Scholarly Analyses Articles

Bodice Ripper: Thoughts on the Term (Repost)

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

This post on the term bodice ripper 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... read more

Romance Novel Symposium Duke University

February 3, 2017 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Title Image: East Duke Building where the Romance Novel Symposium Duke University will be held on February 14. On Friday, February 10 from 2:00 – 5:00 I will be moderating “Gender, Sexuality, Feminism and the Romance Novel” held in the first-floor parlors of the East Duke Building on Duke University’s... read more

Gender, Feminism, Sexuality and the Romance Novel

October 18, 2016 3:12 pm Published by 4 Comments

Title Image: East Duke Building, East Campus, Duke University, where the symposium Gender, Feminism, Sexuality and the Romance Novel will be held. On February 10, 2017 I will be hosting a symposium on Gender, Feminism, Sexuality and the Romance Novel. It will be held in East Duke Building on Duke’s... read more

Romance Novel Myths: Top Five

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

There are so many romance novel myths concerning 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. Romance Novel... read more


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