Sunday, June 22, 2008

Of dinosaurs and bodice rippers

"Do you read Romance novels?" MSNBC asks.

"Asks" might not be the mot juste. Their skewed manner of asking might be better tagged as "whispers" or "sneers".

It's not an easy poll to find. You have to know where to look, which is half way through a substantial excerpt from a Danielle Steele novel. However, here is your only choice, if you do read Romance:

"Yes, yes, yes! Bodice-rippers are my ultimate escape."

Excuse me? Not all Romances are "bodice rippers". The pollster does not seem to understand that.

It would be a very brave reader who would vote "Yes" given the tone and phraseology of that choice. If the pollster deliberately phrases an answer to deter those being polled from selecting that choice, it is not a scientific survey.

However, thanks to all the Romance readers and authors who blog and have posted the link, a lot of Romance lovers have boldly gone to the MSNBC site and voted. Some have gone further, and found a place to comment.

As far as I know, Danielle Steele does not write alien romance. I'd love to see a similar poll posted for every sub-category of Romance that there is, and each poll should be inserted within an excerpt... which, I suppose, ought to be a current or recent RITA winner.

Best wishes,

Rowena Cherry

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