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Tag Archives: Riskies Rule

Like many of the Riskies, I am still recovering from last week’s National Conference. I spent a few extra days visiting friends and family, so the jet lag is hitting me hard.

But rather than make you suffer by listening to my complaining, I figured I’d share some of the photos I took. Pardon my inability to make the captions line up properly underneath, trying to make it work would make me complain EVEN MORE THAN USUAL.

All six Riskies!

Cara, Julia Justiss and Keira Soleore
at the Riskies breakfast

Amanda looking cute and perky, as always.

Diane–a lefty!–at her signing

Janet giving a big ol’ smile

Elena in her ravishing attire

Andrea Pickens, Megan and Amanda during our workshop on keeping Historical Characters Real

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“She’s a virgin, gentlemen. And she’ll be sold to the highest bidder.”

Alasdair raised his head from the worn wooden table, struggling to open his eyelids. He lifted his hand from where it had been dangling by his side and pried his left lid open, propping his head up on his right hand. The words had registered only vaguely, but they were enough to pull him from his miasma. The man who’d spoken was standing on the largest of the tables in the pub, his loud checked-waistcoat and over-oiled hair proclaiming his well-intentioned gentlemanly aspirations. The man bowed, spreading his hands wide and smiling.

This is the first paragraph of my finished manuscript, Road To Passion, which I am sending out to agents for potential representation. Agents are considering me at this very moment, but a few have already passed, commenting that they are concerned about an opium-addicted hero (because that’s what Alasdair’s “miasma” is) being too hard for a reader to fall in love with.

Too risky?

Now, reading, particularly romance, is escapism, and addiction isn’t very sexy. And perhaps I haven’t done a good enough job convincing the reader that Alasdair has changed. I am not blaming the responses all on external forces, and not my own writing.

But I wonder if my own mindset–coming from a long line of addicted, sometimes mentally disturbed folks–has made me accept what most people would find too jarring. I like tortured heroes. I like pulling someone up from the bottom (which is where Alasdair is at the beginning of the book) to a place where he can be happy.

Am I too risky?

A lot has been made of certain risks in books–sympathetic homosexual secondary characters, men and women in unsavory situations, adultery, etc.–and I guess I have to throw my book into that pot.

So my questions to you are–what risks will you absolutely not stand for? Would you sympathize with someone like my Alasdair, or find him repugnant? Which authors are your favorite risk-takers?


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Today it’s time to clean some stuff up, out of my mind, if not my house.

Monday is Blog Action Day; so far there are over 11,000 blogs participating, and on October 15, every blogger will be talking about the environment. Maybe your blog (speak for yourself, Megan! I am!) doesn’t have the hugest amount of visitors, but if every little voice joins together, we’ll create a magnificent din.

Last weekend was the New Jersey RWA Conference; it featured really excellent panels, not horrific food, and the chance to hang out with fellow writers. Janet Mullany and I (along with two of my writing friends) had dinner Friday night, and I saw Diane Gaston inbetween her socializing, not enough, for sure, but at least I got a hug. So HALF of the Risky Regencies were represented in Jersey, which was cool. (side note: If you are in the New York area, and are free next Thursday evening, Jane Lockwood and Collette Gale will be reading from their respective naughty books at the Happy Endings Lounge. I’ll be there, too).

In addition to taking action for the environment (see the first item), I also encourage you, if you are a writer, to take action for your fellow authors–I can’t tell you how great it is to critique someone else’s work, to help them and be helped in return. Sure, I can ask my husband, who does have his degree in writing, to look at my stuff, but he doesn’t read romance. But fellow authors? Yup, they’ll know it’s okay that I spend a whole page describing how she walks towards him (although I am not Judith Ivory). I just did a critique for someone, and it is exciting to see someone else’s talent. I can’t do this a lot, but when I do, and the person is responsive to the critique, I feel as if I’ve given something back to all the writers who help me.

My son–dramatic eight year-old that he is–told me he would die if he didn’t do something nice for someone at least once a week. He also said he’s “rare,” because he does a lot of nice things, unlike other kids his age. Good thing he’s not full of himself. But it’s a good thought–what good things have you done lately? What are in your plans for the future?


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