Reading Is Recommended
Of course, one of the best ways to learn about romance novels is to read the work of those who are considered the best in the genre.
And who determines who is the best? Usually the readers who buy the books, the reviewers who rate the books, and the published membership of Romance Writers of America, who nominate them for the annual Rita award. RWA has several lists on their Web site of the current bestselling romance titles and award winners.
Another great resource for finding a recommended reading list of current titles is to pick up a copy of Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine, a leading monthly publication for fiction lovers of all genres, including romance. With over 250 reviews of current titles each month, as well as informative author interviews and writing tips for beginners, RT has been a staple of the romance community for years.
To get an edge on the competition, read the work of debut authors. Established romance writers can often break the rules of the genre but a new author trying to break in needs to make her manuscript rejection-proof. Reading a debut novel can give you valuable insight into the tastes of the acquiring editor for a particular publishing house.
Famous Romance Novelists
So, who are the more renowned authors of modern romance fiction? The list is a long and varied one. Barbara Cartland, Danielle Steele, and Janet Dailey usually come to mind when thinking of popular romance authors from the twentieth century.
In recent years, though, several men have gained fame for their romance novels. Chief among them are Nicholas Sparks and James Patterson, who have both had romance titles at the top of the bestseller lists.
However, the most famous romance author working in the industry today is probably Nora Roberts, who sells more books each year than any other U.S. author.