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Podcast: Erin attends the Toronto Romance Writers Romance 101 Workshop

Molly O'Keefe

Romance novels are one of the most popular genres of literature in the world. They sell in hundreds of countries and in hundreds of languages. You can find them at your grocery store, have them delivered direct to your home and even buy them online.

Harlequin Books, one of the world's leading romance publishers, is home to thousands of romance titles in many different series: Romance, SuperRomance, American Romance, Historical Romance, Suspense Romance and more. Even NASCAR Romance has a category of its own at Harlequin. The titles promise adventure, scandal, love and sex. Websites around the world are dedicated to the genre and more than two million romances titles are sold every year in Canada alone.

But who are the women (and occasional man) behind these titillating titles? And what does it take to write one?

I decided to find out. We've been exploring romance novels all month here at the CBC Book Club, but hadn't had a chance to meet with the community that loves them so much. Both readers and writers are passionate about this dynamic, engaging community. It was high time I checked it out.

On January 6, I attended the Toronto Romance Writers Romance 101 Workshop. Industry veterans Molly O'Keefe and Maureen McGowan led the day-long session, which promised that I would "learn the ins and outs of the publishing industry" and "learn what point of view is and how to apply it to get a strong emotional response to your writing."

The end result was far more interesting, informative and entertaining than I expected. Have a listen to the podcast above to hear all about my romance writing adventure!


Erin Balser

Thanks to the Toronto Romance Writers, associate producer Erin Balser now considers herself a romance novelist. Check out her first attempt at the genre here.....if you dare.

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