For a long time, I would blush or joke it off. I spent years hiding the covers when I read in public (although Kindle has helped with that lol). But honestly, I am proud to both write and read this genre. I don't blush or stammer any more, but proudly proclaim my love for romance.
Even then, I still have some stock answers for folks depending on the way the question is asked. Here are my top 4:
It's my chances to put a little happiness in a world that has way too much of the opposite.
I can hardly stand to turn on the news these days. It is a rare thing that the stories don't display a world in chaos filled with hate and violence. By writing romance--stories inherently about HOPE--I am taking the creativity God gifted me with and putting a little happiness back into the world. Out of curiosity, what are you doing to make this a better place?
It makes me happy.
I write and read romance because it...wait for it...makes me happy. I love the interaction between the characters and their growth on the page. I love seeing how finding love makes them happy. And, again, I love the HOPE. For dragon shifters and cowboys and billionaires and nerds and outgoing people and shy people and people who are hurting alike, the opportunity is out there. Immersing myself in things that turn out beautiful and lovely is a wonderful way to spend some hours.
Why not? Why aren't you reading it?
Love is at the center of all relationships (or it should be). It's at the center of making babies (or it should be). It's not a female-only past time (guys do feel something other than lust, I hope). And it's not just escapism for women. Not when mysteries and action/thrillers are also out there. I don't see most men running around beating up bad guys and solving crimes. Just saying.
So if these books are about hope and reflecting something that everyone on this planet has the capability to experience, and most have a wish to experience it (traditional forms or not), then why not? Please explain to me why more people don't read romance? Maybe if more people did, this would be a happier, more hopeful world than it currently is.
Finally... The voices in my head won't shut up, so I give their mouths something to do. ;)
Come on. You always suspected writers were crazy. I'm just saying...you're right. To sit in front of a computer for hours/weeks/months/days/years torturing myself and my characters isn't exactly an easy task. Even so, I love what I do, and the people I get to meet because I do this, and the happiness it brings. So I guess I'll continue to sing the praises of love and romance to anyone who asks.
Writers and readers alike, what are some reasons YOU love to write/read romance?