Last week, a woman with a Kindle sat next to me on the subway on my way to work. Because I am nosy, and because I had just been wishing I had a Kindle, I glanced to my right to admire her light, easy-to-read device. Instead, I immediately caught a glimpse of a rampant sex scene (she was clearly using the largest text setting and leaning forward, in my defense). What was I to do, except continue reading over her shoulder? For the next 10 minutes, I enthusiastically read along with my train companion about the exploits of Jay and Ashlee. Though more than one scene had me balking at the blatant sexism, stereotypes, and poor writing, I could NOT stop reading along!

I’ve had a passing fascination with the world of romance writing since hearing the This American Life episode about the annual Romance Writers of America convention. Back at BUST, Intern Maura and I discussed our mutual interest in finally joining the romance genre, but lamented the fact that it is overwhelming to n00bs. How do you navigate this billion-dollar industry?

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As if they heard us, New York Magazine recently wrote a primer on erotic literature. This short article presents a quick look at statistics on the romance genre and provides an interactive guide to help you figure out where to start. While this is nowhere near as meticulous as the SF Signal Flowchart guide to NPR’s Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy books, it’s still fun to try out. Whether you’re ready to jump head-first into the romance trend, or want to ironically explore romance lit, try the quiz! Apparently, I should start with Navy Seal Romance. What is your ideal romance subgenre? 

 

Image sources: thisamericanlife.org, nymag.com

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