The new design for the Romance Writer’s Report, official publication of the RWA, is pretty freaking sweet. I’ve taken to calling the issues by the stock image used on the cover (which is usually overlaid with text from a female writer of romance literature, like Austen, or, in the case of this month’s issue, Bronte) so the following commentary is from the Fishnets Issue.
There’s two articles of note that I wanted to give a hearty ‘WOO HOO!’ about. First, Carrie Lofty penned a rather lovely article entitled “The Trials and Triumphs of Unusual Historicals,” and aside form the general rocking-ness of the article itself, many of the individuals she cites as sources for her examination of alternative settings for historical romance are …. bloggers. WORD TO YOU LOFTY LIKE WHOA. Jayne from Dear Author, KristieJ from Ramblings on Romance, and Azteclady, who blogs over at Karen Knows Best are all cited, with URLs, alongside authors like Gaelen Foley, Jade Lee, and Sandra Schwab, which makes me so giddy I squealed while reading. Way to go, ladies, and well done Lofty, using readers with big voices to discuss a topic we frequently debate: the future and potential of romances that aren’t set in the Regency – something that readers often mention they want more of, myself included.
Then, Eilis Flynn wrote an article titled Snappy Comebacks, or, “What to say when some douchenozzle disses your romance again.” I mention it because the original article which inspired this one was published in the RWA eNotes, which, impartially speaking, is the best damn e-newsletter in the history of the universe, bar none.
The article is a hoot because it reveals the technicolor crap comments authors have heard, from party guests to coworkers to media. I was particularly enamored of this one:
Patricia Rice refused to be manipulated by a radio host. “I had a radio interview once at 6:00 in the morning,” she explains, “and when the smarmy host asked if I’d read a passage from one of ‘those scenes,’ I read one describing the hero’s hand.”
I hope the hero had big hands. With long, firm fingers.
But Michele Stegman, author of Fortune’s Foe, makes a point that I hadn’t thought of – and I spend a good amount of time telling people which lake to jump in should they be dissing the romance:
“…When you meet a new couple, one of the first things asked is often, ‘How did you two meet?’ You already know the couple is together. What you’re hoping for is a good story…. In a romance, you always get a good story.”
It’s a nice spin on Nora Roberts’ perennial assertions that romance is about the journey to the happy ending, not the happy ending itself, and focusing on the ending discounts that journey. Way to go Flynn and Lofty for a job well done.