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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Come meet Rosa Is For Romance



I'm pleased to introduce Elisa Rolle who blogs as Rosa Is For Romance, near Rome, Italy. Elisa is going to talk about Romances and romance readers in Italy, what the market is like, and whatever we want to ask.

Delle



I’ve been reading romance since I was 13 years old, so we speak of more than 20 years ago, and only recently (two years more or less) I started reading in original language, so before then, I only read what was available in Italy. And it was not much.

In Italy there are very few communication media devoted to romance. You can find some blogs (mine is one among few) and only one of the two main romance publishers in Italy has an official website. Before now it wasn’t possible to order on line (just this month the site is under construction and in the future it will allow people to order through an affiliate bookshop online).

In twenty years things haven’t changed much. There are only two main romance publishers, Harlequin Italia (the corresponding firm of Harlequin Canada) and Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, a very old Italian publisher specializing in paperback. Both these publishers are not distributed by bookstores but sell their paperbacks (the only format available) in corner shops (small newsstands on the streets). They have monthly periodical releases, and you can only find the monthly release available on the corner shop, if you lose a release, the only way to recover it is through a mail order to the customer care of the publisher. Sometimes you can find the old releases in the discount store, at half the original price, but it’s not a standard practice. Obviously there is also a wide second hand market, mostly in the Sunday morning second hand markets (like Portobello Road in England) or through online websites and Ebay.

The only Italian Bookclub only translates what it calls “Original”, never previously published romances translated into Italian. But it releases only a book every three months, so it’s very minimal. Recently some major publishers started to translate foreign romance authors, and so we can have also a variety of genres. The previous publishers I mentioned mostly publish historical romances.

Italian romance readers are obviously female readers. They are various and wide, from the desperate housewife to the career girl; from the pink glasses teen to the sweet old nanny. But they read what they find. Since publishers mostly release historical romances, the majority of them usually prefer the historical genre, but I have first hand experience of a seventy years old lady who for the first time read last year Christine Feehan and Laurell K. Hamilton, and now she is addicted. We read what we have but if the publishers give us a wide choice, maybe our taste will be better matched. Definitely a wide part of the readership is stuck to the historical genre. Some like the suspense and others the paranormal (what we can find). Chick lit and similar is not very common among readers, but it has some faithful readers.

Sincerely I can’t find a genre which really doesn’t appeal to any reader. This is also because “we” don’t speak a lot. “We” are still embarrassed to admit that “we” read romance. There is still the fear to be labelled as Z-level reader, with a little brain and a head full of impossible dreams. Worse, like a pervert who likes to read about rapes and obscenity. When I go to buy a romance on the corner shops, I always try to go to a shop owned by a sweet lady who doesn’t comment on my choice. If I see a shop owned by a man, I hardly stop to buy my books, cause I already know that he will look down to me for my choice of reading. To not comment on the real “bookstores” which always are unprepared on the books availability, and more times than not, don’t have the books I’m searching.

And all this for romances that most of all have a non-existent or tepid erotic level. The two main publishers mentioned above used to censor all the romances, leaving them sometimes unrecognizable even to the author (I know of one case of an Italian reader who asked a very famous historical romance author why one of her romance was so tepid, when she was famous for being pretty explicit, and the author was surprised since the romance in question was one of her most sensual).

I believe a lot of women read romance, even if they don’t admit it. If not, I think it is pretty impossible that two publishers could survive only with romance books and that the second hand market on ebay could be so prolific. And we are growing, since finally also the main publishers are starting to translate romance, even if they publish them among the main genres without a specific category, making it pretty difficult to find them in a big bookstore.

