Time to exercise the A-to-the-href!
First: Linda Holmes from NPR’s MonkeySee blog has a wonderful response to the Quilliam article, specifically to the research within it: Romance Fiction And Women’s Health: A Dose Of Skepticism. This examination of one of the “studies” quoted in the Quilliam article is my favorite part:
So they went on to a second study designed to control for whether it was really the condom-less romance novels at fault for the negative condom attitudes. Here’s where it gets … a little bit funny.
What they did was split the subjects into groups, and one group got two paragraphs of an actual romance novel written by a romance novelist that didn’t mention condoms. The other group got those same two paragraphs with this bit added in between:
He pulled back slightly so he could look at her. “Should we use protection?” he asked gently. She nodded at him, her face warm, as he unwrapped the bright foil. Pleased with his concern for her, she smiled at him and kissed his throat.
It appears from the paper — which stresses that the other parts of the excerpts came from real books — that they wrote this paragraph themselves. And … I don’t mean to be critical, but that is the least sexy, most distracting, most pull-you-out-of-the-moment things I have ever read.
Ohhhh yeah. That’s hot. Except not at all.
Next week I’m in Vancouver, BC, Canada (MAPLE SYRUP HERE I COME) for the Simon Fraser University Summer Publishing Institute. I’m speaking to the institute members on Monday, but then, there’s more! On Tuesday, 12 July, I’ll be teaching a one-day intensive workshop: Writing the Romance Novel: Explore the Romance Genre. There are still a few spots left if you’d like to join the course. I’ll be talking about the genre itself, what it is and how it’s changed, and the necessary elements to an excellent romance novel.
I taught this course last year and it was, in a word, FUN. We spent a good part of the afternoon collaborating on an outline for a romance, identifying the heroine, the hero, their conflict, and the setting. Because there were forest fires in British Columbia at that time last year, the class decided to set the novel in the area that was burning, with a vineyard owner hero and a forest fire fighter heroine who is about to tell the hero that those vines he just planted need to be cut down to battle the wildfire. It sounded AWESOME. If you’re interested and in the area, I hope you’ll sign up and join us this year.
ETA: I’m over at Kirkus this week talking about glomming, and Sarah Morgan glomfest I’ve enjoyed the past week:
Sometimes it’s humor we’re craving, or a slightly goofy style of narration. Other times, it’s the strength of the characters and the way in which the author can play with tropes and archetypes. It’s a form of literary gluttony, the glom—we want everything that author has ever written so we can enjoy it in a feast for the mind and emotions.
Remember Yours To Keep by Shannon Stacey, the June Sizzling Book Club pick, and Jane’s and my Save the Contemporary as well? Maybe you heard us talking about it. It seems a whole lot of people have been talking about, too. The book totally hit the NY Times at #33 in the ebook list, and #106 in the USA Today this week!
This good news comes on the heels of Courtney Milan’s RWA-party-palooza of awesome tidings last week, where she found out that her self-published novella, Unlocked, hit “the New York Times ebook list at #6, the combined print and ebook list at #19, and the USA Today list at #36.”
ETA: And there’s more: Lorelei James hit the NY Times bestsellers ebook list this week at #20 with her eleventh book in the Rough Riders series, CHASIN’ EIGHT. She also hit the USA Today at #83.
Seriously, over here? *happydance* What’s your good news today?