Hey, all. Here’s a link to the Journal of Popular Romance Studies. Their CFP topics include areas of global culture that we find particularly exciting, one of them being “Romance, Love, and Sexuality in World Cinema.”
Romance and global culture are merging. They’re becoming an increasingly popular area of study in academe. Doesn’t that make you giddy? Give you goosebumps? Get you there?
My JPRS focus is romance novels set in the Middle East. My present work-in-progress is set partly in Israel and partly in Gaza, so my research is challenging, but rewarding. Many wonder how “romance” could flourish in such a contentious and conflict-ridden part of the world. My job is to believe that love lives everywhere first. And then, my job is to learn how. If I can find romance in war-torn Gaza and Israel and write about it, and then one day my readers can learn the same lesson, then the world . . . the entire globe can, right?
Like you, as I research global culture, I’m learning the ways romance unites–and divides us–in other parts of the world. I take these lessons to heart and incorporate them into my writing, particularly my latest WiP. I’ve changed the working title from Excess, which I can’t use because . . . sigh . . . my plot changed and the title just doesn’t fit, to Deeply, Darkly and, yet again (at my critique partner’s suggestion), I’ve changed the title–perhaps for the last time–to The Netherworld Score.
I’ve said it on this blog for a while now, and I’m going to keep predicting the increase in novels–especially in suspense and, yes, in the romance genre–set in the Middle East and all across the world. I’m watching this movement closely, and will report back.
Mary H. McFarland