To kick this party off, here is Ellie Marvel with the…
Not-So-Secret Secrets of One Romance Writer
One might not be a number that typically comes to mind when you’re thinking of romance, unless it’s one of your favorite genres (I hope!). Romances involve a minimum of two individuals. Romance readers are likely to have more than one keeper (books that merit rereading). While many readers restrict themselves to reading one book at a TIME, they tend to read more than one book a year. The first romance I remember reading was Violet Winspear’s “The Sheik’s Captive”, which, at the age of 12, I thought was one of the hottest things ever written (they kissed! And he tried to touch her boobies!)
In fact, romance readers are the most voracious of all readers, which is why the romance genre has the highest sales of all fiction genres. Thousands of romances are published each year, which means readers have thousands of books and authors, plus backlists, to choose from. There are a passel of romance subgenres, including erotic romance, which Red Sage specializes in. Readers range from folks with minimal formal education to folks with PhDs, singles and marrieds, black and white, gay and straight, rich and poor, old and young. Even female and male.
However, in the end the protagonists in a romance generally become one hot, loving unit. Many romances involve first experiences with true love, first experiences with marriages, sometimes first experiences with sex. This isn’t to denigrate romances where the protagonists have been in love, and in bed, before, because romance isn’t about one type of person any more than it has one type of reader. But firsts are a popular premise in romance, as the protagonists’ journey introduces them to the various joys and complications of romantic relationships, all the while life throws in its own kinks.
Another popular premise in romance is the one person who will complete you (soul mates), the one person you don’t want to live without, the one ring to rule… No, wait, that’s Lord of the Rings. Which is not a romance by the modern genre definition. Of course, with the growth of erotic and speculative romance, it’s not always one person who completes you, but the finish line is still one unique family unit.
Now that I’ve talked about romance readers and the genre in general, I thought I’d talk a little about romance writers. Romance writers don’t fit the stereotypes any more than romance readers do. Though some romance writers do own a boa (usually just one), these boas are often destroyed by the pets or children of said romance writers and rarely, if ever, worn while writing. I got mine from my romance-reading aunt as a wedding gift and it lived on top of the dresser mirror for years before Meankitty, our cat, figured out how to get her claws on it.
Romance writers are not rich, for the most part, because one of the hard truths about any fiction writing career is that it’s not particularly lucrative. In fact, fiction writing is one darned difficult profession to pound away at while keeping your chin up in these tough economic times.
Romance writers tend to be female, but there is definitely more than one male romance novelist out there, happily typing away. Romance writers, like readers, are no more likely to be single and bitter about it than they are to be married and full of joy, single and full of joy, or married and unhappy. Romance authors don’t write one book over and over with different character names, and romance isn’t the one genre where it’s easiest to be professionally published.
My own publishing journey started in high school when I wrote one novel for my gifted program project. Then I went to college, got one useless degree in English, which I compounded with one more useless Masters degree in poetry. I won one big poetry contest (but got published more than once in journals and magazines), until I changed my focus to genre romance in the late 90’s. This focus was rudely interrupted by one pregnancy that involved a lot of puking (definitely more than one time) and a hell of a lot more than one rejection from agents and editors. My one child required constant monitoring because she was one little hellion, and I felt like I couldn’t get one single break. This went on for years. I was on the verge of going on a writing sabbatical until such a time as my hellion was in school when a good friend convinced me to try one new thing.
That thing was writing erotic romance. My first, yep, first effort got published with a small press called Amber Quill. My second effort, which was my first submission to Red Sage, is now published in Secrets 17. My first Red Sage Presents ebook, Megan’s Choice, was released on January one, 2009, and is their first foray into interactive fiction (like those choose your path stories from the 80’s). It is one entertaining story, if I do say so myself. At least, I was highly entertained while writing it.
During this week, we encourage you to make comments on our blog entries here. At the end of the week there will be a drawing where one lucky visitor is going to get to pick any one Red Sage title and have it sent to them for free. This can be a Red Sage Secrets anthology or a Red Sage Presents ebook. You can certainly pick one of the following titles, since these are written by the authors who are participating in the Week of Secrets with Jennifer:
Thanks, and we all look forward to reading your comments!
Jody W. w/a Ellie Marvel
Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered to win the giveaway. Details can be found in yesterday’s post.