On May 10th, I will be part of the WFWA’s Online Book Launch Party. The quarterly Facebook parties are always lively and attended by an awesome group of authors. This event will be extra special for me because my buddy, Samantha Bryant, is celebrating a book launch as well.
Drop by the Women’s Fiction Online Book Launch Party on Tuesday afternoon and chat with me from 4:00 – 4:30.
Check out the impressive line-up of amazing authors:
May 10th from 1:00 – 6:00
1:00 — Kristy Harvey — Lies and Other Acts of Love
1:30 — Aimie Runyan — Promised to the Crown
2:00 — Weina Randel — The Empress of Bright Moon
2:30 –Cara Achterberg — Girls’ Weekend
3:00 — Nicole Meier — The House of Bradbury
3:30 — Alessandra Harris — Blaming the Wind
4:00 — Elizabeth Hein — Escape Plan
4:30 — Cynthia Ruchti — Song of Silence
5:00 — Samantha Bryant — Change of Life
5:30 — Camille Di Maio — The Memory of Us
My next book will be coming out in a couple of months, but you can pre-order it now so it will magically appear on your Kindle on April 1st.
I am very excited about this book. When I wrote Overlook, the prequel to Escape Plan, I didn’t plan to continue Kitty and Stacia’s story in another book, but the gals wouldn’t leave me alone. One day, I was minding my own business washing my hair, when I imagined Stacia Tate Curran sitting on the bathroom counter. She flicked her cigarette into the sink and said, “If I hadn’t written that editorial, I never would have known that Bitsy wore a hair piece.” I had no idea what she was talking about, but I had to quickly dry off and get to a pen and paper before I lost Stacia’s voice in my head. Now, a year or so later, I’m ready to share the story of how Kitty and Stacia cover up a murder, hide an heiress from her husband, and keep their nosy neighbors from finding out what is going on behind closed doors.
Kitty Haskell needs help. After recklessly killing her lying, cheating, no-good husband, Kitty turns to her sister, Rose, and her good friend, Stacia Tate Curran to help her cover up her crime. Together, the women concoct a plan to make it appear that Seth died in a boating accident far from home, all while casting suspicion on his mistress. What they don’t anticipate are the dire financial consequences of Seth’s disappearance, the indifferent response of Kitty’s children, and the strain of guilt on their relationships. Kitty’s life is further complicated by the addition of a perpetually drunk heiress, an adorable baby that resembles Kitty’s children, and the intriguing young artist that shows up in Kitty’s life just when she needs him most. As their plan expands to include more and more people, Kitty is less certain she can get away with murder.
Monday night, Summer Kinard and I went to the first in a lecture series at Duke University about Women, Fiction & Popular Perception. It was a thought provoking evening full of excellent scholarship. If you are in the central NC area, I highly recommend you check the series out and attend.
In her comments, Maya Rodale spoke about how as a young academic, she read “serious” books and thought of romance novels as “unsuitable” or less than appropriate for an educated feminist until her mom pushed her to read a few romances before declaring she didn’t like them. Apparently, that suggestion changed Maya’s academic path because she now studies the genre and writes romance.
Which brings me to what I wanted to talk to you all about today – Is reading romance novels a feminist activity?
I have to admit, until I attended this lecture, I would not have put those two concepts together. I definitely was trained to consider romance novels as fluffy and somehow unimportant. During the lecture, several of the women talked about how their mothers would keep their romance collections hidden away in the bedroom or, now with the advent of ereaders, locked away in a device. That was not my experience. There were no romance novels in my home growing up. I once took a few Harlequins out of the library and my mom teased me so mercilessly about reading fluff, I took them back. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good romantic yarn but I have experienced a sense of shame for “wasting” my valuable time reading them. Until I attended this lecture, I never questioned my perception of this whole genre.
Within the conversation, several of the panelists spoke about how historically romance novels, and the novel in general, were frowned upon because their plots are counterproductive for the patriarchy. That took me a few minutes to get my head around. I never really thought about romance novels as being dangerous to the cultural status quo, but I see what they were talking about. In a traditional romance, the heroine has the power to choose who she is going to love and marry, her sexuality is acknowledged and encouraged, and she lives happily ever after with the man she loves. That is pretty dangerous.
So … I think I need to start reading more romances. What should I read? Who are your favorite authors? Should I read historical romance or contemporary? What would be a good entry point into the genre for a cynic that rolls her eyes at the kissing scenes in movies?
Lara Blaine believes that she can hide from her past by clinging to a rigid routine of work and exercise. She endures her self-imposed isolation until a cancer diagnosis cracks her hard exterior. Lara’s journey through cancer treatment should be the worst year of her life. Instead, it is the year that she learns how to live. She befriends Jane, another cancer patient who teaches her how to be powerful even in the face of death. Accepting help from the people around her allows Lara to confront the past and discover that she is not alone in the world. With the support of her new friends, Lara gains the courage to love and embrace life. Like climbing the Eiffel Tower, the year Lara meets Jane is tough, painful, and totally worth it.
Check out this excellent article on Thought Catalog. I am quoted in it.
Could The Term “Women’s Fiction” Be Bad For Authors? | Thought Catalog.