Monday, February 08, 2010

Real love

by Jim

In one of those ideas so simple that you can’t figure out why no one else thought of it sooner, publisher HCI is launching a real life romance series. Actual love stories will be turned into romance novels—it’s sort of the book version of reality TV.

There’s something kind of fantastic about the idea of reading romance novels where what happens between the covers not only CAN happen but already did.

Or am I wrong? Will the real life couple out there ruin the fantasy of it all? I personally think it could be a super idea.


  1. Not a bad idea. It could spawn another series - "The Married Years." They would be murder mysteries, of course. THE CASE OF THE TOENAIL CLIPPINGS IN THE BED. Or, SEE, I TOLD YOU WE SHOULD HAVE TURNED LEFT ON MAIN WHY DON'T YOU EVER LISTEN TO ME? Or, I DIDN'T FORGET, IT JUST WASN'T ON MY CALENDAR

  2. Hmmm, interested to see how they marry these true stories with the right author (pun sorta intended). I'm not sure how I'd feel about my love story as a book, but then again, I don't try out for reality shows either. ;)

  3. I love this idea! I like Sara's post-romance ideas even better. ;-) Isn't truth stranger than fiction?

  4. Are romance novels finally getting a gritty reboot? Will they be putting realistic men with their realistic chiseled chests, washboard abs, and long flowing manes on the cover? If yes, count me in.

  5. I have so many questions about it. Will we be able to track the couples? Does the book go straight to the bargain bin if the couple splits up? Does the couple get a cut of the money? How are the couples chosen?

    Further investigation will be taking place--I literally posted this moments after I saw it.

    There's no guarantee it will work, but I'm legitimately excited by the idea. Let's see what happens! And, of course, keep fingers crossed that somewhere down the line they REALLY blend this with reality TV and we get to read a RB Romance about Snooki (hey--I'd buy it).


  6. I think this idea has a lot of potential. People like to root for love. For example, take Boston Rob and Amber from Survivor. I was not alone in hating Rob in his first season (Marquesas) and liked him maybe even less in the first All-Stars season when he got together with Amber. However, as their relationship developed over the course of the show and they became an item, I softened toward them. By the time he proposed to her at the finale/reunion show, I was a convert! Then they get married on TV? I was so there! And I continued to root for them when they ran The Amazing Race (twice, ahem - what can I say, I love Survivor and TAR). Once they became a love story, I pulled for them to succeed - both in reality shows and life, LOL. People love a good, happy ending, pure and simple. Add in the fact that it's real, and you've got absolutely sigh-worthy.

  7. If they really did this right -- following those couples straight through to old age -- it would be a huge flop. Not because there aren't real tales of romance and devoted love, but because only the beginnings would live up to the starry-eyed expectations of readers who anticipate happily-ever-after tales joy and faithfulness. Sadly, the more successful the real-life stories, the less enticing they will be to young hopefuls. Few people want to picture themselves cutting the toenails of some old dear after a double hip replacement.

    And what Sara Z said.

  8. Interesting idea, especially given the tremendous success of reality tv. Will that concept transfer well to the media of reading? That'd be the question I'd be concerned about, but it wouldn't surprise me if it does. At least for awhile.

  9. The Dallas Morning News has had a long-running feature like this for years. Just a few newpaper columns, not a novel, but the same general idea. Don't know how it will work out at 80K words or so, but with reality-everything...who knows!? Sounds like it's worth a try.

  10. I see Mary Witzl’s point. I’ve always wanted to write a story about a couple who, like my wife and I, are uncomplicatedly in love after many years. Why should young love get all the play? (Pun intended.) But I always run up against the same problem; there is no plot in long, stable love. Still, even if these true romances are all about the first blushes and devoid of the unsexy practicalities, perhaps they will remind us that the frail, old couple teetering down the street was once (maybe in their youth, maybe just yesterday) hopelessly enthralled by their own love story.


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