At the Felixstowe Book Festival this July I am hosting An Afternoon of Romance (will give more details in another post). I love romantic novels and am not ashamed to say so though there is a feeling that these books are not worthy of being classified in with the litterati literature and that makes me cross. Marketed with pink and pastel covers and aimed at the female market, I suppose it is inevitable that this will happen but there are so many good writers out there who go unappreciated. I was therefore delighted to receive, in the last few weeks, two press released of events celebrating Romance and I am very pleased to feature them on Random.
UK’s leading publisher of romantic fiction returns to roots, taking #RomanceOnTheRoad for Valentine’s Day
Mills & Boon partner with The Reading Agency to champion mobile libraries- Over 70 mobile libraries around the UK to take part in #RomanceOnTheRoad campaign, 6th - 20th February. Mills & Boon to celebrate origins of success, rooted in mobile libraries.
Mills & Boon sell more than 200 million novels a year around the globe, but how many of us realise that its success was rooted in the mobile library where Charles Boon worked before co-founding Mills & Boon in 1908. (The publishers was not totally given over to romance as it is today, but published books of all kinds, including school text books and, also, was the publisher of Call of the Wild by Jack London - my note).
Working with the mobile library Boon knew what his market wanted and he developed a brand that was not only awarded special status in World War 2 for its boosting benefits, but has continued to be loved worldwide up to day. Mills and Boon appreciated the cultural importance of mobile libraries and are demonstrating their support to deliver the love of reading to everyone, especially those who do not have access to a static library.
When I worked as a librarian I used to go out on the mobile library and it was my favourite day of the week as I met so many lovely people and got to know their likes and dislikes and used to put books to one side for them. These days mobile libraries are even more important as local libraries are being shut down on a regular basis which I think is criminal stupidity of the worst kind. This is what Lisa Milton, executive publisher at Mills & Boon has to say about mobile libraries:
"We are really excited to be working with the Reading Agency once again, particularly on this campaign to recognise and reward the work of mobile libraries......growing up I visited my mobile library every week on Fridays after school and even now I can remember climbing up the steep steps into the van and the joy I felt when the librarian handed me a book I had ordered..."
That feeling is one I still feel today - so check it out #RomanceontheRoad.
Also popping up in my In Box as week or so ago was another email re a Romantic Event. Details are as follows:
On Monday 13th February four romance writers will get together at Tottenham Court Road Waterstones and discuss the Romance genre; how it has evolved over time - the impact of feminism and Self-Publishing - and where it is heading now. Audiences will also be offered a free glass of wine upon arrival!
Our four writers are Isabelle Broom (My Map of You) – writer and books editor of Heat Magazine – Sarah Morgan (New York, Actually) - the USA Today bestselling author who specialises in traditional "chick lit" and well-crafted happy endings - Nicola Cornick (The Phantom Tree) – international bestseller of historical fiction and vice chair for the Romantic Novelists Association - and Jean Fullerton (Wedding Bells out to Fanny) – writer of the well-loved East London Nurses series. They will be interviewed by Fanny Blake, books editor for Woman & Home.
More details for the event can be found here https://www.waterstones.com/events/what-is-romance-a-valentines-panel-discussion-on-this-timeless-genre/london-tottenham-court-road
This sounds great fun and very interesting and if I can manage to drag myself out of my comfy armchair I will try and attend. All these writers are being interviewed by Fanny Blake, who appeared at the Felixstowe Book Festival last year alongside Veronica Henry, and was just lovely and lively and interesting.
So lots of Romance coming up and, as I said earlier, I am hosting An Afternoon of Romance at Felixstowe this year and I am really looking forward to it. Hope to see you there...