I have a romance blog, “Rosa is for Romance” (http://rosaromance.splinder.com/), which attracts more than 110 visitors per day mostly from Italy (http://www.sitemeter.com/?a=stats&s=s28rosaromance), and a LiveJournal (http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/), with more than 150 visitors per day mostly from USA (http://www.sitemeter.com/?a=stats&s=s30elisarolle). I realized that women wish to speak and read romance a couple of years ago, when I sold on eBay many old romances that I could no longer accommodate in my home. The blogs don't fill my pockets (I continue with my work as process analyst for bank software solutions), but they allow me to cultivate my passion. “Rosa is for Romance” is available in Italian and English and consists of a “News” section, a space reserved for chatting with the authors, which is very popular among readers, and a curiosity area, such as emerging genres or romance history. My LiveJornal instead is a container for my M/M romance reviews (I have also an Amazon Rank Profile of 12.000 on Amazon USA) and a place where I put down my ramblings, always on romance and related matters. Through statistical tracking website and interaction with the readers, I have a fairly precise idea of my readership: it is an average of women between 20 and 35 years, with a good knowledge of the Internet. Among the more active visitors there are housewives, wanna be writers, clerks - these are examples to demonstrate how various are the professional profiles.

57 Comments:

At 1:22 AM, Blogger Anna Campbell said...

Elisa! Fancy meeting you here.

Hiya Noodlers from a stray Bandita! I recently guested on Elisa's blog and I had a wonderful time. Her readers asked really smart questions and were obviously incredibly interested in the romance genre.

Elisa, how sad that Italian romance readers have such a limited choice. Mind you, I visited Britain in 2004 and the only romances generally available were Harlequins/Mills & Boons. I'm delighted to say the last time I was there (2007), they had a pretty good selection of longer romances as well at a lot of the bigger bookshops. Who would you say are the most popular romance writers in Italy?

 
At 2:59 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Anna.

yes your Italian debut went very well, your romance is one of the most read last month.

The most popular romance writers in Italy? Of course the historical romance writers! It was the first genre we had at the mid of the '80. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and Johanna Lindsey above all. Then also Harlequin romance writers like Diana Palmer & Linda Howard. And Amanda Quick (alias Jayne Ann Krentz) and Julie Garwood, since an Italian Bookclub translated almost all their romances. More recent, Lisa Kleypas, Sabrina Jeffries, Stephanie Laurens.

 
At 3:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ciao Eli,sono passata di qui solo x farti un saluto.Ho capito x sommi capi cosa dici del nostro mercato italiano,ma non parlando/scrivendo inglese ti mando solo un bacione.
Lia/lib63

 
At 4:15 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Lia.

Lia is one of my italian friends, a truly romance lover.

Kisses, Elisa

 
At 5:18 AM, Blogger Silvietta said...

Scusami Elisa se scrivo in italiano, ma pur avendo compreso il post trovo più semplice per me esprimermi nella mia lingua.
Volevo dire che quello ch scrive Delia sul mercato italiano è assolutamente vero, purtroppo le nostre scelte sono abbastanza limitate e alla fine quasi siamo costrette a crearci un mercato collaterale a quello ufficiale.
Volevo commentare in particolar modo la difficioltà che molte di noi, tra cui io, incontrano nell'acquistare i romance presso rivenditori inadeguati e che ti guradano anche male per quello che leggi. Puoi essere laureata (nel mio caso), avere una carriera o semplicemente gestire in modo efficiente la tua famiglia, ma per loro sei, e sempre rimarrai, una poveretta che legge romanzetti di serie Z, come dice Delia.
L'ultima domanda che mi sono sentita rivolgere dall'edicolante è stata: "Ma questi libri vi fanno piangere, per quello li comprate?". Io sono rimasta sconcertata... ma ho avuto la prontezza di rispondere che in questi libri non è tassativo piangere, anzi molto spesso le battute sono esilaranti, ma soprattutto sono ricchi di sentimento, di passione e d'amore, ma di sicuro non li si prende per piangere perché la vita è già abbastanza dura di suo.
Non so se abbiamo acquistato un lettore, ma almeno forse ho placato, in parte, la sua curiosità! ;)

Un messaggio per la signora Campbell.... il suo romanzo, "Il cuore di una cortigiana", è magnifico. L'ho finito ieri sera di leggere e ho avuto 10 minuti di standing ovation silenziosa. Brava e ancora brava, speriamo di vedere tradotti anche gli altri suoi lavori.

