by Helena Fairfax
I’ve become used to people’s reactions these days when I say I write romance. People who have never read a romance novel either ask me if I’ve ever thought of writing a “proper book,” or else they give me a funny sort of leer, as though I’m some sort of soft-porn peddler. Romance novels are held by many to be a pretty low form of the written word. Another cliché is that they follow a “formula,” and that anyone could just scribble a romance if they put their minds to it.