Thursday, August 2, 2007

My favorite type of romance is...

By Kirsten Scott

Well, how can I follow Anne Mallory's fabulous interview and Q&A about PIZZA? Yikes! I guess all those unique and fabulous pizza ideas got me thinking about how different we all are--about what we want out of our pizza AND our romance.

(What do you think, decent segue?)

In the few years that I've been writing, I've tried: young adult, historical single title, historical short stories, short contemporary, and erotica. I suppose I should settle down but I've been cursed with a multitude of personalities and a very short attention span. What's a girl to do?

Each of these genres reaches a different part of me. The historical touches my most feminine side, the one that wants to wear gowns and gloves and ride in carriages with a dashing alpha male wearing deliciously tight breeches. My short contemporary featured a lawyer who gets busy with the goregous CEO on the other side of a business deal (being a lawyer myself, this represents, er...real life fantasy...). I think you can guess what the erotica is all about ((BLUSH)). And then there's YA, where I get to channel my inner walrus.

So what's your favorite? Historical? Contemporary? Erotica? Short stories or long? What do you love about your chosen genre and why?

And what the heck should I write next?!!?

And the winnahs of autographed books by yesterday's fantabulous guest blogger Anne Mallory are Bamabelle and Mary F! Please send your snail mail information to Caren at carencrane AT gmail DOT com. Congratulations and thanks for stopping by!


Anna Campbell said...

Great post, Kirsten. And as you say, how do you follow the party that was Anne Mallory's visit? Wow!

I too wrote in a whole slew of genres before I settled on dark, angsty historicals full of sex and passion and... Yeah, I know, cut the sales pitch, Campbell! Anyway, to get back to the genre thing. I read anything. Honestly, I'm an absolute genre tart. If it's a good story, I don't care if it's about walruses! I actually thought when I began writing romance seriously that I'd write category. There were a lot of Australians writing for Harlequin with great success and I'd always had an affinity with Presents. It took me eight books to realise I don't have a category voice. But the attempt left me with a HUGE admiration for people who can pack all that emotion into that short length! Fiddled around with sagas and serious historicals. But as a reader, my heart lay with big juicy historicals and that's where I ended up. Strangely, the very first book I wrote as an extremely naive 18-year-old was a big juicy historical so my instincts were clearly ahead of my writing skills! All I can say about genres in romance is vive la difference!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Alas, Kirsten, I have the same problem.

I have two books finished in an American Knights historical trilogy. Two contemporary suspense books, (both GH finalists last year), and a small town series that I'm having fun with right now.

So what's a girl to do?

The one connecting thing so far is that there is at least one dead body in each book. Hmmm. But the books are first and foremost romances. So I guess I write romances with suspense elements, regardless of the genre

Christine Wells said...

Kirsten, I can understand the need to stretch and challenge yourself as a writer with all different subgenres. Writing to different lengths makes life interesting, too. I've written crime fiction, women's fiction, poetry, short stories. None of which are likely to see the light of day!

As for reading, like Anna, I'll read anything with a good storyline, though my first love will probably always be historicals. I have a growing list of auto-buys in contemporary as well. But romance is constantly expanding, subdividing. Something for everyone!

Keira Soleore said...

Most of my reading is historicals with some contemps thrown in. I have two medieval m.s. and the current MIP (mess in progress) is a Regency-set historical.

Kirsten, what do you most love to read?

Caren Crane said...

Kirsten, I love reading all sorts of books. I suppose I am a "genre tart" like Anna C! Though my absolute favorites are Regency and Victorian historicals, I read lots of different types of story. For me, it is all about finding writers I love and then glomming onto everything they ever wrote!

When we were talking about our keeper shelves with Suz last weekend, I mentioned Rosamunde Pilcher. Suz said her favorite by RP was "Snow In April". I have that book. As a matter of fact, I have ALL the RP books I could get my hands on. I read "The Shell Seekers", fell in love with dear Rosamunde, then ran out to buy everything of hers in print!

For me, it's obvious when a writer has found her or his niche, that natural story for them. Write the stories that won't leave you alone, Kirsten, and you will find the stories people will have to buy!

Keira Soleore said...

I can NOT believe I missed Anne Mallory's interview. Family health goes south and Anne decides to visit. Boo Hoo Hoo!!!

Christie Kelley said...

Wonderful post, Kirsten. I think it's great that you have written so many subgenres.

Since I'd always read historicals and only a few contemporary or paranormals, for me it just made sense to write historical. It took me seven years of writing different historicals to finally decided to try a paranormal. Well, I had an absolute blast writing that ms. My critique partners loved it. I'm still waiting for my agent to get back to me with her comments.

