Aug 4 2009
Wendy, the Super Librarian, brings up the issue of elitism in romance press coverage and wonders if the coverage of that extreme (Ivy league educated individuals writing and reading romance) can be a bad thing.
I’ll be honest, I really couldn’t get too worked up over any of this. Generally speaking, I found the USA Today article positive, and I do find it interesting that someone with Eloisa James" background turned out to be a very successful romance writer (and I say this only because holy cow, the level of condescension in a lot of university English departments is enough to make my brain bleed :) ). But ultimately I can see why some people were annoyed by it. Because as positive as the article was, it was reporting an extreme. Just as painting all romance readers as uneducated and sexually unfulfilled, who get their rocks off fantasizing about Fabio, is an extreme. But that’s the media. If they can’t turn it into an extreme, it’s not a story. It’s not worth reporting. If it bleeds, it leads.
Katiebabs blogged about LKH’s claim in Entertainment Weekly that LKH pioneered the vampire genre.
EW posted part of the article on their web site. Stephenie Meyer and Anne Rice were both interviewed of course. Laurell K. Hamilton was also interviewed and look what she said about the Twilight phenomenon:
“Stephenie Meyer has come and she’s taken the genre that I sort of pioneered.”
Okay, LKH go on believing you pioneered the vampire genre. Can we say, tone down the ego? Where would you be if not for Mary Shelley, Bram Stroker, Anne Rice, Charles De Lint, Stephen King and Poppy Brite?
LKH responded (maybe to Katiebabs and maybe not) that she didn’t pioneer Anne Rice’s genre, but she did pioneer the vampire + sex subgenre. (LKH needs to brush up on her classics then because Bram was all about the sex and the blood and the biting. Ditto for Anne Rice).
Second is what I consider my genre which is mixed genre, a horror thriller/romance, but that doesn’t really say what I write. The closest description of what I consider my genre is Paranormal Thriller. In both the Meredith Gentry books and the Anita Blake novels I take thriller or mystery, mix it with horror and fantasy elements, then add a strong dose of sensuality, romance, and sex. I’ve yet to hear a single word that described it.
None of these early books have the sensuality that I chose to put in mine, and to my knowledge none of them would add the sexual content that I’ve become known for in both of my series.
Why do I say I pioneered the genre if there were books before? I’ve never said I invented the sub-genre, only that I pioneered it or popularized it.
Agree or disagree with LKH, you have to admit that her posts are highly entertaining.
Looking for an ebook reader? It’s not time to buy one, it’s time to wait. There are the new Sonys coming out, the new Apple Tablet, and now the news of the impending Plastic Logic device that will allow you to purchase books from the Barnes and Noble ebookstore. As an aside, if Forrester research says that the new wave of ebook readers are voracious female readers who are retailer agnostic (aka the romance reader), why don’t these ebook reader manufacturers design something a WOMAN would be interested in buying.
Publishers Weekly claims that Chick Lit is getting an update. I will tell you that I highly enjoyed the pink chick lit books but if this is the grown up version, no thanks. The lede made me throw up in my mouth a bit. I think it’s supposed to reflect a more self aware womanhood but instead reads self indulgent, spoiled, and stupid.
In one telling scene, Karen and Matty are having sex, but he can’t climax. While he masturbates, Karen thinks about a bid they recently put in for a three-bedroom co-op. She imagines Matty’s sperm as "millions of hungry apartment hunters all bidding against each other for a mint 3BR with DFPS, SS appliances, and a WD on a pk blk." If Matty could just put aside his financial anxiety, she muses, "one of those millions of apartment hunters could break out of the throng into the warm waiting floor-through, and find a way to make himself at home."
Thanks for the update and warning PW. I’ll be passing on these. Note to publicists, please don’t send me any books about Park Slope moms. Stories about self indulgent New York women is what made chick lit tired and boring.
Also from PW is an article about sex and vampires (the genre that LKH pioneered). I’m quoted in it. I bet there will be people who disagree with my definition of erotica v. erotic romance but save it for the poll comment thread tomorrow because I’ll be basing the poll on what you think erotic romance is or is not.
And in a study done to debunk the entire scope of Lass Small’s career (not really but she did write about redheads ALL the time in her TEXAS! based books), redheads are more sensitive to pain than other follicly colored folks.
And finally, because commercial developers have their heads up their asses, a single individual has taken it upon himself to develop a free and open source epub editor. Way to go.