Monday, June 20, 2011

Am I Weird?


No surprise  there, but I really wonder about myself sometimes. Lately I've been seeing a lot of covers for romance novels, and they always feature a gorgeous, bosomy creature in the arms of a tall, muscular, virile male. Usually that male is bare chested.

I gotta tell you - this does nothing for me. I can appreciate the subjects as art objects, but I'm not very interested in their romance. I got far more interested in the results of the Harry Potter (thin, bespectacled, wears a sweater) and Ginny (thin, ginger hair, wears a sweater.) My heart positively pounded over the results of the  Hermione (out of  control hair, super intelligent, wears a sweater) and Ron romance (ginger hair, quite a dweeb, wears ugly Dress Robes.)

And there are others - the love story in The Accidental Tourist between Macon and Muriel (Muriel - Not Amber, not Bethenny) had me enthralled. Muriel is  described as having eyes the  size of sesame seeds and legs as skinny as matchsticks. Macon (not Rafe Savage, not Jude  Lawless) sunburns easily and gets lost in a city he's known all his life.

Those characters are real to me. And there have been successful romance books that have hooked my interest - where the hero has a drinking problem, or where the heroine wears glasses. They're out there, but they're hard to find.

So, I suppose  I'm looking for those characters with flaws, both physical and emotional.  I can relate to them. I can care about those guys.

Again, I'll admit that I'm weird. Maybe  most readers want those specimens of male and female perfection in their  stories. I just have to say that they leave me cold.


Hart Johnson said...

I think this is one of the main differences between people who devour romance novels and people who like romance as a subplot of something more substantive (did I just say that?). But romance readers like a lot of physical description--they want to live vicariously through characters. Some of the rest of us want to read difficult things we'd never want to live through. We like horror or thriller or mystery...

I guess I am totally agreeing with you. I don't like those characters either--they are stale and annoying to me. But then... I don't like the stories either. I want identifiable characters who are complete in their own right (however flawed)

Johanna said...

This post made me think of a paranormal romance book I read recently as "research" It was like a harlequin with vampire teeth and I dunno....kind of boring. I think those sexy, beautiful covers have come to symbolize a predictable plot, which is why I have trouble with those books.

Krista McLaughlin said...

I don't really care for the pictures on those romance novels anyway. I'm not attracted to those body building type man. I may not be physically attracted to a guy until I get to know his personality and the type of guy he is. Then it's suddenly like I see all of his best features and I like the flaws. :) You're not too weird.

Christine Murray said...

You're not alone, Alison. I'm the exact same. I find a lot of the men on those covers sort of bland...I like real people, and real people have flaws and imperfections.

Carissa Andrews said...

This is such an awesome post! I feel the exact same way! Though I adore a few writers in this romancey category... honestly, I don't read that. The covers do little to peak my curiosity, either. I like the complicated story. I like seeing it unfold and how it gets there. I want to root for the couple against all odds. I like my men to have flaws and my women to be more than a damsel in distress. I'd like to say, I've accomplished that in my own work...but time will tell. Bravo to you for being weird! I say weird rules!