Article: "Love, Sex & Money: A Billion-Dollar Affair"
Featured in: Entertainment Weekly Magazine
Date of Issue: October 24, 2014
This week's Entertainment Weekly contains a nine-page spread entitled "Love, Sex & Money: A Billion-Dollar Affair" and dedicated to an analysis of romance fiction The author is Karen Valby, one of EW's senior writers. (Click HERE to read other articles Valby has contributed to EW.)
“The Love Universe” is a two-page spread that depicts the romance genres and sub-genres as stars in the night sky. It is a well-intentioned but failed attempt to graphically portray the sub-genres of Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, and Paranormal Romance. The failure is inevitable, because each of the big three genres encompasses ALL of the sub-genres listed. For example, in this graphic depiction, YA, comedy, gay, military, “mature,” multicultural, and new adult are shown ONLY as part of Contemporary Romance. NONE of them are shown as being part of Paranormal Romance, which must be a very big surprise to paranormal authors like Michele Bardsley, Nina Bangs, and Molly Harper (humorous paranormal romance); Cynthia Eden, Rebecca Zanetti, and Lora Leigh ("mature," aka erotic paranormal romance); J. D. Tyler, Lisa Renee Jones, and Angie Fox (military paranormal romance); and the numerous YA paranormal romance authors, who are completely ignored. (Click on any of the authors' names above to read my reviews of their series.)
Here are the few sub-genres that this graph depicts for Paranormal Romance: Sci-Fi (Steampunk, Aliens, Interplanetary); Fantasy (Time Travel); Other Entities (Centaurs, Vampires, Ghosts, Shape-Shifters, Werewolves, Witches, Monsters); and Gothic.
Here are my questions: Why single out centaurs? Offhand, I can’t think of a single paranormal romance that features centaurs in key roles. Why list "Centaurs" and "Werewolves" separately from "Shape-Shifters" when both Centaurs and Werewolves are shape-shifters? What about mythological entities, like the gods and goddesses of Sherrilyn Kenyon's DARK-HUNTERS series (and others)? And where are the Demons, like the main characters in Larissa Ione's DEMONICA and LORDS OF DELIVERANCE series (and others). And what about the Angels, who are the leads in Nalini Singh's GUILD HUNTER series (and others)? Where are the Fae, like Cecily and her friends in Yasmine Galenorn's INDIGO COURT series and Shona Husk's fairies in her COURT OF ANNWYN series (and others)? And don't forget the Elementals, like the ones in Christine Feehan's SEA HAVEN series and Hanna Martine's THE ELEMENTALS (and others). The “Love Universe” graphic must have seemed like a great idea, but whoever put it together obviously doesn’t have a clue about what constitutes Paranormal Fiction. (Click on any of the series titles above to read my reviews.)
NEW LINKS ADDED 10/23/2014: Here are links to two different audio interviews featuring Jesse Barron, who wrote an article on the romance novel industry for the February 2014 issue of Harper's magazine. Click HERE to hear his NPR interview—click on the "Listen to the Story" arrow at the top of the page; and click HERE for his WNYC.org interview—just wait a few seconds and it will play automatically. The WNYC interview includes remarks by Angela Knight, best-selling author of erotic romance fiction.