 
At 6:05 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Comment #5's translation:
Elisa, sorry if I write in Italian, but although I understood the post I find easier to write in my language.
I wanted to say that what writes Delle on the Italian market is absolutely true, unfortunately, our choices are fairly limited and in the end we are almost forced to create a collateral market to the official.
I wanted to comment especially on the difficult that many of us, including myself, have to find romances through the official dealers that look upon you for what you read. You can be graduated (as in my case), have a career or simply efficiently manage your family, but for their you are, and you will always be, a poor Z-level reader, as Delle says.
The last question that asked me a corner shop owner was: "But you buy these books because they make you cry?". I was puzzled... but I prontly replied that with these books is not mandatory to cry, but very often the quips are exhilarating, but above all they are rich of feeling, passion and love, but for sure you don't take them to cry because life is already hard enough.
I do not know if we have gained a reader, but at least maybe I appeased, in part, his curiosity! ;)

A message for Mrs Campbell .... her novel, "Claiming the Courtesan", is wonderful. I finished reading it yesterday evening and I had 10 minutes of silent standing ovation. Bravo and still bravo, and I hope to see translated also her other works.

Silvietta.

To Silvietta:

Hi Silvietta. I'm glad you agree with the post, since I wrote it and not Delle, and I hope to have explained the reality of romance in Italy... you confirm me that idea. Like you, also I'm very puzzled when someone try to question my choice of reading... why I have to explain what I read? Why are always romance readers that need to justify themself, and not readers of other genre (like spy story, or thriller, or sci-fic, or similar)?

---

Ciao Silvietta. sono contenta che tu sia d'accordo con il post, dato che l'ho scritto io e non Delle, e spero di aver spiegato la realtà del romance in Italia... mi confermi che è così. Come te, anche io sono sempre perplessa quando qualcuno cerca di questionare la mia scelta di letture... perchè devo spiegare quello che leggo? Perche sono sempre le lettrici di romance che devono giustificare se stesse, e non i lettori di altri generi (come lo spionaggio, il giallo, la fantascienza o simili)?

 
At 6:29 AM, Blogger Irene said...

Hello, Elisa! Fancy meeting you here!
Thank you for the information on Italian publishers of romance and for being a voice for romance novels in Italy.
It's sad that you have to hide your passion for good books, but in time, this will get better.
Love conquers all!
Irene Peterson :)

 
At 6:33 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Irene. Actually I'm not hiding my love for romance! I try to be as loud as possible, and this is also the reason why I use my real name to blog. Sure, sometime I still need to do my fights, but I think the situation is going better, little step by little step.

 
At 8:58 AM, Blogger Tara S Nichols said...

Hi all. Sorry this is a day late. When I saw that Elisa was blogging here I thought I'd come sing her praises. I was also a guest on Elisa's blog and I quite enjoyed being there. She's a wonderful host with bottomless patience and compassion! Cheers to you!

 
At 9:22 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Hi Tara. You are not late. This is my day as Delle's guest (and all the other ladies here) and I was very pleased when she asked me. For me is a first time, usually I'm on the other side :-)

Elisa

 
At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Colleen Gleason said...

Hello Elisa!

Wonderful to have you here on the WNP blog. And thank you again for having me on Rosa is Romance last fall when I CACCIATORE DI VAMPIRI made its debut.

You have a wonderful blog, and we're delighted you came to visit us here on our blog.

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

Welcome, Elisa! We're so glad to have you as a guest with the posse. Congratulations on the success of your blog and live journal. It's interesting that you mention the authors Kathleen Woodiweiss and Johanna Lindsay. Kathleen Woodiweiss was the first romance author I read, too.

