Day 13 Barbara Vey – A Romance A Day

Everybody Needs to Read at Least One Romance

I had to laugh when Bobbi asked me to write a blog for Read a Romance Month because I’m more a Read a Romance a Day kind of person.  I’m always baffled when I’m talking to a reader who’s never read a romance.  How can anyone get through life without reading a romance?  They don’t know what they are missing.  So, I’ve made it my mission to try to get a romance book into every reader’s hand.Beyond Her Book

My quest started about 7 years when I took an Authors at Sea cruise.  Readers and authors spent a week cruising, mingling, playing and talking books.  It was nirvana.  I met Karen Holt who was the Deputy Editor of Publishers Weekly.  Since I’d never heard of PW, I thought it was a publishing house so I invited her to sit down so I could tell her everything that publishers were doing wrong from a reader’s point of view.  Karen went on to write an article about my observations and I even got my picture in PW.  A few months later she contacted me about writing a blog for their new online magazine.  My reply email was, “I’m a reader, not a writer…send books.”  Well, lucky for me, Karen persisted and my son explained what a blog was to me.  I gave in and tried it and now 6 1/2 years later, I’m still at it.

My focus has changed over the years.  I started by going to the library, reading a book and writing about it, but not doing a full review.  I interviewed a few local authors and then attended my first RT Convention.  I did nonstop interviews and by the time I hit RWA I felt like I was getting into the swing of things. I was so wrong.  There were so many amazing romance authors there that I was totally in fan-girl mode.  I even got to meet one of my idols, Linda Howard, at breakfast and proceeded to embarrass myself by missing my mouth with the food because I was in awe.  Thank goodness she is a very gracious lady and acted like she didn’t notice.

Romance has enriched my life so much over the years.  During all the rough times, when things became overwhelming, I always knew I could pick up a book and catch up with old friends and find some new ones.  I could escape to the Highlands or attend a ball at Almacks or discover the mystical worlds of vampires and werewolves or go on an adventure with Navy Seals.  No matter where they took me, they always ended at the same place…with a Happily Ever After.  And it was just what I needed in my life and still do.  Romance writers are my heroes!


Questions for Barbara:

What is the craziest or ugliest object in your house, and why do you keep it?

My son, Andrew, gave me a Tribble (from the original Star Trek) when he was 12 years old.  I’ve always been a huge fan and love it.  It even makes that Tribble sound.tribble

If there was a movie made about your life, what would it be called? (And just for fun, who would play you?)

I guess because of all the jokes made about my name, the title of the movie would have to be “Oy Vey!” and I would want Meryl Streep to play me because she plays every character so believably and I’ll love to have people think of Meryl Streep when they hear my name.

What is the best non-monetary gift you ever received?

This is easy.  Andrew is an artist and painted me a picture of a mother and her child hugging.  It is hanging in a place of honor in my bedroom.

Barbara is generously donating  a selection of books to one lucky readerNo international sorry. To enter the domestic contest, either leave a comment here or enter the weekly drawing on the contest page. Or both.  (Only one entry per commenter per post, though – multiple comments on one essay does not give you more chances.)  Comment entries must be posted by 11:59pm EST Aug 13 to be eligible, though winners will be announced the following week.

 


 

As Contributing Editor for Publishers Weekly, Barbara Vey brings readers and writers together with her popular Beyond Her Book blog. From her entertaining “Drive By Videos” to reader feedback on books with WW Ladies Book Club, BHB continues to grow into a must read daily adventure. An avid reader, Barbara consumed a book a day before taking on the glamorous life of a roving reporter.

Traveling all over the United States to conferences from Romance to Thrillers, Mysteries to Horror, Historicals to Comic Con, Barbara has even broken through the barrier into the entertainment industry by covering Red Carpet Events and interviewing the likes of Richard Dean Anderson, Joshua Jackson, Joss Whedon, Dakota Fanning and others. But her love of Romance and the Happily Ever After keeps her grounded while she offers readers a place to step away from life’s daily trials to take a positive journey through the world of books.  She is the 2012 Recipient of the RWA Vivian Stephens Industry Award.

 

 

  • JenM

    Yup, a romance a day keeps the doctor away! I know I have a happier outlook thanks to all the romances I read.

