It’s Question Day here at Word Wenches! 1) because we have so many good questions to choose from, and 2) because while Susan Miranda is blithely strolling on some New England beach, squishing sand between her toes and contemplating the vast Atlantic, the Email Gremlin ate her Monday post. Wenches to the rescue!!
Pat answered a couple of questions below (if you haven’t yet seen it, check it out), and now it’s my turn.
What romance novels do you recommend to new readers and why?
All of them. As many as they can carry away in a bag from the bookstore….two bags…four, on one of those little collapsible handtrucks….Okay, okay. Seriously.
If a new reader has never read romance, it’s not so easy to recommend just a few titles. There’s an enormous variety in romance, and that’s part of its unique appeal, besides fabu stories and writing quality. That wide array of stories, voices, depth, and subgenres will provide something to suit nearly every taste and interest.
If the reader loves history, there’s just about any time period represented, from ancient to early twentieth century. If they love thrillers, mysteries, contemporary settings, comedy, drama, horror, paranormal, erotica, sci fi and fantasy, and more…well, you get the idea! All of it can be found in romance. I don’t know if another genre covers quite the spectrum that romance does. Fantasy comes close, with its many facets, including a growing number of romance plots too.
And that’s one of the keys to the overall success of the romance genre, I think: its tremendously rich and creative range of stories, especially with the expanded markets of the last several years. Quite literally there is something for everyone, and the list keeps building. And that’s good news for writers as well as readers.
So if I meet a person brand new to romance (and I have, many times)…first I ask what they love to read, what they’re most interested in; then I recommend books and authors that I’m familiar with. The bestseller lists will help get someone started, but what if those aren’t quite the ticket? The stories that a particular individual might truly love aren’t always on those lists. A little searching will turn up gems that are just right, and another reader is happily hooked.
Of course I would recommend books by all the Wenches…and then I would say, go browsing. Sit down on the floor of the romance aisle of the local bookstore (with a cup of coffee if there’s a café) and stay awhile. There’s a lifetime of reading available in romance.