Meet Delle Jacobs

Welcome to the Riskies, Delle!

Thanks so much for inviting me to be a Risky For a Day! I love reading your blog, and it’s a real pleasure to be a part of it. I’ll have a signed ARC of my latest release, Aphrodite’s Brew, plus a little chocolate gift (not an Easter Bunny) for one of you at the end of the day. Just be sure to send me your email address so I can arrange shipping with you!

And while I’m promoting, let me drop a few lines about the Royal Ascot, which I’m coordinating this year. There’s lots of new information, so be sure to check it out on the Beau Monde website. It’s a fabulous contest, a great place to try out your Regencies, with terrific prizes, wonderful critiques and comments, and wonderful editors for the final round. Save money by entering electronically, or be traditional and send a paper entry. Unusual and cross-genre Regencies are encouraged, and fimalsts whose entries are outside the gsub-genres the final round editors would buy will be provided with an extra read by an editor who acquires that sub-genre. And all non-finalists’ names will be put into a drawing for several 50-page critiques for non-finaling entrants.

Enough of the soapbox. Onward to the questions now.

I’ll join you briefly on your soapbox before we both jump off to also encourage people to enter. I’m one of the writers who first published as a result of the contest! Now tell us about Aphrodite’s Brew.

Aphrodite’s Brew is what I call my piece of fluff, although it really isn’t all that fluffy. I meant for it to be a Regency Romp, emphasis on the Romp. Comedy bordering on slapstick. Not a book to be taken seriously, just one to be fun. But by the second draft, my characters started to take on more angst, more depth, and the book had a different tone and blend than I had originally planned.

It’s just an ordinary restorative tonic for women that Sylvia, Lady Ashbroughton, makes and secretly sells to finance her beloved step-daughter’s entrance into society. She has no notion it has an entirely different effect on men. But the bachelors of the Ton are suddenly and eagerly rushing giddly off to Gretna Green and committing the unthinkable atrocity agaist bachelorhood .

Word has it a love potion has fallen into the hands of the match-making mamas. The gay blades are all doomed. Val–Lord Vailmont, a man of science and reason who scoffs at magic, witchcraft and the like, vows to prove to his superstitious friends they are being duped. A wager ensues, and the embittered widower who has vowed never to marry again sets out to hunt down the perpetrator of the hoax. The clues lead his straight to Sylvia, and one look in her silver-green eyes sets his soul spinning as if he has just encountered a witch.

Sylvia needs no handsome earls prying into her life. If Val learns of her secret trade in potions, she will be ruined and her beloved stepdaughter will be deprived of her Season. Worse, the earl could uncover Sylvia’s most shameful secret—her weakness for handsome men like him. So she protects her fragile heart from him by concocting an old family charm to wear in a locket. But neither logic nor charms can combat the stubborn love that sweeps them into a whirl of unbridled passion.

And, from somewhere in the mists of time, a forgotten, nameless god is laughing.

I have a great video for Aphrodite’s Brew, full of my own art work. Check it out— I hope you enjoy it.

How hard was it to incorporate paranormal elements in a novel set in the early industrial/late enlightenment period?

I think it’s both easy and hard. Regency readers and writers often show great attention to detail and accuracy, sometimes to the point where we are almost writing non-fiction instead of romance. Paranormal, on the other hand, calls for suspension of disbelief on a large scale. But that’s the very premise of Aphrodite’s Brew: pitting fact and reason against mysticism, the unreal, ethereal elements no facts or logic can explain. The Regency period is perfect for this because it sits squarely between the ancient world of faith and belief in things ethereal and the modern world of science and rationality. I chose my two characters to represent the duality. Val doesn’t believe in much of anything that can’t be rationally explained, but Sylvia has roots deep in the past, perhaps, I’ve hinted, all the way back to the pre-literate ancient Celts. To me, this premise is like England itself, a modern industrial, literate land surrounded and deeply ingrained in its own long history.

What do you love/hate about the Regency?

