I write because I’m a writer. But why do I write Romance?
Isn’t it at best fluff?
Honestly? I thought so, for a while.
I bought into the lie that fiction is a waste of time. Because why wouldn’t you rather spend your days doing something useful? Or at least read a book that could teach you a new skill?
But then? Then I fell in love.
I fell in love with romance as a genre, because the world can be such a cruel place. A place where storms, literal or figurative, wreak havoc and leave broken people in their wake. Broken people in need of healing.
Can I heal them with my romance novels? No.
So why then?
Because I know who can heal them. And my writing romance novels is partly because I want to shine the light on that Healer.
I find healing through fiction myself. Especially in the genre of inspirational romance, which is why I write that particular brand of romance. The novels I read were never preachy, but they opened up that place where hurt was hiding.
Sometimes the heroine and I were facing similar circumstances. Sometimes the hero made me laugh, and I loosened up enough to feel. Sometimes their love story brought out emotions I had buried, intentionally or not. Sometimes because the beauty of the words strung together brought me right to His feet. It wasn’t the novel that brought me healing. It was the Creator hiding in the shadows.
So I write romance because of their healing power. But also for this reason: I think good love stories, like good marriages, are small reminders of the Greatest Love Story Ever. The one where the God of the Universe decided to pursue humans who “did just fine” without Him. When Jesus chose to live as a man, to die on a cross and overcome death, just for the chance to know you and me. Gambling everything away, hoping we might look twice at him and let him pursue a relationship with us.
I could have taken up horseback riding. Instead I took up writing.
Because I found in it great joy and healing, first for me, and hopefully, someday for my readers.
Because romantic stories hint at the Greatest Story of All Time.
Because fluff is delicious. The literary and the marshmallow kind.
There’s probably as many reasons to read romance as there are readers of the genre. None of them are wrong (unless you’re reading romances as part of your plotting world domination, in which case I think it leans a little towards wrong).
So tell me, why do you read romance?
Do you read it for the same reason now as when you first started?
Austin Ryan makes her home in a forest clearing in the nutmegy part of New England.
In love with words, books and all things related, she can usually be found either reading or writing, or even reading about writing.
She wrote her first story at seven, an illustrated adventure about a troll girl retrieving her doll from the moon. The story was self-published in one copy, and most likely still exists in her mother’s attic.
Since then she’s written numerous stories, and now she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Austin writes inspirational romance, working her way toward publication one paragraph at a time.
Apart from all things bookish, her favorite past times include going on adventures with the-best-six-year-old-ever, hanging (more) twinkle lights around the house, or simply watching the waves roll in from the ocean.
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