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Romancing the tome: Saturday's book fair for the bodice-ripper

Most of the attendees at the annual RT Booklovers Convention, which runs through Sunday at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, have been in the thick of the romantic fiction frenzy since Wednesday, attending an ambitious slate of author panels and theme parties (Wednesday was Bollywood Nights, Thursday was the Venetian Masquerade Faery Ball, and Friday is the Vampire Ball -- which happens to have the Zombie Dancers from Planet 9 on the bill).

But if your interest in the romantic fiction genre is a little less hard core -- or this is the first you've heard about the convention -- day passes are still available (of the two major annual conventions in the U.S. each year, this one is the more reader-oriented).

The biggest open-to-the-public event, taking place on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., is a romantic fiction book fair ($5 at the door), during which some 300 authors will be autographing books, posters and bookmarks.

Since Saturday is also "Teen Day" at the convention, with various events focusing on the young adult market, any teen who purchases a $25 day pass not only gets admission to the book fair (an accompanying adult will get in free) but can attend the teen workshops and a teen mixer from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. as well.

Additional details, a complete list of authors and a convention schedule can be found online at rtconvention.com.

RT Booklovers Convention Book Fair is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, 404 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles.

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: Romantic fiction authors Genella DeGrey, left, and Amanda McIntyre, center right, at the "Saucy Sirens Through History" meet-and-greet at the RT Booklovers Convention at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday. The convention, which runs through Sunday, includes an open-to-the-public book fair on Saturday. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times.



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Back in my 20s, I used to devour romance novels. These days I avoid 'em. Better things to read.

Bodice ripper is an outdated term. I used to read romance in the 90s then stopped for a long time, instead choosing literary fiction. On a whim, I picked up a romance novel at the library a couple of years ago and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

Romance has changed in the last 20 years. Many romance authors have advanced degrees in various fields, such as chemistry, law, English and psychology, to name a few. This has changed the caliber of writing found in the romance genre. In addition, there are many sub genres, which means more choice for readers.

Sometimes I like a guaranteed happy ending, and romance delivers.


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