29 February 2012

A Funny Thing Happened On The Road To Publication...

A funny thing happened to me last week on this crazy, pothole-filled road to publication. One of my dreams came true.

This story starts back in November of 2011. I get a frantic email from my critique partner, Sonja. She tells me this bizarre story about how she picked up this editor at the airport (stick with me here, this isn't that kind of story) and how they had dinner together. Apparently the editor was in town for an RWA meeting with the local chapter Sonja is deeply involved in. So at dinner Sonja starts asking the editor about historicals, then my crazy, wonderful critique partner pitches MY book to the editor. Not hers. Mine. The editor said it sounded like something she would be interested in.

Hence the frantic email to me. Sonja tells me I MUST query the editor NOW before the editor forgets. So I whip off a query (luckily I like writing queries or I would have panicked and froze). A few hours later I get a reply and a request for the first five chapters. Wow! That was fast.

Luckily again (see how this is all lining up just right?) the manuscript was finished and polished so I whip off another email with the attached chapters.

In the meantime I hear that another editor at another house is looking for romance to fill their 2012 slots. So I query her with the same manuscript, she writes back and requests the partial.

Editor #1 emails me and says she loves my chapters and wants more. Actually, what she said was "As long as you haven't screwed up the rest of the story, this is exactly what I 'm looking for." Gasp! I knew I didn't screw up the rest of the story. I had a deep seated belief in this manuscript. So I sent it off. And she offered me a contract.

Then people started telling me I needed an agent. Like NOW. I queried my top 3 picks. Two responded, one offered and suddenly I was represented by the wonderful Jessica Alvarez of BookEnds Literary Agency. A few days later another editor offered me a contract.

Emails flew back and forth, long phone discussions followed with my agent. Pros and cons were weighed and measured. And I am proud to announce that I accepted a two book deal for two historical romances with Random House.

So a funny thing happened on my road to publication--one of my dreams came true.

A screenshot of the announcement on my agent's website

Website | Blog

25 February 2012

Huh? What Did You Say You Write?

I’m asked this question many times. At first, I tried to give the questioner a true definition of my work. But then I learned to stop doing that when their eyes starting glazing over. You see, for a lot of authors, this is a loaded question. Instead, I tend to give the person a definition that is relatively close to what they know.

My answer? I write Twilight for adults. That way they know I write about vampires and werewolves. They also know that I write erotica by the clarification that my books are for adults. Trust me. It’s so much easier than trying to explain.

The problem is that most people, including many writers, have a difficult time defining what each genre is. What is paranormal romance? What is fantasy? What is urban fantasy? I have long since decided that the labels don’t really matter. I write, as many authors do, a combination of many genres. We blend, taking parts of one genre and adding it to another. It’s not uncommon for stories to be a mix of multiple genres.

For instance, most of my books are considered paranormal romances. However, I also have hints of urban fantasy when I write kick-a** heroines. Sometimes, I’ll blend the paranormal with fantasy with a supernatural being and then set the action in a fantasy world.

But my point is this. Does it really matter to the reader? When a reader walks into a bookstore or goes online to purchase a book, do they really ask themselves, “What do I want today? A fantasy? A paranormal?” Doubtful. For the most part, the reader simply wants a good book.

To learn about my books, please visit my website at www.beverlyrae.com.


Beverly Rae

23 February 2012

Midnight confessions...

First confession: I don't write erotic romance.

Still with me? Good. Because I do write great stories -- they just happen to be what is, I believe, termed 'vanilla' when it comes to sex. Interesting how we classify things, isn't it?

I began my love of the romance novel many years ago. At age 13, I discovered the local drugstore sold paperback romances: Harlequin and Harlequin Presents -- the latter being the more sexy of the lines in those days. ;) I fell in love with... love. The whole idea and nuance of it all... the forbidden passion. I suppose my favorite part of it all back then was the tension -- that spark and sizzle when the characters are dancing around their attraction. It could make any young, inexperienced girl sigh.

