Romance novels are often ridiculed as being – well – some say: trashy. Some people might even say romance novels are not even real writing.
But the legion of romance novel readers would no doubt disagree. Many devoted readers are gathered this week at the Rio Hotel and Casino for the RT Booklovers Convention where they can meet some of their favorite writers.
KNPR talked with romance writer Jill Shalvis, who came down here from the Reno area, where she lives.
Why do people ridicule romance novels?
I think people ridicule novels because they haven’t read one. They don’t know better. They don’t know how good they are.
What will people find when they do read them?
A guaranteed happy ending for one thing. There is such a wide variety within romance. It’s not really fair to say just one thing. You’ve got suspense or romance or fantasy or historical or contemporary. There are so many choices.
What are you aiming for in your books?
I absolutely follow the happy ending. That’s a requirement for me personally when I read so that’s what I write. And if you’re talking about the romance genre, I can’t think of one that wouldn’t have one.
What elements are part of romance novels that you wouldn’t find in other novels?
Some romance novels will have just a love story and some romance novels will have secondary characters or a murder or a ghost or a zombie apocalypse. You can’t really narrow it down. That’s not fair to the genre.
When did you get interested in writing romance novels?
I’ve always been a reader. I was actually a journalism major and it took me a while to realize that it wasn’t nonfiction I was interested but fiction. I think my first book came out in 2000 so I’m kind of an old hat at this by now.
How do you write so much?
When I’m in the middle of a book, I write every day and takes me maybe three to four months to write a book. I would like to say I take a lot of time of during writing books but I don’t typically do that.
Do you have the idea for your next book while you’re writing your current book?
I have to say ideas aren’t a problem for me it’s the discipline of sitting in the chair and writing the pages that are the hard part.
Can you explain why so few men buy romance novels?
It’s women’s fiction. I don’t think it is something that would appeal to a lot of men. It’s written for women the love story mostly.
Shalvis's new book is “Sweet Little Lies.” This Sunday, April 17, her current book, "Nobody But You," will be number 11 on the New York Times fiction bestseller list.
Jill Shalvis, author of the romance novel, "Sweet Little Lies"
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