now, we all understand how romance readers often feel a strong emotional
connection to their favorite authors. Remember when Annie Wilkes hobbled Paul
Sheldon in Misery? That was a strong
emotional connection. Yet, somehow that iconic scene is never referenced in
Laurie Kahn’s Love Between the Covers (trailer here), an introduction
to romance fandom that screens during this year’s DOC NYC.
who work in publishing might focus on the most extraneous details in Covers, like why are there so many James
Rollins paperbacks on the shelves in the opening credits? Perspective is
everything. Fans and authors alike routinely complain the genre gets no
respect, but if you have ever tried to get any sort of book besides romances
into mass merchandisers, you know a high percentage of their book space is
devoted to the genre, right off the top.
readers have a right to gripe about snotty hipster attitudes (and they do). If
you work all day and then go home to take care of some entitled brats, you
should feel free to take what pleasures you can from series romances, 50 Shades of Grey, or 120 Days of Sodom. The problem with Covers is it is unabashedly fannish and
the authors Kahn profiles are quite charming (which also holds true of every
romance novelist I’ve ever met at trade shows). Look, they understood the
principles of social media before Mark Zuckerberg. Mary Bly (an English
professor and daughter of poet Robert Bly, who writes romance under the name
Eloisa James) is a particularly charismatic and eloquent presence.
Unfortunately, the film never really gets past the H.E.A. (“happily ever after”)
formula and repetitive anecdotes of friendships forged through fandom.
if you knew precious little about trade publishing, you will hardly be shocked
to learn romance books are the commercial drivers of the industry, largely
written and consumed by women. That is about all Covers has for outsiders, but fans will appreciate the screen time
granted to popular bestsellers, like Nora Roberts and Jayne Ann Krentz.
Frankly, that is what the film is all about. Only recommended for the fans it
was intended for, Love Between the Covers
screens this Thursday (11/19) at the IFC Center, as part of DOC NYC 2015.
Labels: Book Publishing, DOC NYC '15, Documentary