Want to know a secret? It still does. That flirty, does-he/does-she moment. The first, accidental touch. That first time the heroine looks into his eyes. Yes, it's still my favorite part of the romance. The sexual tension. The sizzle before the actual kiss or, um, other stuff. ;)

It's also my favorite part to write, if truth be told. Sometimes, writing the 'love scene' is a chore. It can be the most difficult part of the story for me. I have to find just the right mood; just the right atmosphere (no children under foot); just the right everything.

But the tension that leads them there? For me that is oh-so-easy. Oh, yes, that's where I shine, smack-dab within the literary foreplay.

What part of the romance do you prefer? The sizzle? The cuddling? Or more?

~~Meg Allison

Indulge your senses...

21 February 2012

Learning from Reviews: Is It Possible?

I've had books published since 2005 and have been getting reviews all that time. Not as many as most authors, but enough that I've seen the ups and downs of that aspect of the industry. Here is a compilation of what I have learned from reviews and reader responses, both for my books and other people's books:

1) Don't put a secondary plot in your erotic romance. The focus should be on the couple's relationship and sexxoring.

2) Don't forget to put a secondary plot in your erotic romance that is outside the bedroom. If the focus is only on the sexxoring, the book and characters can come across as shallow and self-centered.

3) Don't write one dimensional villains who exist only to be evil toward the protagonists.

4) Don't focus on your villains so much that the protagonists become bland by comparison. The villian cannot be the most interesting part of the book or it's not a romance.

5) Don't forget to do your research and include it in the book. And be sure to research everything, like whether or not the story takes place in a state where people are allowed to pump their own gas. No details can be left unturned. Otherwise readers will know you don't care about providing a quality product.

6) Don't overwhelm your readers with your research. Otherwise readers will put your book down because it is boring and infodumpy.

7) Don't write any more books about vampires and werewolves...please! They are overdone, and readers long for something new.

8) Please write more books about vampires and werewolves. They are fascinating, and readers long for more exciting stories about character types they love.

9) Don't include too much profanity in your fiction. While it may be accurate in your chosen setting or time period, it gets old, fast, and readers would rather see a varied vocabulary.

10) Don't exclude profanity from your fiction if you're writing characters who would naturally curse. Otherwise it comes off as unrealistic and readers will know you didn't do the research (see #5).

11) Don't write your female characters as passive, childlike or TSTL, and OMG don't describe their hands as "tiny". It's 2012. Females can be...anything. They can be proactive and strong. Probably they can even pee while standing up AND hit the bowl if they work really hard at it. (But, yanno, don't describe THAT.)

12) Don't let your kick-ass female protagonist overshadow your male protagonist(s) or he will come across as weak. If she is strong, he must show that he is strong enough for (or, yanno, stronger than) her or he is not sexy.

13) Don't expound on certain details, like food and drink items. Sure, it's delicious, but that's not what the book is about, is it? Unless you're writing a cookbook.

14) Don't forget to leave in certain details, like the deliciousness of food and drink items. It's realistic, it enhances character POV and really brings a reader into a story world.

15) Don't write any more secret baby plots. It's an irresponsible way for characters to behave.

16) Don't forget to write more secret baby plots. Readers love them; they're so heart-wrenching.

17) Don't include "issues" in romance novels. That isn't why readers like to read romance.

18) Don't forget to include some serious content, even "issues", in some romance novels. There's no reason they can't be about realistic aspects of life and people surviving it and fighting for what they believe.

19) Don't make the female character overweight or plain while the male character is totally gorgeous. That is not believable. Like marries like.

20) Don't make the female character totally gorgeous. Many readers find it hard to relate to her, especially if she doesn't know she's gorgeous ("mouth too wide for beauty"..."bosom too lush for the current fashion"). Or if does know she's gorgeous, because then she's a bitch. I forget which -- maybe both. However, the male character needs to be quite attractive. Otherwise the reader can't fall in love with him too.

