I hope you’ll cross your fingers for me if you read this post by Saturday evening. My exciting news is that LORD OF MISRULE, my new release from last December, is a finalist for a prestigious 2019 Maggie Award as Best Historical Romance! And Saturday night is when the winners are going to be announced.
I was flabbergasted when I made the finals, but it is so thrilling that my first new book after a 16-year pause in my career has been so well-received. The other thing that makes this honor especially exciting to me is that I write “sweet”, and not only was this book competing with Historical Romances of all sorts of time periods, but it was also up against much hotter reads, which tend to be more popular.
I had the fun exercise of drafting what I’m calling my “fantasy thank you speech” which a friend at the Moonlight and Magnolias Conference in Georgia this weekend will deliver for me in the (rather unlikely) event that my book wins. But in that speech I mentioned that, ” Even though we are all writing about the emotional journeys our characters must take to arrive at deep and lasting love, omitting the explicit sex can make it harder to show the dance of attraction and doubt they go through.”
Thinking about “sweet” versus “hot” has made me think about all the kinds of risks we authors take as we try to do service to our characters’ stories. I tend to write unusual plots, and try to bring something fresh and different to each Regency story I write. Not all readers want that, of course! So it’s often a risk –and that tendency may be how I ended up here in the Risky Regencies sisterhood. Maybe over the coming months, each of us blogging here can talk about what she thinks is “risky” about the writing she does. I admit that I’ve been in a very “ruminative” mood lately, taking stock of where I am and where I’m going now that I am writing again.
What am I working on? Readers wanted more stories from Little Macclow, the Derbyshire village setting of LOM. I hadn’t planned on a series, but it turns out there is enough material there to mine. My current work-in-progress is a prequel to LOM, which I hope to release before or at least by December! It’s the story of Tom & Sally Hepston, who are already married when you meet them in LOM. Is it risky to write a series that wasn’t planned in advance? I guess we’ll find out!!
Do you read both sweet and hot romances? Do you like offbeat stories? What kind of risks do you see authors take, and which ones do you enjoy, or not enjoy?