Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A History of Romance Novels & #itlikethefullmoon

 



I’ve been a tomboy all my life and the idea that I’d be swept up in the world of romance still sounds a bit odd to me even though here I am. My name is Toi Thomas and I’m an author of speculative fiction. Somewhere along the way, my inner “girly girl” broke out and decided to start writing romance; I decided to name her Glorie Townson. Now, as I look forward to the months of promotion ahead of me, in this strange and new-to-me genre, I’d like to reflect on what I’ve learned about romance and share a bit with you.
First off, romance and chick lit aren’t necessarily one in the same. The very base, modern definition of Romance is a novel … that’s right. Novel’s were once considered romance by default much in the way Shakespeare’s plays are comedies. But of course, I’m simplifying things here. The Romance Genre can be summed up in three words, “love” and “happy ending” … I believe this idea is where the term chick lit comes into play, but again that sounds a bit biased. Chick lit could be about best friends while putting romance on the back burner. Also, some men enjoy romances too, but they don’t buy the books as much as women do.
So let’s take a look at history and the “facts” (I hope they are
true.) Love Stories (not novels) have been around since the beginning of time, but it wasn’t until the 14th century that they began to creep their way into the central theme of the story. In this article about Renaissance Romance, the author discusses how stories about chivalry began to be written with women in mind (though penned by men) because of the growing literacy of the female population. If society was going to have literate women, they needed to provide them with the “right kinds” of things to read.
But that doesn’t really tell us about the first published romantic novels themselves. The term Romance Novel was made popular by the book Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, by Samuel Richardson, published in 1740, though it was Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that stakes claim as the greatest romance ever written. Needless to say, times have changed, and while Austen will always be one of the greatest, that doesn’t mean no one else has written a good romance in the last 200 years.
What the acclaim of Pride and Prejudice does do, however, is legitimize the genre. Romance is the bestselling genre to date, but many don’t give the genre much respect. Even I was once a naysayer of the genre, but I’ve since seen the light. The “problem” that I believe holds the genre out of critical acclaim is that it has so many sub-genres, and some aren’t as empowering and uplifting as others.
While the story of Harlequin Enterprises is one worth looking into, it sadly has played a part in devaluing romance as a genre, but not because it wanted to. This company found a way to supply a demand and took book marketing to levels others in the industry wouldn’t dare. In doing so, romance paperbacks made lots of money while the genre’s reputation continued to decline. At least they didn’t start it all; Avon publishing has that honor. With the mass market, paperback only, release of Kathleen Woodiwiss's The Flame and the Flower, romance novels in the U.S. had arrived. This book made history in many ways including, going into the bedroom for the first time. The rest, as they say, is history.
Take a look at this list of the Best Top Romance Novels of All Time and you’ll see a pattern of diversity. This isn’t a list of only erotic love stories, despite what some would have you believe. The romance genre and all its sub-genres have stories worth telling and there is something for everyone. I can only hope that one day, perhaps, there will be a Glorie Townson novel on this list.
Thank you for taking the time to read my spiel. I do so hope you enjoyed it. I also hope you wouldn’t mind to help me out by voting for which book cover featured above you think would be best for my story It’s Like the Full Moon. Please feel free to enter my giveaway, which leads you to the voting poll. 
Resources: Dictionary.com, Wikipedia.com, Romance Writers of America- rwa.org, A Romance Review.com, Goodread.com
Title: It's Like the Full Moon
Series: Sayings Series 1 Author: Glorie Townson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Reading Level: Adult
Content Rating: PG-13
Formats: paperback and ebook
Pages: 235
Words:57,000
Synopsis
Rebecca has just turned thirty. She’s happy living a perfectly comfortable and predictable life. She’s even ready to marry her long-time boyfriend whenever he finally gets around to asking her. But all that changes when her best friend whisks her away to Italy for a much-needed vacation.
In the midst of site seeing and finally letting loose, Rebecca manages to catch the eye of a young English tourist; but doesn’t let it go to her head. By the time she’s back in the States and back in the arms of her long-time beau, Rebecca has already forgotten about Peter, Paten, Paul…whatever his name was, that is until he shows up at her brother’s cabin in the woods.
A life of normalcy, routine, and stability gets turned upside down as Rebecca decides whether or not she’s truly ready to get married. And if so, who is the one she’s really meant to be with?
Book Listings
This book is currently available for Pre-order as an ebook through Amazon.com and as a paperback direct from the author. Be sure to pre-order your copy at its reduced introductory rate and save your receipt number to earn extra entries into Glorie's cool giveaway. 
Pre-order Kindle | Pre-order Paperback | add to Goodreads
Author
Glorie Townson is more than just a pen name for the author, Toi Thomas; she's an entirely different personality. Glorie is the softer side of Toi, who puts down her comic books and picks up a volume of Robert Frost poems. Like Toi, Glorie is happily married to her wonderfully supportive husband, and together they share a home with their pet turtle, Betty. This is Glorie's first publication, but she's already feeling the inspiration to pen another tale, to which she'll gladly share with the world. 
Author Listings

