See, Kristie recently had a poll up on her blog asking readers to vote on their favorite romance sub genre. Westerns came in dead last. Well this thought horrified Kristie, so she e-mailed two of her western homegirls (uh, that would be me and Sybs) and said, "We need to devote a week to historical westerns!"
To which Sybil and I nodded our heads and said, "Yes, let's do it!" Only to wonder later what the hell we'd gotten ourselves into. What was born out of our flurry of e-mails? The Great Western Drive! A week-long celebration of historical western romances!
Some of you are probably wondering why westerns, so I thought I'd share a little bit of the reason why they are my favorite romance sub genre.
I had a brief, torrid flirtation with the romance genre when I was a teen, but ultimately abandoned it to return to my comfort zone of mystery/suspense. I didn't pick up on the genre again until around 1999, which was when I got well and truly hooked. This happened to be right around the time that "light and fluffy" started taking root in Regency historical romances. Now, I have nothing against light, fluffy and humorous. I like them every now and then. However, I don't want a steady diet of them. Ultimately they proved so popular, and were selling so well, that the market was soon overrun. Wendy quickly got burnt out. I was desperate for angst. I was desperate for "real" conflict.
Which is where westerns come in. I'll be blunt. I get "real" conflict in westerns. Real, meaty, life and death conflict. Generally speaking the western heroine has real problems to overcome. She doesn't care that the lemonade at Almack's sucks or that the Duke Of Slut is pursuing her. Oh no. The western heroine has to worry about keeping herself fed, clothed, safe in a lawless frontier, all while navigating the societal constraints placed on women at the time. Oh certainly, the western heroine had more "freedom" than her Regency counterparts, but she still was at the mercy of what society dictated as "proper."
Now I realize I'm not being fair here. Certainly Regency heroines can have "real" problems. And certainly there are "light and fluffy" westerns. I'm painting both genres with very broad strokes. But as long-time readers of this blog already know, I tend to be a very heroine-centric romance reader. Yeah, yeah - hunky heroes are great. Love me the hunks. But generally speaking, it's the heroine that makes me fall in love with a story. She's "The One." And the type of heroines I tend to like best? Are found in western romances.
So that's why the western. Great heroines, great, meaty conflict, and ultimately emotional stories that punch you in the gut. What can you expect out of The Great Western Drive? A week long, content-heavy, western love fest from three long-time bloggers who love to pimp good books. Sit back, relax, and let the fun begin!
(And be sure to bookmark both Ramblings On Romance and The Good The Bad The Unread. All three blogs are posting our own unique content, and each blog will be having our own contest drawings for a chance to win a highly anticipated historical western romance release during the event. Tee Hee "event." I love that!)