• Writing

    Another Retreat…

    I’m just getting caught up on Risky Regencies posts (and everything else), because I, like Elena, have been to a Retreat. Mine was more conference-like–Washington Romance Writers Spring Retreat, always titled In The Company of Writers.

    The WRW Retreat is more conference-like, because there are workshops and speakers but it is also retreat-like, because we dress casually and the number of attendees stays small, about 110 this year.  No paddling on a lake, like Elena could do, but lots and lots of mixing with friends, old and new.

    As in other years, the agents and editors attending are always asked what is selling these days; what is hot.

    Contemporaries, especially small town stories and romances, are doing well, apparently. But all agreed that a good book will find its home and as soon as someone declares something won’t sell, a wonderful book will burst out and become the next big trend. They said it was much more important to feel passionate about the book you are writing than to try to write to trends.

    One of the editors said that Regency remains an appeal because readers feel they know the time period and are comfortable there.

    Mary Jo Putney talked about her 29 years in publishing and about her return to the Regency genre after writing some contemporaries, fantasies, and YA. Mary Jo also very much advocated writing what you are passionate about and, in the past, she took some big chances with her career to do just that.

    What I took away from all this, was how important it is to write a book you are passionate about, no matter what the genre or subgenre.

    Speaking of Mary Jo, she said her new release, No Longer A Gentleman, is on bookstore shelves. If you’ve purchased the book before today, check to see if page 362 is missing. A printing error left out page 362 in the first printed books. Ebooks are complete. Go to Mary Jo’s website for the text of the missing page.

    Speaking of subgenres. Amanda’s blog yesterday was posted late. Go there and read all about The Taming of The Rogue, Amanda’s latest. Look at its fabulous cover and post a comment for a chance to win a signed copy!

    What do you think? Can you tell if the author is passionate about the book you are reading?

    Come to Diane’s Blog on Thursday for more about the WRW Retreat.

     

  • Jane Austen

    Meeting Mary Jo Putney

    Today I’m going to the Library of Congress to hear Mary Jo Putney speak to the Library of Congress Professional Association’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum about her new YA series featuring a group of young mage’s from an alternate Regency world. I gushed about the first book in this series, Dark Mirror, here last May. The second in the series, Dark Passage, is out this month.

    Mary Jo has been an important influence in my own writing. Years ago, my friend Helen (who happens to be the present Coordinator of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum) insisted I read The Rake and The Reformer, the book I credit with sparking my love of Regency Romance.

    The Rake and the Reformer, 1989, (Re-written and released as The Rake in 1998) still appears on readers’ Favorite Regencies lists, as it would on mine. I loved the strong characters and emotions in that book, as well as the treatment of the very contemporary issue of alcoholism.

    After reading the Rake and the Reformer, I promptly searched for, and eventually found, Mary Jo’s first Regency, The Diabolical Baron, and discovered Reggie, the hero of The Rake and the Reformer as the villain. (I used that device myself in The Wagering Widow and my own “Rake” book,A Reputable Rake.)

    I went on to read every Mary Jo Putney book I could get my hands on. I loved her complex characters and her creative inclusion of things, like blood transfusion in Shattered Rainbows and opium addiction in The Bargain.

    Another early influence from Mary Jo was her essay in Dangerous Men, Adventurous Women, “Welcome To The Dark Side.” This whole book was a revelation to me and I loved Mary Jo’s scholarly take on the appeal of a dark hero.

    I admire Mary Jo for her willingness to try new things, to switch from her very popular Regencies to Contemporaries and Fantasy and now her YA fantasies. What’s even better, she’s returned to the Regency again with her Lost Lords series, as creative as ever.

    Once early on in my writing life, Mary Jo spoke at the Library of Congress Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum about world building and I attended. I was so honored to be included when the Library employees took her to lunch—I had an “in” then, too. My husband was friends with the woman who was then the coordinator.

    I’m expecting to go to lunch this time, too, and, I promise you, I’m equally as thrilled!

    Which Mary Jo Putney book is your favorite?

  • Jane Austen

    Meeting Mary Jo Putney

    Today I’m going to the Library of Congress to hear Mary Jo Putney speak to the Library of Congress Professional Association’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum about her new YA series featuring a group of young mage’s from an alternate Regency world. I gushed about the first book in this series, Dark Mirror, here last May. The second in the series, Dark Passage, is out this month.

    Mary Jo has been an important influence in my own writing. Years ago, my friend Helen (who happens to be the present Coordinator of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum) insisted I read The Rake and The Reformer, the book I credit with sparking my love of Regency Romance.

    The Rake and the Reformer, 1989, (Re-written and released as The Rake in 1998) still appears on readers’ Favorite Regencies lists, as it would on mine. I loved the strong characters and emotions in that book, as well as the treatment of the very contemporary issue of alcoholism.

    After reading the Rake and the Reformer, I promptly searched for, and eventually found, Mary Jo’s first Regency, The Diabolical Baron, and discovered Reggie, the hero of The Rake and the Reformer as the villain. (I used that device myself in The Wagering Widow and my own “Rake” book,A Reputable Rake.)

    I went on to read every Mary Jo Putney book I could get my hands on. I loved her complex characters and her creative inclusion of things, like blood transfusion in Shattered Rainbows and opium addiction in The Bargain.

    Another early influence from Mary Jo was her essay in Dangerous Men, Adventurous Women, “Welcome To The Dark Side.” This whole book was a revelation to me and I loved Mary Jo’s scholarly take on the appeal of a dark hero.

    I admire Mary Jo for her willingness to try new things, to switch from her very popular Regencies to Contemporaries and Fantasy and now her YA fantasies. What’s even better, she’s returned to the Regency again with her Lost Lords series, as creative as ever.

    Once early on in my writing life, Mary Jo spoke at the Library of Congress Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum about world building and I attended. I was so honored to be included when the Library employees took her to lunch—I had an “in” then, too. My husband was friends with the woman who was then the coordinator.

    I’m expecting to go to lunch this time, too, and, I promise you, I’m equally as thrilled!

    Which Mary Jo Putney book is your favorite?

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