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How to Stay Motivated as a Romance Author When Haters Hate on Romance

Posted by Autumn Stone
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I love writing romance. I enjoy creating the world that my characters live in, fleshing out their back story and even thinking about what they would wear. Writing romance is literally a labor of love. One of the unexpected parts of writing romance that I hadn’t planned for was the disdain that people outside of the genre would feel comfortable sharing with me. Autumn Stone is my pen name. Most of my friends and colleagues from other parts of my life don’t know what my pen name is for a reason. They’ve either made it known that they don’t respect romance as a type of fiction or they just seem not to respect writing romance as lucrative work. Now that we’re heading into fall and I’m releasing books and podcast episodes again, I thought I would talk about staying motivated when haters hate on romance. As I prepared this episode I realized that I wasn’t alone in feeling frustrated by this lack of respect.

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Looking for Guests

Do you have a favorite author that you feel would be a fantastic guest on Let’s Talk Romance with Autumn Stone? The basic criteria:

  • Be an author writing books that have a woman of color as one of the lead characters. Why am I making this distinction? I just feel that there aren’t enough stories centered around the love lives of women of color.
  • Have something to share about their author journey that will inspire and encourage other writers, in particular authors of color. Allied authors are welcome on the show.

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Thank you for listening and supporting Let’s Talk Romance with Autumn Stone. I love having conversations with authors creating stories for characters of color and the people who read them. If you enjoyed this episode please “Buy Me a Coffee.” This support helps to cover the cost of running the show.

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Show Notes

  • Romance is the most lucrative genre of fiction writing. This is just a fact. Know the numbers and those numbers will help to legitimize the breadth and scope of this business. Write this information down. Some data from ProActiveWriter
    • Romance is the #1 seller on Kindle
    • Contemporary romance-Amazon’s most competitive category
    • Most profitable category on Amazon making $1.44 billion
  • Romance readers are voracious readers. We love the escape that romance gives us. The stories and the characters.
  • There is a story for everyone.
    • Want to read about vampires? Done.
    • Christmas enemies to lovers? There’s a story.
    • Falling for a hot African prince? We’ve got you covered.
    • Shifter curious so are we.
  • Romance during a global pandemic gave readers a much needed escape from the continued stressors of associated with the past almost 2 years.
  • Real talk my creativity took a huge hit during the past almost 2 years and it was pretty demoralizing at the time. I just couldn’t relax enough to be creative.
  • Then I also had a couple of people keep teasing me about writing romance. One friend, in particular, kept asking about the books and I kept saying “You’re not my reader avatar” basically saying “You’re not who I’m trying to sell my books to.” Finally, I ended up seeing this friend at an event and lost my patience with them…in front of other people. I was just over it. I really felt that my boundaries weren’t being respected.
  • I decided to start this season with this conversation because as we make our way out of the Pandemic I want authors to stay focused and encouraged. My book income took a huge hit and I wonder outside of dealing with the pandemic what if I would have stopped writing because of dealing with Haters or just feeling disrespected?

Here are some tips to deal with this issue.

  • Set boundaries and be blunt. I probably should have just said to my friend that I felt like they weren’t respecting the boundaries that I was setting.
  • Understand the big picture around the industry of writing romance. Here a few roles that support this industry
    • Romance movies
      • Actors
      • Camera Men/Grips all of the professionals associated with movie production
    • Cable or similar channels
    • Events
      • Conferences
      • Signing events
    • Websites
    • Editors
    • Covers
    • Copywriters
  • Create positive mantras that help you manage your mindset
  • Be careful of who you share your dreams and goals with. Not everyone is going to support your goals.
  • Find and connect with a romance writing community.

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