I don’t hate anything about it. The Regency was what it was, flaws and all. I think it’s easy to look back on the past and criticize. It would be hard to go back from the present and live in the past, but if we were born there with no knowledge of what the future would bring, we wouldn’t think it so bad. Just as in today’s world, we’d see things that ought not to be, and perhaps try to change them. And we’d look back at the previous generations and wonder how the could stand their primitive lives. There were things like slavery and lack of rights for women I would not want to live with, and I not be at all keen to go back any time before Pasteur. But if I didn’t know what germs were, and if my expectations of life were lower, I doubt I’d be overly worried about the things that are such issues for me today.

You’ve had a rather tortuous path to publication–what advice do you have for those struggling toward publication?

I noticed you said tortuous, not tortured. I had to go back and look to be sure, because either would fit. Part of my struggle had to do with coming to recognize I have stories to tell that may not be what New York wants to hear or publish. I suspect I always knew that to some degree, but it was difficult for me to accept the choice I really had, to either write the stories that are highly commercially viable, and hope to sell them even if they aren’t stories I want to write, or write what speaks to me even if it has a smaller audience. I’m afraid I still haven’t completely resolved that one. I’m still looking for the middle ground. To put it another way, I’m still trying to find MY story that is also THEIR story.

I think I would advise authors to know their market, yes, but more than that, to really analyze their own goals for writing. Find out what it is you REALLY want from your writing career. Would you write anything your editor or agent told you to write (assuming you got such a directive) even if it happened to be a subject you hate? What would you do, how far would you go to get published? Or are you like the fellow who used to sit on the other side of my cubicle wall, and refuse to change a single word of your story, even knowing you would pass up publication for your decision? Do you fall in between? Find out by ruthlessly examining yourself where you fit. It’s perfectly possible you will be one of those perfect fits in the genre of romance, writing story after story you love, and selling it to editors and readers who love it too. But if not, try to understand where you fit, and if your story doesn’t fit THEIR story, how much are your willing to bend? Or conversely, how can you find the stories that are perhaps different enough to blaze a new trail through the forest of fiction?

A risk is a risk is a risk. The question is, are you willing to pay the price?

The Riskies question: do you–or your editor– consider you took a risk with this book?

To begin with, it was originally written as a traditional Regency with a paranormal plot, mixed heavily with comedy. Sex was added in the second draft because it needed to be there. At the time, this mix was a pretty hard sell. Traditional Regencies didn’t have sex for the most part– wow, has that changed! The tone is strongly Regency. The comedy was almost slapstick in places and definitely pokes fun at the characters. And paranormal wasn’t often done. The book has been rejected for all of the above by various editors. One loved it, but didn’t want any fantasy elements in her house’s stories. One didn’t want sex in Regencies. At least one reviewer has actually taken this book seriously, and that really blows my mind. Humor is hard, and never so hard as when the reader doesn’t get it. Mostly, though, this book didn’t sell to the big houses because it was thought of as a traditional Regency. Three editors attempted to buy it, but in every case it lost out because they saw it as a traditional Regency, at the very moment their Regency lines were coming crashing down. It is a very strange feeling to have several editors all gushing over a book they can’t buy.

All that, though, made it a perfect book for Samhain. As a smaller press that publishes both electronically and in print, they can attract just exactly the right audience. Traditional Regency lovers are learning to find the stories they love in e-books. And they’ve changed enough with the times that a more sensual story is very welcome, as long as it actually makes sense with the times. Paranormal has become so popular, it has become an asset, not a liability. So I guess part of the risk has to do with timing.

What’s next for you?

Another risky book. Sins of the Heart, which won the Royal Ascot and several other contests (but was written after I decided I didn’t need any more Golden Hearts) is an adventure Regency romance. Its setting is risky– a small town in Cornwall, not the ballrooms of London. It’s as much about spies and smugglers as it is about deceit and betrayal. And maybe it’s not as risky as the one that will follow it because I’m straying into the dangerous territory of religion. One of the strongest characters in Sins is a charismatic Cornishman who, like most commoners of Cornwall, is a fervent Methodist who sees no contradiction at all with his frequent dabbling in the Free Trade. I haven’t started this book yet, except in my head, and maybe, if I write it, I’ll keep it to myself. I’m enamored with the conflict between Davy’s rigidly moral, sometimes authoritarian conscience and the Frenchwoman spy he was forced to rescue off the very beaches of France. She is everything he doesn’t believe is right, but he can’t stop thinking about her.

