Writer Wednesday – Decoding Agent Lingo.

As I continue down this journey of finding an agent, I have a hard time finding agents with an #mswl (Manuscript Wish List) that includes Steampunk Romance.     Steampunk, yes.  Romance, yes. Not necessarily both. 

Romance is a broad genre and it includes a lot of subgenres.  I usually end up looking for Paranormal Romance, Fantasy Romance or Sci-fi Romance.    Arguably Steampunk fits into all of these but forms don’t usually account for the historical piece of steampunk.   Sigh.  

 

BTW – If anyone out there is writing Steampunk that has YA(Young Adult), NA (New Adult) or even MG (Middle Grade) elements – Agents are looking for you.  

Women’s Fiction seems to be making a come back but I’ve seen these variations; Women’s Commercial Fiction, Women’s Literary Fiction, and Women’s UpMarket Fiction.   I was starting to wonder if these were all snooty code for Romance.   For Your Information they are not.   

UpMarket Fiction is a phrase that bugs me…once I looked it up,  it bugged me even more.  According to my Google search as an adjective it means, “relatively expensive and designed to appeal to affluent consumers.”   Okay… I still have no idea what that means. 

I was speaking to another author recently and she was telling me that she’d received over 83 rejections in a year and then just last month found an agent on a Twitter Pitch Party.    I’ve only sent out a handful of queries…so I have a long way to go. 

I imagine agents are much like readers, they know what they like, and they probably have an easier time selling what they like to read.   So here’s crossing my fingers that I find that agent who loves what I write and can sell it into the market. 

~Tina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AuThursday – Christine Donovan

head shotPlease welcome International Bestselling Romance Author Christine Donovan.  Christine please tell us your latest news.  

In March my third regency, LORD SEBASTIAN AND THE SCOTTISH LASS, and the third in a Seabrook Family Saga Series came out.  The fourth book, SPENCER FIND HIS LADY LOVE, will be out in June. I also have three books in a contemporary series out. BlackJack200x300BLACKJACK, BRIDGET and MITCH part of A Standish Bay Romance Series. The fourth one, MORGAN, will be out by the year’s end.

Q: I see you write in two different genres, Historical and Contemporary.  Are there any particular challenges with that?

Sometimes. It’s much easier to get in the mind-set to write a contemporary, as we live it daily.  When I’m preparing to write an historical I read and watch films pertaining to the Regency Era to immerse myself in that life. I love writing in two genres though, because I never get bored.

Q: You have two series, Seabrook Family Saga and Standish Bay Romance.  What are your thoughts on writing series and what draws you to them?

As a reader I tend to love a good series. When I begin writing a book, I don’t have anything mapped out for the series or how many books it may become. As the first story unfolds I get attached to all the secondary characters and their stories evolve in my head and I make notes for when I do write the next in the series. Of course, the more books in a series I write, the more planning I need to do to keep everything straight.

Q: Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I don’t write on a daily basis. My part-time job, my children and everyday stuff hinder that. But the several days a week I do get to write I can managed 5 or 6 thousand words at a time.

Q: Where do your ideas come from?

Daydreams and my vivid imagination. Sometimes it’s from something that happened in my life that I twist into a story. Several years ago, I went on an Alaskan Cruise, so one of my books is partially set on a cruise ship. It was a blast reliving my trip and spinning it with fictional characters. The only resemblance to my actual cruise, is the ship itself and the ports of call. The characters and what takes place are all fictional.  But it made one heck of a backdrop for a story. Next month I’m going on a Mediterranean cruise. I can’t wait to see what book that turns into.

Q: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

The only time I plot is when I do NaNoWriMo. I find writing 50,000 words in a month is hard without an outline. A very small outline of perhaps 2 pages. Otherwise I sit at my laptop and just begin typing.

Q: Do you ever get writer’s Block, and any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

I think I went a year without writing anything new once and it was torturous. The stories left my head and I panicked thinking they would never come back. To get over my block, I went back to books I’d written earlier and never did anything with. I edited them that way I was still writing to some degree.  That was also when I decided to tackle a Regency. I thought if I wrote something in a different genre it would spark my creative juices. Thankfully it did.

Q: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

I have not been published in any other form than indie-publishing so I can’t say anything about the advantages, although being a procrastinator having deadlines would work well for me. As far as indie-publishing goes, I love being able to write what I want and working with my cover designer. I do book my editor in advance so I have a self-imposed deadline to work with.  I don’t love the business side of things, or the internet presence. I have to force myself to get out into cyberspace. But putting yourself out there comes with being published either way.

Q: Do you have any advice for new writer’s just starting?

When you finish the best book you can write and it’s been edited over and over and over, hire a great editor, a cover designer. Have it formatted by a professional, until you are comfortable doing it yourself, and have the courage and confidence in your ability as a writer to put it out there. And remember, you cannot please everyone all the time. Some people will love your book and others will not. It happens to everyone.

