Seriously… again.

So somebody** out there is knocking romance.  Again. Yawn.  This one is almost entertaining because…

  1. He starts mentioning how romances won’t ever be discussed in colleges, when they actually already are.  Ask Sarah of Dear Author or Jessica at ReadReactReview… a couple of smashingly brilliant women who happen to be scholars.
  2. He actually mentions a professor at Harvard?  And gets her sex wrong…and misspells her name.  Yes, this, clearly, is a man we should listen to…
  3. He has a donate button in the sidebar of his blog.

Wince.  Sorry.  I’m kind of leery to give a lot of weight to an writer who does that.  Especially if he’s not offering anything but a few overblown opinions. Plus, he knocks romance.  Hello… he clearly does not get just how much we read.  Or what we read.

Me? I read:

  1. Romance
  2. Urban Fantasy
  3. Fantasy
  4. Thrillers (some)
  5. Science Fiction, although pal…I won’t touch yours
  6. Horror (when I’m in the mood)

Guess what…so do a lot of romance readers…we are voracious readers.  But once somebody knocks my genre of choice?  On that DO NOT BUY…EVER…list.

Anyway, carrying on.

I made a comment.  He deleted it.

So I made another.  Here’s the text, since I’m sure he’ll delete it again.

Wow, so having it pointed out to you that your blog, does, it fact, have a donate button bothers you, huh? Or is it the fact that the romance novelist who is making the comment doesn’t need one on her blog the rub?

Don’t worry, I’ll screen cap the comment and blog and save the JPEG so I can post it my site for my own follow up post tomorrow.

Anyway, the point of my comment WASN’T the donate button, which you apparently took issue with-but the fact that romances brighten peoples’ lives. Because certainly, that can’t be the problem, and thus the reason you deleted it.

I mentioned that I’ve had readers email me about how the fact that a book where a heroine overcomes rape and abuse and goes on to work with abused kids. The book helped some heal. It helped others find a voice. Surely you didn’t take issue with that. Why would that bother you?

It couldn’t be the fact that I’ve had readers email me thanking me for helping them through loss, divorce and illnesses, whether it’s a cold or cancer. Why would you take issue with that? Unless, of course, it challenges your viewpoint on romance.

I clearly stated that I don’t know if my books will ever be discussed in colleges or universities and I’m not bitter over this-because I bring a bright spot to lives. That’s enough for me. Why would that comment have bothered you? Not sure.

Yeah, it had to be the donate thing. And I also admitted it was petty. It’s truth, but petty. If it bothers you…well, I could apologize, but it would be lying, because I’m not sorry. I don’t believe in saying things I don’t mean.

Perhaps I’m not a good liar…however, I’m a pretty good story teller.

Before you knock romance, try writing one. And selling one…not on the kindle or the nook, but the hard way. To a traditional publisher. It’s not as easy as one might thight.

And damn.  I made a typo.  Oh, well.  As one might think.  What do you expect of a no-class romance writer, anyway?

Oh, by the way…here’s the screen cap.

The screen cap, again, is because the first comment got deleted.  Yeah, I was a little flippant, which is my norm. But I was actually well behaved, for me.  Oh, well.

Whatcha gonna do?

He also deletes comments like mad, just FYI.  Sarah from DA made a particularly brilliant one that called him on a few of his errors…

Sarah S. G. FrantzJan 24, 2012 07:47 PM

The International Association for the Study of Popular Romance ( is an academic organization that is devoted to the study of romance in all popular media. This, of course, includes romance novels.

IASPR (of which I am the President) has an annual international conference ( and a fully peer-reviewed academic journal (, both of which strive to demonstrate how romance narratives operate in our lives. Courses that focus entirely on or include popular romance novels are indeed taught regularly at many prestigious universities around the world, including, yes, Bill Gleason’s courses at Princeton University.

While I’m sure none of this academic interest in popular romance fiction will change your mind about its literary merit, worth, or value, I thought your readers might be interested to know it’s out there.

In her Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen, the Ur-Mother of Romance, said of “novels” — the “popular romance fiction” of her day — that they were, “in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.” The same might be said of romance novels today, word for word.

While your personal opinion is valid merely because it’s yours, it does not make it fact, nor does it invalidate other peoples’ opinions to the contrary. And some of those people DO have Ph.D.s from and teach at incredibly prestigious universities.

(Jung Choi, by the way, is female, and does, in fact, teach romance novels at Harvard, her status there not-withstanding.)

