Vintage Romance?

I don’t want to talk about old-school romance books right now, but romances that are too modern to be classed as historical romance, and too old-fashioned to be classed as contemporary romance.

This has been on my mind a bit recently for a few reasons:

  • In an authors’ group I’m part of I came across several people who wanted to submit manuscripts set in the 1960s and the 1970s and the 1980s, but they had no idea who would even look at them.
  • I am currently working on my father’s Vietnam War commander’s memoirs (my father was in the armoured corps of the Australian Army), and I have the 60s on my mind.
  • June this year sees the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Binh Ba – considered the second most significant battle Australia fought in Vietnam – and my father is helping to organise the entire national service/memorial (he also did the 40th).

There is so much potential for so many good stories set in the second half of the 20th century. It was a time with so much upheaval. The Cold War, the rise and fall of communism, Korea, Vietnam… Not to mention all the changes at home, with women’s changing roles in society etc.

And yet… where are these books?

I do know of one publisher who has actively been seeking these sorts of stories for years and years: The Wild Rose Press.

However, isn’t it time we start a wider market for these books?

Nora Roberts sues Brazilian author, cites ‘multi-plagiarism’.

Article link:

Nora Roberts sues Brazilian author, cites ‘multi-plagiarism’

I’m glad someone with this much power behind them is doing something about the spectacular acts of plagiarism committed by Cristiane Serruya, who – it was recently discovered – was plagiarising dozens upon dozens of books by well-known romance authors.

Serruya even had the audacity to enter her stolen work in the RITA Awards.

You can read more about what happened HERE.

 

Romance.com.au

I have no idea how I didn’t know about this site until last night. It is home for all of Harlequin Australia’s imprints, as well as for Avon Romance books etc. However there’s a lot more to it than that.

There is a blog, and there are videos and giveaways. I really like the layout, too. In a time when so many book sites are dying out, I think this one really works, and it makes it easy to shop by genre across multiple imprints under the HarperCollins umbrella.

Check it out here: romance.com.au

10 Romance Clichés

Harlequin Publishing Logo

I randomly stumbled upon this blog post a little while ago, and thought I’d link to it. Usually when I see posts like this I disagree, but Harlequin editor Patience Bloom is pretty spot-on!

Bloom mentions clichés such as those bolts of electricity that always seem to be running up characters’ arms when they touch their true love, the “natural beauty” heroines whose routine consists of putting on lip gloss and nothing else, and those “curves in all the right places”.

You can read the whole post HERE.

Remember “Romantica”?

Wild Card (Elite Ops #1) by Lora Leigh

Around a decade ago, everyone in the romance community was talking about a new subgenre: “Romantica”. It was when romances started getting super-steamy, but they also had the classic romance-genre Happy Ever After. They weren’t erotica, but nobody had a better term for them.

Remember that? Because it was a term I used to use fairly often, and until a few weeks ago I’d totally forgotten about it. There’s not a great deal of purpose to this post other than to observe how quickly things in publishing change.

I was reminded of “Romantica” because I was rereading Smart Bitches’ hilarious 2009 review of Pregnesia, which was connected to a discussion about Lora Leigh’s Elite Ops series, which led me to read some old reviews of some of those books. I don’t remember much about them other than that the first one used the misogynistic term “dumb blonde” a lot, and ended with a scene involving surprise anal sex, where the hero commented that he’d finally “touched his wife’s soul”.

Things change so fast in Romancelandia that I doubt these any of these erotic romance books would be written the same way now, only a decade after they were first published.

In the years since, a certain Twilight fan by the name of E.L. James wrote some fan fiction about another blonde-hating brunette who got spanked by a billionaire, and suddenly “erotic romance” was in the mainstream everywhere.

Not all change is good. I’m growing increasingly annoyed with readers who one-star books – particularly historical romances – because the characters don’t perform like porn stars on the page, or because the heroine is a virgin (unmarried pregnant girls in the 19th century often ended up on the streets – or dead. There’s a reason there were so many premarital virgins). Amazing authors like Mimi Matthews have to self-publish because her books aren’t filled with the steamier stuff so many publishers demand.

I wonder what – another ten years on – we write, read, and talk about now will seem spectacularly outdated then.

The New Cover Trend

British “chick lit” meets the American romance publishing industry this year to give us a cover design trend I honestly never thought I’d see in the US. As someone who is – erm – not into fads of any sort, I don’t really know what to think about this one, but it’s certainly going to make reading paperbacks in public a lot easier!

Book sites are declaring the cartoony cover the hottest new thing (though, Australians and Brits have seen books like these for years). What do you think?

Bridal Boot Camp (Little Bridge Island 0.5) by Meg Cabot

99 Perecnt Mine by Sally Thorne

The Right Swipe (Modern Love #1) by Alisha Rai

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez