New chapter in romance

Sarah IsonBusselton Dunsborough Times
Busselton library assistant Sarah Demou, community engagement librarian Penny Crowley and librarian Ana Brawls are looking forward to hearing how two WA authors view the modern romance genre at next week's event Love Between the Pages.
Camera IconBusselton library assistant Sarah Demou, community engagement librarian Penny Crowley and librarian Ana Brawls are looking forward to hearing how two WA authors view the modern romance genre at next week's event Love Between the Pages. Credit: Sarah Ison/Picture: Sarah Ison, Sarah Ison Busselton Dunsborough Times

When considering the romance genre, readers’ minds often jump to stories of strong men scooping up damsels in distress and riding off into the sunset for that impassioned happy ending.

However, while such elements may have found their way into traditional romance novels, modern romance writers such as Sasha Wasley and Anthea Hodgson are proving there’s much more to the genre, which they seek to explore in the literary event, Love Between the Pages.

Visiting Busselton next Thursday, the two authors write about more than just relationships and romantic love in their books, which instead follow strong female protagonists who happen to find love along the way on their own personal journeys.

Hodgson, who grew up in the Wheatbelt and worked as a radio producer before writing novels, said her work was as much about its reflection of the 21st century woman as it was about love and relationships.

“I think our role as writers is to represent the modern woman with all her quirks and challenges,” she said.

“I write women’s fiction because I want to celebrate the women I see around me, their deep love and friendship, their supportive communities, their humour and their hard work.”

Wasley, a self-proclaimed feminist, was particularly interested in breaking the stigma around a genre she said was easily misunderstood and undervalued.

“A lot of people think feminism and romance are not compatible and that might have been true in the past, but not now,” she said.

“My heroines rescue themselves ... and even though it is a beautiful love story with a happy ending, there’s a lot of other stuff going on.”

The event takes place on Thursday, June 21, from 10.30am at Busselton Public Library, with complimentary morning tea provided.

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