My dad the romance novel aficionadoThis month we’re celebrating dads— in movies, in writing, in life in general. As for me, I couldn’t be happier to tell you a little bit about my dad. The hero of my youth, and one of my adult heroes, too. And probably not for a reason you’d normally consider when thinking about fathers.
My dad is a unique gentleman. He’s the one who introduced me to romance novels.
Picture this: a teenager, stuck in a hurricane shelter in the Florida Keys, bored out of her mind when her father offers her one of the numerous Harlequin Romances he brought for their stay. Or this: giving your dad a hug good-bye as you head off for school and he heads off for work, a romance novel tucked into one of his back pockets to enjoy during his breaks. Or this scenario: a car full of family members headed from Florida to Texas for a family reunion, turning around and driving back home 15 minutes into the trip because your dad forgot his reading glasses and he has a stack of romance novels waiting to be read during his vacation. And another of my favorites: my dad opening the tailgate of his truck to show you the paper bags full of romance novels he rescued from the friendly, book-give-away lady at the hospital who had planned on trashing them all, my dad smiling like he’d hit the jackpot.
Like I said, he’s a unique man.
He’s one of my biggest fans, though not one of my manuscript critiquers. In his mind, my books rock, and should be found on the shelves of every bookstore across the globe. That doesn’t bode well when you need someone willing to point out any mistakes. In dad’s eyes, my books don’t have any mistakes. Did I already mention he’s one of my biggest fans? A voice of encouragement no matter what.
My dad is one of those voters who skew the Harlequin surveys many writers have long bemoaned. If there’s a baby, a cowboy or a bride on the cover, he’s buying it! If not, he’s probably buying it anyway. :-)
I think my dad loves romance novels because to depths of his soul, he believes that man deserves to be happy. That family is important, and should stand by you in good times and bad. That love conquers and is enduring. That crappy things happen, but you can always rely on your family to be there. That when all is said and done, you should be able to come home and know that you’re loved and accepted for who you are.
That’s the epitome, the essence, of romance novels. The epitome, the essence ,of my dad. A hero in my eyes, always.
Is there a close male relative—dad, uncle, brother—who has touched your life in a positive way like my dad has touched mine? I’d love to hear about him.