Friday, January 24, 2014

Historical Romance is Dead ! And I'm Not Feeling Too Good Myself !

 
Have you heard? Historical romance is dead. Agents and editors agree it is a hard sell and therefore it must be dead. No one wants to read about dukes, rakes, debutantes, carriages and all that stuff. The language is too hard. The rules are too stupid. Readers aren't interested in the boring historical research and the stories all sound the same these days. Yep! Dead as a guy wearing a red shirt in the first fifteen minutes of a Star Trek episode.

The small town romance is king now. Or wait! No! It's the contemporary western romance. Forget that! Angel and demon heroes in urban fantasy romance are the next big thing. Hell! With an eight figure deal in the offing, erotic romance with some BSDM thrown in there THAT'S what's hot! Or maybe Amish virgin heroes are your ticket to the big time.

Are you confused yet? Good! I'd hate to be sitting in the cheap seats on the Titanic all by myself.

The trouble with having all day access to the information superhighway is you run the risk of being intellectual roadkill. There are so many articles, surveys and reports on the state of the publishing industry and what the next big sub-genre in romance is going to be I feel like a three-legged possum during five o'clock rush hour on the Friday before Labor Day.

What is the truth? If you believe much of the professional hype out there all you have to do is write an urban fantasy set in a small western town with an Amish virgin cowboy hero who is actually a fallen angel in disguise and have him seduced by a billionaire business woman who turns him into her BSDM sex slave. Write it and the agents, editors and readers will be beating down your door asking for more. And if you self-publish it you will rake in 70% of a bazillion dollars. Universal Pictures will buy your book for another bazillion dollars and make it into a film starring Chris Pine and Anne Hathaway. They'll film it at Highclere Castle to cash in on the Downton Abbey fans.

Of course if you go the self-publishing route you will have to write at least three books and preferably six and release them all a few weeks apart. You'll have to hire a really great cover artist too. Or not. Because even in e-books great covers sell. Or not. You need to use a top-notch editor. Or you can just edit it yourself, people don't care about great editing so long as the story is good.

Still confused? I don't know about you, but I'm getting ready to climb into that boat with Billy Zane and leave Leo DiCaprio to fend for himself at this point. Sheesh!

Everyone talks about what's dead and what's hot and what you should be writing if you want to sell and succeed. There are all sorts of reports on the Evil Empire of Traditional Publishers, the rights of writers, and how fast the publishing world is changing. Advice abounds on what kind of writer each of us should be - hybrid, traditional, strictly self-published, indie, small press, e-pubbed. And most important, you've got to get it all done NOW! And get it out there FAST !!

Really? Well, listen up, writers. Auntie Louisa is about to scurry her naked-tailed butt to the other side of the road and let you in on some simple truths. We possums have been around for at least 70 million years. We know a little bit about what it takes to survive.

First of all, every genre and sub-genre I have mentioned in this post has been "dead" at one point or another in the long history of fiction. Frankly, hot genres are like buses and men - there will be another one along in a few minutes. Be patient. The one you want will swing back by and grab you.



Second, no matter how talented, skilled and educated a writer you become over the years writing in a genre that doesn't speak to you simply because it is the next big thing is like faking an orgasm. It might get you by for a while, but eventually your partner (the reader) is going to figure it out. They'll feel cheated and they'll be right. And frankly that is too damned much work for me.

Third, don't let anyone tell you what the best way to publish your work is. It's your work. You decide. And you base that decision on what works for you. Decide what sort of writer you want to be, you can be, without tying yourself into knots and become that writer. Don't let anyone tell you you're doing it wrong or you'll never succeed unless you do it this way or that way. Yes, this business is changing, but the fundamental thing - writing a great story that leaves a lasting impression on a reader and makes them hungry for more of YOUR work - HAS. NOT. CHANGED. Remember that.

 

Fourth, there comes a time when you have to take complete and utter control of your writing destiny. You have to go 300 on it - "This is where we fight. This is where they die."




