Seriously, my inbox asplode. Let’s get started with the a-to-the-href, shall we?
First: hear that sound? That’s the sound of champagne vendors wailing at the news that Nora Roberts will not be attending the RWA National Conference in New York this year, as I learned this morning. I’m a little bummed about this info, as her Q&A is awesome and who doesn’t love bumping into Nora Roberts in the bar? Alas, not this year. Maybe next year, I hope.
Benjamin Alsup in Esquire takes a look at sex in fiction, saying: Writing about sex is hard. Some writers claim the best way to do it is by not doing it at all. Focus on the furniture and leave the bodies out of it. But I think that desire is easy and bodies are what’s difficult. We need more bodies in our fiction. We need bodies on bodies in all the wack configurations that consenting adults will allow. Fucking matters. And when we ignore it or pretend it was something that can only be elided, or joked about, the joke is on us. Let’s stop kidding ourselves. Besides, it’s only sex. Which is to say, it’s only the most important thing in the world, and nothing to get hung about.
Sing it, sir. Sing it. (Graceful curtsey to Melanie Greenberg for the link.)
Every now and again at a conference I’ll hear someone say that YA readers don’t read digitally – but this NY Times article seems to suggest differently: In their infancy e-readers were adopted by an older generation that valued the devices for their convenience, portability and, in many cases, simply for their ability to enlarge text to a more legible size. Appetite for e-book editions of best sellers and adult genre fiction — romance, mysteries, thrillers — has seemed almost bottomless.
But now that e-readers are cheaper and more plentiful, they have gone mass market, reaching consumers across age and demographic groups, and enticing some members of the younger generation to pick them up for the first time.
In 2010 young-adult e-books made up about 6 percent of the total digital sales for titles published by St. Martin’s Press, but so far in 2011, the number is up to 20 percent, a spokeswoman for the publisher said.
Do you know a young reader? Do they use an e-Ink device?
(Graceful curtsey to my mother in law for the link.)
Author Jenyfer Matthews was, until a few days ago, living in Cairo. Her blog for the past few weeks reveals an intimate (and scary) view of the current situation in Egypt. Matthews and her family was evacuated to the US, and I’m relieved they are all safe, as the State Department has advised all Americans in Egypt to leave now.
Here: spend some money! Out of Print Clothing has awesome t-shirts featuring out-of-print books, and I totally covet half of them.
You’re welcome. (Graceful curtsey to Courtney for the link.)
Harlequin, as usual, is doing funky things – and has good designers, too. Check this out: Patent Your Kiss – where you select two people (of either gender! Thanks Harlequin!) and arrange them into different types of kisses. I tried to create two men with long hair, but it was actually kind of difficult. Hair does get in the way.
(Graceful curtsey to Thalia for the link.)
And finally, in this stellar gleaming poo-fest of an entry, Morning Gloria on Jezebel writes a breathtakingly ignorant and insulting entry about a USA Today article profiling romance novels, questioning whether the romance heroes described by authors in USA Today really are models of behavior worth admiring.
Act more like dudes in romance novels? Aren’t dudes in romance novels kind of… rapey?
I’m not a consumer of erotica or romance novels by any stretch of the imagination….
So why are you still talking? Wait, you have more to say? Oh, great. I cannot wait to read.
I am, however, passingly familiar with some of the plots of some of the more ridiculous romance novels floating around in the backpacks of America’s embarrassed readers right now, and it seems like what romance novel dudes actually are deviates sharply from how men who are functional members of any society should act.
You don’t read them but you’re passingly familiar with the plots? No, you’re not.
Romance readers are embarrassed about their reading habits? No, we’re not.
Here are a few of the plot summaries from Romance Club, a blog of sometimes embarrassed but always funny consumers of erotic literature who write book reviews summarizing their paper conquests….
Oh, yes, by all means, let’s go to a single blog about a single sub-genre of romance and look at plot summaries of books to determine whether heroes today are evolved from heroes past and worth emulating, or if they’re still rapey assnuggets – and by extension that the women who read them are dumb, embarrassed, and eager to be beaten down by only the most alphole men of them all.
Really? That’s the best you could do? You hit a trifecta of Bad Romance Journalism without even trying: Romance readers are shamefully embarrassed, the heroes are rapey so who knows why those readers like them, and here, let me cherry pick some examples to prove that theory right.
Many a romance author has come in swinging the WTF with a backup of OH NO YOU DIDN’T, not the least of which is is author Zoe Archer who brought the noise, the funk, and the smarts with her response. (Thanks for the link, too, Zoe.) Her blog entry contains what may be my next tattoo:
Deriding the choices of millions of women because it does not fit your conceptualization of feminism defeats the purpose of feminism.
Morning Gloria, I see your shoddy piece of crap examination and your complete lack of knowledge, and I raise you some very, very fine examples of romance heroes indeed. Now, go away, and please, read a few excellent romances before you speak of the genre again.
ETA: but soft! What update through yonder Jezebel breaks? It is Sadie Stein with a counterpoint defending (some) romance heroes. Oh, thank heavens. Stein says, “[R]ather, the good ones — and there are a lot of good ones — are nuanced, intelligent and widely divergent. I hesitate to make generalizations about heroes today — that was one of my biggest peeves with that asinine USA Today piece — but the truth is, if you can generalize about today’s romantic hero, he’s kind, he’s honorable, he respects the heroine’s independence and intelligence, and he always, always goes down on her.”
I agree that generalizations can’t be made across the board (the comments to this entry bear witness to that fact) but this is a much better perspective on current romance heroes – from someone who clearly reads them. (Also – thanks for the compliment, there, ma’am).
The part that cracks me up? The number of people talking about RWA conferences and how awesomely welcoming they are.