I find it interesting and, perhaps, amusing that some people will claim not to read romance novels. Yet, most books written, in a sense, are romance novels. If a person is reading a book which has a story, if it deals with a man and a woman and their problems or interests, they’re reading a romance novel. They might call it something else: science fiction, fantasy, murder, mystery, horror, etc. If you stop and think, even when you’re reading an autobiography, if that person tells of his or her life, men or women he or she met and loved, in a sense, he or she is telling us a romance novel. Unless the book deals primarily with one sex or a robot, it is a romance novel. It’s all in a name. For some reason, the romance novel has gotten a bum deal. People associate the romance novel with nonsense, insipid people, erotica or whatever they choose to think. In my opinion, they think that by reading the same thing under another name, they will be seen as erudite and a more serious reader. At a party, I had a chance to meet such a man. We were discussing the romance novel. He primped up. He literally stuck his nose out and said with a pompous intonation, “I don’t read that kind of thing.” He said, “I like to read this,” he said, trying to sound very knowledgeable and important as he pointed to the book he was reading, “Les Misèrables.” I couldn’t help myself. I asked him if he was aware that Victor Hugo, the author of “Les Misèrables,” was a romance writer? He said, “No.” He was embarrassed to be caught being snobbish and contradicting what he was saying. In other words, he was reading a romance novel. Whereas he was discovering Victor Hugo in his 50s, I discovered Victor Hugo when I was an adolescent. Victor Hugo was “mother’s milk” to me. I will never forget “Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Can you imagine what people thought when “Les Misèrables” was first published. What Victor Hugo writes about in that book was hard for the readers of that period of time to read and grasp. I like to tell people that my favorite genre, the one I like to read best is the romance novel. I find unique that we are a special group of people who like to read a particular type of novel, and we have an elegant name for it, something that sounds “romantic.” Most people don’t know that romance writers are well educated people, well read in the classics and knowledgeable in many areas. Romance writers read many types of literature. They have chosen to write the romance novel when they could have done just as well in any other genre. I write about romance in other genres, such as science fiction, murder/mystery, horror, etc. My new book coming out in November, “Breaking Faith,” is a murder/mystery, but it’s still a romance novel. However, there is something special about belonging to a group of writers known as romance writers, writing and reading romance novels. When you read a romance novel, you fall in love every day of your life, your life is fuller and richer for it. It’s fun to get up in the morning with a jaunty step about you, and you can’t wait for bedtime when you can continue reading your latest romance novel. Some people feel that it is limiting yourself, but romance novels deal with every facet of life, including daily living issues, politics, life and death. The only difference is that in the romance novel, there is always a happy ending. You learn to truly love another person selflessly. The boy always gets the girl and in the process reaffirms to all of us that there is something wonderful, something special waiting for all of us out there if we take the time to look for it. I am a romance writer. I would like to think that when I write, I bring a moment of pleasure and happiness to my readers. I am proud to be known as a romance writer. A book, it’s all in a name.