Romantic Fiction covers a huge spectrum. In addition to writing it, as Sophie Weston, I read widely in the genre, with great pleasure.
I’ve been actively involved with the Romantic Novelists’ Association for a while now. It was set up in 1960 by Denise Robins, Barbara Cartland and Alex Stuart, to embrace writers as diverse as Elizabeth Goudge, Catherine Cookson, scandalously sexy Netta Muskett and opera loving M&B best seller Mary Burchell. And many more. (It has to be said, they didn’t all stay. But that’s writers for you. Organising them is like herding cats. I like cats.)
It didn’t get the press it deserved in 1960, which was partly why the RNA was set up. It still doesn’t. During my two years as Committee Chairman, I wrote a sitrep of the genre, to accompany the 2007 Romantic Novel of the Year, O Tell Me the Truth About Love for Publishing News as well as a number of Outraged of Cheam letters to assorted papers who reviled, dismissed or generally took the piss out of our books. The Sunday Telegraph, respect to them, printed one.
Currently I am mining the Archives for material for a memoir of the RNA’s first fifty years, to be edited by our President, Diane Pearson (author AND editor) and me.