PHS Founder and Editor, Trish Wylie, talks about her pride as a member of the romance tribe, because we're #StrongerTogether.
When we started discussing the direction we wanted the new PHS to take, we all agreed diversity in romance was a cause we wanted to support. The world is, after all, a big place and romance readers and writers inhabit every corner of it, united in the belief it is possible to overcome difficulty, hold onto hope and strive for our own version of happily-ever-after. Detractors say our love for the genre makes us naïve, the books give us an unrealistic vision of romance and they look down their noses at those of us who have anything to do with this ‘lesser form’ of literature.
Yeah, right! How many have they read?
Like the vast majority of romance authors, I’ve been on the receiving end of numerous jibes, insults and incorrect assumptions about my intelligence since I became a published author. Some in interviews and some in social situations; the latter, at times, from people who should know me better. Quite often, they were surprised when I argued with them or demonstrated I had an I.Q. higher than ten. And yes, there were times when it was tough to stay civil or I was compelled to drag out my online soapbox. Throw a quote at me about heroes capable of rape which was made by another author in the 1970’s and I was pretty damn quick off the mark to point out we’ve had a change of century since then!
Fact is, no matter the subject, there will always be detractors and online, some of them can be downright vicious. Will that stop us reading and writing what we love? No. Does it mean here at the PHS we have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to a lack of respect for others in both our content and Blog comments? Hell, yes.
What I think a lot of romance genre detractors forget is how it empowered women long before feminism was a movement. It is a global business powered primarily by women, for women and our earning potential isn’t limited by gender, it’s based on talent, dedication, hard-work, savvy marketing skills and an element of timing/luck. What’s more, we are supportive of each other, encourage others to succeed, share our knowledge openly and celebrate success, regardless of whether it’s our own or someone else’s good fortune.
We may drool over shiny shoes, love a good nosey inside other people's homes, and spend entirely too much time on Google looking at hot men but here at the PHS we’re not afraid to discuss subjects like mental health, the business end of writing and equality. The subjects are as diverse and varied as the conversations women have all over the world, every day. What's more, these are the kinds of discussions the romance community have been having for years.
So, yes, I’m incredibly proud to be a member of this global romance tribe. You should be, too. And if you’re a regular visitor to the PHS, you’re one of us.