Screen cap of that one…

So she points out that there are, in fact, academic organizations devoted to romance. (Which kinda proves the dude wrong, yeah?) And he deletes them.

Plus, he also gets Jung Choi’s (I’m sorry, not familiar this individual) sex wrong. Deletes the comment correcting him.

Wow. Why delete that? Unless of course he can’t handle having somebody point out the places where he was…kinda…ya know…wrong?

He’s allowed to have his opinion, sure. We’re allowed to have ours. We know the power of romance.

When I miscarried, I wanted a romance. I wanted things that brought me pleasure, that made me smile.

When I had the hell year in 2010 and lost not just one friend, but three?  I wanted something that would make me smile.  I wanted a romance.

Somebody mentioned:

AJAJan 18, 2012 06:02 PM

Agree. These books neither challenge nor engage on any meaningful level.

I’ve lived.  I’ve lost.  I work in a very stressful, hectic career. Beyond that?

I have a happy, healthy marriage and you want to talk challenges?  That is one.  We’re raising three kids.  That is a challenge.  I have challenges. Life brings me challenges.

When I read romances, they make me think…and yes, they do…they make me think, they take me to magic places, they take me back in history, they take me to alternate worlds, they make laugh, they make me cry.

en·gage (link)

: to provide occupation for : involve <engage him in a new project>

Yes.. these books involve me.  In short… they engage me.  Do they engage others? Yes…millions… Most of us are college educated, involved in a committed relationship, and we read romance because we enjoy them.

On that note…let me introduce myself.

I’m a nurse, although I only work enough to keep my license active. I’ve been a fulltime writer since 2004. I’m married. Quite happily, to my high school sweetheart.  We’ve been married more than 15 years now.

We have three kids. The older two are in the honors program and my son, it’s suspected, is well beyond ‘gifted’.

My oldest daughter is 12 and has written more than five books already-plus, she’s also had a book read by an editor and an agent.

My youngest is five, and if she turns to the dark side, the whole word in trouble. She is already ‘writing’ her own songs, and trying to play the guitar.

So please tell me… how am I ‘contributing’ to this staggering illiteracy problem, may I ask?  By raising some super-sharp kids who are already reading well above their grade level?  Like many romance readers, I passed my love of reading on to my kids.

My passion is romance…the stories, contrary to what you think, are not the same. Because they are about two people falling in love, and the journey of falling in love is never the same.

Why do I love romance?  Because, plain and simple, I love character driven stories and I love that slow, gentle glide into love, that crazy free-fall.

It’s the most amazing thing.  I feel it every time I look at my husband.  When he sits at the table and teases the kids, or me.  I love to experience the milder side of it when I’m sitting down and reading a good romance…it’s a milder side, because nothing compares to the real thing.  But the journey is always fun.

No other genre out there offers me that.

Now…before you persists in knocking romance, how formulaic and easy they are to write?  (And therefore publish, I’d assume)…perhaps you should write one.  Sell it. Publish it. And not on a self publishing platform, either, because anybody can do that (although not many can do it well).  But do it the hard way.  The traditional way.  You might be surprised at how hard it is.

I dare you.


**(ETA…by the way, I think I took out the links in the pic, but they were in his blog until he deleted them.  His name is Cale McCaskey.  If you want to read his stupendous…google.  I don’t wanna give him more blog hits)

20 Replies to “Seriously… again.”

  1. Did you need the link to his post here? I thought I saw you tweet something to that effect. Here it is, but I think we should stop giving his blog hits.
    (@ Missy… eh… maybe….removing. for folks who REALLY wanted to find him, google his name.)

  2. Great post, Shiloh. His stereotype of romance displays more than opinion, it displays his inability to deal with women who disagree with him. Instead, he feels it necessary to belittle someone else to make himself feel better. Interesting that he says he’s a writer, and yet he’s written one story and he could write something better? So where is it? Sounds more like sour grapes if you ask me.

    Trying to reason with an idiot is like trying to get Congress to agree on something. It ain’t happening.

  3. Great post, and I’m glad you caught him with his hand in the cookie jar, deleting posts he couldn’t answer. We need a hashtag if the discussion is to continue Something expressive like #hethinkshessexy or #bigmouthlittlebrain or #battleofwitswithanunarmedperson

  4. I have never been prouder of the genre I write in and the women and men who write it. I did resort to insinuating he was bitter because he’d never seen vagina and he had a micro dick but I’m okay with that. LOL There’s always one in every crowd and this time it was me. 🙂

  5. Saw this on the twitter and *had* to read it. I full-on agree. Saying one genre is less than any other is like saying, “Oh, look my left arm is just shittier than my right. I guess I don’t need it anymore.”

