Below, you will answer questions on celebrity romance and on romance novels in general. Your responses are much appreciated.

Section I
What comes to mind when you think of the word “romance?” What about the word “love”? Do you believe that the two are synonymous?

Romance is the little things that makes your heart tingly. It can be something as simple as a home cooked meal or a walk in the museum, or something as sappy as a serenade or a grand romantic gesture.

Love is part of the three little words that allows a couple to counter all adversaries and reach a happy ending. Coming from an Asian background where we are not big on words however, love is the unconditional bond that ties people together no matter what.

No I don’t think the two are synonymous. You can be in romance but not in love, and in love but not in romance. Typically it is quicker to be in romance than in love. The holy grail is to have both of course, but  not everyone is that lucky. 

What comes to mind when you think of the words “celebrity romance?”

Just another couple- except maybe a more high profile, better looking pair.

Are you the type to keep track of the lives of celebrities? Why or why not? Do you believe that you can separate the product (movie/music/art) from the actual person?

Not really interested in the personal lives of celebrities, because reality is really not that interesting. The whole reason why people read books, watch movies, read blogs or even try to keep track of other people’s lives is because they want to live vicariously through these characters. So why opt for reality when you can live vicariously through fictional characters who lead the perfect life, designed by a team of specialists?

There is no way one can really get to know the “actual person” of a celebrity by tracking their lives through tabloid news. Unless you actually know this person on a personal level, whatever you see is a product.

A better question is to ask whether the celebrities themselves are able to tell the difference between a role and who they really are. Celebrities are usually very young. I am twenty something and I still don’t quite know who I am without the distraction of pretending to be someone else. So I am not sure how they would fair…

In your opinion, if you were a movie star, what would be more important to you? Having your ideal love life or winning several academy awards? Why?

Like any other job, it depends if one is career oriented or not. Although if I went to all that trouble of becoming a movie star and giving up my personal life, I’d probably want to get several academy awards in the process.

In your mind, what does celebrity culture represent to you? What celebrities are you most interested in?

Mostly the public’s desire to live vicariously through them in pursuit of the “glam” lifestyle, the modern version of “happily ever after” for teenagers. The celebrities I am interested in are the ones with the same fashion sense as me, or with a fashion sense that I admire. Since it is their job to be stylish and up to date with the latest styles and making it work, observing them saves me a lot of trouble.

What types of magazines do you read? Which ones do you read at least a couple times a year?

Vanity Fair (monthly), Psychologies (couple of times).

Would you be interested in reading a romance novel based on a celebrity romance?

Not really. Celebrities are not perfect people, so they tend not to meet the picture painted in a novel, which is disappointing. 

Here are some ideas for celebrity romance lines. Rank them on how appealing they are to you. Give reasons for your ratings (1 being most interested).

Angelina Jolie on her views on why she doesn’t need to marry Brad, how she’s come to where she is

1. Could be of interest, just to understand what she’s thinking and what makes her think so different from everyone else.

J.K. Rowling on how she became super successful and how she met her surgeon husband.

2. Could be of interest, in a down to earth, modern Cinderella kind of way.

Jennifer Lopez on what happened between her and Ben Affleck

3. Huh? they were dating? What happened? Isn’t she married to a guy called Marc Anthony or something? Clearly they’re not characters I’m interested in following.

Will Smith talking about how he maintains his successful marriage with his wife

4. Boring. I’ve not reached this stage in my life yet.

Section II
Do you read romance novels? If yes, specify type (chicklit, paranormal, historical, Christian, etc.) and specify how many you read per year.

Chick lit. I used to read over 20 every year, but that has probably dwindled down to maybe 1 or 2 a year now (if I’m lucky).

What’s your opinion about males who read romance novels?

I didn’t know males read romance novels! They’re either gay, or their girlfriends made them read it (that or he’s not the kind of male you want to be associated with). Having said that, I suppose guys can learn a LOT from romance novels.

Say you watched a movie based on a romance novel (e.g. Devil Wears Prada or Bridget Jones’ Diary). If you enjoyed it, would you buy the book afterwards?

Hmm…. usually it is the other way around. In cases where I see the movie first, I’m usually not that motivated to read the book afterwards. I supposed it is because if you start with the book, then the story is painted in your mind first with your imagination. Then if you see the movie, you’ll see how other people envisioned it, and you can make comparisons and enrich the story in your mind. Whereas if you start with the movie first, then the images instilled in your mind by the movie will play out in your head as you read instead, which takes away part of the fun of imagination.   

Are you the type to suggest books you like to friends?

Definitely.

When you read stories, do you prefer happy or sad endings? What are your reasons for your preference?

Happy endings, because they leave you feeling giddy and content afterwards, which for me is the whole point of reading a romance novel in the first place. I can go back and reread a happy romance novel many times. Sad endings are more memorable, but they leave you thinking too much and doesn’t motivate one to ever reread it again, unless one wants a sob fest for no reason. Clearly I’m a big fan of escapism.

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