Monday, 25 June 2012

The Evolution of the Romance Novel

Well, I'm not sure where 'Flaming June' went.  All I know, is that here in England it's been 'Flaming 'orrible June'.  Anyhoo, July arrives on Sunday, and during the month, Kook's Nook will be entering REVIEW JULY.   In other words, I will be posting reviews on books I have read as,  at the end of July comes the two words every parent of school children dread.......School Holidays!!!!

Yes, it's that wonderful time of the year when our darling DNA are off school for 6 or 7 long, wonderful weeks.  The fridge gets emptied on a daily basis, and cries of "I'm bored or I'm hungry" reverberate around in your head.  Especially on the day after school actually finishes.

Anyhoo, before review July starts, I am sure (unless you have been hiding under a rock somewhere) that there is a big 'hoo har' going on with the explosion of erotica recently and where it  belongs.  Is it romance? Is it erotica or is it just porn?  Three questions easily answered.  However, just to clarify things.  What is written on Kook's Nook is MY point of view.  No one elses.  I thought I'd get in my four penneth so to speak.
I personally have not read or will name the work that has prompted this post, but how I see romance novels, is  on a line.  At either end are Amish/Christian Romance/Jane Austen and the 'Hard Core xxxx' books.

Falling midway between the two are a mainstream publisher with many different genres.  Several vere towards the Amish and Christian side and others midway towards the Hard Core side. 
So yes there is room for them.  Yes they can be classed as romance IF there is a HEA or HFN.
Erotica novels or lets call them 'Romantica',  are selling like hot cakes and yes they are a phenominal success.  I have read loads of them.  When I was in my late teens I read Black Lace books (no longer in print now) and for me they hit the spot so to speak.   Now with e-readers and e-books available.  You can have a whole library of them on one book, and hide the e-reader away from little eyes that may glance over your shoulder and ask the dreaded question "What does that mean mummy?"  Hence the books I currently display are Amish fiction and the others are hidden behind my chair.
Don't get me wrong, I have been trying to find out where my writing fits and having a few confidence crisis along the way.  I have some wonderful author friends who write towards either end of the 'scale' and they are exceptionally talented in what they write.

My writing tends to vere towards the Amish Fiction side.  The love scenes in the book I have sold to a publisher were cut down, but there is still a bit of  detail especially when Rhean and Laura kiss.  Let's face it, Rhean is a 34 year old male virgin.  He is going to kinda rocket it off into space if Laura touches him in a certain area.  As to whether the publisher will keep that scene in, is up to them.
I started out reading the (yes I am going to say it)  M&B/Harlequin books.  Heck I have a number eight silhouette romance book in my box upstairs, one of the very first I read.  I found out about the practicalities of love-making from Forever by Judy Blume, and I still avidly look on websites and charity shops for the Temptation line.

I am exceptionally lucky thanks to Facebook, to actually talk to  some of my favourite Authors and even get signed books by them which are dearly loved and cherished.  I have authors that I am loyal to and as soon as there is a new one out, I will either pre-order or ask them nicely for an ARC, of which I am really grateful.  Several M&B authors in recent months have blown the envelope wide open and have taken the medical, historical and modern romance novels to new levels.  It's very exciting as a reader to see this happening, but as a writer, well its rather nerve-wracking to see the bar raised higher and higher.
Now back to the post subject.  The evolution of the romance novel.  Writing is individual and fiction of course comes from the writer's imagination, no matter how pure or inventive it is.    Over the past hundred years or so, the romance novel has reinvented itself so many times.  In victorian times, Jane Austen books were read avidly. With the heroine pretty much fainting if she caught a glimpse of her hero's ankle or chest.   Speed forward to 2012, and the heroine is now looking at her naked hero standing in all his glory, and the first thought that pops into her mind is "Oh, is that it?  Hmm I wonder what he can do to me..."

Basically, the answer is in the mirror.  It's you.  The reader and the writer.  What happens next is totally in your hands.

So there it is.  The end of my blog posts for June.  I guess I had better scoot and get on with reading so that there are plenty of reviews to annoy you with.

Hugs and kisses, and above all........KEEP IT KOOKY!!!!!!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I read pretty widely in the genre myself, and love the variety that is available today!