Monday, February 04, 2008
Congratulations to Kate Hardy who has won the U.K. Romance Novelists Association's annual Romance Prize. Kate, who also writes wonderful Medical Romances, won this prize for her Modern Heat novel, Breakfast at Giovanni's. Isn't that a cool title?
If I understand correctly, Kate received the award at a slap up lunch in London yesterday and she will now be able to proudly display the Betty Neels Rosebowl on her mantlepiece for a year.
And how lovely for Kate to be winning this highly prized award during Mills and Boon's centenary year. There's another fancy cocktail party in London this month to celebrate the centenary. And of course Mills and Boon books are garnering more than usual attention from the British Press -- some good, some not so great -- and much of it filtering through to the Australian press.
As you can guess some of the email loops are also jumping and buzzing as people express their reactions to some of the less complimentary remarks directed at M&B.
I have always suspected that the reason M&B has earned its questionable reputation is because it's rather like Hollywood -- commercially successful and so very well known.
Ergo... everyone feels entitled to leap to assumptions.
I've been guilty of remarking at times that a film was "too Hollywood" (meaning too formulaic), or had a "typically Hollywood ending" (too over the top warm and fuzzy).
I love all kinds of movies from Art House foreign films to B grade movies
made in Hollywood. And I must confess that I make such generalised comments
even though I know that many Hollywood movies are unique and restrained and
groundbreaking and beautiful.
When an art form is deliberately commercial (everyone knows the pressure of
the box office) and the products are deliberately packaged as being all the
same (who can tell one M&B from another by the cover?) and the product is
portrayed as being mostly about sex, the general public (and the press) are bound to make
I think we just have to live with this. I'd love to see different titles and
different covers on our books, but I wouldn't like it if the sales dropped
off and I can only presume that the marketing people know what they're doing
when they package M&B the way they do.
What do you think?