Man, this is getting to be soothing and enjoyable, all these intelligent articles about romance: The Toronto Star did a profile piece on author Susanna Kearsley following her nomination for the Romantic Novel of the Year for The Winter Sea, or, as it was titled in the UK, Sophia’s Secret.
Kearsley does a very mellow and effective job of explaining the misconceptions of romance:
“When you say that you write romantic fiction, there are a lot of people who have an image in their mind of the `bodice ripper,’” she says. “It’s the one term that most romantic fiction writers absolutely hate because it has no bearing on what people are writing.
“Romantic fiction in the broader sense can be any novel that has a love story somewhere in it. It can be a mystery or a historical novel, as long as long as it has this very strong romantic thread running through it.”
What’s interesting is that Kearsley wrote to me personally that she said a lot more about romance, but of course due to the pressure of column inches (snrk!) her remarks were edited down. She tells me:
What’s missing after that is the part where I went on and on about how diverse our genre is, and how some of the best writing can sometimes be found in category novels, and how Very Amazing the whole field of romance writing is.
Then he asked me to define “Romantic fiction” as the British view it, and I said: “Romantic fiction in the broader sense can be any novel that has a love story somewhere in it. It can be a mystery or a historical novel, as long as long as it has this very strong romantic thread running through it.”
Even with editing, Kearsley came across as a smart, dedicated writer of romantic fiction, or romance, or whatever you want to call it – so well played Ms. Kearsley, and congrats again on the nomination.