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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What are you working on?


At the moment, I happen to be pushing through my first romantic thriller! Exciting but difficult in the sense that I’m definitely writing out of my comfort zone. How many different genres have you tried writing in? Are you more comfortable writing a contemporary vs. historical? Do you feel as if you can write a better paranormal and yet you get the most editor/agent bites with your romantic suspense or romantic comedy? What are you working on right now?

As a reader do you try to push yourself to try new things when you’re at the bookstore? What’s your favorite genre and why?

A lot of questions, I know, but curious minds want to know!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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33 Comments:

At 4:52 AM, Blogger MJFredrick said...

Right now I'm writing my first historical, after completing 22 contemporary romances. Also, I just plotted my first rom-com. We'll see how "com" it is, once I get done with it. But yes, I need to stretch myself :)

 
At 7:21 AM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

I just sent the proposal for my next Regency historical to my editor at Mills & Boon. This will be the second book in what I call my "Three Soldiers Trilogy." We'll see what they call it!

When I started writing, I was aiming for one of the harlequin series, so I wrote three contemporaries before I switched to historical. I don't think I aimed very well because I received no interest at all. I liked those stories, though.

 
At 7:43 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

I started writing historical, then time travel both historical and contemporary, contemporary short stories, YA, and now I'm trying my hand at series contemporary. Stretching is important to me, but since I've sold the humorous short stories, I figured I must be doing something right with them. I tried to tone down the quirkiness and focus on the romance with the contemporary series romance. We'll see if it works. I kind of miss writing my historicals, though.

 
At 8:25 AM, Blogger Terry Odell said...

I wish I could categorize what I write. They don't seem to fit the mold of romantic suspense, but there's nothing else out there to call them. They're more mystery or action-adventure with a romance entwined.

I'd like to try a straight mystery. I'm toying with one now, mostly because I've got two strong male characters and I'm not sure if either of them would be a true hero or villain. I might try writing more than the h/h POV for this one.

I could never handle historical-I don't know squat about history (although I've read a respectable number of them). I couldn't write a paranormal either. Maybe I should try a straight contemporary. I've been enjoying Susan Wiggs. But I could never come close to what she does ... sigh.

 
At 8:39 AM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

I write strictly Regency set historicals at this point. However, I am revising my second book which is a Regency historical with a paranormal / Gothic twist. Hope to wrap up the revisions in another couple of weeks. In the meantime, I have already started my third book. I have planned it as part of a trilogy in which three men suffer the sins of their fathers - three cousins who participated in a horrible deed. The books can stand alone, but I would love to tie them together under a curse invoked against their fathers. We'll see.

I read historicals for the most part, but I definitely have books from other genres on my shelves - romantic suspense, horror, contemporaries - especially comedies and lots of paranormals, even some cozy mysteries!

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Theresa - Can't wait to hear more about your thriller. I always knew I wanted to write suspense/thriller and everything I've written has included a suspense element, even my urban fantasy. I've always had an interest in the paranormal (true events as well as fictional ones), but I only want to write urban fantasy in that genre. I'm currently working on a new mainstream thriller, and working with Sherrilyn on our next romantic thriller for the BAD Agency.

Thank goodness so many of you write historical and regency since I never want to write that, but love reading them. And I've enjoyed several YA I've given a try. And of course I like the action-adventure Terry is talking about.

Sounds like everyone is busy typing...

Happy St. Patty's Day everyone!

 
At 10:14 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Hey, Mary, is rom-com a romantic comedy? And what kind of historical are you writing? Regency? Medieval? Please tell! And how's it going?

 
At 10:16 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Diane, I can't wait to find out what your newest book will be titled?! What fun!

Have you tried to sell those contemporaries since you sold?

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Ah, Mo, I know the feeling. I really missed the time travels when I started writing romantic comedies and then once I started writing romantic suspense, I missed the romantic comedies!? Go figure! :)

 
At 10:23 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Terry, I agree, that's a tough call when it comes to categorizing your romantic suspense. There are SO many different types!

I think you should definitely try writing a straight contemporary! You can do it! :)

 
At 10:31 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Hi Louisa! Your trilogy sounds awesome! And it sounds like your going to stick with historical. Good for you!

Dianna, is your mainstream thriller an anthology?

My thriller might not end up being a romantic thriller...I'm not sure. I'm finished with the first draft but there's not a lot of romance BUT it could go either way...meaning I might add more romance. Not sure yet. I'm going through and tearing each scene apart.

I'm taking Mary Buckham's wonderful on-line pacing workshop through WriterU@yahoo. It's really helping me with pacing and hooks and everything else!

 
At 11:48 AM, Blogger Ladyhawk said...

