I am pleased to present the respond to what are adult readers looking for from a musician, actress, song writer’s perspective.
Gitanjali Pritchard- Gitanjali Pritchard is a lyrics writer/ composer and singer/
MA ( sociology) from University of Mumbai (Graduated 1983)
Long time ago when I first read mills and boons, I thought, there wasn’t much of anything in those books, to stir my emotions deeply. It felt like I was killing time, while travelling on a public transport. They were alright as a light read
Soon after, I read “Jane Eyre” “ Pride and Prejudice” “Tale of Two Cities” “ Marry Me” “ War and Peace” and many others, where I felt totally drawn into these books
Then I started to read Ayn Rand’s works ( Atlas shrugged)
And Shakespeare….gosh…!!! Spell binding portrayals of romance ( Julius Carsar, Othello, Merchant of Venice)
In between I was also reading, Jacqueline Susann, Harold Robins and quite a few other authors whose novels weren’t just loaded with romance and sex, but were infused cocktails of sentiments that targeted romance in a very conspicuous style. Something, that touched me in a very womanly way. The relay of my comparative emotions were difficult to be abated as some of these authors unconsciously embraced my weaker chords of sensitivity, to melt me in inexplicable experiences
The variety of romances, I am familiar with are not just factual societal stories of yesterday, today or even tomorrow. Some of them might surpass, a few future generations and yet bear the status of being “evergreen”
I marvel at the creative concepts and the experiences of some of the authors who could bring out their best, while writing about something so beautiful, as love/ romance, in the midst of a total suspense/ espionage/ war/ or between class systems, and yet maintain a rhythm, that beats with a highlight of human feelings at it’s crux
If I was to pick up a novel, I would want to read about the kind of romance, that’s orthodox, that has supposedly passed many generations, and yet upholds the virtues of purity, chastity, innocence and total commitment. I would love to feel, I was reading my own story, only that, it’s written by someone other than me. I would love to identify with my dormant emotions and would love to renew my deep seated, and untold ecstasies, in a manner that would make me weep, sob and cry. I wouldn’t want to stifle a single breath, if I could hold on to the dream of my yesterdays.
And given today’s world and it’s progress, I would still be looking, for authors, who write their romances in a way that brings out their authenticity, without exploiting it’s sacredness. A romance doesn’t need the intimacy of heightened sex, but it’s application and employment could be simple and enticing. As an adult reader, there’s nothing to stop me reading, to be aware of, what I don’t know. But I am sure, I wouldn’t like to read a melodramatic romance. I would like unusual romances, where people break rules for a cause, to give meaning to a relationship, that has undergone enough trials, to be called unique.
I have my inhibitions. It’s so surprising that, the influence of a society/ community with many of it’s unethical laws/ rules, binds you in a chain, when you become a helpless puppet, not by choice but by enforcement. Then you give in, and live with a set of closed proposals, that becomes like a prayer of worship. The idea of romance was, what you experienced after marriage. And once you break away from the boring sermons, and breathe the lingering freshness of freedom, you see the world from totally a different dimension. I believe, we can change, what we want to change. And truly, I admire the courage, the bravery and the determination of people, who have been able to change their ways of looking at life/ romance from a new perspective.
So to answer your question….
I do look for novels, that discloses, the adversaries, the heartbreaks, the sacrifices, the submissive compromises, a person goes through to understand the circumstances, and yet carries on a battle, never to give up. Romance and Love are two different concepts, but I would like to visualise them together. To me, a great romance is an extension of one’s obedience and compliance in response to what one’s heart desires. My romantic themes are jewelled with the words, caring, kindness, sympathy, and affection. In a romantic novel, I would love to experience these emotions as a reader, but I would love my experience to be such, that I would want to hold the book close to my heart, to feel, as if, I was holding the person I love, with all my life
Thank you for asking
Gitanjali Pritchard lyrics writer/ composer and singer/
She gave an excellent and in depth view of what readers are looking for in a romance novel. I noticed her reading material changed over the years from Harold Robins to Jacqueline Susann” in Valley of the Dolls.”
I’m very appreciative of her taking the time to go into depths to explain what readers look for.
She gave excellent grounds for an author to word from.
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Yes, she did. I wanted the perspective from a mature reader. What a mature reader wanted to read. I already knew the young adult genre pretty well.