If you’ve known me as more than just a passing acquaintance, you are well aware of my love of several things:
- My dogs Hercules and Pepper
- Michael Schur sitcoms
- Matt Nathanson
- “Kissing Books” (TM Princess Bride 😀)
- Veronica Mars
- How Did This Get Made?
Herc and Pepps will always come first, but the rest are in no particular order. 🙂
So, imagine my genuine surprise and excitement when two of my well-known passions collided recently. And, no it wasn’t cheesecake and Veronica Mars. I can make those two things happen simultaneously any time I want, and in fact, I’ve probably combined them a little too often. If I’m honest, the “20 Week Transformation” health and wellness project Shawna and I are currently struggling through is 27% (at least) due to that exact combo!
No, these two things were of the “much less likely to collide” variety. I’m talking about Paul Scheer of the How Did This Get Made? podcast and Romance novels.
I Love How Did This Get Made!
First, I gotta lay out my bonafides. I’ve listened to every.single.episode of HDTGM. Including the mini-episodes. (Paul is on, on his owwwwwn….)
I pay for Stitcher Premium, but I listen to the new eps in Overcast because I actually like the commercials Paul does. I mentioned my love of the podcast on an author panel I sat on at The Ripped Bodice in March. In Embracing Reckless (Brandy’s story in the Someday Series, releasing this summer), Brandy shouts out HDTGM as her favorite podcast.
I seriously considered redoing this whole website on Squarespace. 😛
In a tough time in Shawna’s and my life (stressful business stuff going on, health issues, etc…plus her precious puppy Cookie passed away 🙁 …), watching The League on Netflix provided a welcome escape and lots of laughs in a time when laughing seemed like a longshot.
In a video blog from 2016 where Shawna and I counted down our Top 5 Celebrity #RelationshipGoals couples, Paul and June Diane Raphael were my #1 choice.
Upshot? I’m what you might call a HUGE Paul/Jason/June fan.
So, earlier this week when I saw a notification on social media that Paul was reading his first romance novel and tweeting about it, my heart sank and a greasy-sick feeling grew in my gut. I know that the HDTGM ethos is making fun of stuff, and I also know what people think of romance novels. They’re mock-worthy. Not “real” books. They don’t deserve any kind of treatment but eye-rolling.
I’ve gotten used to having my art and livelihood snickered at and made fun of, but the thought of having to see it from somebody I really admired made me so, so sad.
Still, as much as I hated the thought, I knew I had to see it for myself.
Imagine my surprise when I clicked over to read the tweets and had my expectations totally blown out of the water. As my eyes moved down the page, I actually started to cry.
Paul had approached the book with an open mind, and he’d enjoyed the story!!!
I don’t know why it affected me so much. Maybe I hadn’t developed quite as thick a skin about the societal sneering as I thought I had, but DAYUM. Having a work in my genre treated like a “real” book by such a cool guy felt fucking AWESOME!!!
Here are some of the gems of the live-tweet:
And, here are my two favorites:
Paul, you are a fucking class act and I KNEW there was a reason I’ve been such a huge fan for so long!!!!
Here are my tweets in response:
Romance Novels Are for Everyone!
This whole thing put me in mind of a conversation I had with a friend of mine, Lisa, a couple of years ago. When I told her I wrote romance novels, she said, “Oh, well, I’ve never really been into romance novels. I’m a lesbian, so there’s not really much in there for me to relate to.”
Believe you me, I immediately preached the gospel of Melissa Brayden and Georgia Beers, LOL, but it illustrates a point. So many people think romance isn’t “for them” strictly because of a group they belong to. Now, I’m not saying that everyone has to love romance novels. But it makes me sad when people think that, because they’re a _____, romance novels aren’t “for them.”
The biggest group of “not for them” peeps that have traditionally been shut out of romance has, of course, been men–and now, thanks to Paul, maybe we can start chipping away at that idea and accept the concept that ROMANCE NOVELS ARE FOR ANYONE WHO FUCKING LIKES THEM! 😀