The latter two degrees were received while I was in the U. Air Force and under sponsorship of the Air Force. I am a retired U. Air Force Officer, having served from until the final months of
These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image caption Leah left and Bea Koch says that romantic fiction is wrongly looked down on Romance novels are a billion dollar industry, vastly outselling science fiction, mystery and literary books.
And there's only one rule for writing a romance - it has to have a happy ending. Yet the romance genre has long been dismissed as smut or trashy by many in, and out, of the publishing world - a fact that mystifies sisters Bea and Leah Koch, who last month opened the US's first exclusively romantic fiction bookstore.
Their shop in Los Angeles is called The Ripped Bodice, and the reading writing and romance 2013 nissan motto is "smart girls read romance". We deserve our own book store, too.
And readers of romantic fiction "want a knowledgeable bookseller who's not going to laugh at them for reading romance," says Bea, a Renaissance scholar with degrees from Yale and New York University. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption"You are here to have a good time, to find something that might make you smile" Yet Bea and Leah, who grew up in Chicago, say that the romance sections at most bookshops are woefully inadequate - and you can forget about finding staff who can help with recommendations.
And I do think that [sexism] extends to women of all ages. There's also a large erotic section, a Spanish-language area and plenty for young adults, as well as the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer communities.
In the historical section, books include Jane Austen spinoffs and romantic tales among tartan-clad Scottish highlanders. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The success of Fifty Shades of Grey has given romantic fiction a significant boost The store was opened with the help of romance fans.
As young, untested entrepreneurs, the sisters didn't expect banks to be much help, so they went directly to the internet to raise seed money from their peers.
They say that business has exceeded their expectations over their first few weeks, and that their very specialism will be the key to their store's long-term success.
A place where fans of the genre can read romance without shame. And book industry figures show that buyers of romantic fiction are more loyal to brick and mortar stores than general readers.
And the stigma against romance is changing.
The success of the novel 50 Shades of Grey stunned the publishing world, and introduced a lot of new readers - including more men - to the genre. She created a pen name for writing romance because she didn't want it to jeopardise her academic career - she is today professor of literature at Fordham University in New York.
Ms James has since written 25 books, 21 of them making it onto the New York Times bestseller list. When Eloisa James has a party, or reading and signing, at a bookstore, she says the storeowners are often shocked by the size of the crowds that show up, especially in bookstores with little or no romance section.
She adds that general bookshops often say they don't have the audience for romance, a claim she says is "ridiculous". Image caption Jane Austen's novels still do handsome business Back at The Ripped Bodice, the Koch sisters intend to make the shop a profitable enterprise.
They have big plans for book clubs and community events. On a daily basis, Bea looks after the historical books, while Leah, who went to the University of Southern California, looks after the contemporary releases.
It's our business, we take it very seriously - however we are selling romance novels. To find something that might make you smile.Soft-spoken Morton went on to win his class in Le Mans in a Nissan coupe in , but a couple of notable crashes remind his fans of an early twist to his career: stunt driving for movies and TV.
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