The woman who rewrote the rules of romantic fictionNora Roberts photo by Evelyn Hockstein/Polaris
There are more than 400 million Nora Roberts novels in print, Carole Cadwalladr writes in The Guardian, she has spent more than 893 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and earns an estimated $60 million a year.
But you may never have heard of her, Cadwalladr says, because she writes romance. All genres are scorned by literary types, but none more so than romance, a genre written by women for women.
But if “a guy writes one…they call it something else. And it gets reviewed and made into a movie,” says Roberts.
The unspoken words ‘David Nicholls’ and ‘One Day’, hover in the air. One Day was a romantic novel, taken seriously by publishers, given a non-chick-lit cover, and treated as a worthy subject for reviews in major newspapers.
“A woman writes it and it’s just one of those,” Roberts says.
Roberts is not one to mince her words. Talking about one of her recent books, Chasing Fire, she points out that it doesn’t have “a nursing mother cover”. A what? “You know, where she’s falling out of her dress and he has his mouth on her tit.”
At a book signing she is answering questions and is equally phlegmatic.
What does she find helps keep her going when she’s writing?
Does she tweet?
“I’d rather stab myself in the eye with a flaming stick.”
What does she think of the recent news story claiming that romantic
fiction gives women unrealistic expectations?
“We’re pretty smart. I think we know the difference between reality and fiction. I don’t think that people read Agatha Christie, and then think: I know, I’ll go and murder someone.”
Where in the world?
I try to avoid posting material when I don’t know the source, like this selection of Fascinating-If-True stories that came to me in a much forwarded email without any provenance.
But googling it on Bing suggests that it came from BeforeIt’sNews.com.
Entitled “Where is the world’s…?” it has photos and descriptions of things like the wettest place on earth (Mawsynram, India with 467 inches of rain per year), driest (The Atacama Desert with 4 inches of rain – a CENTURY), coldest place, hottest place, biggest city, city with the best Internet connections, city with the most bike riders…you get the picture.
Where is the world’s oldest city?There’s quite a bit of controversy over which city gets to officially claim the title of “oldest continuously inhabited city”. However, Damascus is the safest bet, with evidence of civilization that extends back over 11,000 years.
So okay. I’ve been to cons before. Many cons. I went to my first one LAST CENTURY, back in New Zealand, the year that Roger Zelazny died (he was GoH at my first con. I was that lucky.)
Since that first one, many have come and gone, I’ve been on uncounted panels and signings, I’ve been to six Worldcons and a handful of World Fantasy Cons, I’m a seasoned con pro.
But this year… this year I am going to my first Comic Con.
The Emerald City Comicon in Seattle has just brought me on board as a pro guest. I’m wildly excited and not a little terrified (from what I’ve heard about Comic Cons from others). I mean to enjoy every minute of it.
Can’t wait until April!
At Mental Floss, Judith B Herman gives us
25 Words That Are Their Own Opposite
Image credit: IStock
What we’ve done is stumble into the looking-glass world of “contronyms”—words that are their own antonyms. Words such as…
Fight with can be interpreted three ways. “He fought with his mother-in-law” could mean “They argued,” “They served together in the war,” or “He used the old battle-ax as a weapon.” (Thanks to linguistics professor Robert Hertz for this idea.)
Dust is a noun turned into a verb meaning either to add or to remove the thing in question. When you dust are you applying dust or removing it? It depends whether you’re dusting the crops or the furniture.
Stone is another verb to use with caution. You can stone some peaches, but please don’t stone your neighbor (even if he says he likes to get stoned).
Quote of the Day
I couldn’t have said it better.
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