Recently on Twitter I saw a few folks tweeting about a Kickstarter for a new Romance only bookstore called Love’s Sweet Arrow. I reached out to Marissa and Roseann to learn more about them, their venture, and their plans for opening Love’s Sweet Arrow in Chicago, IL, which would be the second only romance book store. I hope that you will enjoy learning more about them, their plans, and then consider donating to their KickStarter. The Kickstarter closes on March 10, 2019.
Can you tell us about your romance reading journey? How did you start reading romance?
Marissa: I have been reading romance since I was 12, I snuck romance in the bathroom when my mom would leave them. She actually caught me one day and I was like, I was reading the funeral scene! And she looked at me like, don’t lie! Haha. It was a contemporary book and the heroine lost a family member in it and had a huge fight with her mom and a beach scene on the cover. And then it just blossomed from there. Aside from that, I read historical mainly for a long time, but I’ve read a lot of everything.
Roseann: My mom read them and I just followed suit. My mom didn’t care what we read, as long as we read something.
What is it about romance that keeps you reading romance?
Roseann: I’m a happy ever after person. I like closure and I like to know that everything is going to work out. Life is easier when you can read a book and everything is good.
Marissa: Pretty much the same. There’s a sense of safety in it, knowing that no matter what, the hero and heroine will work things out and there is that ending. I like other genres but I never know what will happen at the end and sometimes that’s stressful.
Do you have a favorite trope? If so, can you recommend a book with that trope?
Roseann: I love the sibling’s trope, like in Wrong to Need You by Alisha Rai.
Marissa: I do really like enemies to lovers with the fine line of hate/lust tension. And I loved The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. But I’m sure there are others with that trope I am of course forgetting.
What about favorite sub-genres?
We’re both into romantic suspense right now. Roseann participated in one of the Deadly Sexy watches too.
What made you decide to turn your love for romance in to a store?
Marissa: I’ll explain it, but it was Roseann’s idea. Last summer when the lottery was really big, we both bought a few tickets and my mom was like, if we win the lottery, we can open a romance only bookstore. Sadly, we didn’t win, but we kept talking about it and then in August, we were like, why don’t we really do this? Why wait for the lottery, we’re passionate about this and we really want to open the store. So here we are!
What is your vision for the store?
Roseann: To bring lots of authors of all sub genres into the store so people can meet them (and us too!)
Marissa: To have a space where this genre can flourish and someone can always find a book they want. I’ve been to many stores where it’s really difficult to find the book I want.
How will you work to be inclusive to all genres, authors and readers, knowing that romance has traditionally struggled to be diverse.
Marissa: That is something we are thinking a lot about. We have been spending time trying to get familiar with all books and authors and I actually signed us up for the Bawdy Bookworms diverse books/authors list as well. I know as a middle class, straight white woman, I have a lot of privilege that a lot of people don’t and I want to use that privilege to help everyone. That includes making sure we have a diverse bookstore with everyone being represented.
Roseann: To me, everyone being represented is what makes the world a better place. We want to do our part especially with the current political climate going the opposite direction.
Marissa: Our plan for how we are arranging books is grouping all kinds together. We don’t want to be exclusive in having a separate queer section or an African American section. We want to have all historicals together, etc. In addition, I need to do more research, but I would really like to find some Native American romance authors and do a display to support Native Americans and their books. It’s still in the planning stages and we need to touch base with authors to find out their ideas as well, but it’s a concrete idea that we are developing.
Are you excited to see romance slowly but surely coming out of the shadows and being acknowledged for its greatness?
Marissa: About damn time! We still have a way to go, but things are finally looking up. We’re hoping a second romance only bookstore will help!
What else would you like Smexy readers to know about Love’s Sweet Arrow?
Marissa: Yes, Love’s Sweet Arrow is a reference to the penis and we do have an alternate logo that has a penis in it.
Roseann: We can’t wait to get started and have our store and meet everyone!
I for one am very excited about the possibility of a second romance only bookstore. Thank you Marissa and Roseann for taking some time to tell us more about you and Love’s Sweet Arrow. I look forward to seeing the logo with the penis in it :)