Welcome to Wonk-o-mance!
We are a community of seven women writers of sexy, romantic stories who have a common interest in celebrating the wonky, weird, and wonderful in popular romance. Look look, we even have a manifesto—
In the Land of Romance, the men are all tall and tanned, the women are thin and plucky, and the sex is always mind-boggling. It’s a fine land, indeed. But we prefer the land of Wonk-o-Mance.
We are the mythical readers, the undermarketed writers, who like our protagonists less conventional, our conflicts less tidy, our endings less certain. We want escapism, but we want it with a nice, stiff shot of human frailty. Give us Scarlett and Rhett, yes, yes, but can we also have Harold and Maude? Atticus Finch, mmm-hmm, but also Boo Radley? Nick and Nora, absolutely, but also that broody, effed-up Philip Marlowe? We want the whole messy spectrum of human behavior, packaged up for consumption in romance novel form.
Here at Wonk-o-mance, we’re lovers, not fighters! We aren’t anti-convention. But sometimes the market says, “Ooh, too much. This hero you’ve written, Aspiring Romance Writer– Whoa. He’s really . . . strange. You’re going to lose readers.” And we at Wonk-o-Mance say, “You might lose them, but you’ll gain us. Bring on the strange!”
Because we believe there’s a place in romance fiction for weird-ass heroes and heroines. We want characters who are depressed, who are fat, who are diagnosably bent. We want nerds who are actually nerdy, lumberjacks who are unabashedly bearded, quiet men who are so close to mute, it’s hard to tell the difference. In fact, we want cripplingly shy middle-aged virgin heroes. Ambitious, ball-busting heroines who never apologize. Bricklayers and plumbers and short-order cooks who don’t turn out to be slumming heirs and heiresses.
Here at Wonk-o-Mance, we want to read stories about how lust and love make screwed-up people do stupid, stupid things. Because they do. Ohhh, they do. But they make us change, too. They make us better.
People are strange. Life is weird. Love is weirder. And fooked-up people deserve happy endings, too.
A romance-writing friend recently told me that the genre expects stories about “perfect people with perfect problems.” We like those stories just fine. Sometimes we even write them! But this website is all about how much we adore stories about imperfect people with imperfect problems. Because we are those people, and those are the people we know, and we find romantic fiction that includes us — that grapples with us — refreshing and fun and honest and downright fascinating. Viva la wonk!
Our diabolical plan is to publish two posts a week and win the world over to our vision. Or, you know, at least provide a little entertainment and some food for thought. Wonk-o-Mance will be a corner of the Internet where readers and writers and writers-who-read (all of us, in other words) can come together to talk about the appeal of the offbeat romance in fiction, movies, TV, and other forms of popular culture.
In the coming weeks at Wonkomance.com, you’ll find gushing fan-girl essays about favorite authors, impassioned screeds of various sorts, recommendations of all sizes and shapes (including “certified wonktastical” books), author interviews, amusing lists of things, and whatever else we can think up to impose upon you.
If you’re the sort of person who perks up with interest at the mention of a wonktastical romantic story, come join the fun! We’d love to have your company.
To get the love flowing, we’ll kick things off with a giveaway. Tell us something about one of your favorite wonk-o-mances, and you’ll be entered to win one of four $5 Amazon gift cards. We’ll announce and contact the winners on the morning of Friday, January 6, so be sure to use a valid e-mail address when you comment.