After that, more risky stuff. Currently I have a series planned around the Laughing God in Aphrodite’s Brew. The next is Gilding Lilly, a Cinderella-Ugly Duckling sort of story in which beauty doesn’t win out, after all. There are also two minor characters in the first book who you probably wouldn’t think worthy of their own romance, and they aren’t– yet. They’re beautiful faces on shallow people. In Lilly, they begin to let slip things that show they aren’t so shallow, but are caught in a trap the don’t understand and can’t escape. It will take another book before they grow enough to be the hero and heroine we want to root for, and finally when they have at last struggled and grown so much, they will need their own story.

I’m also doing something completely off kilter for me, Siren, a very sensual historical fantasy of the sea. You can see the video for it on YouTube even though I haven’t yet finished the book. It was my first video, but I’ve very proud of it. I think I’ll be very proud of the book too.

You see, I love writing risky stuff. And I think I’m finally getting the idea that I don’t have to write what I don’t want to write. Yes, true, I’d love to be rich and famous. But not quite as much as I love writing my stories my way. I think that’s called being eccentric. But that’s okay. I’m old enough now that eccentric sounds good to me.

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36 Responses to Meet Delle Jacobs

  1. tetewa says:

    Enjoyed the post today and I’m looking forward to your release!

  2. Diane Gaston says:

    Hi, Delle! Glad to have you here, talking about your exciting new release (cuz Delle has others, you know. Check her website http://www.dellejacobs.com/books.html)

    It is an interesting question you pose, Delle. How “risky” can we afford to be?

  3. Diane Gaston says:

    Whoops. Meant to say, Happy Easter, everyone!

  4. Jane says:

    Happy Easter, everyone. Are you more like Val, believing only which can be explained by science and reason or are you like Sylvia, believer of magic? I’m a firm believer in science, yet there are things that can’t be explained. I guess I believe in magic, too.

  5. doglady says:

    Happy Easter Riskies!! I just love the whole sound of this book – comedy, romance, magic. Can’t go wrong with me. With one Cherokee/Creek grandmother and one Welsh one, I cannot help but believe in things I cannot necessarily explain.

    It is so hard to walk that line between writing what is commercial and writing what the story demands, at least in your head! My novel Lost in Love started out as a comedy (I mean he does drive our heroine and his new phaeton into a giant sinkhole/underground cave!) There are deep emotional issues for both characters but there is no murder, no spies, no real adventure there. The adventure for the most part is of the human heart. Well the heroine is a horse thief. Still, how do you decide? Was it a decision you made on your own or did you discuss it with CPs, your editor, your agent, a Tibetan monk?

  6. Delle Jacobs says:

    Hi again, everyone! Sorry I was really sick yesterday and obviously left out an important fact: Aphrodite’s Brew is available! Read the excerpt at http://samhainpublishing.com/romance/aphrodites-brew
    then follow the “Buy it at MBaM” link to purchase. And if you’d like a dollar gift certificate, email just say so here and I’ll send it to you.

  7. Delle Jacobs says:

    Hi Diane! A great question. I think often about the risks you took with your story of a woman forced into prostitution, and how many editors told you it would never sell. I think you knew something instinctively about the voice and tastes of readers that had changed, but the editors didn’t see the same thing. The same is true of Janet’s chick-lit style Regency. But they both found their place.

    But at the same time, my story, LADY WICKED, about a woman who believes (wrong) she’s married to a true villain, but who falls in love with the man who rescues and stands beside her, has not found a home. It won the Golden Heart and many other contests, but no major publisher was interested. It is odd to me that editors readily accept pre-marital sex in Regencies, something that did not exactly happen a lot, but totally ban a supposedly married woman loving a man not her husband. And we know extra-marital affairs were, if not common, at least easily plausible. But even taking the sex out of this story, the editors thought it too risky.

