I just got notification that two of my panel proposals (of three) were accepted for the Romance Writers of America 2009 conference, one during the RWA conference itself and one during the pre-conference Librarians' Day conference. Yay!
The panels as I proposed them:
The Wit, Wisdom, and Writing Advice of Jennifer Crusie
(In which Pamela Regis and Jessica Lyn Van Slooten examine the humor and writing advice in the novels of best-selling author Jennifer Crusie, who will herself respond to the literary criticism perpetrated upon her novels.)
Pamela Regis:“The Power of Wit: How Jennifer Crusie Harnesses the Power of the Romance Form and How You Can, Too.”
Jennifer Crusie manages to get her unique humor onto the pages of her novels and those novels onto best sellers lists. This presentation will take a hard look at Bet Me to get beyond the Krispy Kremes and chicken marsala to figure out how Crusie builds her humor and to recommend strategies for building humor into your own work. The eight elements of the romance novel, as I define them in A Natural History of the Romance Novel (U Penn Press, 2003), will be identified in Bet Me to uncover their contribution to the humor in the book. We'll characterize Crusie's humor, and look for ways to apply her techniques. Assuming, of course, that Crusie lets me get a word in edgewise.
Jessica Lyn Van Slooten: “Metanarrative and Writing Advice in Jennifer Crusie’s Novels.
The romantic and writing success of script writer Sophie in Jennifer Crusie’s Welcome to Temptation and cookbook author Agnes in Agnes and the Hitman (co-authored with Bob Mayer) emanates from their willingness to blur the line between reality and fantasy, to constantly revise, to know their audience, and to write out of their full sensory experiences. Despite their initial skepticism, both heroines successfully navigate the obstacles in their paths to write their own happily-ever-afters. Through her heroines’ narratives, Crusie counters skepticism of the romance genre, while also embedding writing advice for her careful readers—many of whom want to author their own romantic tales. I blend examples from the novels with a post-modern theoretical approach, and incorporate writing advice from writing experts to suggest practical ways to improve our own romance narratives, and to find effective ways of writing our lives following a model of writing as seduction that overcomes skepticism.
Jennifer Crusie: Respondent
"If you like the classics; or, how to recommend romance to literature snobs in your library."
10:30-11:30am, Wednesday, July 15
During this interactive presentation, Sarah Frantz and Pamela Regis, both English professors and scholars of popular romance, will discuss the history of popular romance as found in canonical literature. BUT! they will be joined by best-selling historical author and recovering academic, Sabrina Jeffries!
Topics of discussion will include:
- A structural definition of romance.
- The history of the conventions of the genre through the rise of the novel during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
- The evolution of the romantic heroine through canonical domestic fiction to popular romance.
- The evolution of the romantic hero through canonical literature writ large to popular romance.
We will hand out an annotated list of recommendations of classic literature and their popular romance descendants.
We all hope you can join us there! Can't wait to go to my first RWA.