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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Playing the WNBA

Last week's post was about romantic thrillers made by Hollywood. As I was re reading the list, it struck me that there were several that wouldn't be considered thrillers in the typical sense. Which struck another chord, this one from my recent panel participation for the local chapter of the WNBA.

No, not the basketball wizards. The Women's National Book Association. This is a really cool association, started in New York in 1917 by a group of women booksellers who were excluded from the all-male Bookseller's League. The only criteria was that members derive part of their income from books. Teachers, librarians, agents, writers, publishers, booksellers, production people, illustrators--all were welcome. Ninety-plus years later the organization is still promoting the role of women in this field through chapters across the country.

What better place to talk about romance--the one genre written (mostly) by women for women?

We had a fun and informative night talking about the history of the romance novel (most scholars credit Richardson's 18th century novel, Pamela, as the first), the subgenres it encompasses, and the future of the form and format (Kindle anyone?).

I was in charge of the subgenre portion and as I look back it's easy to see that there is just as much of a mash up in today's romance novel as there is in Hollywood. Whether it's Jane Austen and zombies or the paranormal Victorian mystery of Soulless, pretty much anything goes. As long as there's that HEA ending--or the implication of one.

Which, as Martha would say, is a good thing.

Anyway, here's a pic from the evening. That's Beth Pattillo on the left, whose new book, Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart, is out this month. I'm in the center, and Jody Wallace--who is the hoot and a half behind meankitty.com, and who writes paranormals and erotica for Samhein--is on the right.

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