21) Don't write in first person. So sick of that!

22) Don't write everything in third person. Books in first person are a great, refreshing change.

23) Don't include epilogues. If it's worth sharing, it goes in the body of the story, and an epilogue is lazy.

24) Don't forget epilogues. Readers love to drop in on the characters down the road, however briefly. It's like an unexpected gift after a story is over.

25) Don't make fun of readers and reviewers, not even with your tongue in your cheek.



I defied item #7 this month because I released a book about werewolves and witches. It's called Pack and Coven, in which the hairy, but not too hairy, hero and the witchy, but not bitchy, heroine have quite the adventure. I'm also running a contest for a $25 gift card on my blog until February 29. All you have to do to enter is violate item #13 and tell me about the deliciousness of some tea-room style food you'd like to eat. http://blog.jodywallace.com/2012/02/pack-and-coven-release-and-contest.html

Jody Wallace
When is an alpha not an alph-ass?
Pack and Coven: http://www.jodywallace.com

PS: I confess. It's possible I took a lot of this from this fun, 4-year thread in the Amazon forums and not actually from reviews! http://www.amazon.com/forum/romance?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=FxM42D5QN2YZ1D&cdThread=Tx1U9IFOLVQRGXV  So if you like to talk to other readers about your reading preferences -- and you promise not to self promote, should you happen to be a writer in your secret life -- you may like that forum! But don't tell them I sent you, considering what I did re: item #25.

20 February 2012

The Purrfect Stanger & Other News from Bianca D'Arc

I've been really excited lately about how well my little space opera series is being received. AllRomanceEbooks.com just picked up the first two novellas in the Arcana series - KING OF SWORDS and KING OF CUPS, in addition to being the publisher of my Valentine's short story, THE PURRFECT STRANGER.

If you haven't heard about it yet, THE PURRFECT STRANGER is a light hearted romantic paranormal Redstone cousins (remember Matt Redstone, the werecougar from SWEETER THAN WINE?) and a failed witch. They meet on Valentine's Day, on a blind date. The story is meant to be a feel-good sexy and romantic story that captures the sweet aspect of the holiday.

In other news, I'm just putting the finishing touches on my next Dragon Knights novel. I should be turning it in to my editor shortly. I'm also gearing up for the release of WOLF HILLS in April. It'll be the first novel of the year for me and I'm really looking forward to getting it out there for your consumption.

WOLF HILLS is the last of the Brotherhood of Blood stories which matches up the last of the study group friends featured in all the stories with a super hot werewolf Alpha. In fact, the werewolf was introduced briefly in PHANTOM DESIRES. Some of you might recall a hunky dude named Jason Moore. *hubba hubba*

The book will be out on April 17th from Samhain. I think it's up on their Coming Soon pages already and you might be able to pre-order it at some point soon. Now it's time for me to go back to the grindstone and hammer out these last few words on the dragon book. Wish me luck! :)

Bianca D'Arc
Come over to The D'Arc Side.. www.biancadarc.com

19 February 2012

Changing face of Romance

I've been wracking my brain trying to think of something insightful to say on this subject, which hasn't already been said by the other awesome members of this blog.

When I first sold, first started in this industry it was to Ellora's Cave. An e-publisher and for so long I wasn't recognized as a "real" author. I wasn't published in what the RWA calls, New York.

It was disheartening to say the least, but I loved writing for Ellora's Cave. I love writing erotic romance.

Still, I had many people look down their nose at me. I wasn't a real author. Wasn't it cute I was just dabbling in a hobby. Wasn't it sweet that I thought I was a "real" author.

Now it seems the literary worlds is EXPLODING with e-publishing. I see e-readers wherever I go and now those same naysayers are scrambling to get a piece or a foothold in this fast-paced industry.

I started in this industry in 2006, being published in 2007. It's been interesting to watch the changes and exciting too.

