I've been asked why I write romances numerous times. Of course, a good part of why I write romances is that...I read them. Below is a short and incomplete list of the whys and wherefores.
1. Even if a day is gloomy, I know that there will be hopeful thoughts between the pages of a romance. Something to lift the spirit and make me smile.
2. Romances promote empathy, something the world is often a bit shy on.
3. There will always be a satisfying ending.
4. Romances remind me that people should continue to strive for the greater good, even if real human beings are human and flawed. (Romances are often criticized for being too idealistic, but in my opinion, that's their value. Romance heroes and heroines, just like real human beings, aren't perfect, but they always try to be better. And that's a healthy attitude, I think. None of us should expect perfection of ourselves—down that path lies ulcers, depression and worse--but we should continue to try to be a bit better than what we are).
5. There's a world of variety in romance novels, ranging from contemporary dramatic romance, humorous romance, historical romance, romantic suspense, paranormal, steampunk, LGBT, young adult…the list goes on. There is a lot of choice, and I like that.
6. Heroes. There, I said it. I like reading about and writing about men who are hero material. I like wounded warriors, nerdy heroes, heroes who are seemingly full of themselves but have a soft center. I like them all.
7. Empowered heroines. I love being able to make a woman whatever she wants to be (or whatever I want or the story requires her to be).
8. Fun secondary characters.
9. Exotic (or not so exotic) settings. Writing and reading romance novels enable me to visit other worlds.
10. Snappy dialogue. Banter between a hero and heroine can range from the sassy to the dramatic to the soft and tender to the wildly sexy. It's all good.
11. Escapism. See # 1. Romances are the perfect books for a time-out if I have a few minutes or a few hours.
NOTE: This is not to say that I don't enjoy other kinds of books. I have eclectic tastes and read a variety of genres along with lots and lots of non-fiction. I have lots of books on my keeper shelves that aren't romance novels. In fact, I may have more of those "saved" books than I have romances. But if I had to be stranded on a desert island and was told that I could only take one genre with me, romance would be my first choice.