Squawk Radio

Monday, June 13, 2005

Eloisa Does Lunch and Talks Men...

I just had a lovely lunch with Kathe Robins, the famed reviewer for Romantic Times BOOKclub. Now before you all jump to the conclusion that I was plying Kathe with champagne in an effort to win an extra star on my next review, I have to tell you that we live pretty close to each other, and we've been friends for a while. Of course, that doesn't mean I wouldn't paper her house if I get two stars on my next book (so be warned, Kathe! said Eloisa with a grin).

We ended up talking quite a bit about romance (naturally) and where it's going. Kathe pointed out that some of the newest really great authors are breaking out in the paranormal category, and that's one of the reasons why that category is doing so well (sales up 35% in 2004, according to a speech giving at the RT conference).

Kathe writes many of RT's historical reviews, averaging between 28-35 a month. Can you imagine? She also has a full-time job teaching in elementary school. She's been doing this for over twenty years, so before she retires, she'll probably have read a million books. What a resource! She remembers plots, characters and authors I've never even heard of.

She just finished reading an absolutely wonderful ARC, or advance review copy, of a pirate book by Cathy Maxwell called The Price of Indiscretion. We ended up talking about hero's professions that we adore and don't see enough of. Kathe loves pirates. My former editor adored handymen. I have to say, I love a car mechanic. For instance, Nick in Jennifer Crusie's Tell Me Lies: what I wouldn't give to have him wandering around the place in his overalls!

What about the rest of you? What should heros be doing, in historicals or contemps? Do we want firemen, gentlemen thieves, ungentlemanly thieves, pirates, professors, artists, strippers (remember that great Laura London book?)...
Eloisa James, 1:00 PM