I think the best thing about changing subgenres or even genres is the energy it creates in you and your writing. Before I started writing the paranormal I was really getting down on my writing (yeah, those editor rejections weren't helping either). But even after finishing it, I couldn't wait to start my next historical.

I wouldn't worry about which subgenre to write next, Kirsten. What story is calling you the most. That's the one you need to write.

Caren Crane said...

Keira, never fear! I'm sure we'll lure Anne back again. Be sure to keep an eye out for upcoming guests, though. August will be chocked full! We have Sabrina Jeffries on the 16th, so you'll want to pop by for that one!

Anna Campbell said...

Keira, can I steal MIP? LOVE it!

Kirsten said...

Anna, you don't have something against walruses, do you? Hmph. I for one am very glad you settled on dark and sexy. Very glad.

Suz, I love the body count! I think almost any book can use a bit of suspense, regardless of genre. I personally don't have the stomach for books with any serious violence, but I do love the way a mystery tightens and drives the narrative.

Christine, I also have some very bad poetry from college that I pull out every once in a while. Maybe we could put together an anthology of Bandita poetry that should have stayed under the bed!

Kirsten said...

Keira, I love your "MIP"! I hope you don't mind if I co-opt that phrase for the next mess I begin! As for my reading, I used to read historicals and nothing but. Then my CP finally convinced me to try Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and I fell head over heels in love with her books. I haven't read much other contemporary, but when I decided I wanted to try my hand at a Harlequin Blaze, I realized I needed to do some research, so I read a whole lot of them, and really it.

I go through phases, and right now I'm in a YA phase. I love YA fantasy (I'm reading the Bartimeaus trilogy and the Golden Compass is next on my TBR pile). But tomorrow the pendulum could swing back to historical or even to category. I also like non-fiction quite a bit. I am on the list at the library to get a hold of Barbara Kingsolver's book about eating locally for a year.

I guess that's a long way of saying I really haven't a clue!

Kirsten said...

Caren, you're absolutely right, it's really all about the author isn't it?

Christie, I absolutely agree that changing genres is good for your writing. I went from historical to first person urban fantasy YA and boy did it stretch me! It's so easy to lapse into cliches and conventions without even realizing, and switching genres exposes everything.

Trish Milburn said...

I love lots of different kinds of romances, but I'd say my favorites are paranormal, YA and American-set historicals. Those are all things I've written (along with romantic suspense) and read a great deal.

Kirsten said...

Hey Trish, are you a civil war historical reader? That seems like one genre that has VERY dedicated fans. And they have to be dedicated, because it's so hard to find one these days...

How about westerns, like 2006 GH Packer Stacey Kane? I loooooved Mustang Wild.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Frankly I'd love to see a resurgence to American historicals. Also any historical set outside of the British Isles. While I Love books set in England, Scotland and the occasional Ireland, (I call those westerns), wouldn't it be great to read a book set in ancient Rome? Or Tsarist Russia? Or perhaps Egypt? Or what about Medieval Spain? Or Napoleonic France? Or Vikings...........yeah Vikings! Or Caribbean Pirates, (wait, I have 3 chapters started on that, too!)

Keira Soleore said...

Foanna and Kirsten: Go for it. MIP is all yours, though in your cases, it would masterpiece-in-progress, not mess. :)

Aunty Cindy said...

What should Kirsten write next?

Of COURSE Aunty has a suggestion: erotic historical paranormal!

crawling back to the lower levels of the lair (and only half kidding!)

bamabelle said...

Great post! I read all the subgenres of romance as well as mystery, thrillers, chicklit, etc. I suppose if I had to pick just one as a favorite it would be historical romance though. But yeah, I like it all! :)

Donna MacMeans said...

Kirsten -

I sympathize. I wrote two Romantic suspense novels before trying my hand at an historical. As much as I loved to read historicals, I think the research intimidated me. However, once I started actually writing the story, I was hooked into the subgenre. It felt like coming home.

My stories tend to run on the humorous side, which probably explains the multitude of rejections on my suspenses. SOmetimes those editors can tell when you're not writing where you need to.

In between the suspenses I actually sold a contemporary paranormal short story. Now that was fun! I never would have thought that I'd write a paranormal, but I knew of an opportunity to be included in an anthology and so gave it a shot. Now my second historical incorporates paranormal elements and it's a hoot.

So I suggest trying paranormal and let your freak flag fly (big grin).

Caren Crane said...

Hey, Keira, did you seen Anne sent you a belated wave from yesterday's post. :-)

Trish Milburn said...