I'm curious about what historical romance time periods Italian readers would like to see more of? What countries? Do they want to read about 19th century America or Regency England, or something entirely different?

 
At 9:42 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Colleen. Your book was on of the first paranormal translated into Italian. Maybe it was since, other than paranormal, it was also historical. Other two examples were Ronda Thompson and Teresa Medeiros: publishers try to draw readers from the historical to the paranormal.

Elisa

 
At 9:49 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Mo.

> I'm curious about what historical romance time periods Italian readers would like to see more of? What countries? Do they want to read about 19th century America or Regency England, or something entirely different?

The answer is simple: Regency England. And there are also some fans of Medieval England. But as I said in the post, I'm not sure that it is a real reader demand, or only a necessity of what is available. It's difficult to judge when 90% of what is published is almost the same genre and setting. For example, the only two timetravel translated into italian, A Knight in Shining Armour by Jude Deveraux and Until Forever by Johanna Lindsey sold very well. So now there is a demand for time travel, but publisher continues to say that they don't sell. Same answer for different setting, but for example The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons sold very well too. I think publisher should be more daring.

 
At 10:37 AM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

It's sad to hear romance readers have such a hard time getting our stories in Italy, and then have to face such snobbery. I think we're slowly getting past that here, but we still have problems with the media. Just last week MSNBC posted a very denigrating poll about romance novels. But hundreds of readers complained.

My favorite retort was to a man on a plane sitting beside me who asked me why I read those books. I said, "because in these books, the heroine always wins." We ended up having a long and profitable discussion.

Elisa, I forgot to post the Rose photo you use to represent yourself. I was wondering, did you decide to call your blog Rosa is For Romance because of this beautiful rose photo?

 
At 10:42 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Delle

> I was wondering, did you decide to call your blog Rosa is For Romance because of this beautiful rose photo?

In Italy the romance genre is called "Rosa", that means both "pink" as color and "rose" as flower. I think it was a name stuck to the genre since one of the first romance publisher, at the beginning of the twenty century, use the pink color for romance cover and the rose as symbol.

So when I had to choose a symbol, I remember of that photo that I took in Florence: it was in the Garden of Villa La Petraia, one of the many country palace of Medici family, and so it was a mix of history and romance, two of my main love. Elisa

 
At 10:49 AM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Ciao, everyone in Italy!
Elisa, I know you have reviewed some of my Harlequin Historicals because I ran across one of your reviews purely by accident.

Years ago when I was just starting to write romance and traveled to Italy (Rome and Venice) I searched for Italian Romances, wanting to bring some home as gifts. I discovered that they don't exist in bookstores and finally, accidentally, found them at a newstand in the railroad station.

What a shock to see a Diane Perkins bookcover. I had no idea one of my Diane Perkins books sold to Italy. I must investigate this.

I have had all of my Harlequin come out in Italian, I think.

I love that my books come out in Italy. My husband is half-Italian (the family names are Pannuto and Cefola, both from Northern Italy). My mother in law, the first to be born in the USA, gets a big kick out of seeing my books in Italian.

I'm going to put my Italian bookcovers on the blog, between yours and yesterdays so your Italian readers can see them.

And I'm happy anytime to be a guest for your site or your blog!

Diane Gaston / Diane Perkins

 
At 11:10 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Diane.

Yes your romance The Marriage Bargain as Diane Perkins was published this year from Arnoldo Mondadori Editori; instead your romances as Diane Gaston were published by Harlequin Italia. I don't believe Italian readers are aware that Diane Perkins and Diane Gaston are the same author :-) and this is the reason why I try to always keep update the authors profile on my website.

Here is yours:

http://www.elisarolle.com/romance/authors/diane_gaston.htm

And I would be happy to have you as my guest, more since you are also translated and Italian readers have the chance to read you.