    • Barbara Vey

      Jen, I was smiling while I read your post. I feel the same way.

  • Patoct

    HEAs are what it is all about. Enuf said. LOL.

    • Barbara Vey

      Patoct, you took the words right out of my mouth. 🙂

  • Glenda

    The world would be a sadder place without books – especially romances! Thanks for helping spread the word.

    • Barbara Vey

      You are so right, Glenda. I’m done with gloom and doom. Bring on the HEAs!!

  • Laurie W G

    I’ve never read Publisher’s Weekly so I’m going to check it out and also try to find your articles! Such an interesting way you found your day job!

    I recently heard you are having your Luncheon in April with Debbie Macomber as the keynote speaker. I’m so jealous. Unfortunately, I don’t visit Wisconsin until June.

    I’ve been a confirmed romance reader since the mid-1980’s, lots of changes over the years!

    • Barbara Vey

      Laurie, I wish you could make the luncheon. There will be over 40 other authors there too. You won’t find me in the magazine, but I am online at their website at the Beyond Her Book blog.

  • Melanie Backus

    I love a good read. Whether reviews or books themselves, I am there!

    • Barbara Vey

      You are right, Melanie. If it’s not a good book it doesn’t matter what genre it is.

  • Beverly DeeAnjello

    I discovered romances in high school. I’ve always been a reader, but I loved mysteries as a kid. Go Nancy Drew! I still read different genres, but a life with out romances wouldn’t be as much fun.

    • Barbara Vey

      I went through many phases in my life. Mysteries by Agatha Christie and Erle Stanley Gardner, thrillers by Robert Ludlum and Mario Puzo, historicals by Victoria Holt and all the Tarzan books by Edgar Rice Borroughs. Enjoyed them all, but romance really does it for me now.

  • Jen C

    I saw a new woman at my job reading a romance during her break. I immediately interrupted her and started “talking shop”. The next day we gave each other a stack of our favorites. We’ve become great friends and sharing stories is one of our favorite things to do. We’ve discovered new authors from each other. We also joke about leaving work so we can go catch up on our “to be read” pile! 🙂

    • Barbara Vey

      Jen, this is a great story. Books really do bring people together. It’s fun to share books and then you have someone to talk to about the story. Everyone wins.

  • Nancy Huddleston

    Do you ever think about writing a romance? If so, what time period would it be in?

    • Barbara Vey

      Nancy, I think about this all the time. Unfortunately, I don’t have any good or original ideas. I’d like to write a humorous contemporary and include some of the goofy things that have happened to me.

  • Britney Adams

    I love Happily Ever After and reading about Barbara Vey and her enthusiasm for romance writers!!

    • Barbara Vey

      Britney, sometimes I get over excited. Today my son picked me up at the airport and when he dropped me off at home he said all I talked about was the great books and authors I’ve read while I was gone. I’m still trying to get him to read a romance. 🙂

  • Sandi in OH

    I’ve always been a reader who will sometime write a review for Amazon. I think I’ve written three. I do write one page stories about my dogs and send the stories to my grandchildren in NC. I figure it is good reading practice for them.

    • Barbara Vey

      Hi Sandi, reviews always help authors, so it’s a good thing that you are doing. I bet he grandkids love the dog stories. 🙂

  • Nicole Fortuna

    It’s great that you are showing readers what they are missing by introducing them to romance.

    • Barbara Vey

      It would be nice if everyone just tried one romance. Then they could speak intelligently about why they did or did not like the genre.

  • Toni Linenberger

    I love your blog. You do so much for the genre! Thank you.

    • Barbara Vey

      Toni, thank you for your kind words, but I wish I could express how much reading romance has enriched my life. I hear stories all the time about how romance got people through rough times. It’s quite inspiring.

  • HankPRyan

    Talk about happily ever after…isn’t that exactly what happened to you? love love love..xoo

    • Barbara Vey

      Hey Hank! Yes, I am living beyond my wildest dreams. No one could have predicted this, just the right place at the right time.

  • M Kuxhaus

    Reading your bio, I see you’ve met Richard Dean Anderson. I must know: is he as dreamy in real life as on the screen?

