Whether we like it or not, romance readers are stereotyped. Despite being well-acquainted with the image, we at Subversion have yet to meet a single reader who fits the popular image of a romance reader (okay, maybe there are a few out there who nibble on chocolate while reading …).
However, we can cite countless examples of readers who don’t fit the stereotype — we call them Subversives. Read on to learn more about our favorite Subversives.
Profession: Sales & Marketing Executive
Residence: Southern California
Age group: 40-50
How long have you been reading romance: 29 years
What was the first romance you read and how did that trigger your interest in the genre?
In my pre-teens, it was The Mills & Boon line and Barbara Cartland. Of course at that time, I didn’t know that was their technical classification. I like to read almost anything and these books were entertaining and great love stories besides. But what really started me on the path of serious romance reading was when I picked up a Kathleen Woodiwiss book in the early 80’s, when I finally figured out that HEA (Happily Ever After) is one element that separates romances from other books – that got me hooked on the genre for good.
Do you, or someone you know, qualify as a Subversive. If so, please e-mail Subversion and let us know.
How many romances do you read/month?
How should I answer this? OK here goes – there are two factors that determine the number of romances I read per month. One – for the past 2 years, I have been on a “historical, especially medieval” only binge, which means I don’t read nor buy any other type of classification: No contemps, Suspense, Time travel, etc … I also only like to focus on England and Europe when it comes to setting – so no Americana either. This narrows the field significantly as you can imagine.
Two – I’m a very fast reader, I can finish a 300-400 page book in about 2 hours or so. In addition, I only buy new books, no UBS hunting here. I guess the bottom line is around 15 books per month. Sorry it took this long to arrive at this answer but I wanted to preface it with an explanation of my very selective process.
Quite a few really, let’s see…..Old favorites – Robyn Carr, Julie Garwood, Penelope Williamson, Judith McNaught, to name a few. New Favorites include – Jo Beverley, Denee Cody, Elizabeth Elliott, Julianna Garnett, Rexanne Becnel. I am finding though that by narrowing my choice of reading selection, I am discovering a new bunch of talented authors who are mostly mid-list, whose writing is fresh and it’s so exciting to anticipate what they come up with next.
Hands down – medieval. Arranged marriages, bride stealing, conquest, damsel in distress, these are my favorites.
I love the hunt that leads to the “love scene” and the development that happens afterwards. I like to think more than I like to feel and I think love scenes are hard to write, that mental stimulation is much more engaging for me than the emotional pull.
“There are battles ahead, love. When those battles are won, we can talk more freely of what is to be. Tell me there is love, she whispered. Aye, he breathed. Till the end of time.” – The Blue Falcon, Robyn Carr 1981
Other genres read?
Yes – I have tried and read all kinds: Sci-fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Fiction, Non Fiction, Business, Self Help and Finance.
When do you possibly find time to read?
I have a routine, every Friday night when everyone in my family is doing their own thing, I lock myself in my bedroom and read. Once I start a book, I don’t stop until it’s finished. I also read a lot when I fly which is about 40-50% of the time (business).
What one book would you give to someone who you’re trying to get to read romance?
That would depend on the person’s preference and interest but if he/she is a historical nut like myself, It’s a toss up between The Blue Falcon (Robyn Carr) and Keeper of the Dream (Penelope Williamson).
Other than reading, any other romance-related activities?
Yes – for the past 2 years now, I have hosted the Celebrate Romance! gathering as their Mistress of Ceremony. I have also attended one RT Convention and belong to 4 or 5 lists focused on romance books.
Have you ever converted a non-(romance) believer?
Some, most of my family and friends read a lot so conversion is quite easy.
For my professional trade, I do a lot of public speaking in industry related gathering (telecommunications). I love to travel — especially overseas, Europe in particular. And I love to shop. LOL