Congratulations to the Queen: Nora Roberts has been named to Time Magazine’s List of 100 Most Influential People. While I take exception to the comment that we’ve had our “fantasy lives shaped by her work,” I certainly wouldn’t kick the enigmatic, always charming, and drop-dead sexy Roarke out of my imaginary bed.

Still, romance novels are about more than fantasy–as any reader of the genre will tell you. Why is it that when a man reads James Bond or Jack Ryan thrillers, there’s no needling about him looking for fantasy and pretending to be a suave or rugged spy in the service of his country? Yet when a woman picks up a novel about the relationship between two people, about love overcoming obstacles, she’s labeled as some kind of air-headed boob, who dreams of being swept off her feet by her Prince Charming and carried away to a castle in the pretty pink clouds?

Nora Roberts is a dynamo for a reason! As are all the members of the Romance Royal Court: Jennifer Crusie, Bertrice Small, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jayne Ann Krentz, and too many others to list here. To those who snicker behind their hands or make comments about “fantasy lives,” I have a message for you. Until you’ve hit the bestseller list a coupla dozen times, please keep your snarkiness to yourself.

Congratulations, Nora! You keep blazing trails for the rest of us!