The Thrilling Adventure Hour is a beacon in a grittily realistic, grimdark pop culture landscape, one guiding lost souls to fun, charm and adventure. And I’m glad to see The Thrilling Adventure Hour adapted from podcast radio play into graphic novel because I like what it portends for fun stories in the future and because charm is something I can use more of in my entertainment and my life. Continue reading…
I love to read. I love the act of reading, the sensation of sinking mind-first into a story. I need a certain amount of reading if I’m to function at full capacity. I consider it a physiological necessity, like sleep, or chocolate. Sure, I can get not-quite-enough for a few days, but sooner or later […]
Recently, I’ve been thinking about danger. Specifically, the kind of danger that runs through a certain subsection of Romance, often called ‘romantic suspense’. These are the stories that drop the hero and heroine into physical jeopardy in addition to exposing them to all the emotional risks of falling in love. When done well, they share […]
I make a conscious attempt to not repeat myself with this column. It would be easy to do: my favourite writers are my favourites for a reason, and yay, they keep writing great books. But I figure that wouldn’t be terribly interesting for anyone but me. Besides, there are so many Romances published every year. […]
Every April the Gutter switches things up. This month Screen Editor alex writes about Romance. I admit to being a romantic, but I don’t have much experience with romance novels. Like most teenagers, I had a knack for finding the dirty bits in any likely looking books I could find on the shelf, and at […]
Computers and I are not the best of friends. We’re more like work colleagues who really don’t care for one another. We may act all professional, but secretly we’re each making sarcastic comments about the other’s hair, clothing, and annoying personal habits. Okay, maybe that’s just me.
Several years ago I went to Disney World with friends who had a small child. The three of us adults were almost enough to keep the little one from exploding in all directions, but afterwards I needed a vacation from my vacation. So I headed off to Daytona Beach, intending to spend a few days […]
Last February, I had a chance to talk to Julianne MacLean, a USA Today bestselling Romance author from Bedford, Nova Scotia. We discussed her career development, her move to a new publisher, and her connection to the writing community. Julianne was about to see the release of a brand new trilogy, all three books of […]
I was a little disappointed by how many Romances I liked this year. Mostly because I wanted to love so many more of them. But as always, some titles managed to rise above the rest. Here are some of my favourites from this year.
Due to a personal emergency, Romance Editor Chris Szego won’t be able to post a new article this week. She will be back next month. Enjoy this timely piece, originally published in 2009. I’ve put it off long enough. Thought, ‘We can get into that later’, and ‘I should wait till the fuss dies down […]
By its very nature, a Romance is suffused with positive attitude. The characters learn who they are, what kind of lives they want, and then proceed to go out and get them. The end result is effort rewarded (which is frankly more interesting than virtue rewarded, because virtuousness can be boring). We like to read […]
Did you ever bounce off a book when you first picked it up only to discover later that you loved it? Back in high school that happened to me with To Kill A Mockingbird. Really. I’d picked it up during the summer to get a jump on the next semester, but it took until the […]
I always get a boost of industrious energy this time of year, and a renewed sense of purpose. All those years of back-to-school excitement have left me with a nigh-Pavlovian response to Labour Day. I’m one of those (apparently rare) few who actually liked school from kindergarten onwards, so the beginning of a new school […]
Despite my whinging last month, I do in fact both read and love a lot of young adult Romance. I may not be fond of the ‘Supernatural Boyfriend of the Week’ subgenre (and no, Stephanie Meyer did not invent it; it’s been out there for decades), but that still leaves me with a large field […]
Shakespeare claims it’s April, psychologists say it’s December. But I think July is the cruellest month. It’s hot; it’s grossly humid; I never manage to swing a proper holiday. This year I have the added irritant of lacking air-conditioning both at home and at work. Argh.
Like many in the book business, I get most of my books for free or at cost. While I rarely have the patience or skill to bargain for any other object, when it comes to books the thought of paying retail is, to me, rather absurd. The major exception to my self-imposed rule is in […]
Some titles are born great. Some titles achieve greatness, usually through the hard work of an editor, agent, or author (who probably ripped out chunks of her own hair in the process). And some titles will never come closer to greatness than possibly containing some of the same letters.
Every April at the Gutter, the editors write about something outside their usual domains. This month, Romance Editor Chris Szego writes about animated movies. When I was a kid, cartoons were a real treat. I didn’t watch much TV, but Bugs Bunny and friends were mandatory viewing. We watched the show as a family, […]
Trash. Hackery. Beach reads. Genre fiction gets a lot of derisive description in the public eye. Mysteries are ‘formulaic’. Fantasy is for the credulous. Science Fiction is all lasers and improbable rocketships. (I run a science fiction and fantasy bookstore, and once had a patron tell me condescendingly that she only read ‘real’ books*). […]
Romance readers go through a lot of books. We’re somewhat spoiled by Nora Roberts’s amazing ability to produce five or six new novels every year. She’s an outlier, of course, but Romance readers are voracious, and very vocal about delays. Publishers have learned to recognize and even harness this eagerness in their readers. They’ve developed […]
Previously, I wrote a column about Meredith Duran, who got her start in publishing when her first novel, the astonishingly good Duke of Shadows, won the Gather.com First Chapters Romance Writing Competition. I liked the interesting and collaborative nature of the online contest. Entrants posted their first chapters on the Gather.com site for the community […]« go back — keep looking »