Why don't you write to me in private and we can plan something? here is my address:

elisa(dot)rolle(at)libero(dot)it

 
At 11:13 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Sorry Diane, the link was cut. Here is the correct link

http://www.elisarolle.com/romance/authors/diane_gaston.htm

 
At 11:16 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

mmm it was not me it was the commen layout...

anyway if you go on

http://www.elisarolle.com/romance

and then browse the authors page, you will find the link both as Diane Gaston than as Diane Perkins.

Same for other ladies here... Trish Morey, Colleen Gleason, Stephanie Rowe, Anne Mallory and many more.

Elisa

 
At 11:16 AM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

Villa la Petraia is one of the places I hope to visit on my trip to Italy in September. Well, I will probably be lucky just to see Pisa's Bell Tower, but I hope we can visit both Pisa and Florence, and see as much as we can in a short time.

Elisa, do you know of any romance authors in Italy? Or are most romances translated from other languages?

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

Another question: how well are ebooks doing in Italy? Since paper books are so hard to get, are more readers turning to the internet for ebooks?

 
At 11:53 AM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Elisa, thank you so much for blogging here today. I had heard of you, but didn't know the details. Truly you are a pioneer in your country. Thanks to you and women like you, I'm sure there will be more romance novels in Italy. We feel all the frustrations you do in being judged for what we read (and write), but at least we can get the books.

A Knight in Shining Armor is one of my favorite romances ever. :D

 
At 12:11 PM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Delle

> do you know of any romance authors in Italy? Or are most romances translated from other languages?

In Italy the 90% of romances, if not more, are translated romances (only from English, actually I believe the only other language never translated was from French in the '40 and '50, the romances of a french brother couple who used the pen name of Delly).

Italian romance writers are not common, but they are very good: Ornella Albanese, Mariangela Camocardi, Theresa Melville, Maria Masella, Alexandra J. Forrest, Paola Picasso. I believe there are more, but they use foreign pen names, and so I'm not sure of their nationality :-)

 
At 12:15 PM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Again Ciao Delle

> how well are ebooks doing in Italy? Since paper books are so hard to get, are more readers turning to the internet for ebooks?

The Italian romance market for ebooks is inexisting. Italian translated romance aren't available as ebooks, and the only ebooks sold to Italian readers are original language ebooks bought through the original English epublishers: since many genres aren't available into Italian, some readers decide to learn English and read in original language the romance they like, and since the shipping cost are expensive, a lot of readers buy the ebooks.

 
At 12:22 PM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Esri.

> I had heard of you, but didn't know the details.

I hope you heard only good things :-)


> Thanks to you and women like you, I'm sure there will be more romance novels in Italy. We feel all the frustrations you do in being judged for what we read (and write), but at least we can get the books.

Some of you recognize this words:

"Few people realize how much courage it takes for a woman to open
a romance novel on an airplane. She knows what everyone around
her will think about both her and her choice of reading material.
When it comes to romance novels, society has always felt free to sit
in judgment not only on the literature but on the reader herself."

They are words by Jayne Ann Krentz, it's the open phrase of her essay "Dangerous Men and Adventutous Women". Can you believe that they are written in 1992? So in Italy we are still in the situation of American romance readers of 20 years ago...

 
At 12:49 PM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

It's too bad we don't have someone who would translate our books and market them as ebooks. It sounds like a strong market already exists in Italy. I imagine it's true in other European countries, too.

Also, money being eternally popular, if the traditional publishers saw a strong rise in the ebook market for romances printed in Italian, they would likely expand their printed romance lines.

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Delle - Kudos on a bringing us a fascinating blogger.

Elisa - Wonderful post and thanks for your great support of romance writing.

Noodlers - Wow, what interesting covers you all have in Europe.

Hello to the Bandita Anna.

Blogger threw me off several times, so I've got to scoot. I'm coming back to finish reading all the posts, but this is really a very interesting blog.

Dianna

 
At 1:29 PM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Delle

> It's too bad we don't have someone who would translate our books and market them as ebooks

This is very true. It's a thing I heard a lot in the past months, since Italian romance readers are discovering that there is a wide world outside Italy regardind romance and they are eager to be allowed. But the knowledge of a second foreign language is not so common in Italy and so for many readers this is a great boundaries.

