Friday, August 05, 2005

A roaming I will go.

I should drop Lee Goldberg a thank you note; not so much for the conversations that kept me so entertained and opinionated last week but because I've tripped over some truly, delightful people via his blog. I'm not sure they'd find me as delightful but I'm having a grand time.

It started with a few posts about the RWA (Romance Writers of America) who apparently have had a few kerfluffles lately. One over trying to define what "Romance" means in terms of the publishing/writing industry (and who should be allowed to play and by what rules) and then, over the past weekend, there was yet another gaff -- this time involving their annual Convention/Awards ceremony which apparently took a hard-right turn.

While both of those are interesting in and of their own right, mostly what I've discovered is an intricate network of writers, mostly women, blogging and opinionating and kvetching and playing together in a way that's oddly familiar...

Eh hem.

I have found some gems of commentators though. Up front and center is Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels. The site commentators and their fans and colleagues are funny, brazen, alternately girly and hard hitting as only women who understand the rules of the publishing industry can be. They offer reviews, comments, gossip, contests and just general chit chat about a genre they love and what it is.

Then there's Paperback Reader, another review site which has a little controversy of it's own going, but the reviews are fun and well written.

I haven't been a hard-core romance consumer in years. My mother was very much a fan of the Harlequin, and Harlequin special lines books for years along with a few other well known writers in the field. (I can honestly say, I'm probably one of the few women in the U.S.A. of my age who has never read Nora Roberts.) I was always a bigger fan of historical romances and later, a fan of the spicier ones that I think often made my mother uncomfortable. (But she read them anyway and skipped the spicy parts.)

I'm still not a huge fan of the core of the romance industry, be it the modern woman romances or the cliched bodice rippers I so enjoyed in my twenties. I was always one who read across a lot of genre fiction: westerns, romance, sci-fi, fantasy. (I was never much of a mystery fan.) But I still go back and reread Georgette Heyer on occasion or will pick up something light to read while in an airport. Something I don't' mind leaving on the seat of shuttle or bus when I'm done.

At any rate, it's been fun to revisit that old favorite genre and I may delve back in. Although as one of the side lines of the RWA kerfluffle, I tripped over a new line of Gay Romances.

I've read an excerpt. Ordered one to test it out. They are written by men, under Romentics imprint, and are more romance, perfect partner, soulmate than hard core. They focus on relationships.

Uh huh. You read me right. Homoerotic Relationship Fic.

Yup. Sounds a little like slash fic. Mainstream. No matter who their target audience was menat to be, I'd lay money on who it will be.

I am laughing so hard I can't see straight. (No pun intended.)


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