Romance, Deadlines, and Winter

Hey all!

Once again, I’m getting in just under the wire with this month’s blog post – but you’ll be heartened to know that’s because I’ve been nose to the grindstone in my writing cave all month, working diligently on The Titan Was Tall. Okay…I admit I don’t have a cave – I really just work on my couch!

The good news is that Titan is coming along great. I love the story and the characters, and I know you will, too! The bad news is that what I feared last month is definitely coming true. This winter has been brutal for writing, for a variety of reasons (weather-related migraines are the worst, amiright?), so I’m going to to have to push back Titan’s release date.

That will ensure you all are getting the very best book I can give you, though, and it’ll be well worth it in the end. Besides, we still have Titan’s cover reveal to look forward to in March, and I’ll also try to post some teaser scenes on Book+Main to tide you over!

With that out of the way, how was your Valentine’s Day? Mine was good, and not just because of the pretty flowers and even-prettier treats (my husband brought me new tea and fancy cookies instead of chocolate – how cute is he?).

Valentine’s Day is always great because love is my jam, people! Okay, I suppose that was totally obvious for a romance author, but even so, I do really enjoy checking out all the romance-genre articles that hit the web every February 14th – and not just because they are loaded with terrific reading suggestions.

No, I love to read what comes out because oftentimes they are erudite defenses of a genre that I adore, written by more-articulate writers than I. Needless to say, I had to share some with you!

Here are three that caught my attention – I hope you’ll check them out while we all wish together for winter to bite the dust and make way for spring.

The Steamy, Throbbing History of Romance Novel Covers – For the most part, this article does a wonderful job highlighting the evolution of romance novel covers: how the covers from the ’80s ended up looking the way they did, why some iterations became more famous than others, and why one cover model is still a household name so many years later.  I wish this article had brought the discussion fully into the present, however, and talked more about the wide array of creative covers on the market today – many without a rippling man-chest in sight.

Why You Should Be Reading Romance Novels – by Jaime Green. Jaime always has something interesting to say about the genre, and this article is no exception. Quote: “Sad and challenging books have their place in the world, but…Romance is written to be enjoyed. Romance is…where women’s desires, experiences, and rich inner lives are given value, center stage. It is fun, smart, savvy, increasingly inclusive, and a guaranteed good time.” And another: “Women have been historically excluded from the canon, and that carries on through to publishing today. Women’s voices and stories — as authors and characters — have been systematically devalued in literature…Romance is full of women’s voices and women’s stories. There are male and nonbinary authors, too (and not all romances pair a man and a woman), but romance authorship may be the arena least dominated by straight men in the entire world.”  Can’t argue with that kind of pro-level thinking! So get busy and try out her 5 Great Romance Novels for People Who’ve Never Read One.

Last, but not least, is an article that Romance Writers of America linked to in a recent newsletter sent to its members. A Whirlwind Romance: How Bookstores and Readers are Raising the Romance Genre is, on the face of things, simply a bit of Boston-area news about a pop-up romance bookstore. Read further, however, and you’ll discover some excellent points about how romance is evolving – to include more diverse stories, more modern takes on issues like consent, and themes surrounding mental health. Since the focus here is on brick-and-mortar bookstores, the role of independent publishers in this shift is completely absent, but otherwise, it’s definitely worth a read!

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