What does that mean? Take all of those surveys, reports and comments about what sells and file them in the circular file. Then sit down and write the book you WANT to write. Yes, that one. The one with the impossible premise, strange characters and unbelievable romance. Write the stories you want to tell. Write the stories that won't leave you alone. And when someone reads it and says "This can't possibly sell." keep writing. Pour it all out there on the page. Don't hold anything back. And when you finish, do it again. And again. And again. Write as if your life depends on you getting YOUR stories out on the page. Because it does.



If you spend all of your time trying to figure out what the next hot thing will be, if you spend all of your writing efforts chasing trends in genre and methods of publication you're like the end dog on the sled dog team - you're running last and the view will never change.

Besides, that book you write that everyone told you would never sell? It might just be the next Fifty Shades or Crossfire or Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Historical romance is dead? Don't you believe it. It's got more lives than Stefano di Mera, baby. (You youngsters will have to look that one up.) Just wait and see. And who knows, you or I may be the ones to bring it back to life. I'm damned sure going to try. How many writers do you know who have written a Regency hero getting knocked flat by the heroine's seventeen foot pet python and gotten away with it?



What do you think about all of the surveys, reports and prophecies out there? How do you deal with all of the information about the future of publishing that comes your way? What would you tell someone who is confused, or worried or depressed about the current state of the business? 




84 comments:

Maggie Robinson said...

Love this! My laugh of the morning and you are SO right (Stefano thinks so too...the Phoenix always rises)! When I started, contemporary was dead. Now it's my love, historicals, at least in print. My next two Edwardian-set books will be released in digital-first format, which I can live with. The important thing is that people should read and write whatever they want in whatever format, although I'm not sure about the Amish BDSM thing, LOL. Thanks for writing this!

Naima Simone said...

Hear, hear! *whistle! clap!* In between cheering I was laughing my *&%$# off! Louisa, you killed me this morning. I just heard vampire paranormals are dead. But every time I go into the book store or go shopping on my ereader, that's all I see. So I'm not too sure about that one. I agree with you--just write. I believe you definitely have to be wise and aware of the business we're in--including what's selling, what seems to be stalling. But when it comes down to it, if you write something you're not comfortable with, it shows. A person can write to every new trend, incorporate every new "hot" thing, but you're so right. A great book with amazing characters, a love story that steals your breath and stays with you long after "The End", a gripping storyline and solid plot will always outlast the newest thing.

I loved this post. L-O-V-E! Thanks for starting my Friday off right!

Susan Reynolds said...

"Second, no matter how talented, skilled and educated a writer you become over the years writing in a genre that doesn't speak to you simply because it is the next big thing is like faking an orgasm. "

PREACH.

I love it. And I completely agree.

Vicky Dreiling said...

These days writers have choices, and those choices mean authors have a lot more freedom to write what speaks to them. Great article.

gracerduncan said...

First off: " If you believe much of the professional hype out there all you have to do is write an urban fantasy set in a small western town with an Amish virgin cowboy hero who is actually a fallen angel in disguise and have him seduced by a billionaire business woman who turns him into her BSDM sex slave. "

...I wanna write this. ;)

Second, I *laughed*. This is awesome and such great advice.

I have a... mantra of sorts. I often get caught up in how long a story is or if there's too much of this or not enough of that. So, one day, I printed it out and it is now taped to the top of my monitor (right next to the lay/lie table and and my Linux fish. Don't ask). Ahem, anyway, it says this:

"Write the story that needs to be written."

Honestly, I think everything else we writers worry about can be summed up in that.

Suzanne Johnson said...

Fabulous post, Louisa! There's no way to predict the trends. And unless you can write and self-pub a book in a month (I work fast but not nearly that fast), you'll never be able to chase a trend without being that last sled dog chasing the other dogs' butts. Truth is, a whole lot of this business is sheer dumb luck. We have no control over that, so we might as well write what we love.

Carla Swafford said...

Amen, Sister! You tell them! I would tell them to come and read your post. So right! Hugs.

Michel Reinhard said...