I've completed a Regency, but I'm not sure I want myself pigeonholed in that genre. I love reading it, but I'm not really comfortable writing it. I wrote this one at the suggestion of a friend. For now, I'm back to working on contemporary romance. It's a series I plotted out long ago. Writing the Regency did give me a lot of insights, and now I'm having to re-write my contemporaries.

I used to read strictly historical, but one of my fave authors branched out, so I branched along with her. I discovered I enjoy rom-com and paranormal, as well as historical and contemporary. I don't care for thrillers, and my enjoyment of suspense is limited. When I explore I tend to stay within the genres I prefer and try new authors.
~Judy

 
At 1:18 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Hi Judy. I used to read a lot of Stephen King and John Grisham but other than that I didn't get into romantic suspense until recently. My sisters and I used to read mostly historical ten or fifteen years ago.

What insights did you learn from writing your regency? What kind of revisions are you making to your contemporaries?

One thing I thought I had down but didn't is making my prose tighter and tighter. The books that keep me up at night seem to be the ones with hooks on every page and clear, crisp, tight sentences. And, of course, characters I care about!

 
At 1:57 PM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Theresa -

I'm not set on the mainstream title yet - still tinkering with it.

No, the mainstream thriller is not an anthology. It's a trilogy with the same protagonist. It will have a romantic element, but not be a romance.

The BAD Agency series I co-write with Sherrilyn is a romance, the books are connected by secondary characters. The next one is Whispered Lies.

How nice that you're taking Mary's class - she gives awesome online classes. I can't do the online and admire that she does on top of all she has going on. She just flew home from Atlanta on Monday. She was here for almost two weeks. We taught a Power Plotting retreat in Atlanta then a one-day conference (we presented the all day program) for Jacksonville. If you saw a break in her posting yesterday she left here at noon and didn't get home until 2am Seattle time. Argh.

 
At 2:35 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Yes, Dianna, Mary has been doing some traveling! How does she do it all? How do YOU do it all?!! Mary is very thorough and she comments on EVERY comment individually. Her lectures are great. Blowing me away...Can't wait to get my hands on the book you two did together Breaking into Fiction!!

Dianna, I'll have to read Whispered Lies. It sounds like my kind of book: Bureau of American Defense operative Carlos Delgado has spent the past sixteen years watching over his shoulder, waiting for death to catch up to him. Gabrielle Saxe has hidden from a killer for the past decade, sending anonymous tips on international criminals to intelligence agencies around the world.

 
At 4:11 PM, Blogger Ladyhawk said...

Hi, Theresa,

I've read Grisham's humorous books and love the dry humor and cynical wit, but found his suspense cynical to a depressing degree and gruesome. I never plan to read Stephen King. Scary is only entertaining if it isn't real life.

I used to read Mary Higgins Clark until one of her villains was schizophrenic. Unfortunately, they were being lumped with multiple personality disorder. Knowing someone who is an MPD and knowing how vastly different the two disorders are made it impossible for me to finish the book.

As to my Regency, it was written as an inspirational, and I had a delightful time, but I'm terrible at research. Surface research is okay but anything in depth and I'm lost. I love the details other writers put in their work, like Diane's Scandalizing the Ton where she had to change the first scene to the back garden because she found out there were no mews in the neighborhood where the story opens.

And my contemporary, I've come to realize that I've told almost the whole story in the first two chapters. Oops. So now I have to move a lot of information to later in the story. I love cut and paste, but I hate having to figure out exactly what to move and where to move it. *rolling eyes*

Like you, the books that keep me up at night are the ones where one chapter leads into the next and I have to know what happens!! The characters make it or break it for me. And not unlike Lays Potato Chips, I can't read just one page because I have to know that everything works out. For sleep's sake, I prefer a story in which I love the characters but can lay it down, knowing I'm coming back to it soon. LOL!
~Judy

 
At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Sally Chamberlain said...

I'm a reader, definitely not a writer. I love reading romances. Historical Romances are my favorite but in the last few years I've started liking the contemporary ones too. The only time I came out of my comfort zone is when the Harry Potter books came out. I'm also thinking of reading those new vampire books. Maybe after I retire I'll have more time and feel more adventurous when I go into a book store...

 
At 4:19 PM, Blogger Terry Odell said...

Judy nailed it with 'characters'. For me, that's everything, and transcends genre.

Right now I've "blown" most of the day reading John Sandford's Secret Prey because I want to see what happens to Lucas and Weather. I already figured it couldn't last when the previous book ended, but Sandford's created a character I want to know more about, to spend time with. I'm always torn between wantint to get to the end and wanting the book to keep going (which is why I'm so glad ths is a long series, and I'm not even halfway through)

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger MJFredrick said...

Theresa, yes, a romantic comedy. This will be a stretch for sure :)

The historical is western, and I was done before I realized I wrote the ending wrong. So I'm remedying that now, then it will go to my cps, who both have written historical, to make sure I have the right voice.

 
At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Cathy Katz said...

