Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose — Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr
The more things change, the more they stay the same, so the saying goes. We’ve lost one reviewer from our staff here at The Novel Approach–our dear BJ has left to concentrate on his writing career. He’ll be back on August 3rd, though he’ll be here to promote his own new book rather than to tell you about someone else’s, so be sure to watch for that.
While I’m so sorry to see him go, I’m thrilled to bits to announce that we have two new reviewers joining us, rounding the staff out nicely at a lucky thirteen. Kathie and Rena both come to The Novel Approach with reviewing experience: Kathie at Mrs. Condit Reads Books and Rena at Speak Its Name (I’m so excited that Rena will be helping me focus on our beloved Historical Romances. It’s okay if that doesn’t excite you all as much as it does me :) ). They’ve both already turned in their first reviews, and they’ll be featured soon.
Let me just let them introduce themselves to you now.
Hi, my Name is Kathie!!! I would describe myself as an Onion. The outer layer looks dry and has blemishes on it. When you start peeling away the layers, it makes you cry, but with every layer the onion gets less blemished and tastes sweeter. That’s me!!!! On the outside I have a pretty smile and even comedians won’t make fun of me. Really! I look too much like their moms and apple pie. But start pulling away the layers and watch out! I like to swear really loud, go to gay bars to watch/stare at the go-go boys, and read hot hot gay romance. And when I am in the car on my way to work, I listen to audiobooks and giggle!!!!!
I eat, drink, and breathe speculative fiction and historical fiction (LGBT and mainstream). When I open a book or watch a movie, I want my disbelief suspended in the best way possible. I want to revel in the writer’s imagination and enjoy his/her vision of how the impossible can be possible – and real. Give me fantasy, folktales, sci-fi, superheroes, gothic fiction, horror, and every gray shade within. Whether intentional or not, speculative fiction is more than escapist reading; it can work as a mirror image of the modern world, exploring contemporary values, issues, etc., while being detached from it. I’ve always likened speculative fiction to the modern world in cosplay costume.
Historical fiction tends to be treated like the red-headed stepchild, and I think that genre (and especially its writers – have you any idea how difficult it is to write a historical novel with limited information available about day-to-day things from different time periods?) deserve more attention and respect than what they get now. The LGBT community doesn’t exist in a 21st century vacuum. Their story goes well before Stonewall, Oscar Wilde, and Lord Byron. Historical fiction offers us some background context on LGBT struggles: where they are now and where they’d been. Romance allows them their happily-ever-after, but the difficulties they faced were real and don’t deserve to be erased, ignored, or dismissed.
That said, I look forward to giving Lisa a hand in bringing books from these genres (and their myriad sub-genres) to the front. The possibilities these books offer us are endless.