Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Nora knows we exist...

Our RWA costumes are the talk of the blog world. Even Nora Roberts has weighed in!! Check it out if you're bored. It's very interesting.

Me, in one of my controversial costumes...

In any case, here is our official response:

Liz says: “You know you’ve made it when your thighs are being discussed on the Internet.” Heh.
Okay, seriously. The entire point of our marketing campaign for our books is this: We’re the Rebels of Romance and we’re going to give you a kind of romance novel you’ve never seen before. We want to expand the fan base for the romance genre and attract readers (young and old) who have never before been willing to give romance novels a chance. We want to show that romance novels can be cool and relevant to an entirely new generation of readers.

You can check out the media site we developed at It has all of our messaging. The bottom line: Who knew the romance genre had a cutting edge?

On the issue of professionalism. Dressing up as manga-inspired characters was a fun way to promote our manga-inspired books. Obviously, it’s not for everybody. (It is, however, completely normal at SF/F events and SF/F readers are also a target readership for these books.) But it happens to suit our personalities, our image as “rebels” and the kind of out-of-the-box books we write.

Meaning, we don’t feel forced to do something “unnatural.” Dressing up and having fun is part of who we are. And we certainly don’t believe short skirts and thigh highs equate to being unprofessional. It seems unnecessarily pompous to go on about the advanced degrees, Emmy awards, etc that we have between the two of us, but seriously, we understand what it means to be professional. We’re not “silly women” or “tarty” in the worst senses of the words. (It’s not always bad to be silly or fun-tarty.) We just understand how to market ourselves and our books, we’ve taken a strong approach to branding, and we’re working it.

In any case, regarding concerns about the image we are projecting to the media and readers, this “Liz Maverick Q&A” with Publishers Weekly should ease your mind. We think it’s a nice example of how articulate and effective we can be as ambassadors for the romance genre rather than the reverse.

Whether the costumes turn you off or on, we hope you’ll give the Shomi books a chance. After all, as pointed out, great books speak for themselves. Marianne’s August book, MOONGAZER, received a fabulous review from RT and Liz’s July book, WIRED, received a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Again, these are really fresh, edgy takes on romance novels and the launch features a line-up of fantastic writers: Eve Kenin, Colby Hodge, Michelle Rowan to name a few. We should point out that every one of us is different and none of the other authors chose to don character costumes.

Yours in good humor,

Liz Maverick and Marianne Mancusi who are...The Rebels of Romance

P.S. Liz says: “If you see me at a conference or other event, definitely stop and say hi. I love to meet new readers and writers and you can tell me what you think of my new socks.”


Annie said...

I personally loved the costumes idea. It seem to fit who y'all are and your books. By the way I really liked liz's book!

Emma said...

I'm really wondering if it's an age-related divide. To be honest, when I saw photos of your outfits, it didn't occur to me that you might be calling them costumes -- they looked pretty much like what I've seen a bunch of twentysomething women wearing this summer in Flatbush, Wicker Park, Berkeley and the Mission. Meanwhile, I've noticed that those who are most perturbed -- authors, in particular -- are a couple of decades older than me. I'm not even going to get into why I think it's stupid to expect "professional" authors to look like businesswomen -- and how disturbing I find it that professionalism, rather than artistry, is what romance authors want to project (hello, talk about taking the most negative stereotypes about genre fiction to heart!) Rather, I'd simply suggest that you take generational sensibilities into account when trying to decipher the problematic significance accruing to your clothing in this weird blogosphere debate.

Karmela said...

I dug it, girlfriend. I loved the sexy, edgy vibe, the straddling of dark goth and Catholic schoolgirl, the marriage of East (Japanese-insipired fashion) and West. All that was missing were some tattoos. Wish I could see the Full Effect at Comic Con. You best post pictures, you hear?

Kate R said...

I think you guys owe me a drink or something for creating this buzz. I'd be too scared to collect though, for fear you'd toss it in my face. (btw, a sort of apology is on my blog.)

Yasmine Galenorn said...

As I said on Pub Rants blog:

*think I'll take my multi-tattooed, black-velvet, liquid-eyeliner, brilliant lipstick wearing self and stick to the SF/Fan conventions lest I get reprimanded if I go to RWA*

~grins~ Honestly, I see nothing wrong with your costumes--hell, I'd LOVE to wear what one of my main characters does, and if I ever have the figure for it, I will. As it is, with full-sleeve tattoos, when I show up for a signing, I'm already costumed out--and I don't bother to hide it because I love my art.

It's ridiculous. We're writers--yes, we're business people too, but nobody expects a painter or rocker to show up in a business suit.

Sigh. RT is more my speed, methinks...


Anonymous said...

You ladies ROCKED that, shit! Don't stress the haters. Let 'em hate! I've been victim to some of their ugliness, and I let it run off like a water off a ducks back. Or SK's big ass swan hat, lol. Which I thought was hella licious cute ;)

Nadine said...

So,will you guys really be at Comic-con? If so where,because I'd love to stop by and say hi.

Laura Florand said...

More power to you! :)

Teddy Pig said...

Hell I am a fan!

It stirred the shit that's for sure.