I'm trying to renew fealty to writing regular posts again now that my day job workload is beginning to ease up on using me (and my team members) as a daily whipping post (today notwithstanding). In the meantime, let me do my part for the sisterhood here by sharing this awesome article.
This USAToday article is making the rounds through the romance world, online or otherwise, and I wanted to add my support by posting a link here.
I was starting out as an assistant at Avon Books in the mid '90s when Julia Quinn's The Viscount Who Loved Me launched - I still have the ARC. Those early entries in the Bridgerton series - bookended by Viscount and Romancing Mr. Bridgerton - are still among my all-time favorite novels. The Mallet of Death kills me every dang time.
I then worked on Eloisa James/Mary Bly's first few books while in the advertising/promotions department at Bantam Dell in the late '90s/early '00s. I had the privilege of meeting/hearing her in person this May at the LSFW group meeting where she was the speaker of the day (holy crap, was she good.)
Eloisa/Mary is a smart, savvy, clever woman who writes marvelous, funny, poignant books and is at the vanguard of the ever-advancing, respect-the-romance-novel-(dammit!) crusade. Her impressive academic pedigree combined with the great success of her novels gives her a unique platform with which to educate the general public about our complex and empowering industry (or as the Smart Bitches put it: "not chick-porn!")
There's been a lot of press about romance novels in recent months as the genre has seen ever increasing sales in spite of (because of?) this recession. This USAToday Article is one of the best/fairest/least patronizing/most supportive yet.