    And years ago I wrote a story, FIRE DANCE, involving a woman who had endured incest. Incest was not a part of the story itself, other than coloring her decisions. But editors didn’t want to touch the story. Recently, however, a different editor told me it had too much guy stuff– a medieval with several battle scenes, a true adventure romance with some eerie stuff, but not exactly paranormal. Too much for its time.

    I think all stories are risky in some way, don’t you? Yet sometimes the risk is one the author feels she must take, but the editors just can’t quite make the same leap. We have to be prepared to accept that if we feel strongly about our stores.

  8. Gemma says:

    I haven’t even read the interview yet but I wanted to say how pleased I am that you have a new book out, and another one scheduled for the summer.

    I own all five of your previous releases and am off to buy this one too. 🙂

  9. Delle Jacobs says:

    Ah, Jane, there are more tings in this world than what we can see and touch! No, truly, I think I’m like you. I’m strongly rational, yet how could I write fiction at all if I didn’t sense and believe in the mystic secrets of the world? Okay, I could, but that’s not me.

    I truly love exploring the past, and trying to embed myself into the people of the past, living and knowing and believing exactly as they do. When people don’t have factual answers, they find other answers. Maybe mythology develops from that, but maybe it’s more real than we can see.

    When I was in England in 2004 with my son and a friend, I felt such strong presences from the mystic past everywhere I went that the impression still lingers.

    Interestingly, my son and my friend had the same feelings that came upon me, even though we were often exploring on our own.

    But then there’s that niggling little voice inside of me that says the experiences were purely anecdotal and I was obviously talking myself into what I wanted to believe.

    So you see, I’m Sylvia, but I’m also Val. Just like you.

  10. Delle Jacobs says:

    Wow, Doglady, that sounds like a story I’d love to read. Be sure to let me know when it is available, because I’m betting it will be.

    To answer your question, I think my CPs have usually told me when they think a story idea does or doesn’t intrigue them, but rarely if they think it won’t sell. I think sometimes we writers are too sensitive to discouraging another writer, knowing how easily a negative comment can impact us.

    My current Samhain editor Linda Ingmanson is encouraging me to write the SINS sequel because she fell in love with Davy Polruhan, my cocky Cornishman and she loves my plan to torture him with his own mindset. But that’s the great thing about Samhain. For them, “It’s all about the story”. And if they love the story, they’ll publish it, even if it’s a radical departure from other things they publish.

    That thought reminds me of another risk I’ve decided to take. Two of the three stories I’m working on now are sequels to books Samhain is publishing. That means they really can’t go anywhere else. And that means there’s no real point in offering them to my agent, nor will I find any other home but Samhain for them. I’m really fortunate that my agent understands I want to go in this direction– as long as I get the other, non-sequel to her, that is!

  11. Delle Jacobs says:

    Oooh, Gemma! That’s what I really love to hear! Happy reading!

    Delle

  12. Diane Gaston says:

    Delle, I never knew I was taking risks with The Mysterious Miss M–until the rejections came, that is.

    And about rationality vs the unknown, I once quite by accident impressed my daughter, then about 13. She asked me something, like did I believe in telepathy, and I answered, “I believe in everything.”
    I do, too.

  13. robynl says:

    Hi Delle; the story sounds very exciting and I like that there is humor in it. I’d love to get to know Sylvia and Val better. Enter me please.

  14. Delle, I think the book sounds wonderful, and your cover is simply gorgeous, but it’s your message and your obvious, generous commitment to the romance genre that I admire the most of all.
    I cannot wait to read this story! 🙂

  15. janegeorge says:

    Congratulation’s on Aphrodite’s Brew!

    I think humor that acts as a foil for deeper issues is one of my favorite type of books.

    Sins of the Heart sounds wonderful, too. Cornwall is fascinating with its working class Methodism and oodles of sacred wells and stone circles. (I may have been influenced by Poldark at a young age, too!)

    My current GH entry is set in St. Buryan near Lands End, Cornwall. I wrote about half of it before I found a map of old St. Buryan. And the church, Alsia’s well, and the Boscawen-Un circle of stones all lined up exactly with fictional places I’d written.

