Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Writing Game of Love

Now that the year is drawing to a close, reflection time has set in. I looked back over the year of my blog posts to see that I was all over the place, subject wise. That’s not a good or bad thing, just the way it was. It’s often the way I operate until I find my way through to my destination. It’s not always possible to have a goal if you don’t know what you don’t know, or to plan your destination if you don’t know where you are headed.

Years ago when I started my first novel, my writing teacher told me I should write romance. I almost puked. “Uh, no, I don’t think so.” I was a mystery genre snob. But it seems I have come full circle and am now fully engaged in writing Romance for my next two upcoming novels. Sure the suspense is still there, but the romance is now the main focus. How did this happen?

In the past, I had read some really bad romance novels and got a picture of insipid female angst that had no depth which turned me off of even considering writing romance. But last year I found book after book of really good stories in the romance genre—some well written and some not. It was the well crafted stories that grabbed me. Some were about common situations with uncommon ways of treating the subject of love, romance and sex. Others had unique, creative situations that were quite fun, or highly erotic and well done.

While re-reading last year’s posts, I saw that I advised on being open and not resist change when it is foisted upon you. Well, this slow progression of allowing my walls of resistance to come down, doing lots of research of past eras and having fun using the vehicle of reincarnation and different metaphysical possibilities and scenarios allowed me to ease into the Romance genre and feel right at home. And it certainly helps to have four great romance writer friends as critique partners. They rock.

I love the coincidences that occur when we open up to something new without resisting. I’ve always wanted more of that throw it out there and let’s see what happens attitude.  Sometimes it doesn’t work but sometimes it does. I can hear those of you who are goal oriented cringing--loudly.

Writers, don't be afraid to stretch and go for that next wild idea you might have shut down as too controversial. It might just end up being the most rewarding, creative piece you’ve done thus far. At least throw it down on paper and see where it goes. If you end up not happy with it, you can shove it in a drawer…and maybe even pick it up years later to find is was a good idea you weren’t ready for at this time but it will be there for you when you are ready.

So what was the point of this post? I’ve gone from mystery/suspense writer to romance writer without meaning to and am now in the game of love. My website and blog will have to undergo a change soon to reflect the new books when they come out. No more all over the place, but being the rebel I am, I will still be a bit all over the place (maybe in a bit narrower focus though).

Readers out there, I would advise not being afraid to try new, unknown writers of different genres you thought you weren’t interested in. You might end up being pleasantly surprised. I’ve read through dozens of indie authors who have amazed me with their story telling skills. Like I’ve blogged before, I’m not as hung up on writing errors if they do not interfere with the telling of the story. That is not so for everyone, I understand that. 

So, readers, here’s my five star list of favorite Romance genre books I read this year (noted in Goodreads for 2013): (If you would like, follow me on Goodreads)

Be apprised that these books are all heat levels from sweet to very hot (graphic, erotic).
I asterisked the books most memorable for me:
*Jake Undone by Penelope Ward

*Reckless by Skye Jordon

*First Strike & Skin Deep by Pamela Clare (any book from all Ms. Clare’s different series rates a 5 star from me)

Adam’s Apple by Liv Morris

A Seal’s Seduction by Tawny Weber

Master’s At Arms by Kallypso Masters

Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare

Love’s Portrait by Monica Burns

The Book of Lost Fragrances by M.J. Rose

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

Did you do anything that surprised you about yourself this year--something unfamiliar and off-putting that you tried and found you ended up really enjoying?

You might want to visit my writer friend Ellen Gregory's blog. She is also summing up her reading for the year and has alternatives to romance genre books: What I  Read in 2013


Ellen Gregory said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Cora. Although I remained ashamed of the small tally of books I read in 2013! (Actually, I did read a few romance novels, which I didn't list, Jake Undone included at your recommendation...) I'll be looking to pick up my game in 2014.

Anonymous said...

Cora - I am also a romance writer. Thanks for the list of recommendations! I have not read a lot of romances this year - except for all the beta reads. However, I am currently re-reading Janet Evanovich's Fearless Fourteen. I know, I know, she's not typical romance but sometimes I just need light. Also, over the summer, I reread Mary Stewart's The Moon Spinners. hmmm, seems I do a lot of re-reading...

Unknown said...

Cora - you are still a mystery/suspense writer. One genre doesn't preclude the other. This from your friendly cross-cross-cross-genre critique partner!
This year is full of potential, we can all feel it. Write what is in your heart to write!
See you at the library, my friend.

Cora said...

LOL, cross-genre gal.

Cora said...

I'm gathering that you read a light heat level. The last two on the list are light as well and you might like Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare. Have fun in 2014.