    We’re all entitled to “what we read” and “why we read it”, but no dismissing everything you don’t read or don’t like, yo!

  6. I really despise people who find it necessary to drag down a genre that he or she does not particularly care for just to get people to talk about him or her. That is all this author is doing – knocking romance to get someone to talk about him. Disappointing and disgusting.

  7. I was inflamed when I looked at this. The man is horribly immature. By his own standards he writes about make-believe worlds and should grow up. I was all set to post something when I stopped myself. Just by posting on his blog I validate his argument because I must have found it strong enough to reply.
    Like you I find it hilarious that he just denigrated what might have been the vast majority of his readers as women read more than men no matter the genre (fact, look it up). Too bad about the career he might have had. Not many women readers appreciate being called immature teenagers.

  8. I never heard of Cale whoever…. someone perhaps should point out to him that e.g. Larry Niven is a Heyer reader and there are pictures of his floating around in Regency dress from Friends of the English Regency teas and dances….

  9. I’m sure he will delete my post even though I made sure I wasn’t over the top rude. I just wanted to know if he could write sooo much better than romance author why it took a romance author to tell me about him I read such a wide variety of genre’s this guys biased opinion made me sick. plus throw in his sex man comment and I puked a little in my mouth follow that up with his donation button and it was like ummm yeah why the hell would I donate money to this man?? is he using this money to get himself a better education?? I have serious doubts about this mans reading skills and he’s obviously a closet romance junkie or and is just ashamed of his addiction plus that his writing skills just never seem to match up lmao

    Shiloh I agree with what you said about romance and how it helps you get through some difficult things. I’ve been hospitalized quite a few times and I always pick out of the romance genre there not going to add to the stress I’m already under and it’s nice to be able to loose yourself in a world where happily ever after do exists. He’s just butt hurt cause he would never make it as a romance cover model let alone a romance writer hehehe lmao maybe thats his problem he tried out and got turned down flat.

  10. darn it I just reread my post and the little rat irritated me so much I made errors. sorry guys that’ll teach me to not proof read and to trust the spell checker lol

  11. I wish you left the blogger’s name out. Why give him more hits to his blog? He’s not anyone important. He just another person out there using his blog to try to stir up controversy.

  12. I first saw this when Larissa Ione posted it on Facebook this morning. As I mentioned on her post, this guy states as “fact” his own opinion. And romance readers/authors are the uneducated ones? Fact v opinion is something a middle schooler could tell you. Also, as an attorney I take huge issue with this. He’s absolutely entitled to his opinion. But to post something that will obviously spark debate and then delete posts that clearly contradict his “facts” and state opposing views is not acceptable. Period. I understand deleting vicious, overly rude or inflammatory comments. But ones that give actual facts that repudiate his statements that supposedly back up his opinion, yeah, those shouldn’t be deleted.
    He makes me want to bang my head against something really hard…like a brick wall. Nevermind that I take huge issue with his view on me not only as a woman who should leave “such silliness” behind in jr high (um, what such silliness? The idea of love? How is that silly? *sigh*) but to also say that I must have minimal education as well because I read romance. I’m sorry…what is your educational level? I’m fairly certain I have more education under my belt than you. Also, education level isn’t the point now is it? Nope…the point is we are READING and in the end, if you’re gonna spout on about illiteracy…well I think you’ve missed the point. Who cares what is people are reading as long as they are?! Sheesh. Also, I read more than just romance. I do enjoy “classics” (hey I have a copy of the Odyssey on my shelf plus some others *G*), urban fantasy. I also used to read general fiction. I switched after law school because the fiction I was reading was too similar to my day job. But again, the point is we are readers. The publishing industry as a whole (regardless of genre) IMHO would be in trouble (I’m really referring to bookstores here, as we’ve already seen Borders close and B&N having trouble) but for romance readers. We spend a LOT on books. What would happen if we stopped? Good thing that isn’t something the business has to really contemplate, right? ;). OK I’ll stop now…I could go on for quite a bit I think…

  13. Thank you for posting this!! I kept seeing it discussed on Twitter but wasn’t in a spot to read any of the links and discuss. Wow. I am not going to google this guy, I don’t want him getting anything out of this, and thank you for not linking him. I know enough now to know I will NEVER buy anything he writes. Ever.

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