I work in a bookstore, and I’ve heard every insult that can possibly be applied to romance novels as a genre. Some literary types would have us believe that we’re “lesser” writers because we write about love. True?

Sometimes. But not necessarily.

If your “trashy” romance novel brings home a message that changes someone’s life, your contribution is as valuable to that person as that of an Eco or an Updike. Maybe more so, because something about your book got them to pick it up, read it, and keep reading it straight through to the end.

Besides, look at the classic authors. Dickens. Wilkie Collins. Arthur Conan Doyle. So many of the acknowledged greats of today were the popular novelists of their time–the “hacks” who wrote for popular magazines Their books appealed to the masses, and the universal appeal that made their work so popular in their day also makes it resonate 100 years later.

People are people, and let’s face it: a lot more of us are looking for love than are looking for the meaning of life.