Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Books, the market and romance...

I was talking to my agent yesterday about the soft mass market paperback market...sales are down all over the place and you can read articles in pretty much every major business publication even remotely related to the book industry about it. According to some, readers are looking for books with more relevance...that dig deeper into the human consciousness. What does that mean for me, a writer who loves romance...both to read and to write? Is there enough "deeper meaning" in romance to keep our readership, to gain a new one?

I think there is...I think that romance is quintessentially about the human condition. There is nothing more relevant to human experience than to explore the impact of love on the lives of our characters. Still...as there has always been in romance, there is room to delve into new areas, to explore alternate themes and to breathe life into characters that experience something bigger than lust and more real than paper cutouts of hearts and flowers.

I think you'll find that in Gena Showalter's "Awaken Me Darkly" - a paranormal romance with a kick-butt heroine. The back cover says it better than I could: The closer she gets to the hero, the more she learns about her own heart, her human needs and the shocking secret that will shatter everything she's ever believed. That's what I'm talking about...stories that dig deeper, explore something different and maybe touch us in a way that we haven't been touched before.

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