    • Barbara Vey

      Oh my goodness! He is extremely handsome and delightful. You can go to YouTube and see the interview. I was totally fan girl and stuttered like an idiot. But it will always be a cherished memory because he hugged me.

  • rebecca moe

    What an inspirational story–thanks for sharing! Sounds like a dream job 🙂

    (My son and I saw the new Star Trek movie over the weekend–every time the Tribble was on screen, I poked him and said, “Look! It’s a Tribble!” He didn’t exactly share my excitement…go figure.)

    • Barbara Vey

      Maybe you have to buy him a Tribble. Then he can really experience it. 😉

  • Kim Cornwell

    Love meeting new authors! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Barbara Vey

      Hi Kim, I’m so honored to be invited with so many amazing authors.

  • Sue G.

    What an interesting way you got into reading. Glad your son pushed you.

    • Barbara Vey

      My son is my biggest cheerleader. 🙂

  • Beth Re

    I love reading romance for the reasons you listed above, thaks for sharing your point of view

    • Barbara Vey

      Beth, don’t you wonder what’s wrong with people who don’t read romance? I feel bad for them because they don’t know what they are missing.

  • Kareni

    I’m another one who frequently reads a romance a day (sometimes two!) I’ve just bookmarked your blog and look forward to reading it.

    • Barbara Vey

      Hi Kareni, another readaholic! I love it! I’ll be watching for your comments and I’d love to hear what you’re reading.

  • Joanne Ozment

    Can’t imagine not reading romance novels. It’s my go to pleasure in life.

    • Barbara Vey

      Joanne, I’m with you. I almost go into withdrawal if I’ve been away from a good romance for too long.

  • christieMI

    Wow–how time flies! I remember when you first started the PW blog and how much fun it’s been–and how wild the anniversary parties have gotten!

    • Barbara Vey

      Christie, it’s hard for me to believe it’s been over 6 years too. The older I get, the faster time flies. It drives me crazy. 🙂

  • Carrie

    I love how versatile the romance genre is. I can read suspense, fantasy, historical, etc.–whatever fits my mood–and still get a HEA.

    • Barbara Vey

      Carrie, I totally agree. I love to switch things up by reading a historical one day and a suspense the next. If I read the same genre at the same time, it becomes all muddled in my brain. I need to keep my books straight!

  • Kim

    I love that you’re such an advocate for romance! I love reading the diversity within romance.

    • Barbara Vey

      Kim, I think the diversity is what gives romance the edge. You can read any subgenre, but if it has romance, it has that extra kick!

  • Janie

    No matter what my mood is I always reach for a romance.

    • Barbara Vey

      Janie, and I bet you’re always in a better mood after reading a romance!

  • Meredith Richardson

    I love your mission 🙂 I think it’s so important that people read romance, and more importantly books in general. There are so many kids that spend their time on the computer playing games or in front of the tv instead of reading books. While I spent the summer with my cousins a few years ago I talked them into reading a little each day. For the most part they complained but participated. I was shocked and touched to find out that the youngest had fallen in love with books as much as me and even completed enough books to receive a free book of his choice at the local Barns and Noble store.

    So your mission really is important and can affect soo many lives!!!

    • Barbara Vey

      Meredith, that’s a great idea. If we each took just one person by the hand and placed a book there, it could lead to amazing things.

  • Hannah Roberson

    I feel cheated if the story doesn’t have a happily ever after ending. cliff hangers are just as bad

    • Barbara Vey

      Me too Hannah. I just don’t want to waste my time. That HEA is an itch that needs to be scratched.

  • BookLady

    I love the Happily Ever After endings of romance. Thanks for sharing your experiences with publishing and promoting romance.

    • Barbara Vey

      Hi BookLady (love your name), I think all romance readers probably promote romance. If you love you, you can’t help but want to share it with others.

