I am majorly kicking myself today after reading this over on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.
In the spring of 1999 I attended the National Women's Studies conference in Albuquerque, sent there by the women's studies department at ASU. I was one of maybe 10 undergrads in attendance, the rest being graduate students, professors, etc. At times people wouldn't even talk to me when they found out I was "just" an undergrad.
However, one place I got some respect was the publishers' room, where reps from a lot of the academic publishers were both pushing their books and soliciting submissions. Most were sales reps, but a few houses actually sent editors. I ended up in a lengthy conversation with one of the editors from McFarland about the paper I was in the process of writing as my undergrad thesis for the honors program, and over the next year or two there were several snail mail and email exchanges regarding the thesis. They were VERY interested, because I came to the project not only as a women's studies academic but as someone who had actually written and published romance novels.
Unfortunately, between 1999 and 2000, when I graduated and finished the thesis and could have actually gone on to write more of it to turn it into a real book, my personal life became rather chaotic. Since then, I've continued to collect research material, thinking oh, someday I would write it, but it never happened.
Last summer I published the thesis, Half Heaven, Half Heartache: Discovering the Transformative Potential in Women's Popular Fiction on Amazon as a response to yet another academic "study" of romance novels that used a pathetically small sampling to reach absurd conclusions. I documented some of my reasons in a couple of earlier blogposts here and here and elsewhere on this blog if you're inclined to explore it.
I'm not knocking this latest effort, in part because I haven't read a word of it. Sarah Frantz of the Teach Me Tonight blog and editor of New Approaches to Popular Romance Fiction is quoted on SBTB, and her remarks suggest to me that the book covers a lot of areas I wasn't prepared to cover a dozen years ago, and that it covers aspects of romance fiction that didn't exist as substantive segments of the genre a dozen years ago either.
So today I am just really pissed off -- at myself.