Giveaway
I hope you've enjoyed this detour on the 
It's Like the Full Moon Tour and will consider
supporting the Thunderclap to announce the 
official release of this book. 
~
The giveaways for this stop will include:
a $5 gift card, a signed and personalized 
digital sneak peek+, and something for everyone.
Words I’ve been a tomboy all my life and the idea that I’d be swept up in the world of romance still sounds a bit odd to me even though here I am. My name is Toi Thomas and I’m an author of speculative fiction. Somewhere along the way, my inner “girly girl” broke out and decided to start writing romance; I decided to name her Glorie Townson. Now, as I look forward to the months of promotion ahead of me, in this strange and new-to-me genre, I’d like to reflect on what I’ve learned about romance and share a bit with you. First off, romance and chick lit aren’t necessarily one in the same. The very base, modern definition of Romance is a novel … that’s right. Novel’s were once considered romance by default much in the way Shakespeare’s plays are comedies. But of course, I’m simplifying things here. The Romance Genre can be summed up in three words, “love” and “happy ending” … I believe this idea is where the term chick lit comes into play, but again that sounds a bit biased. Chick lit could be about best friends while putting romance on the back burner. Also, some men enjoy romances too, but they don’t buy the books as much as women do. So let’s take a look at history and the “facts” (I hope they are true.) Love Stories (not novels) have been around since the beginning of time, but it wasn’t until the 14th century that they began to creep their way into the central theme of the story. In this article about Renaissance Romance, the author discusses how stories about chivalry began to be written with women in mind (though penned by men) because of the growing literacy of the female population. If society was going to have literate women, they needed to provide them with the “right kinds” of things to read. But that doesn’t really tell us about the first published romantic novels themselves. The term Romance Novel was made popular by the book Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, by Samuel Richardson, published in 1740, though it was Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that stakes claim as the greatest romance ever written. Needless to say, times have changed, and while Austen will always be one of the greatest, that doesn’t mean no one else has written a good romance in the last 200 years. What the acclaim of Pride and Prejudice does do, however, is legitimize the genre. Romance is the bestselling genre to date, but many don’t give the genre much respect. Even I was once a naysayer of the genre, but I’ve since seen the light. The “problem” that I believe holds the genre out of critical acclaim is that it has so many sub-genres, and some aren’t as empowering and uplifting as others. While the story of Harlequin Enterprises is one worth looking into, it sadly has played a part in devaluing romance as a genre, but not because it wanted to. This company found a way to supply a demand and took book marketing to levels others in the industry wouldn’t dare. In doing so, romance paperbacks made lots of money while the genre’s reputation continued to decline. At least they didn’t start it all; Avon publishing has that honor. With the mass market, paperback only, release of Kathleen Woodiwiss's The Flame and the Flower, romance novels in the U.S. had arrived. This book made history in many ways including, going into the bedroom for the first time. The rest, as they say, is history. Take a look at this list of the Best Top Romance Novels of All Time and you’ll see a pattern of diversity. This isn’t a list of only erotic love stories, despite what some would have you believe. The romance genre and all its sub-genres have stories worth telling and there is something for everyone. I can only hope that one day, perhaps, there will be a Glorie Townson novel on this list. Thank you for taking the time to read my spiel. I do so hope you enjoyed it. I also hope you wouldn’t mind to help me out by voting for which book cover featured above you think would be best for my story It’s Like the Full Moon. Please feel free to enter my giveaway, which leads you to the voting poll. Resources: Dictionary.com, Wikipedia.com, Romance Writers of America- rwa.org, A Romance Review.com, Goodread.com