Here are some of my insights from a reader, reviewer, and blogger perspective.
1. There is a reader for every book published (big publishing house or self published).
2. The entire publishing industry has changed. What was "taboo" or just "didn't meet the criteria format" for a certain genre is no longer true. Readers want more as long as it is delivered honestly and fits into the story line.
3. Along with the industry change an author does not have to publish an entire book at one time. A story can be broken down into segments. Most are broken down into three books. Here is where it can get tricky for an author...the release of the segments in a timely fashion that doesn't irk the readers or make the readers lose interest. Also deciding where to leave the cliffhanger in every segment.
4. Don't depend on your publisher to promote your book. They may put your book on netgalley or edelweiss but that is about all they do. As an author these days you have to market yourself. That is why most indie authors are so successful. With the social media being predominate it is important for the author to be active and interactive. Also plan blog tours, cover releases, contests, twitter parties, etc. Also become active on review sites such as goodreads.
5. Write was is true to your heart, the story you believe in. This is what the readers will embrace. I can name several books that tried to add a bit of everything that was popular in the market at that time. The books were a complete mess.
6. Don't get discouraged. What you do is important and appreciated.

Collette Cameron said...

What a great article and plenty of food for thought.

petula said...

You are so right. If a book keeps us interested we will come back for more. I love historical romance. I find a lot of contemporary ones have too much sex and not enough story.

Meda White said...

I'm still laughing about the O and waiting for the bus to swing back by. Great advice! I take those surveys and what not with a grain of salt. It's nice to know the trends, but I can't let it dictate how I manage my writing career. I can't wait until you're on the bestseller list, and I'm like, "Yeah, I know her." Best wishes!

Aidee Ladnier said...

Fabulous article. But.....I kinda want to read the urban fantasy set in a small western town with an Amish virgin cowboy hero who is actually a fallen angel in disguise and have him seduced by a billionaire business woman who turns him into her BSDM sex slave story.

Louisa Cornell said...

Yes, it is hard to keep a good Stefano down, isn't it, Maggie! And I will take your books any way I can get them! Although I fully intend to buy them all in print even if I have to read them on my kindle to begin with. Have to keep filling your shelf in my library. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Louisa Cornell said...

Thank you, Naima! You always make my day! And I have to agree about the vamp paranormals. They've been dead for years (pun intended) but the stores online and off are full of them with more rolling out every day.

Louisa Cornell said...

Thanks, Susan! I've read a few of those faked orgasms by some pretty famous authors and they just don't do a thing for me.

Louisa Cornell said...

That is the best part of this brave new world, Vicky. Authors have more room to spread their wings and write the book of their heart. Thank you for stopping by.

Louisa Cornell said...

LOVE that mantra, Grace !! And hey, you go girl and write that Amish virgin cowboy angel book! You'll probably end up with a bestseller!

Louisa Cornell said...

Suzanne, you are so right! Most people don't want to think about the sheer dumb luck involved in this business, but it is a BIG part of it! We might as well write what we feel driven to write.

Louisa Cornell said...

Thank you, Carla! We've been at this a while and we've seen those trends cycle around a few times, haven't we!

Louisa Cornell said...

Michael, thank you SO much for stopping by and for your insightful and spot on comments. This is great advice and I am certainly going to print it and add it to my publishing insights notebook.

Louisa Cornell said...

Thank you so much for stopping by, Collette!

Louisa Cornell said...

Thank you, Petula! And thanks for your appreciation of historical romance. Those of us who write it truly appreciate it!

Louisa Cornell said...

Awww, thanks, Meda! Right back at you, my friend!

Louisa Cornell said...

Thanks, Aidee! And you're in luck. I think Grace, who posted a little earlier is going to write that book! LOL

Callie James said...

Great post, Louisa! I've also read YA is dead, so I'm right there with you on sticking with what you want to write.

Everything changes too quickly in this business to listen to the hype of what's hot and what's not. I write the book I want to read. Writing is a lot of work, even when you're writing what you love. That's the one perk of having the day job. I can choose to write what I want without the focus on selling big.

