Thursday, July 31, 2008

Are Romance Novels Just 'Bodice Rippers'?

After you read this post on Reading While Black , I'll let you decide.

Here's what I do know about the romance genre:

• Revenue from romance fiction is 1.37 billion dollars and outsells every market category by twenty-six (26%) with the exception of religion/inspirational books
• Romance fiction has the same characteristics as any other fiction novel with one distinction: it centers on the love between two people and provides an optimistic ending. Moreover, the read is fresh, smart, and diverse

Until next time - stay well and be blessed!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Review Drama

Here we go, again!!

Folks, the drama involving reviews has reared it's ugly head.

Today, I found this post on Dear Author. Allegations have surfaced that favorable reviews from Affair de Couer are predicated on advertisement purchased by the publisher and in some instances, the author. And it ain't a Black thing, either. Romantic Times got slammed, too.

Whether the allegations involving ADC and RT are true or not, is not my beef with the entire review process. When will everybody finally understand the true purpose of reviews and the role of reviewers? You don't buy good reviews, you earn them!! How? By writing the best doggone story possible. And you don't get mad with a reviewer and pout if you receive a less than favorable review from them. Reviews are ONE, let me repeat, ONE person's opinion.

A couple of months ago, I referenced some other issues relative to reviews in my monthly post on Blogging In Black. Granted, I've only been in the literary arena for a short time, but I swear I learn something new everyday.

Someone help me out, pleasse. Am I out the box on this one??

Until next time - stay well and be blessed!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

On-Line Promotion - Another Point of View

Hi Everyone:

Happy TGIF!!

Thought you might find this post: The Bottom Line on On-line Promo and the comments it received interesting.

The article brings up several interesting points relative to the revolution of the on-line romance community as well as some of the struggles we authors face in our attempt to reach our target audience via on-line promotion. I'm an advocate of on-line promotion, but with anything else, there are pluses and minuses to consider with any promotion campaign.

However, the most valuable point made in this post was this:

"And then you forget about the Internet, and you sit down and write the best damn book you can, because absolutely nothing sells like an actually good book that everyone starts talking about. Word of mouth still works best, even in the 21st century."

As an author, the one and only thing I have complete autonomy over is my story.

Have a great weekend!!

Until next time - stay well and be blessed.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Random House - They Finally Get It!!

Hi Everybody:

Check out the article press release from Random House.

Now granted, I applaud their efforts, but ain't this what a lot of we as authors having been doing for a long time??

On-line promotion is not a new phenomenon, but unfortunately, many authors refuse to consider the features, advantages, and benefits it will bring to their marketing campaign.

God, I'm happy I'm not one of them - LOL!!

Until next time - stay well and be blessed.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Muse, My Thoughts: Romance - It's More Than A Genre

Happy Thursday:

I'm die-hard romance junkie!! However, a few months ago, I discovered that romance isn't all about the genre.

Here's a re-post of an article I wrote that appeared on Blogging In Black (April 16, 2008). When you get a moment, check it out, then let me know what your romance is.


If a Gallup Poll were conducted and people were asked to define the term romance, an overwhelming percentage would say it’s the collection of love stories, the genre.

Although the term has several meanings, there’s one other definition I’d like to put on the table—the spirit of adventure.

Aaah…the spirit of adventure! Writers, are there times in your career you’ve ignored the still, soft voice of your inner spirits? You know the one, the voice that begs and challenges you to escape the comfort zone you’re in and strive for higher ground. No one, and particularly writers, should ever permit the walls of complacency to close in around them.

Maybe there’s been a point in your career, where they’ve contemplated penning a different genre. Yet, when circumstances align in perfect sync in order to chart a new direction, you fail to seize the opportunity. Why?

What about the other aspects of your career? What writer hasn’t faced the decision to change agents or publishing houses? Instead of modification, you hide behind the shield of same-old, same-old. Why?

Maybe, just maybe you’re afraid to embrace your romance, the spirit of adventure.

Let’s face it people, change is the most difficult concept for human beings to accept. It’s even more difficult for writers. Whether the reluctance to engage in our romance is due to procrastination, lack of effort, or fear of the unknown, those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities just might pass us by. Then we’re left to ponder the proverbial, ‘what if’.

I’m not a ‘what if’ individual. Never have been. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve delved into some romances in my lifetime that have straight up bombed! Rather than dwell on my lack of success, I focused on the lessons learned, the experience gained. There are some things in life only our romance can teach us. Remember, it’s more than a genre.

What romance lies dormant inside of you?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Muse, My Thoughts: The Deadline Virgin

Hi Everyone:

Wanted to to share a post that appears over at Blogging In Black today. After going through my first deadline experience, I need a vacation - LOL!!

I was a deadline virgin.

One day I knew my new writer’s barrier would be broken. “I know what’s going to happen,” I told myself a zillion times. At least I thought I understood the mechanics of it, anyway. Those who’d gone through the process before me had warned there would be pain. They told me it would be hot, sweaty, and exhausting. They put me on notice that I wouldn’t like it.

Well, they were right and wrong.

My time came. The story positioned itself over me, cradling my mind with sentence after sentence, until scenes transformed into chapters. There was still a long way to go before the consummation was complete. Inhaling sharply, I didn’t see how things would fit. Nor did I know if mating with this story was even possible. It was too late to stop now. I had no other choice but to accept this slow penetration. With a ferocity that would brook no delay, I hid from the outside world. My mind opened and my eyes settled on a tale that had consumed me for months. This story, my story, had completely engulfed me.

Perhaps I’d expected the months of writing without a deadline to ease the way, but in no way was I prepared for the invasion. Painfully, my body stretched to admit the finite number of days before this manuscript was due. The pressure was enormous from functioning on days where I’d gotten only four-hours of sleep, if that. The story premise flexed and characters exerted pressure I didn’t think possible. They pushed deep inside my creative space, inch, by tantalizing inch until they’d buried themselves to the hilt. My body resisted, but somehow, someway, a story broke past my ultra-sensitive writer’s flesh.

Yes, there was pain, but there was also so much more. The deadline process was scorching, raw, and primitive. But it swept me into the most powerful excitement I’ve ever experienced as a writer! Despite, the pain, I finally knew why I love the art of writing, understood how much my characters need me to give them life. Night after night we met until we landed on a one-way street called completion. My characters spoke and I listened. They gave and I took. And just when I thought I couldn’t bear the restraining power of my story any longer, it happened. Author and story surged and moved in perfect rhythm, dancing to a soul-stirring, heart-filling climax.

Am I ready for round two? Uh…give me a sec, and let me catch my breath.

Writing is a craft and placed in the hands of a writer who’s mastered their craft, an ordinary story transforms into an extraordinary work of art.

Until next time, stay well and be blessed