This post is now closed. Keira will be contacting those of you who have said they’d like to participate. Thanks!
Through more than twenty years of All About Romance’s reviews, AAR’s readers have visited, read our posts, and commented on the reviews, blogs, and message boards. And over the years, as AAR staff, we have gotten to know some of you. However, we would love to get to know all of you better.
There’s been some discussion lately, that as younger readers join the Romance genre or scholars arrive who are new to the field, they are unaware of the genre’s history and the early books. Some Romance genre experts say that modern romance began with Kathleen Woodiwiss’ work and those of her contemporaries. I would take issue with them and say that Mary Burchell [1904-1986] was writing years before that and those were very much romances. As were Georgette Heyer’s books [1902-1974]. Long-time readers will always have such historical points to argue about that they find fascinating and will be of interest for newer readers to discover.
I had a conversation with Romance Scholar Laura Vivanco which discussed the early beginnings of romance (Jean Plaidy [1906-1993] and others), and she sent me this goldmine of discussions about early books from AAR’s own past posts At The Back Fence. (Note, there are a couple of broken links.) As you can see, every reader analyzes our genre differently. There is rarely agreement over which books they think are important, what aspects of romance are interesting, which tropes are relevant and how they have evolved, and so on.
Academics and reviewers analyze the books, and bloggers review the books and interview the authors. But where are the readers’ voices? Who interviews the readers? We need to preserve the long history of our beloved genre, and that means, we need to talk to readers, because they’re the ones who’ve taken the genre to their heart and stayed with it through thick and thin, in times of joy and calamity, weathering praise and criticism. Who best would know more about the genre than them?
So AAR’s Readers, I would like to conduct a short email interview with you so we can know more about you, your thoughts on your reading, your feelings about the genre, how you discovered Romance, what would you consider iconic romances, and other questions. This is not only so we can all get to know each other better, but also so we can share our personal history with the genre and have a collective AAR history of the genre.
If you are interested, please comment below, and I will get in touch with you over email. If you would prefer a different email address, please mention it below. Alternately, you can contact me directly on email at keira (at) keirasoleore (dot) com. If you would like to remain anonymous, please indicate that in your email as well. I will put together all your responses into a blog or two.
Deadline for responses: September 1st, 2019.
I so look forward to hearing from you all.