I can't wait to see where we'll be in another five years. Heck, with the way things are changing so fast, I can't wait to see where we'll be tomorrow.

16 February 2012

From Cuddle to Climax: The Changing Face of Romance

Romance is one of those things that, for many of us, is a guilty pleasure. I didn’t read it much when I was younger, I read more in science fiction and fantasy. The stories that excited me, though, had fully-developed relationships in them. When I first read Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series I found a fully-realized fantasy novel with actual sex and romance. What an eye-opener. From there, I started re-examining my assumptions about romance.

I think many of us who are in the science fiction and fantasy genre look down on romance because of all the usual things: it’s a trite storyline, they don’t really do anything interesting, the writing is tawdry, there aren’t any good stories. All of those statements, though, are incorrect. Sure, there are romance novels that fit that profile, but there are also science fiction, fantasy, and mystery ones that do. From my perspective with a B.A. in Russian literature and Civilization, I can also add that there’s a sort of elitism associated with disliking romance novels. For American women, it’s like liking soap operas: everyone says they are too intellectual to watch them, yet you scratch such a person and they can tell you who Victor on the Young and the Restless is. Once I started reading good romance, though, the chip fell off my shoulder very quickly. These stories are good, and the writers are good. And wow – talk about titillating and enticing!

It comes down to the guilty pleasures we pursue but don’t admit in public. Authors such as Hamilton bring those pleasures into the mainstream, and the rest of romance has followed suit. I think it’s a reflection more of society than of genre writing in particular – twenty years ago we would never have gay romances out and open on television nor would we have soft core porn on cable, yet now we have Queer as Folk and True Blood as two wildly popular shows. I think my fellow author Xakara is much better qualified to talk about modern media offerings, but I will say that I think society’s changing views and openness, at least as far as my own culture here in the U.S. is concerned, is getting more open and our books are a reflection of that.

For myself, writing erotica isn’t a new pursuit, but sharing it publicly is. I remember the first time I posted a story with sex in it, one that is relatively tame compared to my other stories, and I felt nervous and giddy. Now, Burning Bright, our new release with Samhain Publishing, has full-blown sex and BDSM in it – two subjects I didn’t think I’d be able to write publicly.

Because of this, I think the reading consumer is growing more sophisticated about what they like to read. Readers know what they like and they ant ore of it, better quality, and fast. This is not to imply that the quality of what is there is bad, but that with the ebook revolution there are more outlets for authors to play in and more opportunity for us to provide content that brings us a paycheck. It’s no longer the days of secretive sharing of erotic material or Penthouse Forum letters; now it’s mainstream publishers looking for fully-imagined stories in which sex is a factor of the action just as much as story is.

I think this trend will only continue. To some extent, our collective fascination with sex in the novel will wane as other things grab our attention. But I see the trend of having it here to stay because of the sophistication of internet search engines and the many ways publishers can now classify works. Back in the days of only brick-and-mortar stores, you could only put a book in one location in the store – and thus, the idea of the genre was born. It led to silly things – such as when I couldn’t find Stephen King’s book On Writing in the “Writing Books” section but found it in “Horror” along with his prodigious fictional offerings. With the internet, we can classify it in a multitude of ways so that the Stephen King fan and the person interested in writing can find it easily, though each has very different desires.

I’m excited by this trend, to be honest. The idea of genre makes me impatient, both as a writer and as a person interested in literature. I believe a story should be considered exactly that: a story, not a mystery, a romance, or whatever else. Then it can be judged on its merits as a story alone and not as being representative of a type. I think readers will need to modify some opinions for that to happen; but, in the meantime, with the prevalence of internet searches and keywords, those of us who want good stories with particular elements in them don’t have to wonder where to find them. We can simply do a search on the elements we desire and voila.


Write on!

13 February 2012

Anecdotes and Anthologies

Greetings, Kittens!

