Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday Talk-Time - Talking About Romance

Pink Heart Society editor, Ali Williams, is talking about the Popular Romance Project.

Romance novels are culturally relevant.

It's an argument that I've made many times - primarily because people rarely believe me - so I'm putting it to you now...they're relevant.

They reflect social change, often echoing permissive attitudes, and this side of romance is one of my favourite topics to read about.

And for me, it's all about the Popular Romance Project:

The Popular Romance Project explores the fascinating, often contradictory origins and influences of popular romance as told in novels, films, comics, advice books, songs, and internet fan fiction, taking a global perspective—while looking back across time as far as the ancient Greeks.

What I really love about the community, is the sheer diversity in its scope.  Articles and video interviews cover everything from whether popular romance is different across the world, to how to go about teaching romance!

There're discussions being had that are fascinating and engaging, and the kind of thing that I get really rather geekily excited about!

So here are ten of my favourite Popular Romance Project articles - and |'d highly recommend that you go and find some favourites of your own:

A video interview in which editor Sarah Frantz talks about how societal worries and concerns can cause a shift in romance...

Gwendolyn Osborne writes about how more and more romances are being geared towards an older readership.

The Sheikh hero has been popular since the birth of the Mills & Boon line, but academic Hsu-Ming Teo discusses how current and previous conflicts have impacted their representation...

A video interview with Gwen Osborne, in which she discusses the history of the African-American romance.

Hero or Stalker?  Deborah Kaplan's article looks at the concerning behaviour of the YA hero, and questions whether things have changed all that much...

In this video interview, Doreen DeSalvo argues that women are tired of being judged for what they read.

Jayne Ann Krantz (or Amanda Quick, or Jayne Castle, depending on the genre she's writing in) discusses archetypes and the power of genre fiction in this video interview.

Academic Pamela Regis writes about the point of no return in romance novels, and how they can be arguably seen as ritual death.

Writer Eloisa James (and Shakespearean professor Mary Bly) talks about the fairy tale element of romance novels, and what it is that makes them quite so satisfying.

And finally, we turn to that stalwart of romance, Nora Roberts, as she talks about creating her alter ego J. D. Robb.

What discussions do you think we should be having about romance?  Are there any articles that you would add to my list - either from the Popular Romance Project, or from elsewhere?

Ali Williams grew up in Croydon and spent her teenage years in a convent girls' school. She then fled to university where she discovered champagne cocktails, a capella singing and erotica.

These days she blogs about perceptions of romance, #StrongRomanceHeroines and women in society and spends an extraordinary amount of time coercing male friends to pose with her favourite Mills & Boon books to the bemusement of the Twittersphere.

Passionately vocal about the wonders of romance, Ali defies you to slam romance novels within her hearing!


  1. Lots of great article links here and I love the defense of the romance genre!

    1. Thanks Debbie! I love reading about the romance genre, and I love the variety of opinions that the PR Project offers!