    Very Twilight Zone.
    But that’s why I write!

    Thanks for sharing your path and process. And a huge thanks for coordinating the Royal Ascot!

    Here’s wishing risky stories everywhere a wide audience. We need them.

  16. Elena Greene says:

    Hi, Delle! Thanks for the good interview and for talking with insight and sympathy about this issue of creative risk.

    As to the issue of writers not wanting to discourage one another, I don’t think it’s the place of critique partners to determine marketability of a story idea. At most I might give my impression of which elements might be problematic, but only so the author is aware. Depending on her goals, she can then decide whether she wants to scale back on those elements or just make sure the execution is spot on.

    I’d never actively discourage someone from writing what may seem to be uncommercial. Partly because I don’t want to discourage anyone, partly because I like risky books, but also because I can’t (and doubt any of us can) really know for certain whether or not an individual editor will eventually bite.

  17. Cara King says:

    Great to see you here, Delle!

    Find out what it is you REALLY want from your writing career.

    I do think that’s very wise advice. Some writers bounce about from genre to genre (and nonfiction) because what they love is *writing*, of any sort. Some keep their love for fiction, or romance…and for some, the subgenre (or type of story) really matters. So important to figure out where one’s own loves lie!

    And Diane, I’m with you on not always being able to tell what publishers will feel is different and what isn’t! When I wrote Gamester, I thought it was exactly the sort of book Signet Regency did…but when my editor bought it, she said it had caught her eye because it was “different”… 🙂

    Cara

  18. Delle Jacobs says:

    Gemma, Robyn, and anyone else who would like a gift certificate, here’s a temporary email address for this blog only.

    riskyregencys@dellejacobs.com

    Send me your email address here and I’ll email a gift certificate to you. You pot will only go to me, but it will allow me to contact the winner of the ARC and chocolate prize too.

  19. Delle Jacobs says:

    Jane, here is an incredible map of Land’s End in Cornwall:

    http://www.old-maps.co.uk/indexmappage2.aspx

    It’s extremely detailed and can provide you with the most amazing pieces of information. I originally found my map of Looe there, and I even used it for the details of Jane’s ride into the country with Lord Edenstorm, as well as a later scene where they must escape the villain, and even the location of the quay and boat yeards, which I had originally placed on the wrong side of the river! That map is gone now, unfortunately. That was back before they were offering them for sale. But I did capture an image of the very details a final line editor might question.

    Delle

  20. Delle Jacobs says:

    Diane, I certainly understand that! I think I was in the same situation with FIRE DANCE. We have an occupation in common as mental health therapists and I think our familiarity with seamier subjects may have deluded us into thinking others had the same sort of ease with them. But perhaps the editors did not see those subjects as the makings of romantic heroines. Ah, virginity, we didn’t know you were still prized! And by females, yet!

  21. Delle Jacobs says:

    Thank you, Gillian! How kind of you!

    (Anybody but me have trouble reading the word verification in blogger? I have no idea if the current one ends in vvv, wv, or vw. Oh well, might as well try one of them.)

    Delle

  22. Delle Jacobs says:

    I thoroughly agree, Elena. It’s not for me to say a story will or won’t sell especially when it’s so obvious I haven’t figured it out myself. If an author asks me what I think about marketability I will say what I think. But that’s all it is– one opinion. I can remember so many occasions when I heard an editor speak on what doesn’t sell, or tell me to my face my story wouldn’t sell because of a particular unsellable factor– then within a month, the same editor buys exactly what she said wouldn’t sell.

    Delle

  23. Delle Jacobs says:

    Hi Cara! Thank you, I’m glad to be here!

    I have a critique partner who writes almost everything, any length, any genre, fiction or non-fiction. She has a very strong desire to be published and to make her living writing, but even more, she simply loves to create with words.

    I also critique with a woman who just loves to tell stories, and specifically medieval romances. If her editor told her she had to write Westerns (which she does love to read), I don’t think she could do it.

    My agent wanted me to write a vampire historical. I tried. I couldn’t. I just can’t believe in vampires. But I have another friend who does them beautifully and believably even to me.