This was originally meant to be a lovely post on the changes that have happened in erotic romance and romance in general over my four short years in the business. That's not going to happen. I'm just not well enough. Instead, you get an anecdote and a lovely excerpt from my newest TherianWorld Valentine's Day release, ITS SWEETEST FORM, part of the LOVE NOTES Anthology at Musa Publishing.

First, the anecdote. Five years ago last Saturday, (February 4th) I heard back on the very first thing I ever submitted, the TherianWorld novella SHIFTING PASSIONS. It was just a word of encouragement that the editor had enjoyed it and was passing it up the chain. This was followed by a contract offer and release one year later on February 26th, 2008. 

This February 4th, I heard back on my first erotic urban fantasy BLOODSPRITE. Again encouraging words that were followed by a contract offer, and publication will be later this year. 

It's not just the dates that make this stand out. BloodSprite was written first. I finished it in January of 2007 and two weeks later, I saw the open call at Samhain Publishing. I wanted to clear my mind of the grit and gunshots of urban fantasy and dive into a short paranormal romance in the same Therian World. Shifting Passions was born.

I fell headlong into the world of paranormal romance and making the relationships the focus of a story. It even invaded BloodSprite when I begin edits and revision of it. But in the end, no matter how much I felt that BloodSprite was a paranormal romance at heart, it still read as more of an urban fantasy and I just didn't run in those circles. 

People wanted possessive alpha males, and more accommodating females than Dante projects. And for god's sake, give her a feminine name already! But I refused to believe that the story could only be told with gendernormative characters and a more monogamous leaning. I gave a lot, but there were simply things I wasn't ready to give up, things I believed in. 

Fast forward five years and my beta male, femdom, sexually fluid, mildly genderqueer, intimate poly network, erotic urban paranormal fantasy romance, (see what I did there), is signed and ready to meet the world. And it's the first in a series, so there's much more to come!

I dedicate this Valentine's Day to the love of perseverance. Regardless of how the market changes or remains the same, there is, and always has been, the right editor and audience for every story you have to tell or wish to hear told. So hold on and hold out and keep moving forward. It might mean two years between your first and second book as it did for me. But as in my case, that can quickly be followed by three more immediately and four upcoming--I call that worth it. 

But enough of my fevered, (literally), ramblings and onto the blurby and excerpty goodness. 


Sometimes words on paper are magical, especially when lovers meet again and again.

Love is never a lost cause, and sometimes all it takes is a few special words written down to make all the difference in the world. Wayward cupids, lonely vampires, long-lost loves, and mysterious strangers come together in this collection sure to warm to your heart and steam up your screen. Read our Love Notes--four Valentine's stories from four outstanding romance authors Sam Cheever, Helen Hardt, Sloane Taylor and Xakara and then maybe write a few letters of your own!

Brahm tried to ignore the similarities. College buddies wasn’t the same as growing up next door to each other, and roommate intimacy wasn’t the same as four years of homoerotic ad campaigns that paid for college, but it all hit a little close to home, especially being discussed in bed with his best friend pressed up against him and their best friend curled up behind her. He tried to say something intelligent.

“I get what you’re saying and I see where you’re going with it, but it’s not that simple. I’m not paying attention to his hands or mine. Unless he pulls away or flinches every time our hands brush, I don’t really care where he is. He’s a prop, and like any good wingman, he knows that. And I know he’s thinking the same thing about me. In your scenario, the only thing I probably don’t do is directly reach for him, because I don’t know how he’ll take it. But the moment I’m inside you and it’s all moving forward, all bets are off. If I’m in a position that I have to use him to brace for leverage, I’m going to. I’m not going to diminish my pleasure trying to triple check that he’s neither heebeed nor jeebied. He shouldn’t have gotten in the bed if he’s that sensitive. And on my end of things, unless he directly fondles my balls, I’m oblivious to any action that doesn’t add or detract from my own pleasures. Hell, depending on his timing, I might not notice that. He’d have to get his welcome and do not enter signs mixed up to make my radar in any kind of pull-back way.” 

