I’m back from my short road trip to Philadelphia and the talk at Swarthmore College. It’s snowing today and so I’m taking a moment rest, do lots of writing and catch-up work.
As for the lecture, I had such a delightful time! I spoke for about 40 minutes, we had a question and answer session and then afterward, a small reception.
During the lecture we discussed the many unfounded prejudices that romance writer and readers face and how wrong they are — like the belief that unintelligent women read/write them and men don’t read them at all (according to recent surveys 22% of romance readers are men!).
Luckily there were lots of facts to provide, including monetary figures on the incredible market share of romances — nearly 1.4 billion a year!
We also talked about all the different genres, including the ever popular traditional romance genres (like those for Harlequin Presents) to the newer ones such as Nocturne’s paranormals.
Finally, we ended the discussion with an analysis of multicultural fiction and its state, including issues with what some term “literary segregation”.
Overall, I think I managed to put a very positive spin on romances, their writers, readers and publishers. I know the reaction of the many young women who came by afterward to get their books autographed and speak to me seemed overwhelmingly positive. Many of them commented that the often felt guilty about their reading choices, but that they would rethink that now based on our discussion.
A wonderful thing to hear!
After the reception I went to dinner with a number of the professors and we had a wonderful time talking about writing, their classes and backgrounds.
I so want to thank everyone at Swarthmore for providing me with such a wonderful opportunity to meet their delightful students and professors.