Romance Novels-the Billion Dollar Elephant in the Room
by Rolynn Anderson
Why Can’t Romance Books Get Some Love?
1. What are the two essential elements of any romance? (This one will surprise you)
2. Who is buying and reading romance? (Gender, Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation, Age, on what devices) _________________________What is the % of romance in the fiction market?___
3. Who is writing romance? _________________
4. Is romance women’s literature?________ Is it literature? _______________
5. Can/do men write it? If you’ve never written it, can/should you?
6. Where’s the sexism around romance writer/reader/genre?
7. How many categories of romance novels are there? What are they? And who says so?
8. How much sex would you expect to find in the following categories on a scale of 1-5 (And, yes. This is a trick question):
-Contemporary 1 2 3 4 5
-Erotic 1 2 3 4 5
-Historical 1 2 3 4 5
-Paranormal 1 2 3 4 5
-Religious/Spiritual 1 2 3 4 5
-Romantic Suspense 1 2 3 4 5
-Young Adult 1 2 3 4 5
9. What evidence do we see showing prejudice/inequity against women writers?
What are the look for?
Rolynn Anderson writes contemporary mystery/suspense novels, spiked with romance and enhanced by exotic settings. In her previous life she was a high school English teacher and principal in Washington State. She writes/markets, golfs, gardens, reads, and travels. Anderson delights in creating imperfect characters faced with extraordinary, transforming challenges. Her hope: You'll devour her ‘makeover’ suspense novels in the wee hours of the morning, because her stories, settings and characters, capture your imagination and your heart.
10 Critical Texts about Romance Novels: https://bookriot.com/2018/09/29/critical-texts-about-romance-novels/
The Vida Count: Women in Literary Arts: https://www.vidaweb.org/the-count/
Books by women priced 45% lower than men’s books: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/01/books-by-women-priced-45-lower-study-finds
Bias, She Wrote…Gender Bias of the New York Times Best Seller List: https://pudding.cool/2017/06/best-sellers/
The Changing Face of Romance Novels: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/07/books/romance-novels-diversity.html
An Eclectic list of Romance Novels to sample: https://bookriot.com/2018/05/10/best-romance-authors/
Best Selling Romance Authors (Listed by Amazon): E.L. James, Courtney Milan, Julia Quinn, Jayne Ann Krentz, Sara Maclean, Nicholas Sparks, Elizabeth Hoyt, Judith McNaught, Jennifer Crusie, Danielle Steel, Jessica Bird Ward, Christina Lauren, Eloisa James…and many more. In my mystery/suspense/romance category, Sandra Brown, Linda Howard and Lisa Scottoline are my favorites (Sidenote: E.L James, Nora Roberts and Danielle Steel earned over 10 million dollars)
Goodreads Ten of the Twenty Highest Reviewed Romance Books: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell; It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover; Me Before You by Jojo Moyes; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough; Outlander by Diana Gabaldon; The Hating Game by Sally Thorne; Dark Lover by J.R. Ward; Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines; Bared to you by Sylvia Day… (Charlotte Bronte and Nicholas Sparks appear on this list of 20)
When you ask romance writers what author sparked their desire to write romance, many mention Kathleen Woodiwiss (The Flame and the Fire). Jude Devereaux, LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught and Katherine Neville are big influencers, as well.