Celebrating Romantic Fiction

SportsdayChristina here. You know that saying, “It’s not the winning but the taking part that counts”? That’s a hard lesson to learn when you’re little. How many times have we said it to ourselves, our children or our friends when someone lost at something or didn’t win some competition or sport? I know I repeated it to my daughters until I was blue in the face, but it didn’t stop the disappointment on their faces as they came away emptyhanded from yet another school sports day.

“Mummy, can’t we buy a medal?” my oldest asked once, obviously not having grasped the whole concept of such competitions at all. And clearly, she had already learned that a lot of things in life can be bought, which wasn’t a lesson I wanted her to absorb at such a young age. Thankfully, we eventually begin to understand the saying as we grow up and it makes perfect sense.

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Meet Sue Moorcroft

201320-FCX (3)Christina here and today it is my very great pleasure to have my friend and fellow UK author Sue Moorcroft as my guest – welcome to the Word Wenches, Sue!

Thank you, Christina. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Sue writes contemporary romance and her latest book, Under the Italian Sun, is out on Thursday this week. I had the great honour of reading an ARC and I can safely say it’s absolutely fabulous and the perfect spring/summer read! Please tell us a little bit about this story.

Thank you so much for your kind comments! I’m delighted you enjoyed Under the Italian Sun.

Screenshot 2021-04-21 at 12.33.38Zia’s search for her unknown father and the truth behind why she apparently has two mothers carries readers off to a rocky plateau above an Italian vineyard. Zia’s relationship has ended and her best friend Ursula’s on a break so it seems a good moment to leave England behind and try to discover why Zia’s family has apparently been keeping secrets about her past. She finds a woman who shares her name and Piero, who’s fighting to keep his home.

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Ask A Wench – The Point of Historical Romance Novels

HeartsNicola here, introducing this month’s Ask A Wench feature. Today we’re tackling a big question which crops up a lot in different forms:

“With the world in such turmoil at the moment, what's the point of romance novels—especially historical romance novels about a past that's dead and gone?”

As readers and writers, we get this a lot: We’re accustomed to hearing: “What you read/write is frivolous/fluffy/some other disparaging word beginning with “f”. As the Wenches explain so eloquently below, this is to both miss the point and underestimate the power of romantic fiction. Read on to see exactly why, with the world in such turmoil, romance has so much to offer.

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The Language of Romance

Award Ceremony 2018Nicola here. Today I’m talking about the sort of words that people use to describe romance and romantic fiction. In four days, I step down as Chair of the UK Romantic Novelists Association. It’s been an interesting couple of years, sometimes challenging, always busy, but incredibly rewarding to be a part of an organisation that is so involved with the business of romantic fiction. I love the RNA and I love the fact that organisations like it exist to support, celebrate and promote the romance genre. Together with readers, bloggers, writers and all fans of the genre we make up a very loyal band. We’re lucky; we have discovered the joy that reading romantic fiction can bring.

One of the issues of which I have become hyper-aware over the last couple of years is that of the Ming_Dynasty_Wardrobe
language that is used by critics to describe romantic fiction. I’ve always been aware of romantic fiction’s literary reputation – at the very start of my writing career a friend told me how she covered my books in brown paper bags because they were a guilty pleasure. (At least she was eco-friendly about it!)   This is hardly a new phenomenon. My grandmother used to hide her genre fiction at the back of her wardrobe. The RNA itself was formed 60 years ago next year to try to tackle the prejudice that there was in the press towards romantic fiction.

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The Victorian Origins of the Firefighter Hero

House of parl fireNicola here. The firefighter is a popular hero – and increasingly heroine – in romantic fiction. It’s easy to see why the trope appeals; fire is an ever-present danger and those who fight it demonstrate courage, compassion for others and even self-sacrifice. To be a firefighter embodies many character ideals. Interestingly it isn’t a character type commonly found in historical fiction which is surprising in a way because fire-fighting has a long and noble history. I’m not going back all the way to Ancient Rome and the first fire brigades in this blog because I mentioned them in a previous blog here. I’m starting this story on 16th October 1834 when the Houses of Parliament in London burned down.

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