Kirsten, my favorite American-set historicals are westerns and frontier stories, followed by Colonials. I did read Civil War stories back when I first started reading romance, but like you said they are very rare now. I think that's because it's very non-PC to write those because it's nearly impossible to write them without the issue of slavery entering into the story.

Keira Soleore said...

Caren, thanks, I ran over to the interview post to read Anne's comment. So very cool!! Got her book this morning.

Kirsten, based on the Bandita comments, it seems like you're going to be doing a para next, and since you're currently reading YAs, how about a YA para? :)

Christine Wells said...

Bandita poetry, Kirsten? Hmmm...

There once was a bandit named Scott
Who wrote it all, YA to HOT!
So many subgenres
The double-entendres
Got mixed up with the teen and her spots!

Now you know why my poetry won't ever be published.*g*

Cassondra said...

Dear, dear Kirsten:

I fear you shall never make it past the first ten pages of one of my books if violence turns your stomach. (heavy sigh)

Yes, it's true. I'm the Bandita with the deviant soul and a former Special Forces soldier for a husband, so any type of violence I dream of a villain doing or a hero facing--I have the reference nearby--in fact I sleep with it. (grin)

I started trying to write category because that's what I most loved to read. You'd get some that were kind of thin on character and plot, but you'd get a lot of them that could pack SO MUCH power into such a short book. I still love it when I can find that. But now they've gotten even shorter, and there's no way this natural "putter-inner" can take enough out of her manuscript to make it a category. I write way too long.

Donna, like you I have a historical simmering but have been avoiding it for four or five years because the research alone is so daunting.

While I'm writing contemporary, I read almost nothing but historical because the fear of inadvertent plagiarism scares me to death. And in doing so, I've fallen in love with historicals.

I don't read a lot of fantasy or paranormal, which makes me wonder--just an inkling in the back of my mind--if that's where I'll end up. So many writers do that--go to the thing they've not tried and it works for them.

Oh, heck. I can't choose. If it's a good story, I'm there.

Helen said...

I read historicals they seem to jump out at me and I can loose myself in the past I love the way they dress and the houses and castles they live in it is just an era that that gets all my attention.
Have Fun

jo lewis-robertson said...

Oh, Kirsten, I see paranormal on your horizon. I agree with Caren. It's all about the author for me. Once I find someone whose style and voice I enjoy, I go back to the very beginning and read everything he/she's written.

I enjoy writing mystery-suspense, but I think my true voice is historical. I adore the disparity between what's actually said and what's implied beneath all that formal language. Very sexy.

Joan said...

Romans, Suz? I LIKE that idea (says the Roman historical girl)

And all the others you cited...Civil War (here's fingers crossed for success with your American Knights..GREAT concept),pirates and gosh, I miss those Viking raiders!

My first and truest love is historical. At first, the idea of research intimidated me. I thought I had to learn it ALL before I started to write. Once I realized I could take it as it came....research different aspects as the story evolved i.e. clothes, or foods etc. Then I was fine.

My second love is paranormal. I just can't imagine writing a straight contemporary...or a medical romance (I live in the medical would take a WHOLE lot of imagination to see romance there LOL)

I fully agree with those who say tell whatever story is inside you.

Kirsten said...

Ummmm...I guess I didn't mention that my YA is an urban fantasy/paranormal. **BIG GRIN** You all are psychic!

Thanks for all the great insights, and Christine, I don't know what you're talking about--your poetry rocks! :-)

I just got back from work and the kids are screaming for dinner. I'll check in again in a few hours. Thanks again for all the comments everyone!

Kirsten said...

AC--I love your suggestion--now go back to your lair! :-)

Bamabelle--the great thing about liking everything is you always can find something to read, right?

suz--I've got a half-baked pirate story that I'll finish someday. There's something sooo sexy about a pirate, no?

donna--I am definitely looking forward to Mrs. Brimley's education! I love my romance with a sense of humor.

cassondra--you're right, there's probably no way I could get through your books. ;-) but for you, darling, I would give it a try!

Kirsten said...

Jo--absolutely agree that the contrast between the formal language and what's really going on is a large part of the fun. that's part of why I love Regency times so much--so formal yet so bawdy...

Joan, I guess when you live with medicine, it would difficult to find it romantic. And what a loss, because there are such lovely stories to be written about yummy doctors!

Helen, when we've got such wonderful authors as Anna Campbell, why would we need any other genre, right?

Caren Crane said...

Christine, you deserve a ribbon for that limerick! Too bad the market for limericks is soft right now. *eg*