Friday, 19 April 2013

How Fifty Shades of Grey Inspired Me

If you’re a romance reader, then you have more than likely readFifty Shades of Grey in the past year. Hey, even if you’re not a romance reader you’ve probably read the entire series. Why were we all drawn so those books? The obvious answer is the erotic sex scenes, but I would argue that is only part of the answer.

There have been many Fifty Shades copycats that have been released and have made the best seller lists, but for me they’ve missed their mark. These copycats are filled with heroes that are dark and tortured. Sometimes they’re even cruel to the heroine which by the way doesn’t sit well with me. Come on guys, Christian was never like that!

The copycats have overlooked something essential about Christian Grey. Ironically, in a novel centered on BDSM, our hero was incredibly tender with a great sense of humor. I know, I know. You’re thinking about the time Christian spanked Anna so hard that she left him. Well, let you remind you that Anna was supposed to use her safe word when things were too much for her and Christian was horrified that she hadn’t. So admittedly we all loved the explicit sex in the book, but I have to tell you that some of my favorite parts of the trilogy were the teasing emails between Anna and Christian. This gentle and funny side balanced his dark past. I believe that it was this side of Christian that endeared him to us as readers.

So how did this inspire me? Don’t worry I’m not going to jump on the Fifty Shade bandwagon, it's all ready a little crowded there. What I've come to relealize was that I like my heroes with a sense of humor as much as l like them hot in bed. So as I write, I am working at developing characters that don’t have tortured pasts, but instead are normal well-adjusted people with great senses of humor. Oh yeah and who just happen to love hot and dirty sex. So it’s my goal to bring to readers stories that have fun exciting plots, laughter and explicit love scenes. What I believe will be the perfect blend of contemporary romance, suspense and erotica.

Coming soon my upcoming book Trust Me has a FBI agent as a hero who knows how to make the heroine laugh as well as moan.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

On the road to self publishing

Here I am on the road to self-publishing. How did I get here? Almost 18 years ago I decided to try and become a writer or more specifically a romance writer. I had been and avid romance reader for years and like many readers I had always wanted to give writing a try.  I began researching the topic. I bought a book entitled How to Write a Romance Novel and Get it Published, which was a great place to start.
At the time entering the publishing industry seemed overwhelming, but I decided to give it a try. I concluded that the best way to cut my teeth on writing was to write a category romance for Harlequin. I sent away for their guidelines by mail.  Did I just say mail? Yes I did!  Keep in mind the Web as we know it was just beginning and Google didn’t exist!
After reading the Harlequin guidelines, I decided on a category and began my writing.  I had a great idea for a romantic suspense novel and I spent the next several months writing it.   I then had my friends read and review it.  All of whom were very supportive!  Well, of course they are my friends! 
I wrote my query letter to Harlequin and was rejected.  All that work, I thought, for nothing and they didn’t even read my book.  My husband and friends encouraged me to keep trying, but I didn’t take rejection well.  I really couldn’t see myself continuing to commit myself to all that time and effort for what at the end of the day seemed all for nothing.
Five years later Harlequin had a writing contest on their website entitled, “Writing Round Robin.”  A Harlequin author would write the first chapter of a book and then each week there would be a contest amongst want-to-be authors to write the next chapter.   For fun, I wrote a chapter and submitted my entry and believe it or not I won!  I was so excited, an editor from Harlequin called me and congratulated me and said, “I definitely had talent.”  She then told me to send in the book that I had written and I thought “This is it, I’m on my way!”  Except I wasn’t on my way, my book was rejected again, and once again after I stopped crying, I forgot about my writing career.  See, I don’t take rejection well.
Let’s zoom ahead now to 2013 and the explosion of self-publishing.  Guess what? I thought I’d pull that old book out and give it another try, but this time with a different attitude.  I began revisions on the book since it needed to be up dated significantly.  When I originally wrote, we weren’t walking around with smart phones, so obviously things had to change.  Also I realized that I’d written that book to fill a Harlequin box and I needed to get out of the box.  I revised and updated my book and then sent it off to my beta readers (okay so my beta readers are a couple of friends of mine but beta reader sound so much more professional).  My beta readers didn’t let me down, they came back with great constructive criticism and I was ready for it this time.  Well, most of it anyway… 
I went back to work revising this book again while simultaneously researching how to self-publish and market my new book.  Now my book is at my editors and I am anxious to see it finally published.  I am working on my next book because this time I’m committed to sticking with it!