Scholarly Analyses Articles

Repost: On the Term ‘Bodice Ripper’

March 15, 2017 2:46 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

This post originally appeared on my Goodreads page in 2014. On May 2, 2014, the New York Times reported the sale of Harlequin Enterprises to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. The NYT reporter opened his piece by writing that when the acquisition was announced, “cheap jokes inevitably started to fly. It... read more

Five Myths about Romance Novels

October 7, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

There are so many myths about Romance novels, what the genre entails, and who the readers are. I originally published this article on my Goodreads page (come follow me!), but I realized I have not talked about all the misconceptions surrounding the romance genre here, so I’m reposting this blog for you... read more

how-to-talk-about-love-and-sex-new-title-image-finale

How to Talk About Love and Sex

March 29, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

There are probably many disconnects in modern American public discourse. I’m not referring here to our polarized political discourse. (And on that score: Holy moly!) Rather, the disconnect I’m most interesting in talking about (and then seeking to heal) concerns our fractured public discussions on how to talk about love and... read more

keeping your distance as an author of romance novels

On Authorial Distance

February 13, 2015 4:46 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

On Christmas Day 2014 I listened to an interview Diane Rehm had with Margaret Atwood about her new story collection Stone Mattress: Nine Tales. Note: The original NPR airdate was November 10, 2014. During the interview Atwood read the opening pages from the title story first published in The New... read more

Writing sex scenes in fiction (not just romance novels)

Sex, Outrageous Reversals, and Romance Novels

February 6, 2015 10:35 pm Published by 1 Comment

In Creation of the Sacred. Tracks of Biology in Early Religions Walter Burkert, Professor of Classics at the University of Zurich, writes: ”We must acknowledge the highly ambivalent status of sex in all human societies, with all sorts of disclaimers, secrecy, and repression, and the concomitant possibility of outrageous reversals.”... read more

romance novels self-referencing

Genre Self-Reference

December 17, 2014 10:34 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

In Genre Etiquette I critique the practice of using the romance novel as an index of the kind of thing stupid people read. The practice serves to distance the writer from the romance, presumably thereby to validate and valorize the writer’s own work. It’s a hackneyed move at this point–... read more