Today we're delighted to host Sophie Barnes, whose The Trouble With Being a Duke is a twist on the Cinderella tale—so Sophie is here to talk about how fairy tales shape our perception of romance from a young age—and (possibly) foster unrealistic expectations about love. Thanks for joining us, Sophie!
As a Romance writer, I am often surprised by the frequency and the voracity of people’s preconceived ideas about the genre. From “Mommy porn” to “fairy tales for the naïve,” I’ve heard them all at one time or another, but the one running theme I come across most often seems to be that romance novels create “unrealistic expectations.”
Is this simply a reflection of the insecurity of modern men (since women make up an overwhelming majority of romance readers)? Do the critics have a point, or are these romantic stories simply an affirmation of a deeper human necessity, evolved across the ages? It seems to be a classical dilemma of life aspiring to imitate art versus art imitating life (or rather art aspiring to fulfill a primordial need, I would say).