Anyone interested in hearing Eloisa James, Ilona and Gordon Andrews, Alisha Rai, and Sarah MacLean discuss various aspects of romance writing?
I just spent almost three hours online watching a recording of a fascinating, funny and insightful seminar held last week at Duke University. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it. My plan was to skim it for the good bits and listen to the rest later, but it turned out to be all killer, no filler. The only bits I skipped were the rest breaks 😉 .
The event was called Gender, Sexuality, Feminism and the Romance Novel, and indeed all those subjects are covered in an intelligent and engaging way, but there was so much more.
Each author talked about their home environment and what led them to become a romance writer. After that, the Q&A session included: Continue reading
Additions to my TBR pile, courtesy of the RWA Conference
Although I spent many years as a book-a-day reader, I haven’t done much pleasure reading in recent months. My typical daily schedule is (1) day job, (2) work-in-progress, (3) pleasure reading and, since I am a regrettably slow writer, I rarely get past item (2) before it’s time to call it a night.
I was schooled on the error of my ways by none other than Eloisa James at the recent conference when I mentioned that I was rather behind in reading her new books as writing was taking all my time. She said “let me give you some unsolicited advice” and then (paraphrasing) said as a writer, you need to make time to read. It is advice we’ve all heard before, in posts on this very blog even. Continue reading
Where do you stand on intelligent, well-written historical romance?
By the time you read this, Justine’s UK research trip should be well under way. If things go to plan, we’ll have spent Friday in Brighton exploring the Royal Pavilion and other Regency landmarks with 8LW friend Rachel Beecroft, and Saturday investigating the narrow streets and smugglers’ haunts of the ancient Cinque Port of Rye. Today? If it’s Sunday, it must be Dover!
Justine will be following in the footsteps of a generation of US historical romance authors, walking the terrain of Kent and Sussex to soak in a million tiny details that she’ll use to give her stories an authentic and unique feel. There’s a strong tradition of quality historical romance writing in the US, and I’m constantly impressed by the way the authors skillfully mix historical accuracy and characters with agency to create novels that feel credible but appeal to a 21st-century reader. I especially love stories that go beyond Dukes and governesses and gowns – some of my favorite historicals may have Almack’s and corsets, but they also have spies, soldiers, suspense, mysteries, politics, business-people, dancers, actresses, and social change.
I’m really looking forward to reading the 8 Ladies’ contribution to this excellent tradition – Justine’s Three Proposals, Elizabeth’s The Traitor, and Nancy’s new series – but while they write, edit, polish and pick new titles, I’d like to celebrate some of my favorite US historical romance writers and (if I’m lucky) collect some new recommendations.
Off the top of my head, how about: Continue reading
Everything really is bigger in Texas.
Last Sunday I wrote about my plans and expectations for this week’s RWA National. I borrowed a quote from the 2013 conference in Atlanta, where Jennifer Enderlin of St Martin’s Press encouraged us to dream big and have unrealistic expectations, because if we don’t, who will?
I set out my Big Dream, which is to follow the traditional publication route – find an agent who loves my writing and buys into my career goals, an editor who will help me make my books as good (and as marketable) as they can be, and a publisher with the marketing know-how and commercial clout to help me develop a readership and build a career. Sounded pretty ambitious to me.
I don’t know whether it’s something in the water here or Continue reading