On the subject of shitty romance novels:
I attempted to make a terribly cliched romance novel once because I thought that it would make a lot of money to pander to a particular audience and do you want to know what I found from that experiment?
I liked writing it.
Oh my gods.
Once I put myself to work, once I had the characters and the plot developed, once I took a step back and found where I could put my own cleverness into it- I fucking loved it!
Like, I was looking at it from the standpoint of ‘anyone can write a love story. Yeah, anyone can- but why would you do something if you didn’t enjoy it?
And some people really enjoy cookie-cutter romance novels and some people enjoy erotica about time-traveling vikings and some people enjoy fluffy romance novels that make them feel good.
I once knew an author who wrote romance novels because he thought it would make him money. He was shocked, shocked, to find that he wasn’t an immediate best-seller.
People can tell if your heart’s not in it. It is plain on the paper that you did not enjoy one second of the creative process of this piece. Romance presents all the same challenges as any other creative piece and if you’re going in with the attitude that it ain’t, you’re gonna make a shitty novel.