Sunday, April 15, 2007

Romance Readers Needed!

Please join us tomorrow,
Monday, April 16 as
RBtheBlog welcomes
Princeton U Prof Bill Gleason

and the students of his
"American Best Sellers" class.

The students have some questions to ask us about why we love romance fiction, what makes it important, what makes it cheeky, what it is, and what it's not.
Think of it this way: here's a chance to help some smart students of literature develop responsible, informed opinions about the value of romance fiction.

And they're coming to our turf so, as you'd imagine, I'm proud they'll be learning from romance fiction readers, writers, and academics with no axes to grind -- our great RBtheBlog community which celebrates every day the value and potential of romance fiction. And hot, wet men.

Bill and I will start the day off posing a few questions and parameters for how to keep the discussion, fun, smart, lively, and -- you know Pollyanna's gonna say it -- positive. Then, it's up to you to keep it going, to explain why romance fiction rocks.

Everyone has something of value to add -- especially if you're "just a reader." You're integral to this discussion.

And, as we say here at RBtheBlog, no matter what opinion you offer, please, just offer it with respect and a cyber-smile. Dig?


Encore! As if I'd miss an opportunity to post a pic of Princeton cutie smarty-pants, Billy Carlos Wms. haiku spoofer David Duchovny. He writes:
My Speedo.
So much depends upon a wet speedo
Covered with rain.

Encore due! Bill Gleason was our guest during "Back to School Week: Scholars on Romance." You can read his GuestBlog here.


Vivi Anna said...

Michelle, will I be able to talk about the value of sammiches???

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

w/out a doubt, Vivs! I expect you will be instrumental in this discussion, especially when we get to the part entitled, "The Erotic Romance: Vanguard Feminism in Action, or Just Frikkin Hawt?"

Anonymous said...

This is a very cool experiment, Michelle! Thanks for the email alerting me to it.

I'm an author.

Anyway, as to the question about whether I consider romance to be pornogrpahy (figured I'd get this started with a bang, right?).

Absolutely not. Nor would I consider erotica or erotic romance to be pornography, for that matter, either.

From the Freya's Bower website (

What is erotica and how does it differ from porn? Erotica has explicit sex scenes and portrays sex in a positive light, most of the time. For us, we want erotica that is story driven, although the story doesn't necessarily have to be a romance. Sex must be in a positive light and between consenting adults.

What is porn and how does it differ from erotica? Porn isn't about being sensual nor is it erotic. Porn is all about instant, sexual gratification and is often derogatory and demeaning toward women.


That is a concise explanation of the difference between erotica and porn. As for the difference between erotica and romance, well, erotica doesn't have to involve a romance (although erotic romance does). And not all romance involves sex at all (although many do, obviously).

At its most basic, romance is about the journey of the heroine and the hero as they move though the relationship from the first meeting to the HEA (with the "big black moment" in there, of course). Romance will always feature a happily ever after, whereas love stories don't have to feature a happily ever after. At its core, romance includes, well, duh, a romance.

Porn (and even erotica) need not. But erotica focuses on sensuality and features sex in a positive light, whereas porn isn't about being sensual.

Renee said...


Thanking for clearing that up for many of us. I had often wondered what the difference is. As an avid reader of romance and an aspiring author, I never felt comfortable with the asking. Now I know.