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

www.christinedonovan.org

Amazon Author Page – ttps://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/profile

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/christine.donovanauthor

Please join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Christine’s book, LORD SEBASTIAN AND THE SCOTTISH LASS. ~Tina

AuThursday – Linda Rae Sande

Please welcome historical romance author Linda Rae Sande to the Clog Blog.  Welcome Linda Rae, you have so many novels, how do you make time to write?

Thanks, Tina! My favorite time to write is at night, and my favorite places to write are at local restaurants that have bars or cantinas. I bring my old iPad and keyboard and either sit at the bar or a small table. I can usually write an entire chapter while I enjoy dinner and a drink.

Q: Why did you decide to write Historicals?

About twenty years ago, I started helping my mother with genealogical research. At the time, I was more interested in finding the names and dates than I was in learning what was happening to those people. How and where they lived was so important! Those that lived during the Regency era were the most interesting.

Although I was reading science fiction at the time, I soon started reading Regencies. I thought they would be “lighter fare”, and some were, but most of the stories had very dark themes. Mistreated women, poverty, prison, illegitimate children—I actually wrote one and found I just didn’t enjoy the process until I realized I could write a lighter story and include some humor. Now I’m always looking for ways to add humor to the overall story.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for this series?

My series have all been about the relatives of those who make up the aristocrats in Regency England. I’ve written about the daughters, the sons, the cousins, and the sisters, so it made sense to do the brothers next.

I love writing male characters, and with “The Brothers of the Aristocracy” centered on men, I concentrated on using characters I’ve mentioned in the past as well as created some new ones.

Each book in this series has a theme. Rake cover.inddTHE LOVE OF A RAKE is about two men who are confirmed bachelors and who happen to enjoy bedding women. One realizes he wants to be married while the other swears he won’t ever. Two days is all it takes for plans to change.  THE CARESS OF A COMMANDER centers on two bastard brothers who are each at a crossroads in their lives, one determined to find a lost love and marry her while the other just wants to be accepted in London society. THE EPIPHANY OF AN EXPLORER will feature Harry Tennison, Earl of Everly. He’s been in several books as a background character, and it’s finally time for this world explorer and naturalist to get bit by the marriage bug.

Q: To date which of your books was the hardest to write and why?

Promise cover.inddTHE PROMISE OF A GENTLEMAN. The story takes place in 1802 and involves three couples, a huge cast of background characters, and several plots and subplots. Although none of the main characters are aristocrats themselves, they’re related to some either directly or by marriage. Since it was my first foray into writing in that period, I spent far more time researching than I did writing, and so it took two years to complete the first draft. At 740 pages in print, it’s also my longest book.  I love the characters, though. They make up the half-generation that comes before those featured in most of my books (and they make occasional guest appearances in the other books).

Q: Who designed the covers?

Karen Gee at KGee Designs in Cody, WY.  My early discussions with her centered on developing a common theme and color schemes to use for each series. Since I already had five Regencies written before the first one was published, it was easy to establish a consistent look and use it for all the titles. The photographs are from a number of sources including RomanceNovelCovers.com, Period Images, Inc., Novelstock, Inc. and HotDamn!

Q:  Like many successful authors, it looks like you have dipped your toe into the self-publishing waters.  What can you tell us about this process vs. working with a publisher?  What are some of the benefits and challenges?

I’ve only ever been self-published. Even when I worked with a publisher (briefly), I had such a frustrating experience, I decided I was better off going it alone. I haven’t regretted it. It does mean I have to keep track of everything (expenses, royalties and book signing and convention arrangements), and I have to do my own marketing (my least favorite part of the job). However, I like making the decisions about my cover photos, doing my own book design for the print versions (I used to make books for a living), and creating the ePub and Mobi files for the ebook versions of my titles. Of course, it’s on me to get everything right, but I try really hard to post updated versions as quickly as possible when errors are pointed out to me. Even with an editor and a proofreader, errors slip through, which leads to my biggest frustration—finding good editors. I’m not sure if it’s just historicals or if it’s all genres in general, but finding a good editor has been a challenge for many of my fellow authors.

Q:  What do you feel is the most important aspect for all new authors to remember when writing or creating their own stories?

Don’t get discouraged! This is one of the most difficult times to get “discovered” as a writer. There are just so many books out there vying for readers. As long as you don’t expect to sell thousands of books your first year or two, and you don’t expect to sell to friends and family—you are on your own when it comes to finding readers—you can quietly keep writing and publishing until you have proven you can do it. By publishing on a regular basis, you’ll soon have a collection of books for readers to discover and enjoy. Oh, and series fiction seems to sell better than single titles. We like our sequels as much in books as we do in movies because we come to care about certain characters and want to know more about their story.

Q:  What books can we expect to see in the near future?

THE CARESS OF A COMMANDER will be followed by THE EPIPHANY OF AN EXPLORER this summer, and the next book in “The Cousins of the Aristocracy”, THE PRIDE OF A GENTLEMAN, will be out later this year.

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

www.lindaraesande.com

Join me on Saturday as we read an excerpt from Linda’s latest release “The Caress of a Commander” ~Tina