You know the month. Talk of love and chocolate and red flowers. Romance is planned, discussed, and celebrated. Love stories are shared in the middle of the hottest month of the year—What? Wait! No, we’re not speaking of chilly February’s Valentine’s Day but rather sweltering August’s Read a Romance Month.
That’s right. In its third year, Read a Romance Month (RARM) has turned August into a month of not only sultry summer heat but also sultry romance advocacy. RARM is the brainchild of Bobbi Dumas, a Kirkus Review and National Public Radio contributor. “I wanted an event that truly celebrated romance,” says Dumas. She found several happenings that were related to the genre but usually only through certain publishers or organizations. She wanted a place for the writers themselves to promote and celebrate the genre.
Beginning on August 15, the Read a Romance Month site there will feature daily posts by romance novel authors. This year’s specific theme is “The Joy of Romance.” Currently scheduled novelists include Mary Jo Putney, Lori Wilde, Elizabeth Hoyt, Jill Shalvis, and Lisa Kleypas, just to name a few. Since there will be ninety-three diverse and successful authors contributing, there is sure to be diverse thoughts on what the joy of romance novels really is. “I try very hard for RARM to be about romance, and that writers have the freedom to express their feelings about the genre and each theme in their own unique and authentic way,” says Dumas. Also included with each author’s essay is a bio, a Q&A section, and recommendations. Giveaways will also be given out where available.
This year, three of the posts will be by librarians who support and relish the romance genre. Yes, this year RARM advocacy and community now include librarians who get to tell their stories as well. According to Dumas, “Librarians are so cool! Librarians can have a really powerful effect on readers when they don’t make them feel judged for their reading choices.” SuperWendy writes the blog, The Misadvenutres of Super Librarian, and Monique Flasch is a librarian who started the Facebook page, Romance in the Stacks. Yours truly will also be contributing to Librarians Day, which is August 21st.
As for thoughts of only February being the most romantic month, Dumas’s research showed differently. Folks are relaxed from vacations and therefore more ready for a romantic beach read. There are no national holidays in the eighth month of the year either. So the month can be an uninterrupted flow of romance and romance genre advocacy.