Eliza’s blog from yesterday prompted my blog of today. Thanks Eliza!
How do you handle your romances with kids in the home? Do you leave them lying around? What sorts of covers are on your books? And did/has your handling of this changed as your children got older?
I know don’t particularly want my son seeing some romance covers. Partly, b/c what’s often portrayed on the cover are fantasy images of psychological sexual relationships, & that can be a complicated notion for a little person.
Me: “No, sweetie, you’re right, I don’t usually swoon. How observant. And you don’t want your girlfriends doing it either. No, really. You don’t. Except perhaps in certain circumstances which YOU, of course, will not be experiencing until you’re 25. Maybe 26. Right? Right.”
Also, romances are invariably books with deeper themes of love, sacrifice, and overcoming great odds, but a lot of covers sure don’t reflect that. The books are about transformation, and renewal of hope, and sacrifice in the service of a greater good or purpose. And even when the ‘target’ of the sacrifice isn’t the loved person, then it’s the love that gives them the strength (and hope) to do what they have to do.
Now, I admit, the gentleman on my cover is a cutie. And yes, I know my son’s ideas of m/f relationships will be drawn mostly from how he sees my husband & I interact. Still, I don’t want him seeing these ‘swooning woman/buff guy’ images and thinking that picture tells the important part of the story.
And maybe that’s because I don’t want him (or anyone else) thinking those images say something meaningful (or public?) about me.
But wait . . . my son knows me. Won’t it be a great lesson, then, to have him see these covers, see me reading them, see my books graced with them, and KNOW in his heart that I’m a smart, funny, engaged, constructive, complicated person?
Won’t that be good for his sense of how to approach the world: you can’t judge a book by its cover. Or a person.
And yet . .
I have to say, as I thought about this more, I realized that we’re the only genre where we would even talk about this. In large part, that’s because we’re women, and we talk about everything.
But also, it’s because the covers really are in need of talk. No other genre has such talk-worthy covers. And maybe that’s a good thing.
And maybe not.
What do you think?