up on my soapbox here for a minute, and, no, it’s not so I’ll look taller, although I could certainly use that. I want to talk about the reputation of the romance genre.

Those of you who read a lot of romance, are you ever embarrassed to admit it? In the past, when books have come up in conversation, I have strategically left out that I’m reading the latest romance. Instead, I’ll name-drop some literary giant. Even when I began to tell people about my own book, The Long Way Home, I noticed my answer to “what’s it about” was “oh, it’s just a romance novel.”
Wait…what? Just a romance novel?The book I spent a year writing and editing and more than a year getting published. The book that began because I’d lost a close relative and needed to pour my troubles into something. JUST a romance novel?

I had a little talk with myself about that one.
I was embarrassed by my genre.It was partially because of the long bookshelves full of shirtless men. It was partly because I felt somehow responsible for all the ickyromance novels, as if no other genre has its share of bad books. It was very much because other people don’t take the genre seriously.

I don’t like that the romance genre has been saddled with this reputation. Good novels—romance or otherwise—have the same elements: interesting characters that change and grow, a well-developed fast-paced plot, and gorgeous prose.Some of them deal with difficult or dark subject matter. The romance writers I’ve met are whip-smart and incredibly funny. Pick up Nora Roberts or Kresley Cole or Jude Devereaux, and you’ll see these elements.
Putting tens of thousands of words on a page that keep a reader captivated takes skill and diligence. And good grief, TIME. Lots of it. All writers dedicate so much of themselves to their work, and I am no exception.Not everyone will love my book, but I know that it’s good. My characters are interesting, real adults with real problems, who, in the end, find love. It’s fun to read (and it was a lot of fun to write, too.)

So I’ve stopped apologizing for my work and my chosen genre. And I proudly carry the latest paperback with the hunky man on the front. Sure, Iread plenty of literary novels, but when I’m looking for something well-written and fun, romance is where it’s at.
Thanks, Regina, how about a blurb for The Long Way Home?
Twilah Dunn has it all—an exciting life in Los Angeles and a thriving ad agency she owns with her fiancé. Then she learns that her estranged father has died and her business partner is sleeping with her best friend. In one day, her perfect life unravels and the city she calls home is now anything but.

She returns to her hometown in North Carolina determined to sell her father's horse farm in order to buy back her business from her cheating fiancé. But when she sees the farm’s dilapidated state, she can’t bear the thought of selling it that way. Against all reason, she puts her fast-paced, metropolitan life on hold and hires local cowboy Aidan Perry to help restore the farm to its former glory. She’s heard the rumors of his dark past, and she’s wary of mixing business with pleasure—again. But soon she can’t keep her mind, or her hands, off of him.
Can Twilah push through her fear and love Aidan? Will his past prove too dangerous? Has she really left LA behind or will it continue to haunt her?
Where to Find Regina West:
 

5 comments:

  1. Well said Regina! If we don't stand up for our writing and our genre, no one else will either.

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  2. Regina, There are romance novels, and romance novels just as there are differing mysteries, suspense and fantasies -- both good and bad. I've had reviewers read portions of my work and stoutly deny it's "just" romance, whatever that means! Fully developed characters and deep POV will carry a story everytime, so you're right: stand proud and say it loud!

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  3. Thank you, ladies! I love our genre. Loud and proud, indeed. :-)

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  4. For some reason i have read a number of romance novels lately. Perhaps its because there are a million romance novels out there and I have figuratively bumped into them online lately. But my point is that this past summer I have read and reviews a number of novels and enjoyed them immensely. Each one was different enough, claiming some secondary genre's intrigue and I must say that all of them were well written. However, I will stick to my claim that The Long Way Home is the best romance I've read in my limited experience with the genre. Thanks for writing it and sharing it with the world...And for being a fellow Panda and a damned good editor.

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  5. I find when I write, romance is just one ingredient of my book. I love to write mystery and suspense as well. I'm not ashamed of what I write. Your book sounds very good!

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