I'm not linking to anything now and I'm not offering my opinion. This is just the most basic information for anyone who is interested in what is often a hot button topic...Romance as a distinct genre with guidelines. With that said, if there were lines drawn and I had to choose sides between those who remain true to romance as a distinct genre and those who like to get creative and redefine romance on their terms, I'll draw my proverbial sword and stand with the strict, pure romance people every time.
There are several elements that define romance as a genre, and one of the most important is a happily-ever-after ending...HEA. I'm amazed at how many people (and authors) don't know this...and don't even know what HEA means...and consider movies like Titanic romances. For avid romance readers, authors, and critics this HEA is what makes a romance, defines a romance, and is what fuels the ultimate emotional experience in reading a romance. Some call it escapism, others take the concept much deeper on an academic level. But more important, HEA is not something to take lightly in romance as a genre.
And yet there are those who don't know this, and those who want to get creative and redefine the genre with books that don't always have HEA. Some do this because romance is a hot genre that makes money and they want to jump onto the money train so their books can be classified as romance. Others do this because they want to be unique and creative, because they are so different than everyone else. Their high school English teacher told them so. Unfortunately, they never consider the distinct difference between romantic fiction and genre romance.
Frankly, no one is ever going to change my opinion about HEA and romance as a genre is not going to change because some new indie author with a blog thinks it should. There is no argument strong enough to sway my opinion. For me it's not even up for debate and I won't waste my time discussing it with anyone. I get a kick in the ass at least once a day and I prefer HEA because it's my escape from all the crap in life.
But for those of you who aren't that familiar with all this genre talk and don't really know what a romance is in the purest sense, tread with care with this one. If you decide to challenge this you are going to run up against some of the most aggressive people in the book community and they're going to take you down as fast as you can tweet your fresh, new, and unique thoughts about how romance doesn't always need HEA.
Troy Aikman Chose Not Gay
The retired pro NFLer, Troy Aikman, was referred to as allegedly gay in a book once and rumors are still following him 20 years later. He recently made this statement:
I’m upset about it because it was made up and there was nothing accurate about anything that was insinuated. And he did it, as he does everything, just for attention. I am probably more upset because I probably should have responded to it at the time it was going on. The advice to me was “Hey, just don’t address it. It’s not worth it. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s ridiculous. All it’s going to do is have people continue to talk about his book.” So I didn’t. But I probably could have responded differently and maybe that would have changed things. Maybe it wouldn’t have. But it is ridiculous, and, yeah, it bothers me. If that is a lifestyle people choose, so be it. It doesn’t affect me one way or another. But it is not my lifestyle.
Once again, a gay publication disappoints me. They focus more on the fact that Aikman "chose" his lifestyle instead of commenting about the fact that Aikman seems to think there's shame in being considered gay.
All Aikman had to say was "I'm not gay, but there's nothing wrong with that if I were," and that would have made all the difference in the world...unless, of course, he does think that being considered gay is wrong.
You can read the rest to see what I'm talking about. If you accuse me of being straight should I be embarrassed or hurt by it? Should I become defensive and deny it? It works both ways, guys.
I just don't get it.
Married Uber Guy Sex Assault
Here's something that's not talked about often enough either: gay rape and gay sexual assault. In this article it's being alleged that a "straight" married Uber driver with three kids and a wife sexually assault a 21 year old man in the front seat of his car.
According to Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Cooper, once the passenger was in the front seat, Nafasat, a married father of three, grabbed the young man’s crotch and put his tongue and fingers in his mouth.
The passenger begged Nafasat to stop then asked to be taken home, to which he replied he “was not going home” and that “nobody knew where he was.”
At a traffic light, Nafasat then grabbed the passenger by the throat and started choking him, nearly knocking him unconscious. After breaking free from his attacker’s grip, the passenger tried to jump from the vehicle, but Nafasat was driving too fast.
You can read more here. At least we're hearing more about these incidents as crimes. Ten or twenty years ago I think something like this would have been kept completely covered up.
Gay In British Army
The British Army is now asking recruits if they are gay. The optional question is designed to disclose whether or not they are gay in an attempt to protect and know more about them. It's considered a good thing.
James Wharton, who suffered violent attacks in the Household Cavalry’s Blues and Royals for being gay and who was once famously saved by Prince Harry, said:
“It’s fantastic news. But it’s important troops don’t have to reveal sexual preferences. I wasn’t ready to do that.”
I still think about that sometimes, and I even posted about it at the time...being saved by a hero like Prince Harry. I write romance; I'm big on heroes, especially princes and kings.
But I digress. As Wharton said, no one is forcing anyone out of the closet. They only have to disclose the information if they are ready.
The rest is here.