Example: Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie – recently spoke with a friend who considered it chick lit and not romance because she didn’t remember any sex in the book.
Characterization, emotional fulfillment, cover art, source of the story conflict – emotional; not talking it out, setting, language (purple prose), narration – first person vs. third person and how does that involve the reader in the developing romance, incorporation of elements from other genres,
Discuss elements of each, highlighting current authors: With Romantic Elements – romance present, but not prime storyline: Debbie Macomber, Kristin Hannah, Gemma Halliday, Deanna Raybourn, Susan Wiggs Contemporary – Present day setting: Nora, SEP, Jenny Crusie, Lisa Kleypas, Julie James, Erin McCarthy Category – shorter reads with a confined house style, ie. Harlequin – Karina Bliss (“What the Librarian Did”), Sarah Mayberry, Janice Kay Johnson, Carla Kelly, Nancy Warren, Marie Ferrarella, Kasey Michaels, Ann Voss Petersen Historical – setting, runs gamut from “wallpaper” (EXPLAIN THIS!) to richly detailed – Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Elizabeth Hoyt, Victoria Dahl, Sarah MacLean, Sherry Thomas, Meredith Duran Christian/Inspirational – strong religious element, tending to Christian – Dee Henderson, Karen Kingsbury, Allie Pleiter – strong publisher association for readers, similar to Harlequin Paranormal – vamps, werewolves, and more – Christine Feehan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh, Lora Leigh Erotic Romance – keeps pushing the envelope, but the romance is as, if not more, important than the sex elements – Lauren Dane, Alison Kent, Lora Leigh, Allyson James, Shelli Stevens, Crystal Jordan, Diane Whiteside Science Fiction/Futuristic – SF not quite as popular as “Futuristic” – Susan Grant, Angela Knight, Ann Aguirre/Ava Gray Fantasy – Generally toward the urban fantasy side of things rather than “high” fantasy – CL Wilson, Shana Ab è Romantic Suspense – mystery/thriller elements – Nora/JD Robb, Kay Hooper (with paranormal), Karen Rose, JAK/AQ/JC, Linda Howard, Suzanne Brockmann, Kate Brady, Elisabeth Naughton Gothic – waning, though there is a special interest chapter in RWA for it – classic authors include Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt and Phyllis A. Whitney. Current, at times, Christine Feehan (The Scarletti Curse), Melanie Jackson,
Note that only reading classic authors, even ones who are still read, does not give a good understanding of the romance publishing industry today as “genre” conventions were very different when they were written.
Make note of how in Genreflecting 6, JD Robb books are listed in the Science Fiction section and not Romance or Mystery (where bookstores tend to shelve them).
Some of these authors may already be considered “classic” authors in their subgenres. I’ve included them if they’ve published at least two novels. There are a couple more I think you should keep an eye on, such as Courtney Milan, who are awaiting the release of their second book.
If romance are the only books not in the catalog, you’re doing your readers a disservice, and you are discriminating against romance readers. Catalog your books. Format – hardcover vs. trade vs. MMP vs. audio vs. ebook Heat level – Don’t be afraid to buy hot. If someone disagrees with the book, it must go through the formal challenge. If you really want to avoid confrontation, bypass the new bookshelf. Purchase what you can. Do not make donations the primary source for your collection. Use them as supplementary material. Weeding – Be aggressive if you need to. Romances, in the majority of locations, circulate a lot! Pull for condition and space issues.
Discuss the romance reader community and the way recommendations are passed around.
Examples of authors published in both digital and print: Lauren Dane, Maya Banks, Dakota Cassidy, Lora Leigh (talk about Nauti Boy pre-empted from Samhain), Megan Hart, Hope Tarr. Urban fantasy, how does the strain that grew out of paranormal romance differ from the one that’s out of sf/f land? Discuss difference between steampunk (no fantasy elements) and gaslight fantasy (addition of vampires and the like), and how it’s rising in romance. Namely, Gail Carriger and upcoming Meljean Brook. Talk about Gail Dayton, but how she didn’t exactly hit. Historical will not die. It will only morph. Change to other time periods out of Regency, going one or two generations on either side primarily. What are their thoughts on the vampire phenomenon? How to spot a boom and bust trend
Fabulous Mullets, Throbbing Members and Pounding Hearts: Or, Why on Earth Do People Read Romance Novels?
Fabulous Mullets, Throbbing Members, and Pounding Hearts Or, Why on Earth do people read romance novels? Katie Dunneback Consultant, East Central Library Services [email_address] com LIS 590 KKL – July 26, 2010
Tonight’s Agenda <ul><li>A short history of the genre </li></ul><ul><li>Reader expectations </li></ul><ul><li>The spectrum of romance </li></ul><ul><li>Subgenres </li></ul><ul><li>Classic authors </li></ul><ul><li>Modern classic authors </li></ul><ul><li>Rising authors </li></ul><ul><li>Trends </li></ul><ul><li>Your experience with romance </li></ul>
A Short History <ul><li>Pamela by Richardson </li></ul><ul><li>Jane Austen </li></ul><ul><li>Mills & Boon </li></ul><ul><li>Georgette Heyer </li></ul><ul><li>Harlequin </li></ul><ul><li>The Flame and the Flower by Woodiwiss </li></ul>
Reader expectations <ul><li>Happily Ever After (HEA) </li></ul><ul><li>Happy For Now (HFN) </li></ul><ul><li>What is the focus of the story? </li></ul><ul><li>Women vs. Men </li></ul>
Appeal Factors <ul><li>How do we talk about romance? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Katie’s #1 rule: Respect your reader. </li></ul></ul>
The Spectrum of Romance <ul><li>Romantic vs. Romance vs. Erotica </li></ul><ul><li>Sensuality levels </li></ul><ul><li>The “Porn for Women” debate </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-genre </li></ul>
Collection Development Issues <ul><li>Cataloging </li></ul><ul><li>Format </li></ul><ul><li>Heat Level </li></ul><ul><li>Purchase vs donations </li></ul><ul><li>Weeding </li></ul>
Awards <ul><li>RITAs </li></ul><ul><li>Romantic Times (RT) </li></ul><ul><li>RWA Chapter awards </li></ul>
Reader communities <ul><li>Nora Roberts’ ADWOFF group </li></ul><ul><li>Jenny Crusie’s Cherries </li></ul><ul><li>Lori Foster’s Reader/Author Get Together </li></ul><ul><li>Lora Leigh’s RAW (Reader Author Weekend) </li></ul><ul><li>Christine Feehan & Brenda Novak’s FAN Convention </li></ul><ul><li>Smart Bitches, Trashy Books </li></ul><ul><li>Dear Author </li></ul>
Trends <ul><li>Published w/both traditional and new digital publishers </li></ul><ul><li>Urban Fantasy </li></ul><ul><li>Steampunk/Gaslight Fantasy </li></ul><ul><li>Historical “comeback” </li></ul><ul><li>Vampires – still coming or on their way out the door? </li></ul><ul><li>Boom & bust trends </li></ul>
Your experience with romance <ul><li>Have you read it before taking this class? </li></ul><ul><li>What were your expectations of the genre? </li></ul><ul><li>What did you read? Was at least one of them published within the last 5 years? </li></ul><ul><li>What did you think of what you read? </li></ul><ul><li>Did you ask a romance reader what you should read if you weren’t already familiar with the genre? </li></ul>