At first, I thought, "Sure! No problem. How hard could it be?" But as the date approaches and I've had a look at the lineup of lecturers, I'm doing a big, nervous gulp here. Not only am I the only romance author involved, I'm just about the only author of popular fiction and the pressure suddenly feels enormous.
What do you say to people who would rather be caught naked in a windstorm than have somebody spy them reading a romance novel?
My topic is The Appeal of Romance. I plan to talk about exactly that -- why romance novels make up more than a quarter of all books sold and outsell every other genre.
As I'm preparing my lecture, I've re-read my dog-eared copy of DANGEROUS MEN AND ADVENTUROUS WOMEN, the great book of essays by some of the lionesses of the industry like Jayne Ann Krentz, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Sandra Brown and Elizabeth Lowell. I've also scoured RWA conference keynote addresses from people like Barbara Samuels, Lisa Kleypas and Suzanne Brockmann. All of them have wonderful things tos ay about why are books are so popular around the world.
I don't expect to change anybody's mind but I would at least like to offer lucid, compelling reasons to read romance. And I would love to hear from you! Help me out here ... Please, I'm begging you! What do you love about romance novels? How do I explain the magic and wonder of becoming lost in a beautiful, life-affirming story?
I'm holding a drawing among everybody who responds. Two winners will receive their choice of either a copy of THE COWBOY'S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE, my November book that won't be on shelves for another few weeks, or anything from my backlist.