Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Bravo’s Documentary: Who’s Afraid of Happy Endings

CindyS has two great posts that summarize the documentary on Bravo Canada, Who’s Afraid of Happy Endings.

  1. FYI Part 1
  2. FYI Part 2

I don’t know when it will be aired in the US, but it sounds like a fascinating look at publishing and romance. I highly suggest every one read both articles, but I’ll include some highlights to tempt you.

Kelly Harms (with Avon) is the woman that is hearing the pitch. Ms. Boyce is nervous and starts her pitch off, basically her story is not earth shattering but her heroine is a widow.


So, you have a widow, did Julia (I have no idea who she is referring to here) tell you I always complain when there are widows?
The first thing I always send her or any of my pros is to try and envision the book with The Virgin.


I’m telling you she drew out The Virgin as if it was the magic and she says that it absolutely sells. Not only that she mentioned that the story being pitched was a stand alone and that there were no opportunities for a series.

Dear god in heaven, no. Seriously. We readers need to boycott virgin widow books.

Raelene Gorlinsky, publisher with Ellora’s Cave talked about the ‘hunky men’. When asked why there are ‘hunky men’ on the covers of their books she said “well, they sell better than women on the covers” . . . It was mentioned that EC now sells 80 000 books a month world wide which is astonishing when you think that they are a print on demand publisher

And the Queen, herself,

While at book signings:

A woman: ‘Oh, you’re Nora Roberts, you write that smut!’

Nora Roberts: ‘I do not write smut and that’s incredibly rude, what’s wrong with you?’

There’s so much more to read about covers, paranormal market, and the romance market. I can’t wait to see it myself and am envious of our Canadian Brethren. Thank you CindyS!

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Tara Marie
    Mar 21, 2007 @ 00:27:10

    Dear god in heaven, no. Seriously. We readers need to boycott virgin widow books.

    I didn’t read this the same way, I thought she was telling the writer to change the heroine from a widow to “The Virgin” but I could be wrong–not that I don’t agree with the boycotting of virgin widows. :D

    Nora Roberts: ‘I do not write smut and that’s incredibly rude, what’s wrong with you?’

    Got to love it, nothing like putting a moron on the defensive. :)

  2. CindyS
    Mar 21, 2007 @ 02:17:51

    Just wanted to say that my interpretation of what Harms was saying was that she would prefer the heroine to be a virgin period. I’m not sure Avon would let a new author try a virgin widow but they’ll let their well known ones have a crack at it ;)


  3. Jan
    Mar 21, 2007 @ 04:45:32

    Nora Roberts: ‘I do not write smut and that’s incredibly rude, what’s wrong with you?’

    Hahaha! Oh that’s priceless.

    Sounds like an interesting documentary. Anyone have any idea if it’s repeating in the US? I checked the Bravo schedule and it’s not listed.

  4. DS
    Mar 21, 2007 @ 07:32:34

    I suppose it is too much to hope that itunes will pick it up.

    I haven’t read one of Nora Roberts’ books in a decade but I do like her forthrightness.

  5. Teddy Pig
    Mar 21, 2007 @ 07:47:42

    I am aglow with Nora love!

  6. Vivi Anna
    Mar 21, 2007 @ 09:54:45

    It was a fantastic documentary I thought. Really showcased Kayla Perrin and Kathryn Smith. It was fun to watch.

  7. EC Sheedy
    Mar 21, 2007 @ 11:35:59

    This makes me crazy! I missed this documentary twice! And I live in Canada. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it from anyone who saw it. But even without seeing it, I loved hearing about Nora Roberts comeback to the *smut* comment.

    A writer friend and I were having lunch one day, talking writing (what else?), and the waitress overheard us and asked if we were writers. “Yes,” we said happily, pleasantly, proudly, naively. To which she replied in a whisper. “God, I love those trashy books–but don’t tell anyone.”

    We weren’t nearly as clever as Nora–or maybe it’s because our lower jaws snapped on the way to our chests. Way to go, Nora.

  8. Jane
    Mar 21, 2007 @ 12:08:40

    EC – you should have sold her one of your books!

  9. Kathryn S
    Mar 21, 2007 @ 13:53:09

    I haven’t seen the bloody thing yet and I’m in it! lol.

    I will say this for the whole virgin widow thing — just in case you think everyone at Avon loves the idea — that when I mentioned to Erika Tsang that my next heroine isn’t a virgin she said, “As long as she’s not a widow, I don’t care.” That said, my next heroine is a widow, remarried and no, not a virgin. I try to avoid virgins at all costs if I can.

  10. Jane
    Mar 21, 2007 @ 13:56:15

    I’m not opposed to virgins, particularly in historicals, because I think that virginity was so highly prized that you would have to come up with some explanation as to why the heroine was not or how she planned to hide it. (although I wonder if men could really tell – ie., if you haven’t had a virgin before how would you know).

    It’s the virgin widow I can’t stand because I feel the concept promotes a couple ideas that I don’t like. EIther only virtuous women get to have an HEA or the only good sex a woman can experience is with the hero (which is just another way of saying only good girls get the guys).

  11. EC Sheedy
    Mar 21, 2007 @ 22:06:27

    Jane replies:
    March 21st, 2007 | Quote
    EC – you should have sold her one of your books!

    Now there’s a thought! Unfortunately I didn’t have any plain brown wrappers. :-)


  12. JulieLeto
    Mar 23, 2007 @ 06:18:09

    Quick question though…is Ellora’s Cave a POD publisher? I don’t think they are. I mean, I just saw two of their titles in an airport bookstore in Phoenix. I don’t think POD gets into airport bookstores. And they are regularly on the shelves in both B&N and Waldens. Just wondering. Maybe an EC author can answer?

  13. Jane
    Mar 23, 2007 @ 08:57:31

    I think it depends what is called a POD publisher. My understanding is that EC does not do print runs, but only fulfillment of orders. I.e., borders orders 1500 copies and so EC gets 1500 copies printed.

    With its distribution deal with S&S, I think those are not POD. Are those the ones you saw in the airport?

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