THE PACKAGES ARE ON THEIR WAY
Hello to all of our Kickstarter supporters,
The packages/letters with your Kickstarter pledge gifts all went out the day before Thanksgiving, so you should be getting them soon. MANY THANKS! (Needless to say, some of the pledge gifts, like the DVD of the finished film, will arrive only after the film is finished!)
Please let us know if you don't receive your package. (FYI, if you never filled in the Kickstarter survey we sent out, we don't know your snail mail address. So if you want your package, please email your address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS & POPULAR ROMANCE PROJECT NEWS
There's lots of news to report!
After the Kickstarter campaign was over, I went hiking in Wyoming and Montana (at Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks) for two weeks. It was transportingly beautiful, and a perfect, much-needed break after a summer of non-stop work.
I returned to Boston on a redeye in late September, and took off the same day (on a redeye!) for England, where I attended (and did some shooting at) the annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR), which took place in York, England. IASPR, for those of you who don't know it, is a wonderful organization started by romance scholars Sarah Frantz and Eric Selinger. It attracts scholars from a wide range of disciplines (literature, social history, media studies, pop culture studies, anthropology), it holds an annual conference, and it also has a peer-reviewed online journal, the Journal of Popular Romance Studies, that is well worth checking out.
After the conference, I traveled around England by train (to Oxford, London, Lincoln, Yorkshire, and various small towns) to meet with English romance authors. Jenny Haddon, the former president of the Romantic Novelists' Association, was extremely helpful and generous, opening doors for me with established and aspiring romance authors. As a result of these meetings, the film now has a fantastic new video diary keeper!
I returned from England in mid October, and we hit the ground running, preparing for a) several days of shooting in Maryland and b) the first face-to-face, all-day meeting of the Popular Romance Project's humanities scholars and four institutional partners.
On November 2, we shot NY Times bestselling author Susan Donovan with her friends, family, and medical team in Hagerstown, Maryland. On November 3, we shot in Boonsboro, Maryland, where Nora Roberts had a booksigning (an impressive operation!) for her latest book. We set up our Romance Story Station to capture the stories of Nora's fans, who had come from near and far.
The big Popular Romance Project meeting was held the next day, on November 4, at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland (many thanks to Pam Regis and the Nora Roberts Foundation!). As most of you know, the documentary film "Love Between the Covers" is one of four interlocking programs that make up the Popular Romance Project. In addition to the film, the Popular Romance Project includes a symposium on romance fiction at the Library of Congress, a nationwide library program organized by the American Library Association, and an ambitious website looking at popular romance across history and across different cultures, created by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.
During our day-long "summit meeting," the Popular Romance Project's scholars and partners all got to know one another. And we got to work. We discussed the project’s progress to date, planned future project activities, and began the process of coordinating and integrating the project’s four programs. After the meeting, project scholar Eric Selinger wrote to me,“What an amazing meeting—and those are two words, “amazing” and “meeting,” that don’t often hang out together. I came away feeling all sorts of inspired.”
We've got our work cut out for us, but I'm completely confident we've got the right team to make it all happen!
THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of your support!!
To stay posted on a regular basis, please "like" us at Facebook.com/PopularRomanceProject, and take a look at our tweets @PopularRomance. Please also check out the prototype of the ambitious website we are planning at PopularRomanceProject.org. The Center for History and New Media is doing an amazing job creating the website, thanks to Kelly Schrum and her team. The prototype site has been up and running since February of 2012 , and it has already gotten hits from more than 100 countries! In the last few months, there have been blogs at the site about romance in Korean television dramas, reflections on Carly Rae Jepsen's song "Call me Maybe," a fascinating debate on the merits/demerits of the advice "write what you know," annotated lists of favorite research books from different authors, and video excerpts of interviews with romance agent Steve Axelrod and romance author Caridad Pineiro.
In addition to staying in touch through Facebook, twitter, and PopularRomanceProject.org, I promise I will keep you posted here -- through Kickstarter -- in the months ahead.
Please feel free to write us with your suggestions and feedback! We'd love to hear from you.
With very best wishes,
Laurie Kahn, "Love Between the Covers" filmmaker (and Project Director for the Popular Romance Project)