The Romance Genre on the Web

Researching online romance genre communities and their perspectives

Survey ended

Filed under: News,Research updates — Bron at 7:55 pm on Thursday, November 1, 2007

I’ve just deactivated the online survey. I actually feel kind of sad about it, as it’s been running for some months now and backing it up at least once a day (and watching the participant numbers climb!) has become a part of my routine.

I’d like to sincerely thank everybody who has contributed their time to participate in the survey. There has been a great response rate, with a fantastic 802 participants.

My task now is to start analysing the data, and then writing up the results. I’ll report some of the results here on my research blog, as well as in conference and journal articles, and, of course, in my thesis!

Thank you again to all the participants – the romance genre community is a wonderful and supportive one, and your generosity in time in participating in this study, and in spreading word about it within your groups, lists and blogs, are examples of that.

I hope sometime in the next week or so to look at some of the general comments and provide an initial summary here on the blog of some of the issues mentioned. Plus, I’ll have some of the preliminary basic data fairly soon; the more complex cross analysis may take a little longer!

Good news!

Filed under: News — Bron at 7:08 pm on Friday, September 28, 2007

My novels are going to be published! More details over on my writing blog 🙂

Golden day

Filed under: News — Bron at 8:31 pm on Monday, March 26, 2007

Today’s been a big day. I gave my first PhD seminar, presenting an outline of my research and methodology to my department. Although I’ve been preparing it for a while, workload from the day job and other issues kept getting in the way, so I was up late working on it last night, and realised that I needed this morning to polish it. And then….

…when I checked my email first thing this morning, I discovered that my manuscript, Falling into Darkness, is a finalist in the RWA’s Golden Heart Award, in the romantic suspense category.

Yes, I’ve been grinning all day. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go out and kick up my heels to celebrate, but my cyber friends on various loops have been wonderful in sharing the excitement with me.

My congratulations to all the other Golden Heart and RITA Award finalists!

At this stage I doubt I’ll be able to attend the conference and Awards night at Dallas in July, although I haven’t entirely given up hope. The return airfare alone is well over $3,000, so adding conference fees and accommodation, it becomes a major expense.

Oh, yes, and the seminar went quite well! There were some good questions and feedback from the audience, and I appreciate everyone’s time in attending and supporting my research in this way.


Filed under: Discussion questions,News — Bron at 6:12 pm on Thursday, February 22, 2007

My University’s Human Research Ethics Committee has approved the first stage of my PhD research project, which includes the online survey and this blog, so we’re ready to roll!

I’m very excited (and yes, a little nervous!) about this research project, and in particular using a blog as a way to interact with online romance genre readers and writers. The romance genre websites, blogs, email lists and other online forums form a wide, diverse and very vibrant community, full of fascinating and lively conversations, views, ideas, and a wonderful sharing of knowledge and resources. I’m hoping that this blog will become a part of that community – a place where we can discuss a range of issues about the genre, about what’s happening online around the genre, and about your perspectives on romance fiction. I’m interested in what YOU think – questions like what you read, why you read it, where you talk about it, how and why you choose what to read, what you think about it, and where you go online to share your interest in the genre. Over the rest of this year, I’ll be making regular posts to this blog, exploring issues and themes in the genre and what’s happening online, and asking you for your views and thoughts on them.

I’m very aware (because I’ve read most of it!) that past academic scholarship hasn’t always come from a position of respect for the genre and its readers, so I’d like to assure you that as well as being a scholar, I’m a romance reader, and a romance writer, and I have a great deal of respect for the genre, and for the women and men who read it, write it, publish it, market it, review it and sell it. This is why much of my research methodology is focused on listening to your views and ideas – you’re part of a huge and significant literary genre and cultural form, and we can’t hope to understand all the diversity and richness of the genre, and its readership and authorship, without listening to you.

So, let’s start! My first question – I’ll start with an easy one 🙂 – is, ‘Why romance?‘ What appeals to you about romance fiction? What do you look for in a romance book? If you’re a writer, why do you write romance?