Monday, 6 February 2012

It's a Real Crime

In the last few days, all eager to get going, I’ve started a new novel. This is despite getting emails from two agents saying they are sad, but they’re passing on the opportunity to take my other one. This is not good news, but there are plenty others I tell myself - sticking stamps on the envelopes of the next batch - maybe this time ...
But still, it hasn’t helped to learn the public has developed a taste for reading crime over romantic fiction. It seems Public Lending Rights, who monitor what goes on in our public libraries, maintain Crime Fiction has overtaken Romantic Fiction in the library popularity stakes. Apparently what we want in these gritty social and economic times, is even grittier fiction. We’ve thrown over the chance of a 'will she won’t she,' good story, followed by a smoochy happy ending, in favour of yarns about the slayings of schoolgirls and other bloody thrillers of the likes written by James Patterson .
And if that’s not enough for me to deal with, a friend recently asked if she could read one of my short stories. Ignoring the publishers habitually repeated dictum, “The only person who gets a free copy is your mother,” I offered her A Cat About the House, recently published in the anthology, Its Never too Late to Fall in Love
 You’d think I was being seditious even offering it.
“What! I didn’t realise you wrote Romantic Fiction – Why?”
When friends respond like that, why indeed? Well to make money wouldn’t go amiss – not that at the moment there's much chance. I love doing it, sounds a bit weak and self indulgent, but its true, I really do. Getting stuck into writing a story is akin to going on holiday to my way of thinking. But in truth, I want others to have a good time, forget about their troubles for a short while and enjoy reading what I write. If I achieve that, then I'll have achieved the greatest thrill from writing.


  1. Better luck with the next ones, it only needs one sensible publisher and you'll be on the book stalls!

  2. I could have written much the same thing. same thoughts, same feelings. I wrote a couple of stories recently for the ChocLit competition (only one of which was romantic just in case I got too carried away) Unlike you I have never written a novel, but might do so if I had some encouragement. It just seems a mighty investment of work when you have no guarantee that it will ever be read. On the other hand I suppose you have to start somewhere and then go on. Good luck. A thousand times, good luck.

  3. What kind of a friend asks WHY you would do something? I would've thought it was obvious why writer's write. I so much admire anyone who does. It doesnt sound weak or self indulgent to me at all. What did you reply? You should've said 'I am a writer, therefore I write! and that day I decided to write about romance' Good luck from me too.

  4. Good luck with different publishers. All the very best authors get turned down after all. As a librarian I can tell you that even though Crime is popular now, it always has been and Romance is also still popular, there hasn't been a decline. I guess a great way to go would be to write a story with both genres intertwined :-)

  5. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you to write what feels right to you. Sarah Duncan's post today is on why she writes romance and even she isn't immune from 'those' comments.

    I've also read your previous post and I do feel for you - we've all been there, believe me. It's so much harder to shout for yourself than for other folks - I know exactly how you feel. Good luck and I really hope you get the breakthrough you deserve soon.

  6. Just you stick in there and go with your gut instinct. I read 'The Help' recently and thought it was fantastic and then read that the author took over several years and many many letters of rejection before finally getting published, so do not give up and keep writing in your own style!