  • Jacs

    I always like hearing the story of you and that author cruise. Just think how going on that changed the course of your life? Look how many lives you’ve touched with your positive energy! I’m so glad to know you, Barbara 🙂
    Reading romance kept me sane, especially when there were times in my life when things seemed hopeless. There’s something about the positivity and the happily ever afters in the romance genre I love. And to those that think that think reading romance gives me an ‘unrealistic’ view of the world and what I want in it? Oh if you only truly knew what you’re missing. (p.s. I know I can’t win but wanted to comment, unless if I do I’m able to give my ‘win’ to the bf who is also reads romances–which is a big reason I love him 🙂 )

    • Barbara Vey

      Hey Jacs! Thanks so much for stopping by and yes, we do ship to TX. 🙂 You are another great example of positive energy and spreading the good word about romance. You enrich my life. Thank you!!

  • jacquelineseewald

    I enjoy your blog as both a reader and writer of romantic fiction.

    • Barbara Vey

      Jacqueline, thank you so much and I’m thrilled to see you are also a writer.

  • Bernadette Long

    I love reading romance and believe that every story should have a happily – ever – after ending, too.

    • Barbara Vey

      Bernadette, I totally agree. Long live HEAs!!

  • Ruth

    I, too, am more a “romance-a-day” person! My local library has a contest for a drawing every summer as part of an adult reading program. One has to read four books from June 1 – July 31 to be eligible. FOUR books?! Great day, if left to my own devices, I can read four books in one week! Happily. Viva le Romance!!

    • Barbara Vey

      Ruth, I had to laugh when I read this. I always thought it was a misprint when they would list such a low number. Get real…books need to be read everyday!!

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    I am a big fan of romance. I read a few a week.

    • Barbara Vey

      Melissa, if we ever get together we will be talking books all night!

  • Marcy Shuler

    I read romance daily. Honestly, if I’m unable to read than you know I’m really ill and need to see a doctor. LOL

    • Barbara Vey

      Well said Marcy! I’m with you.

  • I love how romance can take us to so many different places…the genres are vastless. I don’t know how people can go through life without reading the ultimate Happily Ever After. Great post. Thank you for sharing, Barbara! I love having my blog, and I have to check yours out!

    • Barbara Vey

      Brooke, you said it perfectly. It’s a mystery to me too when they slam romance. Oh well, their loss.

  • Patty Vasquez

    I love the idea of catching up with old friends. Although I’m not certain one can refer to a woman who can manage blood magic and her alpha Beast Lord as friends! But, on second thought, that’s the point (and the reward!) of reading romance novels. Kate and Curran CAN be my friends and I can cry with them, I can cheer with them, and I can savor the love between them with each successive story in their lives. It makes me smile to think about it.

    • Barbara Vey

      Patty, I’m with you. Many times I forget that I’m reading a paranormal and focus on the love story because it doesn’t seem to matter what the circumstances, it’s the couple that matters.

      • Patty Vasquez

        So true. They were the couple that popped into my head first. But, you know, the authors become our friends, too. That’s something else special and unique about romance.

        • Barbara Vey

          I go to a lot of different genre conferences and romance is so unique because of the special bond between the readers and authors. It’s a joy to see.

  • Mary Jo Burke

    Romances are a reminder that life is good and fun.

    • Barbara Vey

      Mary Jo, and what a great reminder it is!

  • Ketta Peters

    When I picked up my first romance, it seemed like I was doing something taboo, and made me feel deliciously naughty. Now, it just brings a smile to my face as I join my “newest acquaintances” in their search for HEA.

    • Barbara Vey

      Ketta, you will make so many new friends in the romance community. It is such a welcoming group and you will fit right in.

  • Mary McCoy

    Looking forward to being a fan girl myself at the luncheon in April!

    • Barbara Vey

      Mary, we are so going to rock Milwaukee with that luncheon! 🙂

  • Sharlene Wegner

    There are so many talented romance writers & I do agree that reading romance enriches our lives. And lucky you to have such a gifted son who would paint you a loving picture!

    • Barbara Vey

      Sharlene, I’ve been out of town for the past couple of weeks or I would have included the picture he painted. It means the world to me.

  • TrishJ

    I read something every day. sometimes just a chapter, but something. And I always have a book with me. My Kindle made this easier. Out of 4 children I have 1 son who loves to read, and he has a daughter who loves to read. She is even writing in journals. When she grows up she wants to be an author
    (She just turned 12).