 
At 1:35 PM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Dianna.

I happened to read that you have a book co-written with Sherrilyn Kenyon coming soon. Do you believe that Sherrilyn Kenyon will be translated into Italian next month and they will translate Devil May Cry without having translate all the other books on the Dark Hunters series?

This is another problem with Italian publishers. Often they are not aware of what they are publishing, and instead of doing a good thing maybe they ruin the chance on an authors. I read all the Dark Hunters books, and I can't imagine how people will react reading a book so linked to a series, without having the chance to read the previous books.

P.S. Actually Sherrilyn Kenyon is already translated into Italian with her books as Kinley McGregor

 
At 2:15 PM, Blogger Anna Campbell said...

Elisa, still working hard translating, I see! Hi, Lia! Silvietta, thank you so much for that lovely reaction to Claiming the Courtesan. I'm delighted you enjoyed it so much! A standing ovation, huh? Now, that's serious! ;-) I'm not sure what's happening with future translations of my books but I'll drop Elisa a line when I am and she can let you girls
know.

Delle, trip sounds fabulous! Have a great time!
Diane, cool on the Italian translations!

 
At 2:18 PM, Blogger Anna Campbell said...

Colleen, don't you just love the Italian titles? I Cacciatore di Vampiri! Fantastic! Although it makes me think of Dracula stewed up in tomatoes and onions!

Dianna, waving back! It takes courage for a Bandita to venture into WNP territory. Last time I was here, Ms. Morey threatened to wrestle me to the ground. Although I wouldn't mind it if one of her heroes did the wrestling...

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Oh, and can I just say, looking at TrishMo and Diane's Italian covers, that all cover models should be Italian? Yow!

I particularly love the body language of the woman on TrishMo's cover. There's a whole, "Yes, we should. No, we shouldn't!" message going on in that woman's arms that is just brilliant. Well, what else would you expect from the country that brought us Verdi? Great drama. (Can anyone tell I'm partial to Italy?)

 
At 6:54 PM, Blogger Trish Morey said...

Welcome Elisa, and all our visitors (not sure about that Anna Campbell though, vixen that she is, looking for a hero to wrestle her to the ground:-))

Esri, I love that cover too, the sense of abandonment is wonderful. Amazing that the cover pic was the same for the US, but surrounded by the white Presents covers, they just don't convey that same sense of - yes, the drama - spot on!

I love the titles too. Seems to me the Spanish and Italian titles are much, much more romantic than the English versions. That book was originally titled "The Spaniard's Blackmailed Bride". From what I can tell of the Italian, it's much more like "Sweet something of love", and although that Talamo has me stumped, already the title is much more evocative, to my way of thinking at least.

Elisa, I'll be visiting your gorgeous country in September! A return visit and now only three months away. Anna, if you're a good girl, I'll bring you back a wrestling hunk of your own:-)

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger Trish Morey said...

LOL, Anna, on the Dracula Cacciatore. That's one thing I look forward *not* to finding on a menu while I'm visiting later this year.

 
At 6:58 PM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

Ciao Bella Elisa!

This is a fascinating post. Those of us who read and write romance should be so grateful we have access to so much variety in what we read. I think it is a testament to the strength, intelligence and beauty of Italian women that they read romance in spite of the cultural stigma attached to it. Brava Signoras y Signorinas!

I find it the take of Italian society on romance novels very odd considering that Italy is the birthplace of some of the most romantic music and especially operas in the world.

La Traviata, Tosca, La Boheme, Aida, I could go on and on - when trimmed down to their most basic stories, these operas are romance novels set to music.

And Esri I can tell you I spent most of my trip to Perugia with whiplash from watching all of the gorgeous men walk by! Bellisimo!

 
At 7:03 PM, Blogger Trish Morey said...

