On 5 June, romance writer Barbara Lantz passed away at the age of 82. Today, 3 July, the Arizona Daily Star published an obituary for Ms. Lantz, and this one obituary article about the founder of the Tuscon Saguaro Romance Writers does a considerable amount to raise the profile of and reveal the real people behind the genre. I think, from reading this article, Ms. Lantz would want it that way.
Barbara Lantz was a romance writer.
Not the bodice-ripping, Fabio-loving, heroine-in-need-of-rescue type of romance writer. Turns out the slender pulp paperbacks with swooning women and muscular men on their covers were more the fantasy of the men who published them than the women who wrote them.
Lantz wrote sweet, believable American tales about capable women who, in the course of their lives’ adventures, met honorable men worthy of their love….
Members of the Saguaro Romance Writers agree the genre has gotten a bad rap over the years, mostly due to silly marketing ploys and cheesy book covers. In reality, they say, romance is a respected, well-read and lucrative genre.
“It’s the most feminist of all literature because it’s the only form of literature where women are guaranteed to win and come out with an emotionally satisfying finish,” [Maureen] Caudill said.
Well played, Ms. Lantz. Well played.