Unfortunately, that's the ONLY perk of keeping a day job. :)


Ali Hubbard said...

Sooo good. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Amanda Brice said...

"If you believe much of the professional hype out there all you have to do is write an urban fantasy set in a small western town with an Amish virgin cowboy hero who is actually a fallen angel in disguise and have him seduced by a billionaire business woman who turns him into her BSDM sex slave."

I think you should write that book, Louisa. :)

Louisa Cornell said...

You have a point there, Callie. I do hate my day job, but it does pay for little luxuries like toilet paper and living indoors! And with that I can take my writing in whatever direction my twisted mind desires. Which can be a good thing or a bad thing!

Louisa Cornell said...

Thanks for stopping by, Ali !

Louisa Cornell said...

Amanda, you are SO wicked! I am really tempted to write that book just to see what happens!

Paula Quinn said...

Loved this, Louisa! Just what I needed today!

Elf Ahearn said...

Knock em dead, Louisa! You are so, so right!!!

Louisa Cornell said...

You are entirely welcome, Paula and thank you for stopping by!

Louisa Cornell said...

Thanks so much, Elf ! We historical gals won't take this lying down, will we!

Nancy S. Goodman said...

Historicals are either dead, dying, need to die and be reborn to something totally different. But you know what's funny? That's not what the readers are saying. So what if cowboys are hot now, and billionaire bad boys are the rage. Give me a tortured roguish Duke, or a bad boy earl who turns to mush with his heroine anytime. Readers still love them, and we love to write them

Louisa Cornell said...

Amen, Nancy !! Amen! You are so right! Readers are still clamoring for historical romance and I refuse to let a few pundits tell me otherwise. Thanks for stopping by!

Grace Burrowes said...

Well, yes, historical is QUITE dead. In the three short years of my historical publishing career, three of the first four books hit the NYT, others have made the USAT. The books are busily dying in about ten other languages (Japanese manga for The Heir???), one trilogy has been picked up by an audio house, and I have another ten historical titles scheduled for publication in the next year. I've made iBooks, PW, and Library Journal best book lists with these pathetic dinosaur stories.

Such a pity, about how dead historicals are (also vampires, shifters, and BDSM--I think the Amish virgins are still OK). I hope you all stumble into such a dead sub-genre.

LISTEN TO LOUSIA. Write what you love, work hard on your craft, don't let the people trading in fear and intimidation snuff your dream. Ain't nothing dead--it's just waiting for you to write the daylights out of it.

Louisa Cornell said...

Well it is a red letter day for me to have so many of my historical romance idols stopping by to read and comment.

Thank you so much, Grace! And your amazing books are living proof the poor, tired, dead historical romance genre ain't shown 'em nothing yet!

Anyone who wants proof of what amazing books are being written in historical romance try books by the giants who have stopped by this blog today - Anna Campbell, Maggie Robinson and Grace Burrowes.

Those writers in the trenches every day are the ones who know what is going on and they aren't afraid to share that knowledge.

The opinions and ideas about the death of this or that in publishing are not written, for the most part, by published authors, but more often by those who have let the hype end their career before it gets started. Shaping your entire career on the basis of these opinions is rather like taking flying lessons from someone who keeps crashing the plane!

Regan said...

Loved the post! My blog, Regan's Romance Reviews (http://reganromancereview.blogspot.com/), dedicated to lovers of historical romance (the ONLY genre I feature), gets 5,000 page views a month. Doesn't sound like it's dead to me. And my readers tell me they LOVE the history in my own romances. I think we're good for another 100 years at least.

Louisa Cornell said...

Wow, Regan! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing that information with us. More proof historical romance is not dead! You've hit on something important. Many of these pundits don't spend time actually talking to communities of people who are dedicated readers of specific genres and sub-genres. There are online communities out there centered around blogs like yours, Regan. And those communities are great advocates for their particular favorite - be it paranormal, contemporary, romantic suspense, historical or any other facet of the romance genre.

