Sunday, August 24, 2014


Has it happened to you? You've repeatedly fallen in love while reading the wonderful romance novels by your favorite author.  Without warning, she decides to switch from western romance to...gasp...contemporary romantic suspense.
My world hasn't been the same since.

Another favorite romance author switched to suspense, and in the process actually denied ever having written a romance novel.

Notice I am not using names, but these are real authors.

However, now that I am on the writing side of the aisle, I understand the desire to write something different.

As of now, I do write western romance and contemporary romance which is much more like women's fiction.

Note One: My internet sales have always leaned heavily toward western romance. This category is how I make my money. (Notice I did not say "fortune.")

Note Two: I have written a few contemporary romances/women's fiction which are not big internet sellers, but the prints were well received here at home. 

My fan base here in town is a wonderful faithful group, and they will read anything I write.
If I publish a Western Historical Romance, they'll buy it and make very nice comments, and ask when will I have the next book available.
If I publish a Contemporary Romance/Women's Fiction, they'll buy it, too, and still give me compliments and ask the same question.

Now, here's the interesting part.
Recently, I took a poll from my reader friends.

"Do you prefer Western Historical Romance, or do you prefer Contemporary Romance which is closer to Women's Fiction than pure romance?"

More replied they liked the contemporary/women's fiction for a particular reason.
Want to know what that reason ? They feel as though they're reading about "real people."
And they like that.

So do I. I've enjoyed writing all the western romances, long and short, but after a while I almost feel as though I'm writing "by the book," or "by a specified outline."

I've also enjoyed writing the contemporary novels, because I feel "freer." My story doesn't need the "Boy meets Girl; Boy loses Girl; Boy gets girl" specifics.

Although these always have love stories, they are not the focus of the story.
Am I making sense?

Here is one example:

Making the Turn: 39 year old Sara Daniels loses her luxurious lifestyle in Dallas overnight. To survive, she must go home to Del Rey, Texas and move in with her mother in the old farm house where she was born and grew up.
Sara is the main character and how she will redefine herself.
Her mother, Dorothy, is cantankerous and argumentative which confuses Sara.
Her college-age daughter, Laney, moves in for part of the summer because her mother no longer has the big house in Dallas where Laney grew up.
The story revolves around Sara and her relationship with her mother, her daughter, and the handsome physicist who is occupying a nearby farm house with his motherless young boy.
(I have the rights back to this novel and it has been filed in my computer over a year. I will re-write a little and rename it "Return to Del Rey."

The novels I've loved to write are my "Texas" romance books:
Texas Blue
Texas Promise
Texas True
Texas Dreamer

A little danger, some adventure, and of course, a romance. These somewhat follow characters from two families who helped settle Texas.

As difficult as it is to say, I've decided these four novels will be all of the "Texas" books.

Time to begin something new.
But what? Time will tell. So far, I've been fortunate that an idea appeared in some fashion that led me on to my next story.

Oh, never fear. I'll never give up Western Romance.


  1. I like to write something a little on the wild side from time to time, but deny I wrote romance? Eek! Not! Enjoy your varied reading, Celia. I'm working on something solidly in my chosen genre at the moment. Love yours.

  2. Miriam--I remember the author who denied she'd ever written romances, and I think I read every one. She changed her pen name when she changed genres. I never looked for her books again.
    The other one--I don't mind telling because I do still like her--is Sandra Brown of Texas. She wrote western historical romances, and I could not read them fast enough. She also wrote contemporary western romance, and those were just as good.
    Then in the blink of an eye, she switched to contemporary Romantic Suspense, which I don't really care for--but I have read some of hers and a couple still stick in my mind. She is a wonderful author--whatever she writes.
    You? The wild side? All right, if you can do it, maybe I can, too! Thanks for coming by. Keep writing.
    And thanks for the compliment.

  3. I've noticed some authors use different pseudonyms for the different genres in which they write. Case in point: Nora Roberts writes romance, but uses a pseudonym (J. D. Robb) for her suspense books. Some authors take this way too far and have more pseudonyms than I can keep up with.
    I have never used a pseudonym, but I write in different genres, western, time travel, contemporary,and paranormal. Honestly, I don't know much about my fan base, or if I even have one. I don't know how to figure that out. Like most authors I know, I'm certainly not making a fortune. My time travel stories seem to do well, and so do my westerns.
    I read many genres, but I'm not a big fan of suspense. I used to love detective stories and science fiction, but for sometime now I have been drawn to romance--in any genre. It does not deter me when a favorite author changes to another genre, as long as I get my romance.
    I really don't know who the author was that you mentioned had denied she ever wrote romance, but I don't think I can appreciate someone who must think romance writers don't have the same talent a suspense writer has.
    If you're ready to write something different, Celia, I'll be happy to read it.

  4. Sarah--bless you!
    I remember the author who denied ever writing romance, and she got a lot of flack about it--this was, oh, 20 years ago. People were basically laughing at her. Like you, I cannot keep up with pen names. I was proud of Sandra Brown--she's the other author I spoke about--when she completely changed over she kept her name. I think she was secure enough as a NY author, and a very top one, too, that she could succeed--and she did.
    But here's an interesting story also about Sandra Brown:
    A few years ago she wrote a novel titled Rainwater, and it was neither Western, nor romance, nor romantic suspense. It was "just a story" set during the depression. Her publisher did not want to print it because it did not fit Sandra Brown. But the publisher gave in and published it. It never became a big seller, But Ms. Brown had stated it was a book she had to write, and it was somehow personal. She put her real name on it, too.
    If you ever get bored, look it up on Amazon...I checked it out of our library when it came out, and I loved that story. It was wonderful--sad, but...good.

    I think you write in more genres than anyone I know. I stand in awe of you because my brain doesn't function on that many levels.

    Okay, when I get the manuscript "A Life Worth Living" finished--but not submitted--I may ask you to read it. It's "just a story," too, although there is a love story.

    Thank you for you comments--they're always so interesting.

  5. I think an author can get shoe-horned into writing in a certain genre. Linda Lael Miller wrote an amazing vampire trilogy (and I'm not even a fan of vampire tales), a detective trilogy, and several wonderful western series. And then she started writing western theologies that constantly had 3 brothers until I didn't know what stories I read, and which ones I hadn't. I got the feeling Harlequin pressures her into writing the same thing over and over.
    You write it, and I'll read it, Celia.

  6. Sarah--you're right. Linda Lael Miller is a very talented author, but yes, she did get roped and tied into writing those brothers trilogies. I know...I read all of them.
    Yes, they did become almost as one after a while. Susan Mallery is another author who is "shoe-horned" into the same thing.
    I generally don't read Regency romance, but I got hooked on Mary Balogh's Regencies. She is Canadian and very good. But sure, after a while, I tired of those.
    The glitch is to write something different that still seems like the "old" writing of your favorite author.
    That is hard to do.
    This is why I loved LaVyrle Spencer's novels so much. Each one was different--none connected at all. Some historical, some contemporary...but every one a single unique story. And I grabbed all 26 of them!

  7. If I like the author's writing style, it doesn't bother me if they spin historical tales or contemporary suspense, or anything in between.

    Karen Robards is a perfect example for me. I loved her romantic suspense novels and then noticed she also wrote historical romance so I read those too.

    I would prefer the author kept one name for whatever genre they chose. I'm horrible with names. The fewer names I have to remember the better. lol

  8. Whatever you decide to write next will be great. You always have memorable characters and interesting story lines.

    I do still like Sandra Brown's older romances. Some of her romantic suspense novels have too much graphic violence that I don't like.