Should I feel guilty?

Maybe I'm shameless, because I know I should feel guilty, but I am not ashamed of my guilty pleasures.  Nope.  My guilty pleasures are just my pleasures.  And while there are probably more productive things I could do with my time, like I don't know, work 60 hours a week or write a novel or something, I am still a sucker for escapist entertainment.  And I don't mind saying so.

When I was a teen, I read everything ever written by Jackie Collins.  Those books had glamor, sex and scandal, and I ate it up.  My creative writing professor in college kept commenting that all my stories were about people who were rich or beautiful or both.  And I remember thinking, so?  Jackie Collins knew what Hollywood casting directors have known for decades: glamor sells.  And it wasn't like their lives were perfect, they had problems, deep dark secrets from their pasts that came back to haunt them at the worst possible moments. There were things to learn from these books. Sometimes my stories are big, over the top even, but hopefully, they are entertaining.

Later, I developed a taste for regency romance novels.  Give me a handsome man with a title and heart of gold beneath that roguish exterior and I am in.  Yep, I love me some British lords.  You won't have to look far to find this influence in my writing.  The love interest in Spies is based on Mr. Darcy, and there is a hot (and possibly titled) British boy in both Silver and its sequel.

Eventually I stumbled on the guilty pleasure of all guilty pleasures- the Twilight series. I loved the first book especially.  I read it through in one weekend, and then immediately bought the rest of the series and consumed it in a week. I have no idea if the writing was any good or not. I analyzed nothing and just let the story carry me through. This is what every writer should strive for, not perfect prose or airtight plotting, but a story with characters that reach people on an emotional level and makes them part of your world.  Whether you loved it or hated it, there's no question that Twilight resonated with a lot of readers.

Lest you think my love of escapist entertainment is limited to books, I can assure you that I am an equal opportunity escapist.  I love reality shows like Survivor and American Idol, cheesy musical drama like Glee and Smash,and romantic comedies, especially when accompanied by large tubs of buttered popcorn.

Like Katy, I don't think I'll mind if readers consider my books to be guilty pleasures.  I want people to be entertained.  I just hope they don't feel too guilty.

I don't.

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