    That’s all anecdotal, but I thin the evidence is strong enough for me to say, whatever works for me works for me, and you must find what works for you. But it’s important to know what we want instead of believing what someone else believes we should want.

  24. Hi, Delle! APHRODITE’S BREW sounds like a fun read, and I’m looking forward to it.

    Find out what it is you REALLY want from your writing career.

    It’s amazing how hard it is to listen to yourself in this area, or at least it was for me. Going way back to when I first started reading Regencies in high school, my favorites were always the ones with a strong military or naval component–ideally not just with a veteran hero, but an active military setting–a heroine following the drum in Spain, a story set in Brussels in the run-up to Waterloo, etc.

    Then in 2002 or so I finally discovered the Aubrey/Maturin and Sharpe series, and I felt like I’d been waiting to read them my entire life. Don’t get me wrong, I still love romance. I’ve always been an omnivorous reader, and I don’t think that’ll ever change. But O’Brian and Cornwell’s books hit a readerly sweet spot for me.

    I decided to give my second romance manuscript a Peninsular War setting. I loved the research to bring my soldier hero and his world to life, and my critique partners said my action scenes were among my strongest writing. I would occasionally think, regretfully, how much I’d love to focus more on that aspect of the story, or even to write a historical adventure series, but I’d always think that I couldn’t do that because I was a romance writer.

    I don’t know why I thought that writing two unpublished romance manuscripts meant that I had to write nothing but romance for the rest of my life, but I did. And while I’d be utterly appalled if anyone suggested to my daughter that she couldn’t pursue some path because she’s a girl, I think on some level I felt like I wasn’t supposed to write adventure stories about warriors because I’m a woman.

    Anyway, it took getting a whole series of close-but-not-quite rejections on my Peninsular War romance to make realize maybe I was writing the wrong kind of story for my voice. So my WIP is a military adventure story. I don’t know if it’s the right direction where “right”=”I finally sell a book,” but I do feel much more at home in my writing skin!

  25. Welcome, Delle! Sorry I am late popping up here–have been helping friends chase after their kids who are hyped up on sugary Peeps. Ack! 🙂

    I certainly loved reading more about your writing journey. I agree that it’s important for each writer to decide what it is they really want to accomplish with their career (though this can be hard when just starting out!) It saves a lot of time, and allows us to direct our energy where it can do the most good. Sadly, want to make money and have people read my stuff, and ALSO write the stories that interest me. This doesn’t always work out so well. 🙂

  26. flchen1 says:

    Wow, Delle! I love what you’ve shared about Aphrodite’s Brew and the other titles you’re working on! I’m intrigued by all the things you’re combining–Regency, humor, paranormal! And then I’d love to read more when you write Davy’s story–internal conflicts can be so compelling!

    And apologies for my ignorance–is the Laughing God part of the ancient Celtic beliefs, or is that something you’ve created?

    Thanks, and happy Easter, everyone!

  27. Delle Jacobs says:

    Susan, I’m very much with you on the military heroes, but then you already knew that. What’s often thought of as a guy’s story is sometimes believed to not be romantic enough for women. But women love their military men. They’re just less crazy about having to view the bloody battles. Me, I love the battles too.

  28. Delle Jacobs says:

    Romance writers must surely be the most underpaid professionals in this country, Ammanda! Even those who actually get paid in some way are so much more poorly paid than other authors. Yet the romance industry literally props up the fiction shelves at the book stores. We know this, and we know we ought to band together and insist we receive our fair share. But we also know we’d get nowhere by trying. Because the very moment we withhold our product, some other more desperate romance writer will take the lesser pay.

  29. janegeorge says:

    Oooh, a prezzie from Delle!

    Thanks for the maps site. Bookmarked it.

  30. Diane Gaston says:

    We have an occupation in common as mental health therapists and I think our familiarity with seamier subjects may have deluded us into thinking others had the same sort of ease with them. But perhaps the editors did not see those subjects as the makings of romantic heroines.

    That we do, Delle. And I think you are right. We have experienced the world in a slightly different manner.

    I’m convinced even editors don’t know what they want, but they know it when they see it.