    • Barbara Vey

      Trish, this warms my heart. My 12 year old great niece writes about books for my blog. If your granddaughter is interested in receiving and writing about books, email me at barbaravey @ gmail.com

  • tonda hargett

    I love your essay, that could be me someday, but I kinda doubt it. Like you were, I’m a reader, not a writer! lol

    • Barbara Vey

      Tonda, if I can do it, anyone can. It’s just a matter of sharing what you enjoy…books!

  • leah g

    I love your articles on PW. I read PW at work, it makes me anxious to get home and get to my books!

    • Barbara Vey

      Thanks Leah. I love writing them. My son told me to pretend I’m talking to my friends so it feels great to “talk” to my friends so often.

  • Ann

    Great post! Now to find the PW site . . . .

    • Barbara Vey

      You are so sweet. Let me know if you ever think of a topic you’d like to see talked about.

  • Becky Rabalais

    Cool interview! Wonderful to meet Barbara!

    • Barbara Vey

      Hi Becky, it’s nice to meet you too!!

  • Lorelei’s Lit Lair

    Barbara, I’m with you, Romance writers are my heroes too! Great reading your experience and blog!

    • Barbara Vey

      I’ve always been in awe of the creative mind and I’m grateful they share their stories with us.

      • Lorelei’s Lit Lair

        I just watched Kristan Higgins RWA luncheon speech and what she says is that authors books are the light to so many readers. So true. Their stories brighten our days.

  • QuenKne M

    What a dream job!! How awesome is it to have to read and travel to meet authors. I’ll have to check out your blog. Thanks for all your hard work.

    • Barbara Vey

      It’s my pleasure and honor. I truly feel blessed with what I get to do. I love it!!

  • Cheryl Hastings

    A new author…and she’s got a Tribble!! Day 13 is a very good day 🙂

    • Barbara Vey

      Tribbles make me smile. What can I say? 🙂

  • Marcia Berbeza

    OMG. I can’t believe I’m actually jealous that you have a Tribble! I love stories demonstrating Serendipity and you’ve got one. I too, love romance. I wouldn’t ever try writing one, but as a school librarian, I’ve attended conferences and met authors and been totally tongue tied! I am such a fan of talent! You seem to have found your niche!

    • Barbara Vey

      You have no idea how relaxing it is to pet a Tribble and have it purr for you. It makes me melt.

      • Marcia Berbeza

        Jealous!

        • Barbara Vey

          Here…now you can put it on your Christmas list: http://www.tribbletoys.com/home.html

          • Marcia Berbeza

            Who knew? One’s on my xmas list. I want a desert tribble. Of course now, I might have to deal with jealous bunny rabbits! But that one would be a match for my Scotchy!

  • Barbara E.

    Great post and I agree with the idea that everyone should read romance, there’s something for everyone if they would just give them a chance. 😀

    • Barbara Vey

      Looks like we’re going to start a movement!

  • Marilyn P in Illinois

    I love a good romance story. I also have written a few reviews on Amazon

  • Pam P

    I love meeting so many different character and escaping to other times and places reading romance.

  • Flora Segura-Buchler

    Hi Barbara! It’s so nice to see you here. I attended my first RWA Conference in 2011 in NYC. I did a version of what you did by inviting favorite authors to join me for breakfast or lunch. I was astounded by how they responded to my invitations. Without exception, they were all very pleased to meet with me. I did the same for RWA 2012 and I recently got back from RWA/Atlanta where I had a full schedule of meetings and meals with some of the very best authors writing today! One of the authors said she had never before been approached like this by a fan and she was very pleased with the invitation. Another author asked why I had not invited her this year!

    Like you, I am a reader not a writer, but I respect the art and talent of those who do write so much, that meeting them is something very special to me. My son, a huge sports fan, finally put it into a context that he could relate to. To quote him: “Mom, it’s as if I called up Michael Jordan to have lunch with me and he said ‘Yes!'”

  • Karin Anderson

    I can totally see Meryl Streep playing you! I love seeing you at conventions and hope to continue to do so. 😀

  • glittergirl54

    You are a great representative of we reader-fan-girls! It’s awesome to see how your life and influence has grown over the years. Keep up the good work! Thanks for the giveaway.

  • donnas

    Awesome post. And everyone should read a romance novel. They are definitely more than what people commonly think!