He felt Eaton staring at him. “What? It’s true.” He shrugged off the scrutiny.

“I didn’t say nothing.” Eaton laughed and buried his face in the curve of Tessa’s neck.

“Why are you laughing, then?” Brahm’s mouth went a little dry but he refused to look away. He needed Eaton’s answer more than he cared to admit.

“Because it’s funny.” He lifted his head. “The whole thing is. If someone had asked about my first night back, I couldn’t have begun to come up with this scenario. But it feels completely normal. This is my life and that’s joyously hilarious. Even more, I completely agree. Depending on the moment, anything short of mounting me is going to go pretty much unnoticed. And on the Vampire side of things, if I’m in the middle of a blood haze at the time, I might not notice he did that until the next day when I’m sober again. If he did it right, I might not even say anything because I honestly wouldn’t know whose idea it had been at the time.”

You can comment to win a copy of the anthology LOVE NOTES featuring the most recent TherianWorld release ITS SWEETEST FORM at the TRS Valentine's Day Party. Or click any of the buy links above.

And you can find a complete list of TherianWorld Stories at Xakara.com

Fevered Ramble ~ Done, Kittens!


12 February 2012

Release Day! (Well, almost!)

I'm thrilled to present my first release from Carina Press, releasing tomorrow February 13th!

When a severed rabbit's paw is delivered to her office, outcast cat shifter Rebecca Desjardin recognizes the summons home. One of their own has been murdered—and a shocking photo published in a local tabloid—and her Pride needs Rebecca, now a private investigator, to track down the killer.

Investigative reporter Brandon Hanover wants to find out who slipped the photo of the half-shifted cat-woman under his door, marking him as a suspect in her death. Determined to stay one step ahead of the sexy journalist, Rebecca reluctantly agrees to partner with him to find the real murderer. But as their mutual attraction heats up, Rebecca finds it harder and harder to keep Brandon from discovering the existence of the shifter society—and her own true nature.

When the search leads them back to the Pride, Rebecca must attempt to Change for the first time in years to face the killer, and save the man she loves...

I've been highlighting this book on my Six Sentence Sundays - come on over and get a taste of what's coming your way tomorrow!

"Blood of the Pride" originally started out as a NaNoWriMo project and grew into a full-fledged novel and I'm pleased as punch to bring Reb and Bran to you courtesy of Carina Press!

And, of course, early best wishes for Valentine's Day for you and your special other - have a great romantic holiday!

11 February 2012

The More Things in the Romance Industry Change...

I swear, I didn't set out to be the BtV's voice of snark when I sat down to write my themed blogs. But every time I lay my fingers on the keyboard, I get smacked with another example of Edmund Burke's home truth:

"Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."

This time, it's romance--in the sense of the romance industry, not the fizz and sparkle that makes life worthwhile.  I'm not talking about ancient history, either.

I covered my first Romance Writers of America National Conference in the summer of 2000.  It was like trying to navigate a demilitarized zone, complete with anti-personnel mines, barefoot.  On one side of the hotel were the "traditionalists", who were bound and determined to keep those nasty epubbed authors/erotica writers (the traditional camp couldn't tell the difference) from being entered into the hallowed ranks of the Published Authors Network.  On the other were the writers working for the first generation of electronic presses or exploring the possibilities of self-publication, and some far-seeing old school writers like Anne Stuart who favored a "big tent" policy.

The Annual Meeting got downright nasty, and the reactions to my reportage made me wonder if the some of the combatants had been taking their cues from Fox News.  What made it sadder was that this was only the opening salvo of a seven year fight to gain PAN legitimacy for electronically published writers.

