• Bronwyn Forest

Why Do We Need Romance?

One question I've asked myself over the years is whether or not writing romance novels has value. Obviously, it's not as important as, say, working to ensure that people have enough to eat or that children get a good education. It's not as valuable as planting trees to offset climate change or working for social justice.

But (and this is a big but), novels that transport us, give life to our fantasies and allow us to escape the daily grind can literally be life savers. How many times have you had a long, hard day and settled down with a book that allowed you to rest, recharge and maybe even have a little fun?

Romance is a provocative and evocative genre. Romance is at the core of every classic tale. Look at the Greek myths. Shakespeare. The legends and lore of indigenous peoples. You'll find drama, power struggles, and almost always - at the heart - romance.

I grew up on a diet of Masterpiece Theater and BBC miniseries such as I, Claudius, Upstairs/Downstairs, The Jewel In The Crown, Pride and Prejudice. I was fascinated by the emotional drama underlying all the characters, the tangled webs wrought by passion, lust and love. If you see traces of those stories in my writing, it's no accident.

Another primary reason I believe romance has value is that it is inherently hopeful. There is embedded in the genre the belief that love is possible, that happy endings are out there. We all need that, even if it's just for a few minutes before we fall asleep at the end of a long day.

Cheers to you, dearest readers, and blessings on this and all days.

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