I want to be a paperback writer.
I know what you're thinking. We're in the New Age of reading, and eBooks are the way to go, right? That's fair enough. EBooks have opened a lot of doors for a lot of writers, myself included. But I can't help but confess that paperbacks are why I got into this business. I longed to see my name on a spine or two. Last Christmas, I sort of got my wish when Unwrapping Scrooge was included in a paperback anthology from Decadent Publishing. It was thrilling to finally sign something with a real pen. I admit, I felt Accomplished.
Right now, I am looking down the road at two paperbacks - the release of Textbook Romance in paper from Pink Petal Books in September 2012, and the paperback/eBook bundle of my Rebel Ink Press holiday shorts in October 2012. Currently, I am considering cover concepts for the RIP anthology and mulling over titles.
While I'm not decided on whether I will send my RIP collection to my Mum (they're rather graphic, and, though she's no prude, I am a chicken), I can't wait to send her a copy of Textbook Romance. Sadly Strings Attached never made it to print, so this will be the first novel I've had that I can mail to her.
So, that's my big whirl at present. My teaching term ended with June, and I've been resting up and cleaning/organizing with much of my vacation hours so far, but also preparing for these releases. Soon, I will start looking for promo ops for them, and gearing up the release festivities.
Some musings on the wanderings of muses.
Since I'm among friends, I have to say that I feel these books have some importance to them. I mean, as in Importance to My Life Story kind of importance. Recently, I have been struggling with some Questions. Where am I going? What am I really doing in this business? Some of my answers have been dismal. Many times, I thought to quit. I still do, some days. But, I know something's about to change. Things can't stay this way forever, and these books feel like a milestone.
Over the past year, I've started working on several "Top Secret" projects. No, I'm not bringing down any governments. I've been working outside romance, and outside erotic romance. I've been working on a few different things, including my academic book, and some stories with bittersweet endings, and some with horrifyingly dark corners, ones without romance, a personal story, and one in particular that has consumed much of my thoughts for some time.
Why don't I talk about them here? I guess because it's awkward to discuss "leaving" romance with people who know primarily as defined by my romance.
I have not, and will never, stop loving romance as a reader. I'm not likely to permanently stop writing romance, either. (I have no less than seven romances of various lengths in draft, semi-complete, outline and/or treatment stage, so I do expect to return, eventually.) But, right now, I need to get these other stories off my chest. I need to see if I can do something successful. Something a bit outside my comfort zone.
I'm not going to write anything that will shame me, or betray the ethics, optimism and light I hold dear and have always tried to bring out in my romance works, so have no fears. I'm still Anne Holly - just one trying on some new shoes for a bit.
I would love for you all to join me as I brave the new frontiers, and I will be sharing more about this in the coming months, as I break in those new shoes.
And have no fear - I have a romance all outlined for NaNoWriMo this year! With luck, at least two of those aforementioned projects will be in the can by then, at least in draft form, now that I have a bit of a break from teaching.
One last note before I end this ramble: Some New News.
The Editors at Rebel Ink Press and I have tentatively agreed to include a new story in the collection, which will be exclusive to that bundle/paperback!
Reached by Facebook consensus, the holiday I am tackling is St Patrick's Day, and, like the other stories, it features a miss-matched couple flung together over thew course of a holiday. Also like the other ones, it will be a slight homage to some of the romance subgenres I have loved over the years. This one plays with "single dad," "small town" and "travel romance" tropes, especially those made great by the HQ SuperRomance lines - only, you know, erotic. I can't wait to see what everyone thinks of it!
I'm rusty at it, I find. I hadn't expected to be back writing sizzle and snogging so quickly. But, it's also kind of fun, and I look forward to seeing what becomes of it.
And, for the paperback I've dreamed of for so long, it's totally worth it!