Watched the RWA president Dorien Kelly on the food network last night judging cakes fit for a romance novel cover. One contestant had a tragic love story for her cake. I knew she wasn't going to win the minute she said what her cake's story was all about. If it doesn't have a happy ending, it's not a romance, folks. It might be a love story, but it's not a romance.
Anyway, Dorien rocked it and I was so proud and happy to be part of the Romance Writers of America. They're replaying the show tonight on the Food Network if you get that channel. I'm sure it will eventually turn up on YouTube if you don't.
So one last time:
Love ends badly = not a romance.
Love ends with happiness = romance.
I reiterate the point because students in my beginning romance writing class are as shocked to learn this as the contestant who--although she made a beautiful cake--didn't get the point of the competition.
The contestant who did win not only got the point of the contest, but this person had a theme and stuck to it. Moral of the story, when you're on a TV challenge stick to the rules and have an appropriate theme. And, if you're writing a romance, don't kill off the love interest.
So what is your favorite? Tragic love stories or happily-ever-after romances?