Thank you Louisa! Forget the Dracula Cacciatore, Perugia is now firmly on my menu:-)

"What was that, honey? Oh no, I wasn't really looking, it's just research..."

 
At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Lisa Hendrix said...

What a fascinating post, Elisa. Thanks for explaining the situation in Italy. I think we forget that not everyone has access to the range of books we do here in the States. Of course, I bet there are some great Italian books we're missing out on here, too. Maybe you could mention a few, to whet our interest?

I remember a few years ago when Harlequin was promoting heavily in Italy, they took some American authors over. I think Jane Porter was one, and I believe Debbie Macomber toured there as well. Did you have a chance to see them?

 
At 8:08 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Elisa, I found my author page. This is my first glimpse of the Innocence & Impropriety cover Rosa irlandese (love the title)and I find it charming.

You mentioned Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women. I think romance readers still are hesitant to read romance in public. I know I used to cover my romances. Now I don't and I dare anyone to speak to me about it. I'll explain exactly what romance is!

I will email you!

Diane

 
At 8:10 PM, Blogger Anna Campbell said...

Trish, I'm ALWAYS a good girl. (Bats eyelashes in a completely unconvincing manner)

 
At 8:21 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Hello Elisa and friends! Great to have you. What wonderful covers. I would love to visit Italy and check out the bookstores there. All of these posts are so interesting. Thanks for sharing!

 
At 8:24 PM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

You too, Trish? September is when I'm going-- 21st to 28th. Let's talk. Maybe we can meet in Rome. wouldn't that be cool? A Wet Noodle Posse lunch by the Colliseum?

Only three months away, and I still haven't found a hotel for our four nights in Barcelona before the cruise!

Delle

 
At 8:29 PM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

Trish, Perugia is also famous for its chocolate. You can always tell the hubby you are investigating the ancient art of candy making. :) The best are candies called BACI. Fabulous. Sitting at a sidewalk cafe, eating chocolate and watching the "scenery." Sigh! I NEED to go back - strictly for research purposes. Is anyone buying La Signora Campbell as a good girl?

 
At 10:03 PM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

Elisa, thank you so much for joining us! This was marvelous day and very enlightening. You are so kind to share your knowledge with us. And as Esri says, you are a true pioneer, bringing the stories women need to read to the women of Italy.

Delle

 
At 11:45 PM, Blogger Trish Morey said...

Is anyone buying La Signora Campbell as a good girl?

Not this little black duck, Louisa:-)

And hey, aren't those Baci chocs scrumptious? I never knew that's where they came from. Thank you!

And Delle, wow, we'll be traveling the same time. When are you in Rome?

 
At 11:59 PM, Blogger Santa said...

Ciao Elisa! I am so thrilled to have added you to my bookmarks. I've enjoyed lurking at your site. I applaud your efforts in bringing romance to Italy - as strange as that may sound!

Tante belle cose!
Santa

 
At 2:37 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Esri

> Oh, and can I just say, looking at TrishMo and Diane's Italian covers, that all cover models should be Italian?

Actually they are lucky, usually Italian cover are not very good. I believe that, in particular, Trish Morey's cover is american by Albert Slark, a very good cover artist.

Elisa

 
At 2:39 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Trish

> although that Talamo has me stumped, already the title is much more evocative, to my way of thinking at least.

Talamo means "marriage bed", so your italian title is "Sweet marriage bed of love".

What part of Italy will you visit? I live near Venice, one of the most romantic city in the world.

Elisa

 
At 2:42 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Louisa

> I find it the take of Italian society on romance novels very odd considering that Italy is the birthplace of some of the most romantic music and especially operas in the world.

This is what I always try to explain. Many of the most beautiful novel are love stories. In Italy one of our classic is "Promessi Sposi" by Alessando Manzoni, a story of two young lovers who have to outcome a lot of trouble before being allow to marry.

Elisa

 
At 2:47 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Lisa

> Maybe you could mention a few, to whet our interest?

