The English Department at McDaniel College takes romance seriously. In fact, with grant money from the Nora Roberts Foundation, McDaniel College will begin offering a 15-credit romance writing program in the fall.
The five-course online program is dedicated to writing story-driven fiction culminating with a proposal package for an original, novel-length romance. Each course is three credits, and the cost per course is $1,290, according to a news release.
“I am honored to see this first-of-its-kind program launched at McDaniel through the generosity of the Nora Roberts Foundation,” said Pam Regis, English professor and coordinator of the romance program. “I am also delighted that Jenny Crusie, one of the best romance writers around and an in-demand teacher of writing romance, has agreed to teach. Her involvement in the program guarantees that the courses we are offering are beautifully designed and expertly taught.”
Patch recently did a Q & A with Regis, who is a nationally recognized expert on romance novels.
You tell us in comments: What is your favorite all-time romance novel?
Do you think more people need education on what a good romance novel is? There’s been a lot of criticism for the quality of writing in the New York Times Bestseller, Fifty Shades of Grey.
[Romance] is the most popular form of fiction in America. So here we have this form of fiction, it’s not really well understood. A lot of people take pot shots at it. It attracts all kinds of attention. One thing we can say about Fifty Shades of Grey, even though neither have read it, is that it’s a sensation. Ever since James Fenimore Cooper wrote Last of Mohicans and said ‘I can do better,’ ever since, people have read books and said, 'I can do this.' This is path for them.
Do you think there is a lot of interest in fiction writing now that there are more self publishing opportunities for writers ?
The barriers to entry are lower now. There is more of an avenue for getting your stuff out there. … We hope there will be a lot of interest [in the new fiction program.] We think there is an audience out there for this kind of instruction---we’ll find out won’t we.
What is your favorite romance novel?
Pride and Prejudice. It’s perfect. She [Jane Austen] understood the romance form completely. You get four courtships told in part or in whole. Elizabeth is close to the most perfect heroine, but then, of course, there is Darcy.
How many times have you read it? Upwards of 20.