Gina Danna said...

Love it! Just makes me laugh, because what they claim is dead is because they can't sell it, doesn't mean the writer can't nor does it mean the readers don't want it. Geez! I love history & write the historicals I want to read. I know I'm not the only one who loves them. Great post!

Darynda said...

LOVE IT!!! You are so right! It's all circular. I'm floored that anyone is saying angels and demons are selling. Paranormal is a very hard sell right now from what I've heard. But like you said, it will all come back around and with a vengeance!

Great post! ~D~

Suzi Love said...

Love it. Thanks for explaining it so well and thanks for the laugh.

Louisa Cornell said...

You aren't the only one who loves what you write, Gina !! You write some of the hottest historical heroes out there! Thanks for stopping by!

Louisa Cornell said...

Wow! Another of my idols stopping by. Thanks so much Ruby Sister, Darynda! You are absolutely right. It is all circular. And what's hot changes like the weather when it comes to this crazy business.

Louisa Cornell said...

You are entirely welcome, Suzi. Thank you for stopping by. You are so very in the loop when it comes to historical romance!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Wise words, Louisa. And made me laugh, too!

Cari Hislop said...

After reading the first paragraph I thought...this must be Louisa...yep!
Brilliant post! I'm in line to read your Regency with the pet snake.

I think the publishing world is catching the infection inflicting the fashion world (which seems to be whirling in an ever faster frenetic head-less chicken dance as if under the spell of a wicked fairy).

I can't even comprehend why anyone would sit down and try to write a book that would "fit" in with a trend. It must be the equivalent of being tied down and forced to watch paint dry.

I suspect the bad press is down to some Boardroom monkey desperate to justify his ludicrous salary by throwing his divining bones. These are the same monkeys who turned down JK Rowling because no one wanted to read about a boy wizard. Fail!

I've been selling my historical Regencies on line since the end of 2006. Since the beginning of 2008 I haven't had a month with zero sales. Some quarters are better than others (some a LOT better), but it seems rather steady to me (and I've been very lazy and not bothered to actually try to find readers - they somehow find my stories). I think there's a very large ball being held in Fiction-land where historical romance characters are dancing and laughing at the monkeys in suits.

Louisa Cornell said...

Thank you so much, Kandy! Terribly proud to have Harlequin's newest debut author stop by and read my blogpost! Chuffed no end, my friend!

Louisa Cornell said...

ROFL, Cari !! I do love the image of historical romance characters dancing at a lovely ball while the pundits spin their wheels and wonder why their predictions haven't come true.

And I do so admire you self-publishing your wonderful work and doing so well. Just goes to show a writer who writes what she loves and is determined to get her work out there CAN succeed no matter what they surveys say. HURRAH!

Lindsey Brookes said...

Love the 'O' analogy! Great blog post. As long as I can read, historicals will never die. I write contemporary romance, but almost all I read is historical romance. So keep on writing those wonderful books!

Lindsey

Louisa Cornell said...

Thanks so much, Lindsey! You write wonderful contemporary romance and I hope there will be historical romance for you to read when you aren't writing for years and years to come!

Gwyn said...

The first time I got back on the horse (1992), I was told historicals were dead. I wrote one anyway--the same one that was a GH finalist in 2007 & 2009. What WAS dead in 1996 when I started it was the Sci-fi romance I've been reworking. Why? Because no one had breathed any life into it yet. It didn't exist as a genre. So my credo is: Love what you write and write what you love. The rest will take care of itself.

Cindy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy Nord said...

WONDERFUL. WONDERFUL. WONDERFUL...The only thing left for you to do now, Pixie pal, is to carve this FABULOUS article into marble!

Biggest hugs,

~ Cindy

Barbara T. Cerny said...

I have always told people to stay true to their hearts. In the end, that is all that matters. I have four books on the market and two that are about to be (one in editing and one in cover design). I write because I have to. Because the stories knock on my mind and demand to be written. Because the characters won't rest until they are on the page and on the .coms. Because writing fills my love bucket in a way that nothing else does. Because no matter how commercially successful they are, I am successful. I have left my legacy and my heart behind and they will last long after this poor body and soul will.

