I’m adjusting to the fact that I write romantic fantasy or fantasy romance. Fantasy romance is romance with fantasy conventions; romantic fantasy is fantasy with romantic elements. Given this dichotomy, Gaia’s Hands (the bastard child of my works that I’m currently editing) is fantasy romance, while the others are romantic fantasy.
I think I’ve internalized a subgroup’s perception of romance as tacky and trivial. I admit titles like “The Billionaire’s New Secretary” make me cringe because of the obvious and outdated gender roles (but at the same time they’re making more money than I am).
Romance sells like popcorn at a movie theater, at the same time that the readership of other genres are decreasing. Because it sells, I might have a better chance at getting my books read. At the same time, there’s part of me (the egotistical part) that thinks my books have to Mean Something. At this point I would best chat with my ego and point out that High Art sitting on my computer isn’t doing any good.
I’m not writing Books That Mean Something. I hopefully am writing books that people care about. That’s where I want to be, and my ego better clear out and let me do it.