Monday, July 31

Stop and Ask for Directions

I would, but I don't know who to ask. You see, it's like this...

I am always reading, and I make a concerted effort to vary and alternate the kinds of books I read. My basic rule is mainstream/category romance/mainstream/category romance/etc., which you should be able to see if you follow the progress of my Just Finished Reading footnotes.

So, for example, I read a single-title from any genre -- chick-lit, crime, classic, historical, contemporary, mystery, whatever -- and when I've finished it, I read a shorter category romance. This could be a Silhouette Special Edition, Silhouette Intimate Moments (Sensation), Mills & Boon Modern Extra, Mills & Boon Tender, or any number of collected backlist books from Silhouette/M&B lines that are no longer publishing. This way I get a good spread of all kinds of reading, all of which entertain me and help me learn.

But the wider I read, the less sure I am of where I should target my own writing. When I first started HH, I planned on submitting it to Silhouette Intimate Moments. Then I thought about Mills & Boon Tender for a while (before the word count and light paranormal aspect nixed that idea), before moving on to Silhouette Superromance (before the word count got in the way again), and then Silhouette Special Edition. Now I don't think it will be a Silhouette/M&B at all, since I am planning on submitting it to Moonlit Romance once my revisions are completed.

Meanwhile, my ideas file is floating ominously in the background, and my half-completed character charts for The Guardians are tapping their feet in rhythm with my typing. Once HH is out the door, I'm not sure which story I'll turn to next, let alone which line I think I should target it at.

The advice on reading all the different romance lines and deciding on the one you like best as the one you should write for is good advice, but when you're such a voracious reader, as I am, then where do you go when you like books from about five different lines in equal measures? Does anyone else have this problem?

[Deck News: First coat of deck stain is down (it's "light oak", Lis!) and pots are potted. Garden furniture hopefully coming on Friday, so will take a photo of the finished masterpiece at the weekend.]

Oh, and don't forget this week's Romance Junkies entries :D


Lis said...

First I have to say chocolate cosmos? Count me jealous :o) Though mine out back are finally blooming and this year I lucked out with hot pink *g*

I have the same problem as you do, its really hard to target a line and then sometimes you think you do and then the word count goes crazy. My RS started out as an intrigue, then became a SIM (and was R'd) then became a 125K monster I don't want to look at anymore :) I think you have to let the story lead you then step back and see where it fits.

PS - voted on this weeks RJ entries *g* Good paranormal one in the bunch

Phillipa said...


You may find another publisher out there where your voice fits in without having to adhere to specific guidelines. Just a thought. Good luck with the deck-swabbing...

Anonymous said...

Do Moonlit authors actually make any money? They seem a very small company. I'd maybe go for a Harlequin line as they are so well marketed.