I’m at the very beginning of my campaign to Reclaim The Romance – and I’m curious to know what people think of the whole notion.
Last week I gave a talk to a group of W.I. ladies in Dumfries – it was actually about a long-distance ride I did a few years ago on Clydesdale horses – but romance knows no boundaries, so I decided to set them a short questionnaire.
I asked if they liked romantic novels and if so, did they have a favourite category.
I asked them to choose a favourite hero – alive or dead, fact or fiction. I said they couldn’t have George Clooney because I’d bagged him already (oh the fantasies the romantic writer can weave…)
In a spirit of equality – I also asked for a favourite heroine.
Name of favourite writer.
And finally the crunch question – did they prefer their romantic novels to be nice – or naughty.
The answers were illuminating. Happily they were unanimous in liking romantic fiction, with wartime stories topping the bill, followed by family sagas and historical.
Heroines were clearly chosen on a different basis – because the runaway favourite was Florence Nightingale with Joan of Arc in second place. Joanna Lumley, Ingrid Bergman and Doris Day were also up there with the stars.
And as to the naughty or nice question – naughty won out of the park – though some tempered that by plumping for ‘naughty but nice.’ Fair compromise!