Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

no more happily ever after = marriage?

August 24, 2005

Ah, the formula for a romance is gone. Did you know? Not get that memo?

“Romance fiction has annual sales of $1.41-billion (U.S.) worldwide, according to Avon Books. Half of all paperbacks sold internationally are romance titles, and a third of all popular fiction sales are romance titles. There are 64.6 million readers of romance fiction in the United States; 22 per cent of them are men.

“The endings of the stories have changed over time. “What was described as a happy ending 40 years ago may be quite different now,” says Marleah Stout, a senior public relations manager at Harlequin-Silhouette, which publishes 115 romance titles every month. “The woman might not necessarily end up with the man who has been there throughout the story. It could be a hopeful ending instead of a happy ending. There’s always hope.”

So, that explains the new thought at Harlequin — NeXt with women in their forties being pregnant or regretting the lack of children (huh?), Bombshell with a quasi kick-ass protagonist, not afraid to sleep around to get the job done; Red Dress Ink with a “hopeful” conclusion (well, they always work in publishing and they NEVER get a man, but their shopping bills are HIGH) and the demise of other “traditional” lines. I know the world is changing but this much?

At least in a murder mystery, someone always dies and they catch the killer. Ah, the comfort of routine *grin*. And what exactly is a “hopeful ending,” any thoughts?

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