I'm attending the Imaginarium convention in Louisville, KY, and earlier today, I went to a panel on paranormal romance. During the panel discussion, I was advised that, because of certain characteristics of my Ebon City series, my genre is not actually romance. Individual novels in my series could be labeled romance novels by themselves, but the series as a whole doesn't fit the criteria for romance, because certain novels I have planned will either focus on plots that don't revolve around romance, or they will focus on romance but break the conventions of the romance genre that were described to me today. My series would more accurately be described as an urban fantasy series that just has elements of romance in it. Go figure.
I'm actually a little bummed out by this. I know the romance genre gets a lot of flack, but it's a genre I really love. Unfortunately, the panelists I listened to today indicated that each genre comes with certain expectations, and if you label yourself a particular genre writer, and then break the expectations of that genre, it can turn your reader base against you. So from this point on, I will refrain from labeling myself a romance writer. If you wish to pursue a writing career and are interested in a particular genre, be sure to find out what the expectations of that genre are before you start identifying yourself with that genre.