Christine said...

If Historical is dead, then why did I just spend a small fortune to download All of Katharine Ashe's books on my Nook? Not to mention Julia Quinn? Sure, I love contemporary romance and that's what I write, but historicals take me away to a time of grandeur and give me a wonderful escape.

I did have an interesting experience with just "writing the book" during the time I wrote my novella for my editor. When I started it, there were two lines for novellas, then they switched them up and created two lines that were either super sweet or super sexy -- my novella was tailored for sensual, emotional scenes and I wasn't sure where it would fit, but I wrote it the way it had to be told. And then, just after I sent it to the editor, the publisher eliminated the lines and said the novellas should reflect the regular lines in the house. Good thing I just wrote what I thought was a mini version of the line I sold to... and the beat goes on!

:)

Jillian said...

Very witty and timely post. Thanks for cutting to the chase on all the junk advice sidling around out there.

Debra Glass said...

Bdsm is just better in historicals. The Victorians had it going on. As a historical romance author, I loved your post, Louisa!!

Samantha Grace said...

Great post, Louisa! I couldn't agree more. Follow your bliss! :)

And this is a wonderful example of what an amazing writer you are. I love your stories!

Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist said...

Fantastic post, Louisa. I've heard editors at conference say more than once, over the past couple of years, Regencies are our bread and butter. Readers will always want them.

Publishing is just getting harder. Last year %74 of books were self-published. Stores such as B&N and Walmart are not giving the shelf space to historical romance that they once were, but a Books a Million rep told me they wanted to fill in the gap left by Boarders. My advice, don't give up. Keep writing and improving. Tweeted and shared on FB.

Tammy Jo Burns said...

Wonderful post! Thank you for the simple reminder. Just sit down and write the d*@n book already! :-) Thanks again!

Betty Bolte said...

Louisa, I had to come hear what you had to say on this topic. I try to keep my finger on the pulse of the reports and expert opinion, but then write like you advise: the books that speak to me. The books that I want to read. Thanks for putting this so eloquently and humorously!

Louisa Cornell said...

Gwyn, that is a great credo and you are proof it works !! Thanks so much for dropping by!

Louisa Cornell said...

Aww, thanks, Pixie Sister! I appreciate your kind words. And any of you who are dying for some great Civil War set historical romance Cindy Nord is your go-to gal!

Louisa Cornell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louisa Cornell said...

Wow, Barbara! What a great testament to this wonderful art we all love so much. You definitely know what is most important about writing!

Louisa Cornell said...

So glad you followed your instincts, Christine! And that really is what this is all about. Your muse may frustrate and desert you, but she will never lie to you about art!

And you picked some awesome historical romance authors to take you away!

Louisa Cornell said...

Thank you so much, Jillian! There is so much information out there these days we as writers need to talk to each other about it so we can set it straight.

Louisa Cornell said...

Thank you, Debra, and you are SO right. Those Victorians make modern erotica look like Rebecca of Sunnybrooke Farm!

Louisa Cornell said...

Thank you so much, Samantha! You're the best! And you know I love your books! Ladies, if you want to read fun, sexy historical romance with some of the HOTTEST heroes in buckskins and hessians you have to try Samantha Grace's books!

Louisa Cornell said...

Great advice, Ella ! Thanks so much! And speaking of bread and butter Regencies anyone who wants to read witty, sexy, funny historicals check out Ella Quinn's books. Georgette Heyer with red hot sex!

Louisa Cornell said...

You've got it, Tammy! I got that same advice from the fabulous Anna Campbell.

Finish the damned book!

Louisa Cornell said...

I think you are wise to keep up with what is going on in the business, Betty. We should all do so. But with that we must learn to separate the business from the art and go where out hearts lead us. Thank you so much for the kind words.

Robin Delany said...

