Iowans have a heart when it comes to reading, it seems. Two authors will sign books and talk about their successfully-published romance novels today (Saturday) in West Des Moines. Marylee Woods is a spokeswoman with the local branch of a professional organization. It’s the Iowa chapter of “Romance Writers of America,” the creative arm of the industry and a professional group for authors, based in Houston. Woods says romance novels are nothing to turn up your nose at. The romance fiction market generated a billion and-a-half in sales last year, she says, and made up 55-percent of all paperback fiction sales. Though they’re sometimes scornfully referred to as “bodice rippers,” the books have a positive outlook, she says. A new term is “chick lit,” the for Bridget Jones type novel, and she says there are suspense, inspirational, and romantic-comedy subgroups in romantic fiction. Woods says there are chapters of the romance writers in Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, central Iowa and Council Bluffs, and plenty of Iowans making a living at that kind of writing. Two of them, Susan Fox and Cheryl St. John, will meet with readers to talk about romantic fiction and the publishing business and sign copies of their latest books, this afternoon at 2:00 at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in West Des Moines.
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