I spent most of last week at the Romantic Times convention, meeting a lot of authors and readers of romance, and it struck me how widespread and diverse the genre "Romance" has become.
There's subgenres mashing onto subgenres to create something completely different and new (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?) and there's the traditional we still can't get enough of - Historicals, Contemporaries, Action Adventure, Paranormal, you name it.
For someone who generally sticks to romance for her reading pleasure (what can I say - I'm a sap!), this opens up a wide avenue of reading material to look forward to. I can read about vampires in Regency London, and also about a newly recruited spy who may or may not freeze on her very first kill. There are unique and delightful flavors for every taste: whether you like spicy action, nail biting suspense or transform your world fantasy - there's a romance out there.
Perhaps the common view of a "traditional romance novel" or "trashy beach reads" as my cousin calls them (I think she is embarrassed about being caught reading one) is finally changing?
The RT craft panels echoed this diversity - offering workshops on writing Suspense or Humor or Action Adventure or Historical, and isn't it wonderful that any of these could be applied to a Paranormal Vampire story to spin a truly unique tale? What struck me as interesting at RT was meeting a number of male authors - both published and aspiring, who were interested in writing a romance.
At the RT book signing event, an erotic romance author sat next to an author of a "traditional" Regency historical, and both were chatting about the subtleties of sexual tension or creating a hero readers would melt for. And wouldn't it be interesting if they switched for a day and we could see what types of stories they could come up with?
To the readers - what are some of your favorite traditional and non-traditional romance genres?