So you probably heard.
KFC has released a romance novel. And I’m pissed as hell about it.
The fact that the KFC board thought this would be a great way to give back to Mom shows exactly how many romance novels the KFC board of directors has read.
Hint. it’s ZERO.
The fact that KFC thought it would be funny and fun to do this is offensive to a genre that works 3 times harder than any other for any mediocre respect in the publishing industry. This is what hard working authors and publishers have been trying so hard to fight, for literally decades.
The 80’s bodice ripper (obviously what this book is supposed to be) gained it’s fame and popularity due to a stylistic, painted design on the covers with heroes carrying their beautiful heroines, who obviously all suffered from broken feet, because they’re never standing on their own. Unfortunately, the romance genre has not been able to shake this stupid, ridiculous stereotype of what romance is for thirty years.
Thirty years ago, it was about females being rescued. And manly men saving them.
“Wendy Syndrome” is the idea that women can’t think for themselves, and must be rescued. Cue the Disney movie Peter Pan. The infamous scene where Peter and Hook battle while Tiger Lilly is drowning in the cave is what I refer to. The whole scene, Wendy sits there and watches Peter fight Hook. Never once does she try to save Tiger Lilly herself, she just sits on the sidelines and yells at Peter, who’s been fighting Hook, that, oh dear, Tiger Lilly is drowning.
Unfortunately, this mentality permeated the romance genre in the 80’s. That’s all you could find–women who couldn’t stand up for themselves, thrown into impossible situations and having to be rescued by a man. (And yes, I know, there were exceptions to this rule, but there always are, but by and by, this is what the genre was in the 80’s.)
The 90’s, it started to turn. A little.
Funny books, about spunky heroines started appearing. Chick Lit was becoming a thing, many times they were romance novels (with HEA’s) but not always. But it became more about the relationships, the balance between the hero and the heroine, rather than just a damsel in distress.
Every decade it changes, gets a little better. Sort of.
There was Twilight…
Not romance, but YA, but still romantic, in a sense. It brought the idea of a younger market into play in publishing, but it also proved that older readers (over the 18 y/o demographic) would read YA as well, and the idea came around that maybe women preferred that romantic tension, rather than sex, in their books.
Then came 50 Shades of Grey.
While I couldn’t stand the premise of the books, and IMHO, the writing wasn’t strong either, it did something for the romance genre that hadn’t been done in a long time.
Readers were coming back, strong, for the genre.
They wanted more. All kinds of “more.” Erotic, Contemporary, Romantic Comedy, Scifi Romance, Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance, Fairy Tale Romance….
All of it.
It’s been fabulous.
For readers of the genre. Self Publishing has made the romance genre boom even more.
Then… we wind up with shit like Tender Wings of Desire
:::cue slamming head against desk:::
Because just when the idea starts to turn, and the romance genre gets a mediocre of respect, something like this happens. Some asshole in a boardroom has to degrade the entire genre for this stupid shit.
The worst part?
The number of authors and publishers who’ve been working their asses off for the last thirty years to push out quality romance for the voracious readers of the genre will never have the kind of publicity this book is getting.
Because it’s making fun of romance.
That’s what this is.
It’s making fun of romance novels.
And I am disgusted and appalled that KFC would do that. Especially considering that women are their target market, because, let’s face it, women are the shoppers, and buy everything anyway, including meals. So they decided to completely degrade and make fun of the one industry in the world built about women, and about empowering women to make their own choices, and be stronger people.
KFC, you screwed up big time.
For USA Today’s take, Click Here. (And btw, a man wrote this… so take that for what it’s worth… Men tend to degrade the romance genre anyway, so this is just a snarky commentary on it.)