Today’s post is by Sara Dobie Bauer, author of Bite Somebody, which is available now!
Before you roll your eyes at me, let me tell you about my history with romance. No, I don’t mean my dating history—my literary history. I used to scoff at romance novels. If there was a shirtless dude on the cover or a woman in a corset, I lazily considered the nearest bonfire.
See, there was a time when I thought all romance novels were badly written drivel, below an honors English student like me. I was too busy reading highbrow personal essays and philosophical fiction about the plague. I could not be bothered with heaving breasts and burning loins!
Then, one day, someone handed me Anais Nin’s Delta of Venus. Sure, I read it because it was erotica and I was in the mood to be bad. Little did I know Nin didn’t write about throbbing members; she wrote about longing and broken hearts. She wrote romance, and imagine my surprise when I realized … I loved it.
The simplest definition of “romance fiction” would probably be fiction that involves two people dancing around love until they finally fall into it. When I first started writing the genre, I was single, and I used romance as an escape mechanism. My love life wasn’t working out, so I created fictional characters who got the happy ending I was looking for and missing.
Now married (and happily, I might add), I write all sorts of fiction, from fantasy to horror, science fiction to comedy, but I always come back to romance. Why? Maybe because there’s an innocence to romantic fiction. What’s more innocent and pure than two people looking for love? Simple. Beautiful. True to life.
I don’t think anyone should read romance exclusively. I don’t think anyone should read only one genre ever. Variety keeps things interesting, in fiction and in life. However, I don’t think romance fiction should be scoffed at and thrown on the pile of vapid beach reads. Romance can be meaningful.Author @saradobie wants you to step out of your comfort zone and give #romance a try. Here's why! Click To Tweet
In my novel, the newly released paranormal rom-com Bite Somebody, Celia Merkin is a chubby, awkward vampire who’s never been in love. In fact, she’s never even been in a relationship. She becomes obsessed with the scent of her neighbor, and when she finally meets the guy, she realizes—for the first time in her life—what it’s like to want to be with someone … and maybe have her oh-so-important First Bite.
Is Bite Somebody romance fiction? Yes, but it’s also about a girl who’s learning to define herself, what she wants, and what she deserves. This is exactly what I’m talking about. Love stories are about more than love; they’re about people, just like every other book. Romances are about people in transition, in conflict, in trouble … the list goes on. They speak to our hearts, our minds, and possibly other body parts, too.
We can’t pigeonhole romantic fiction as books about guys who look like Fabio. (Thank God.) Of course, every genre has good writers and bad, so I’m not promising that every romance novel you pick up will be deserving of bookshelf space beside Anais Nin. Yet, I dare you to step outside your usual and find a romance story that sounds interesting to you. Take a big bite out of love.
About Bite Somebody:
That’s what Danny asked Celia the night he turned her into a vampire. Three months have passed since, and immortality didn’t transform her into the glamorous, sexy vamp she was expecting but left her awkward, lonely, and working at a Florida gas station. On top of that, she’s a giant screw-up of an immortal, because the only blood she consumes is from illegally obtained hospital blood bags.
What she needs to do—according to her moody vampire friend Imogene—is just … bite somebody. But Celia wants her first bite to be special, and she has yet to meet Mr. Right Bite. Then, Ian moves in next door. His scent creeps through her kitchen wall and makes her nose tingle, but insecure Celia can’t bring herself to meet the guy face-to-face.
When she finally gets a look at Ian’s cyclist physique, curly black hair, and sun-kissed skin, other parts of Celia tingle, as well. Could he be the first bite she’s been waiting for to complete her vampire transformation? His kisses certainly have a way of making her fangs throb.
Just when Celia starts to believe Ian may be the fairy tale ending she always wanted, her jerk of a creator returns to town, which spells nothing but trouble for everyone involved.