LEAH KOCH: There is a certain amount of defense in being a romance fan; if you're going to be a vocal romance fan, unfortunately, you're going to have to spend some of that time explaining to people why what you like is valid and why their opinion is stupid. Read more
HZ: Do it.
LEAH KOCH: OK! The most basic response is: "Why on Earth do you care what I am reading?" I never say that, but that is the honest question - it's like, why do you care? I like it! But let's get slightly more academic than that. Romance is primarily written by women for women. Let's not diminish the contributions of men, but let's set them aside for a second. It's a female-dominated genre.
BEA KOCH: And historically it's associated with a female readership, which is very important in the critical perception of the genre.
LEAH KOCH: Right. So it's books where women's thoughts, emotions, sexuality, take centre stage; and there's a lot of other stuff that happens around it, you know, that's what subgenres are. So it's surrounded by carriages and dresses or surrounded by vampires and werewolves or surrounded by FBI guys on the run, whatever: that's all secondary. The thing at the heart of it is a woman's experience.