It’s a while since I left the Romantic Novelists’ Association, but would love to have been a fly on the wall on their lively mailing list today, following the BBC’s Consuming Passions shown last night in honour of the Mills & Boon centenary.
This was a drama comprised of three stories, each of which celebrated romance and romantic writing with a good measure of irony thrown in. I particularly liked the seventies send-up of a girl who simply wrote out her fantasies and went on to make a iving from it. It was all good fun though maybe a bit much at 90 minutes – I think an hour might have been enough, and the present-day story in which an academic Emilia Fox fell for a too-hunky student felt least engaging. Is it easier to send up the past than the present day? Maybe, but Scott Matthewman of The Stage agrees with me and thinks it reflects the changes in romantic fiction. Good point.
Going back to RNA, I do know that HMB (Harlequin Mills & Boon) writers, as they now are, are a very hard-working bunch who would put most of us to shame in terms of the sheer volume of their output and their loyal readership.