Monday, October 29, 2007

Romance Novels Tap Into Hospitals For Storylines

Romance Novels Tap Into Hospitals For Storylines
October 26, 2007 8:33 a.m. EST

Ishita Sukhadwala - AHN News Writer
Dublin, Ireland (AHN) -

Irish physician Dr. Brendan Kelly conducted a tongue-in-cheek study, the findings of which he published in the medical journal Lancet.

Dr. Kelly randomly selected 20 medical romance novels and found that majority leaned towards "brilliant, tall, muscular, male doctors with chiselled features, working in emergency medicine" who were "commonly of Mediterranean origin and had personal tragedies in their pasts", according to The Associated Press (AP).

The female protagonists - mainly working in primary care, obstetrics/neonatology, surgery or emergency medicine - were "skilled, beautiful and determined but still compassionate."

Karin Stoecker, editorial director at Harlequin Mills and Boon, said: "We see exactly the same on televised medical dramas. In these kinds of professions, there is the need to remain emotionally distant, which spills over into private lives - there's nothing more thrilling than a damaged hero", reports BBC News.

Hospital romance is one of the fastest growing sub-genres in romantic fiction. According to the Romance Writers of America, it generates $1.2billion in annual sales and accounts for 39 percent of all fiction sold in the U.S, AP reports.


barbara.bergin said...

What’s your take on Kelly’s article? I enjoyed it and also found it to be tongue-in-cheek. I can tell you I’m not used to reading this kind of article in Lancet. I also appreciated Stoecker’s comment on the damaged hero. I love the damaged hero. That’s why we love Batman and Spiderman.

He does seem to have made an accurate analysis of most medical romance novels I have read. However, most medical romance novels are not true to real life circumstances. As an orthopedic surgeon I can tell you there was no hanky panky going on in the ER. We were too busy setting wrists, slapping dressings on open wounds and getting people ready to get their femur fractures nailed. Now maybe after the ER docs handed the patients over to us surgeons…they got busy looking for action. I don’t know.

I have just released my first novel, Endings, which is at least in part a medical romance. Certainly Kelly tags Endings accurately, as my female protagonist is a case study for an attractive, skilled and compassionate physician. She is also a damaged hero. Why would I make her otherwise? She has had her share of trials, both in medical school and residency as well as during the course of this novel. Endings follows her as she leaves her home and practice after a tragic accident. I speak with authority on the medical aspect of Endings.
Barbara Bergin
author of "Endings"

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Barbara, I love the damaged hero as well. I found the article interesting. Best of luck with Endings!


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