When I do buy a new book it is easier to go to an author I know and if that author does not have a new book out I go do try to read something new. Oh, and I have to say that my book club is good about getting me to read different genres.

 
At 4:39 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Judy, interesting what you said about the research. I know what you mean. I'm having to do a LOT of research on guns, FBI, police procedurals, etc., etc. Good luck with your revisions! We're rooting for you!

Hi Sally! Good for you for breaking out of your comfort zone! Vampire books are still pretty popular right now! Thanks for coming by!

 
At 4:41 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Terry, I know what you mean about NOT wanting a book to end but really wanting to get to the end! Ha! It's a no win situation! Glad you're getting a chance to read. I hardly read anything in 2007 and 08 and so I'm trying to make up for lost time this year!

 
At 4:44 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Wow, Mary, a western at that! Sounds like fun! Keep us updated on how that goes!

Hi Cathy, thanks for coming by! Good point about book clubs. It's even more fun to read a book and then discuss it afterward. And that's interesting what you said about following an author you trust...

 
At 5:14 PM, Blogger Kirsten said...

I always go for what is popular at the time or recommended for me. I would love to branch out from that, but right now "down time" is a rare commodity :)

 
At 5:39 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Have you tried to sell those contemporaries since you sold?

Theresa, I keep meaning to. I'm sure I'd have to rework them and make them more current. And spruce up the writing!

Ladyhawk, I'm sure I would have thrown that book with the schizophrenic character against the wall. One of my pet peeves is the writer who thinks they know about mental illness and don't bother to find out the truth of mental disorders. I can totally understand not enjoying research, but even writers of contemporaries need to do research. As I'm sure you are discovering. Hope you are enjoying this new adventure!

 
At 5:42 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Sally, one way to safely get more adventuresome in reading different genres is to use the public library. Then you can explore without buying the books! We authors know that if you find our books in a library, you'll soon look for them in bookstores.

 
At 5:59 PM, Blogger Terry Odell said...

Diane -
GREAT point. And if you don't object to a quick moment of BSP, one of my books, When Danger Calls, is published by Five Star Expressions which targets the library market. So, I'd LOVE it if you're looking to try a little action-adventure romantic suspense, to request the book from your library system. The more libraries that order the book, the happier my publisher is! And me too. You can find the details of the book on my website

 
At 6:33 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Good idea Terry and Diane. Visit your library and check out new books that you might not usually try.

Kirsten, glad you found the time for a quick visit. I know what you mean about finding the time to read! It's not easy when your kids are young. Hang in there!

 
At 10:15 PM, Anonymous Lisa Hendrix said...

I'm in my third iteration as a romance novelist (westerns, contemp, and now paranormal historical). I've found things I love about each sub-genre and wish I was one of those prolific writers who could write in all three (and maybe more) at once, but I seem to be a one at a time sort.

Hope everyone wore lots of green and had their ration of whatever Irish food they like.

 
At 7:32 AM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Theresa - thanks for the plug about upcoming books. Mary and I hope the Break Into Fiction book helps so many writers trying to get past the hump of receiving rejections with "great character, strong voice, interesting concept...but not for us." That is so frustrating - to know you are close but not know what the story needs to break through.

Every time we finish a live power plotting retreat, we're thrilled to see the progress made on everyone's stories. Makes us want to teach more Plotting Retreats but our schedules are just too jammed over the next couple years. So we're really hoping this book (that includes the plotting program) helps a lot of writers.

 
At 11:31 AM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

I've still got to finish one love scene for my sea fantasy novella, Siren, then go back to finish polishing it. Poor thing- I've shoved it back on the shelf so many times for non-writing stuff, I'm going to get it done and mailed off before the Royal Ascot madness hits around the first week of April.

And I've decided I need to figure out a way to carve out one hour a day to do the final draft of my medieval paranormal Sidhe. That's all it needs, and one scene that hasn't been written.

Amazing to be so close with two manuscripts yet too tangled in other stuff to get them finished. I'd bet there's something about the actual submission process that is niggling at me...

 
At 1:41 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Hey, Lisa, I hear ya! I do like writing in multiple sub-genres and hope someday and I can publish in more than just one!

Dianna, I told Mary that I'm hoping she gives me the tools I need to push my newest manuscript over that hump you mentioned. I think her on-line workshop just might do the trick. :) And I must buy the Break into Fiction book because I have to miss the plotting retreat you guys are doing in Monterey for the Sacramento Chapter! I am SOOO bummed. My sister is putting on a HUGE 60th birthday for her husband so I'll have to miss it. I know your plotting retreat will be FAB!

 
At 1:42 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Hi Delle! Wow, you are sooo close! That's crazy. I hope you find the time to finish those books! You have got to learn to say NO! Or is it other kinds of commitments keeping you away from your writing?! You are one busy lady!

Hugs!

 

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