I’m still thinking about willpower from my last article, and while it’s true that ‘stick-to-it-iveness’ (as my Grandma used to call it) is an important skill, it also really helps to know when to bail. Oddly, even though the desire to give up comes pretty naturally, deciding when you should actually do it doesn’t seem to. Watching the things that have made me and the people I care about unhappy in our lives over the years, I feel like learning how and when to walk away can’t be overrated. Continue reading…
It’s the end of the year; I work in retail; I have the flu. All of which means that for the past couple weeks I’ve been re-reading rather than reading. Mostly Eva Ibbotson, whose warmth reminds me not only that I love reading, but why. Which makes this a good time for a retrospective list. […]
I’ve been thinking about heroes and archetypes again (which is not actually news: story archetype is a sandbox in which I happily spend a lot of time). Feels like it’s everywhere these days. A few weeks back I was on a panel at the World Fantasy Convention that discussed love and monsters. Alex and Carol […]
(No, I don’t mean that kind of bump. Sheesh. You people.) Given the timing of this column, and its proximity to Halloween, it seemed logical to write about the spooky side of Romance. But it was a little harder than I thought to put together a reading list. I wanted to concentrate on books that […]
I’ve been on a bit of a historical binge recently: testing some new authors, re-reading old favourites. This trip down the historical record lane is due largely to author Sherry Thomas. More to the point, to her recent novel Ravishing the Heiress.
As I said this time last year, I like back to school season. I love the energy of it. I miss the sense of anticipation, of knowing I had lots of new things to look forward to. At least, usually I do. Perhaps I’m just feeling particularly curmudgeonly this season, or maybe summer was just […]
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 […]« go back — keep looking »