Monday, May 17, 2010

Where To Find Romance--In a Book, That Is

No, I'm not conducting a dating service.

I'm discussing mainstream romance novels, and the different genres available.

Ah, romance--a story of a man and a woman and a relationship with a happy ending. Can anything else compare? Of course not. That's why romance is the best-selling genre in the mass-market paperback area. Look how much space romance takes up in your favorite bookstore. Or even better, in your favorite e-bookstore, like The Wild Rose Press (TWRP). Shameless promotion here, TWRP is my publisher.

Where to find your romance? First, pick your time: past, present or future. Well, you didn't need me for that breakdown. The present is, well, the present, but there can be as many futures as an author can dream up. As for the past…now, here is a treasure trove, and my area. Historical is any time before the present: Egyptian, Roman, Viking, medieval, Elizabethan, Georgian, Regency, Victorian, Edwardian, up to about World War II or later, depending on the publisher.

Then there are the types of stories you can locate in each time. From the Romance Writers of America (RWA), here are the categories for the RITA and Golden Heart contests: Suspense/Adventure, Historical, Inspirational, Novel with Strong Romantic Elements, Paranormal, Regency Historical, Romantic Suspense and Young Adult.

Next up are the heat levels. These stories are romances, so there will be some physical love…or not. I direct you to the heat levels at TWRP, from sweet (all sex behind closed doors), through sensual, spicy, hot, to GLV (erotic romance). My Regency novellas (shameless promotion again), Lady of the Stars, Pumpkinnapper and Mistletoe Everywhere (coming November 3, 2010), fall into the sensual level, which is about mainstream.

And finally, location. Location, location, location may be the mantra for real estate, but not necessarily for romance. Most historicals are set in Europe, but everything can exist anywhere.

Future vampires, historical werewolves, first loves and later loves, adventure, suspense, mystery and religion, on earth and across the universe, all wrapped up in romance. Oh, my.

Thank you all,
Linda Banche
Regency romance--most with humor, some with fantasy, and occasionally a paranormal


Lindsay Townsend said...

Love the guide, Linda! Can't wait for your Mistletoe Everywhere. I don't usually read 'seasonal romances' but I know I'll really enjoy yours.

Celia Yeary said...

LINDA--well, my head is spinning. I knew there were a lot, but not so many. I wonder if the common ordinary every-day reader searches for some of those narrow exact categories? And remember when there was only romance between real people in about four settings? Now, I could keep up with that. Today? I've been lost for some time, now. Thanks--this was good. Celia

Savanna Kougar said...

Linda, thanks for the concise breakdown. So true, it's a banquet out there as far as storylines and heat levels.

The future as I've said before is a niche market. More and more authors are writing their niche romances and readers are either demanding a certain subgenre or they are finding new genres they like.

The romance novel pie is ever-expanding with many more slices, depending on author/reader tastes and preferences.

Actually, this is the trend that is occurring throughout the world. Mass market of about anything is becoming less and less due to many factors/dynamics.

Linda Banche said...

Thanks, Lindsay. And I'm honored you'll make an exception for "Mistletoe Everywhere".

Celia, I've only scratched the surface. If you go to the library, a bookstore, or browse online, you'll find all kinds of variations. I didn't know there were so many, either.

But I think there are people who want narrow categories. See Savanna's comment below. Like you, I remember when books had only a few variations and only real people. Kind of like off-the-air TV instead of tons of cable and satellite channels.

Hi Savanna, you're probably right. Books may be going the way of TV. Someone's watching all those niche channels. I just hope there are enough people out there who buy our books. **grins**

Maeve said...

Great breakdown, Linda! With all the genres sometimes it can get confusing. Thanks for breaking it down. :)

Mary Ricksen said...

I love a good seasonal romance!!! Yeah!

Linda Banche said...

You're welcome, Maeve. I'm sure there are a lot more divisions if you want greater detail.

Thanks, Mary. I like seasonal stories, too.

Jasmine Aherne said...

Great guide! Egyptian romance... that I'd love to see!

Linda Banche said...

Thanks, Jasmine. If you like Egyptian romance, try Lindsay Townsend's BLUE GOLD at Bookstrand

StephB said...

Linda, I loved your breakdown. It really gives one a flavor of what to expect from a romance novel. Well done! Mistletoe Everywhere sounds like a lot of fun.


Savanna Kougar said...

Hi Jasmine, I don't what heat level you prefer... like Linda said check out Lindsay Townsend's BLUE GOLD ~ ~

Also, there have been erotic romances featuring Egyptian gods and time travel romances back to ancient Egypt.

Linda Banche said...

Hi Steph, thanks for coming over. Glad you liked the post, and the MISTLETOE EVERYWHERE blurb!

Savanna, thanks for putting in Lindsay's website address. Like you say, I'm sure there are other Egyptian romances around.