With our wonderful 20/20 hindsight, it seems outrageous that the legitimacy of electronic publishing or erotic romance was ever an issue.  Within five years of that conference, every New York publisher had inaugurated an erotic imprint.  By the end of last year, self-pubbed authors in multiple genres had racked up sales in the millions, leaving their traditionally published colleagues blinking in awe and envy.  Now speculation buzzes around the question of whether the traditionally printed book will survive or go the way of Borders.  (Excuse me a moment.  I need to mourn while people still remember what wonderful bookstores they used to be.)

But being silly and fighting against the tide of ideas whose time has come seems to be what the romance community does best.  Witness Romance Writers Ink, which at the beginning of this month decided to bar same sex romance from their annual writing contest--within days of the US Court of Appeals for the 9th District upholding the ruling of the 9th District Court on California's Proposition 8, clearing the way to gay marriage in the nation's bellwether state.*

What were they thinking?  Didn't RWI remember what happened the last time a romance organization thought they could stand in the way of progress?

Apparently not.  I bet the contest poobahs thought the net's ubiquitious social media were a mirage, too.  It's an open question whether RWA would've been able to dismiss epubbed authors for as long as they did if social media had been as developed in the early Naughties as they are today.  Certainly RWI folded within days, forced by the outcry to cancel this year's contest entirely.

I'm glad this fight was short and relatively bloodless.  It proves we can learn, even if the larger lesson gets lost.  But I can't help wondering what the next bone of romance industry contention will be and how soon it will appear. 

After all, in the electronic world in which we live, yesterday is so 86,400 seconds ago.


Jean Marie Ward

*Corrected per Sandra Bryant. Thanks, Sandy!

06 February 2012

The Love in My Job

February Topic--On Silk Sheets: From Cuddling to Climax the Changing Face of Romance

I have one of the best jobs. Seriously, not many people get to bring love to the world on a daily basis. It doesn’t get much better than that, unless maybe being an obstetrician.

But what is a romance, exactly?

It might be a good idea to start out the discussion with a definition of the genre as provided by the Romance Writers of America:

"…Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying and optimistic ending.

A Central Love Story: The main plot centers around two individuals falling in love and struggling to make the relationship work. A writer can include as many subplots as he/she wants as long as the love story is the main focus of the novel.

An Emotionally-Satisfying and Optimistic Ending: In a romance, the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love.

Romance novels may have any tone or style, be set in any place or time, and have varying levels of sensuality—ranging from sweet to extremely hot. These settings and distinctions of plot create specific subgenres within romance fiction."


This definition leaves room in the publishing industry for all levels of sensuality from sweet to erotica. Romance authors can write the sort of stories they feel comfortable telling and the reader has the chance to find the kind of book he/she is comfortable reading. A win-win.

What do I write?

I find myself writing somewhere between sweet to mildly spicy with enough sexual tension to tell the best story I can. Intimate scenes cannot be space fillers. They need to increase conflict, provide emotional depth, show character motivation, introduce plot twists, use as many sensory descriptions as possible, and move the story forward. Just as the other scenes do.

Sometimes, that means closing the door. Other times, it means throwing the door so wide open that the reader is inside the character’s skin.

How steamy the pages get depend on the characters themselves. After all, they are the ones living in the story.

Author girl just needs to jump out of the way and let them find love.


01 February 2012

Just write....

I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with something that hasn't been said before--something witty and memorable. I've finally hit on the one thing that is so important to this publishing business. I've no doubt its been said but it bears repeating:

Just write.

Write from your heart. Write the story of your dreams--the one you want to read yourself. Find characters you love and dump all kinds of problems on them until they can't see straight then help them along the path to the happily ever after.

Always remember what it was that brought you to writing, hold tight to it and never forget it.

Sometimes you have to push away all the nonsense. Forget about what's hot and what's not. Forget about what others are writing. Sometimes, forget the rules as well. Whatever it takes to get the words on paper. The rest will come. I promise.

Stay true to yourself. Stay true to your characters. Sit down at your desk and do what you love.

Just write.....