Thursday, August 21, 2008

What genre is your life?

Is it romance? Comedy? Horror? Mystery? Chick-lit? A bit of this and that all mixed together?

Probably the latter.

Life is ups, downs, some tragedy, some laughter and a lot plodding along, looking for the sun to come back out.

Someone recently asked why I chose to write romance. The question came from an individual who doesn't care for that particular genre and I couldn't help but hear the note of scorn. No problem. I don't expect everyone to like the same things. I know many dismiss romance as quickly as others dismiss pop music or modern art. I just hope they at least give unfamiliar things a chance. ;)

The answer I gave was simple and precise: I'm a romantic at heart.

But today my answer changed just a bit. I witnessed the aftermath of a family once again sent to the edge of hell and back by heart-breaking loss. I saw such profound grief that it touched my heart. Yet I felt incapable of doing anything to help or give any type of comfort.

Later, I sat thinking about how resilient the human spirit can be, and praying for my own family. That's when I realized times like these are why I read and write romance, whatever form it takes. I need to know at least one thing is going to work out the way I think it should. I find comfort in the fact that good things do happen, despite the hurdles and pits along the way. I want to see two characters -- lost, alone, searching -- find one another and fall in love. I need to be reassured, I suppose. I want that Happy Ever After.

Life is filled with tragic mistakes. Pain and heartache abound and we never know for sure that it will, in fact, be okay. We hope it will. We hold on and cling to whatever faith we possess, waiting for the pain to subside and the next ray of sun to appear.

But sometimes that rope gets a bit frayed and our hands start to slip...

So I write romance because I hope. I have faith. I dream, for myself and others. If my stories give even one person a respite from whatever is going wrong in their lives, then it's worth any scorn or dismissal I might receive. If I can soothe one tattered heart, even for a few pages, it's worth it.

I'm a storyteller. I'm a bit old-fashioned, too. I write about a man and a woman finding each other and falling in love despite whatever danger or insecurities I throw at them. Sometimes they're very real people ... sometimes they're larger than life. But they always get through it and come out stronger in the end.

Whatever my current genre might be, I know love can get me through it. After all, life imitates art.


Marianne Arkins said...

That's exactly it! We are surrounded by bad news and despair... why would I want to read OR write about that unless it ultimately ends up well?

After all, in a perfect world, wouldn't good ALWAYS triumph over evil?

Meg Allison said...

Thanks, Marianne! It helps to know someone gets it. ;)