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The Writers’ Room: Why romance novels are more timely than ever (Rebroadcast)

Beverly Jenkins has written more than 40 novels, and is known as the "queen of Black historical romance."
Beverly Jenkins has written more than 40 novels, and is known as the "queen of Black historical romance."

It’s a tale as old as time. 

Two people meet and fall in love. A conflict or two puts their relationship to the test. But they live happily ever after. It’s a formula that has turned into a billion-dollar industry known for its sexy paperback covers and easy reading.

Romance novels sold nearly 50 million books in print and e-book format and made more than $480 million last year. That’s according to industry tracker NPD Bookscan. The publishing giant Penguin Random House saw a similar trend. Its romance sales last year increased by 50 percent.

But as the genre grows in popularity, the industry is still fighting to be more diverse and inclusive

For this month’s installment of the Writers’ Room—our series where we talk to writers about their craft—we’re getting romantic in honor of Valentine’s Day. Award-winning author Beverly Jenkins, Adriana Herrera and Casey McQuiston talk about what they love most about writing love stories, and how they think the industry has changed.

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