Alexandra J. Forrest and Ornella Albanese are among the most original for setting and plot.

Mariangela Camocardi is a very "classical" writer and she always sets her stories in the nineteen century Italy.

Theresa Melville is a very good historical suspence writer.

> I remember a few years ago when Harlequin was promoting heavily in Italy, they took some American authors over. I think Jane Porter was one, and I believe Debbie Macomber toured there as well. Did you have a chance to see them?

Actually no, I have the chance to meet Victoria Alexander when she was visiting Venice, and then at Matera Women Fiction Festival, Liz Fielding, Barbara Samuel, Kayla Perrin and Ann Roth. This year at the same festival Mill&Boons will celebrate its anniversary, and so I think they will bring a bit of authors.

 
At 2:49 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Theresa

> I would love to visit Italy and check out the bookstores there.

As I said, if you want to find romances, you would have more chances to find them on the corner shops rather than in bookstores...

Elisa

 
At 2:52 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Louisa

> The best are candies called BACI.

Do you know that that candy original were named "Pugni" (fist) for their form, similar to a fist. Lately they thought that it was better to change the name in something more romantic.

 
At 2:53 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

Ciao Santa

> I am so thrilled to have added you to my bookmarks

Thanks! I always like to have new friens. Pass by in the future, and we can chat on my blog.

 
At 2:55 AM, OpenID elisa-rolle said...

To everyone, thanks for the warm welcome.

I read some of you will be in Italy in late September. Unfortunately I will be in California the last two week of September, so I can't offer my as travel guide.

But Italy is wonderful and I know you will have a wonderful time!

Elisa

 
At 2:58 AM, Blogger Trish Morey said...

Elisa, thank you for giving me the name of my cover artist! He's wonderful, I must look him up. And the translation - Sweet Marriage Bed of Love - I love it, thanks so much!

We'll be visiting Rome mainly this time, and heading down south to explore the Amalfi Coast. My girls would love to revisit Venice (they were so young last time). You're very lucky. It's certainly such a gorgeous part of the world, to be sure.

Thank you so much for dropping by the wetnoodleposse blog today, I have so enjoyed your posts and your take on romance publishing, Italian style!

 
At 3:23 PM, Blogger Francy said...

I'm so sorry that I knew about Elisa's guest blogging at WNP late because I 'd have taken part in the chat very gladly. Like Elisa I'm an Italian romance book fan who has been reading books in English for some years now and I don't like the way the publishing industry works in Italy. Elisa explained the situation quite well. Publishers decide the market here not readers and the readers don't have much say in the their choices. The only way out of such an unfair situation is cut off the intermediaries and get the books directly from the source. That's exactly what Elisa and I have been doing - we started buying our books in English because we can get exactly the books we want, the authors we like and the genres we are more fond of. But the rest of the romance fans, those who can't read a whole novel in English, are left to the 'whims of the publishers'. Some very good authors are published but others that are good as well won't ever be. My only hope is that the community of romance readers who thanks to the web can get to know more about romance publishing can become bigger and bigger, so big that sooner or later publishers will have to take our suggestions and desires into consideration when they make their choices about what to publish. I have a small blog in which I talk about romance books and stuff, but the number of romance sites on the matter in Italian is really scanty . Well, our community isn't that big at the moment, but I hope things will soon get better. I'd like to thank all the authors who accepted ( or will accept)to be interviewed by Elisa ( or by other Italian bloggers) because that's the only way the Italian romance fans can get in touch with their favourite writers . Romance book publishers here have just started realizing that the internet could be a good means of marketing - can you believe it?

Tanti saluti dall'Italia! All the best from Italy!

Francesca

Ops! I forgot to say: hey, I'm very glad I found this blog. I'll be back soon - you rock ladies!

 
At 4:47 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Ciao, Francesca! Great to hear from you. Thanks for sharing your story. Hopefully everyone can work to get more romances written in Italian...and very soon!

 

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