From the “If I Had a Bodrillion Dollars and Free Healthcare” department comes my pondering of a “more better documentary” about romance – one that started at RT and kept going to RWA, The Romance Slam Jam, and some of the more awesome chapter conferences and reader events. Alas, my million has not rolled in so I’m left to dream.
But this month’s letter from RWA President Sherry Lewis reveals her year as “The Face of Romance” – a title that made her cringe, as she is not normally, as she puts it, a “bona fide introvert.” Lewis, who declines all interviews no matter how many times I say “Pbbbblease?” represented RWA at the Public Library Association’s National Conference with Allison Kelley and Stephani Fry (all of whom are very cool, says I) and her experience proves that there’s some genuinely active and eager people out there looking for romance to read (and not necessarily man titty to grope along with it):
If a sub-sub-genre exists in romance, librarians were at our booth looking for it. They snapped up everything from inspirational to erotic romance, young adult, multicultural, romantic suspense, romantic comedy, romantic fantasy, historical, and paranormal romance. Most of the librarians I met were avid romance readers themselves, but they weren’t there to increase their own to-be-read stacks. They were there for the readers waiting for more romance to find its way onto their library’s shelves.
In addition to the PLA and the Slam Jam, Lewis attended BookExpo America, the Author’s Coalition, and obviously the RWA National Conference in San Francisco. Now, all that travel doesn’t make for fascinating documentary subject, but in a year’s time, Lewis has probably racked up some mega whopping frequent flyer miles, and has certainly done more to represent romance in a positive light than any other documentary works in progress I might mention. As she put it, “Every time I leave home, I’m reminded that RWA is about its members – the people who write romance and who make the world a better place because we do.” Well played and well traveled, Ms. Lewis. Well played.
So what else could a More Better Documentary on Romance feature? I bet the dynamic duo of RomanceNovel.TV could tell me – they’ve been unintentionally creating documentary footage of the genre for a few years now. Note to self – go bug them.
ETA: Serves me right for hitting “Submit” before I finished reading this month’s Romance Writer’s Report. On page 21 is an article by Michelle Monkou that profiles four authors as “Ambassadors of Romance Fiction.” Brenda Jackson, Mary Castillo, Jade Lee, and Beverly Jenkins discuss mentoring, barriers, inspiration, and what each author would do with Oprah’s philanthropic millions. Here’s four more reasons for someone to bust out the videocamera and make with the documentary-ness.