Rock Stars and Romance, Why Not?

When I started writing romance, I memorized the "rules."

1. Do write a happy ending.
2. Don't confuse a misunderstanding with dramatic tension.
3. Do make your characters honorable even when they're doing bad things.
4. Don't, under any circumstances, write about a rock star.


[/whiny voice on] I couldn't help myself. [/whiny voice off] This guy showed up in my brain one day and he was a rock star. He just was. And I had to write about him, despite the romance rule that says rock stars don't sell. Because he was hot and funny and really wounded by life. Oh, dear.

So I wrote His Secret Past and I like it and Harlequin said they'll publish it and I'm glad. Because I don't get it, what's not to love about a man with a guitar? Close your eyes for a minute and imagine your favorite rock guy. (If any of you are seeing a member of KISS, please close the blog and back away slowly until you can think of a more appropriate image.) Aren't the rock guys hot?

Faith Hill could pretty much get anybody and she picked Tim, right? Tim's a rock star and I'd read a book about him. Honest. I wouldn't just look at the pictures.

Watch the video for "The Cowboy in Me." I dare you not to approve her choice. (Yes, I'm aware of all the potential dont's involved with Tim McGraw, including the facial hair, the hat/tank top combo, the hat on its own, and the too-tight jeans. It doesn't matter. He's TIM. He's breaking the rules just like me. How very rock and roll of us.)

I'm perplexed about why this is the one profession that's off limits for romance. I mean, if you took a perfectly ordinary looking guy, draped a guitar around his neck, pointed a spotlight at him, and played the opening of "Sweet Child O' Mine" behind him, his attractiveness would sky rocket. I know this because I tried it with my own husband earlier tonight. Except the spotlight part, because that would be weird.) If you have a man and a guitar and some Guns 'n Roses tracks, test it yourself. Do a before and after. See what I mean?

I'm going to rewrite the romance rules. Rock is now in and the following professions are out:
1. […]

Huh. I'll have to get back to you because I'm having trouble thinking of something that wouldn't be sexy under the right circumstances. It's a big world. There's room for a rock star romance. Right?

Questions for you: Why do you think this taboo exists? And, on a completely shallow note, who is the sexiest rock star you know? (Video and/or photographic evidence is always welcome.)


Ellen said…
I have no idea why any type of person could be off limits to romance unless he/she was extremely violent. I mean the unredeemable violent person.
Ellen said…
Hi Ellen,

I don't understand it either. Even when I sold this book, the editor mentioned that sometimes musician books do poorly.

I'm with you on the violence. There are things I wouldn't want to read in a romance and that's one of them.

A hot guy with a guitar, though? What's not to love.

Thanks for stopping by!
theresa said…
i have always thought rock starts were totally hot. i mean, i'm from jersey, every girl here has fantasized about either bruce or jon bon jovi! what woman anywhere has not fantasized about a rock star?

i never got that rule. i would love to read a romance with a rock star hero. totally hot.

i can't wait to read your book!!!
Anonymous said…
I don't understand it either. Unless it's the publisher wanting the reader to be able to identify with the hero and they think that a rock star is just way too unbelievable for the average person? Well, in that case, who could identify with a hideously wealthy Greek tycoon? Not me, that's why I don't read that kind of book. That isn't saying that I never would. It's all in the execution. Give me the right plot and I might go for it.

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