    Nora Roberts would say just write the best book you can!

  31. Delle Jacobs says:

    flchen1, you caught me out!

    Actually, yes, no, maybe is the only answer. My laughing god is partly based on Loki, the Trickster god of Norse mythology, and partly on the numerous remnants of stone heads found all about England. It’s known in anthropology that trickster gods are extremely common in cultures all over the world. But I don’t know of any in Celtic lore. At the same time, Celtic lore is full of fascinating stories which like the Norse stories must have been told over and over by bards and story-tellers, and there’s often a lot of humor in them.

    But the idea congealed in my mind when I came across a medieval stone head in Battle Abbey (I used a version of it in my book trailer). It reminded me both of the enigmatic green man that is found all over England and the strange Celtic and Pre-Celtic stone heads that are often found.

    The Laughing God represents to me the mysterious past about which we know so little. Who, what he is, who can say? He will not actually appear, except in the sound of the rustling dead leaves of autumn, until the second book. And he will remain enigmatic through the entire series, for he is a trickster at heart, and why would he let you know everything?

  32. doglady says:

    Find out what I really want from my writing career – now there’s the rub. I have been writing stories in some shape, form, or fashion since I was nine years old (40 years for those who HAVE to know! LOL) I love writing and have always loved it. I know that historicals – Regencies specifically are my thing. They just are. I can’t really explain it. So I should just sit down and write what I want to and to heck with all the trends, theories, etc, right? Problem is, I would really like to become a published author full-time because my DDJ (dreaded day job) is really cutting into my writing time! So, I want to write so I’ll have more time to write. Does that make sense?

    While my first novel is a bit of a comedy, I recently started what could only be called a Gothic Regency. It has a touch of the paranormal in it, but primarily it is one of those dark house, mysterious baron, sinister happenings and murder type stories. I know that Gothics don’t have much of a market, while paranormals do, but I want to write my story, my way.

    How do you KNOW when to tell an editor/agent I can’t do this or I can’t do that? Of course I don’t have either yet, but it helps to know these things!

  33. janegeorge says:

    Doglady wrote: **Problem is, I would really like to become a published author full-time because my DDJ (dreaded day job) is really cutting into my writing time!**

    Right there with ya, Doglady! But I find that the more I write, the less power the DDJ has to depress me.

    And I’m 46, so it’s not like either of us really has any time left to screw around if you know what I mean. If I want it, I have to go for it now.

    I’ve stepped away from my Regency paranormals for a bit to write the first in a contemporary YA series with magical elements.(It bears no relation whatsoever to Harry Potter!)

    The project has taken me over. I’m writing two chapters a week(being tired now feels normal)and I will then market it asap. Why? Because the project itself told me that if I want to be a working writer and quit the DDJ, to write this one.

    Sounds weird, but time will tell. 🙂

    Here’s to your success and dominion over the DDJ! I hope you entered your Royal Ascot winner in the GH.

  34. Delle Jacobs says:

    How do you KNOW when to tell an editor/agent I can’t do this or I can’t do that?

    Uhhh, I don’t know. I do know I wasted far too much time trying to write the vampire historical. I didn’t even know enough about vampires to even start. I hadn’t even watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But I’d say this much, if the story you’re trying to do is doing nothing but churn your stomach and keep you awake nights with visions of empty pages and no characters to fill them, try taking a vacation to the story you’re wishing you were writing. Then if you can’t make yourself go back, you should be listening to your head, heart and every other part of yourself.

    I was prepared to have my agent dump me when I finally said no, and we did have a heated discussion. But we reached an understanding.

  35. Sue says:

    Delle,
    It was encouraging to read about the risks you are prepared to take to write different stories. It’s also great to hear that some editors accept plots that are risky. Can’t wait to read Aphrodite’s Brew.
    Sue

  36. doglady says:

    Hey, janegeorge! In fact I DID enter my Royal Ascot winner in the GH AFTER it was given the once over by our own Divine Ms. G ! IF I get a call this week it will be due to her “Divine” intervention.

    Delle, this was a great blog and very inspirational as well. Thanks!

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