To bastardize a quote from Harry Potter, "Historical romance will never die. Not whilst there are those of us still loyal to it." For many of us, it was the first thing we ever read, be it in the form of Jane Austin, Georgette Heyer, or an old historical from the 70s, 80s, or 90s. For many of us, those memories of fancy dresses, handsome and dashing heroes, and far away times and places will never grow old.
Great post.

Louisa Cornell said...

Thank you, Robin, and truer words were never spoken. Historical romance cannot die so long as there are people who love it enough to read it and people who love it enough to write it. Well said, my friend!

Christina Alexandra said...

I am that confused, worried new author!

What can I do other than look at the information presented and be scared out of my mind. Did I make the right genre choice (is there even such a thing as genre choice? My genre chose ME, not the other way around!)? What's the best way to go traditional pub or self nub? And don't get me started on those interviews (complaint sessions) with CEOs. That's enough to scare ANYONE away from writing.

But at the same time, I'm just starting my writing life. All I can do for now is research my time period and write the best story I can.

And honestly, it's not my story but that of my characters. I'm just the conduit.

Unknown said...

I read historicals exclusively. I will never read a contemporary because I don't enjoy them. My willing suspension of disbelief does not extend to modern men as romance heroes.

I struggle to find quality historicals right now. Part of the problem is that I simply don't enjoy the writing of some of the more prolific historical authors and part of the problem is that the genres best talent has followed the money to more profitable genres.

Louisa Cornell said...

Christina, you're the writer I wrote this for, honey. There are days I am right there with you. And writers already suffer from such terrible self-doubt as it is! We ALL do! Even some of the most famous authors in the business still suffer those doubts.

And at the beginning of your writing journey the most important thing you can do is read, write, study your craft and write some more. Take those online classes. Read the books. Take notes. Do your research. And write some more. The single most important thing you can do is to follow your heart, that little voice that tells you - this is the right direction, keep going. Just make certain it is YOUR little voice you're listening to and don't fill your head with too much of the bad stuff.

You ARE the conduit through which your characters tell their story. Listen to them and then work to become the skilled writer who can best tell their story.

Louisa Cornell said...

Unknown, I was drawn to historical romance for some of the same reasons you were. Today's men simply don't show me the sort of behavior a romance hero is supposed to live.

Those quality historicals are out there. Check out some of the authors who have stopped by this blogpost. Go down the list of comments and read my replies. I've pointed out who the historical authors are and they are some of the best.

And I have to agree with you about some of the very best historical authors moving on to more lucrative pastures. There are a few, however, who are writing in both historical and contemporary genres and doing it damned well. Keep checking their websites. They usually alternate bringing out historical and contemporary novels.

And thank you so much for being a loyal historical romance reader! Music to my ears!

Kadee McDonald said...

Thanks so much for the advice and the laughs, Louisa! I got every one of the references, which probably means that I've spent way too much time watching TV over the years, doesn't it?

But I always have and always will write what I would like to read and I can't imagine how any author can spend weeks/months/years with characters and plots s/he doesn't just love to pieces. There's so many things in life that we have to drudge through, whether we want to or not, but writing shouldn't be one of them.

Louisa Cornell said...

LOL! You and me both on the television references, Kadee!

And I think you are so right. There are many things in life we simply have to grit and teeth and get through (my day job comes to mind!) but writing shouldn't be one of them. Writing is a hard enough gig without having to write in a genre we simply don't feel!

Thanks for stopping by!

Andrea Stein said...

The part that I love about all this is the high and mighty "experts" who supposedly sell romance for a living ASK TO SEE MORE of something I've already told them is historical romance. Didn't they know when I pitched them they COULDN'T SELL historical romance?!!! Why make me wait 3-6 months to tell me that?

Great post, Louisa!

Louisa Cornell said...

LOL, Andrea, anyone who says they can't sell your historical romance isn't that bright to begin with, my friend !!

Sometimes I think they spend most of their time searching for the next Fifty Shades or next big thing and don't realize they are better served by taking on great writers and building careers.

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