Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Getting to this point…

By Jeanne St. James (Guest Blogger)

When I started writing many, many moons ago I wanted to write category romance. Yes, at that time I was an avid reader of Silhouette Desire. I also read historical romances but knew I didn’t have the patience to do all the research that should be done to write a historical that wouldn’t make readers want to wring my neck because it wasn’t factually correct. Since my neck is needed to write (amongst other things), I decided to write contemporary category romances.

I, along with probably thousands of fellow published authors, have some of those under-the-bed babies that I wrote way back in the beginning. But I learned quite a bit along the way.

Anyway, my point is that I wrote and wrote and wrote romantic stories intended to eventually submit to the editors of Silhouette. And the longer I belonged to Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the more writers’ conferences and seminars I attended I saw that dream fade into oblivion. Why? Because I heard it was hard to get in with a New York publisher. I was told you “need an agent,” and “so many writers are vying for sooooo few spots.” I became discouraged.

I had a manuscript almost done (I was good for “almost” finishing manuscripts – but that’s another story). I had entered it in several contests and either won or placed. But still I hemmed and hawed about finishing it and hemmed and hawed about submitting it to an agent, etc. I was a procrastinator. Boo. Hiss.

Now, along come epublishers and ebooks. I didn’t pay much attention. Then they start making a larger and larger splash. More and more writers are getting contracted with these “small publishers.” I poo-poo’d them still.

Eventually, I started to sit up and take notice. I can’t remember exactly when or why. Then I read some ebooks. Huh. I began to think that ebooks were here to stay. These epublishers were serious. And real publishers! Oh, and now they are making EREADERS! Ebooks are more cost effective and cheaper for the consumer. And, best of all, they are opening up the world of publishing to more writers and to different types of stories -- stories that a NY publisher may not touch with a 10-foot pole, but are great story none-the-less. In turn, the reader benefits: more variety, more authors, more ways to read a good book. And if they are limited in their time, they can buy a novella or a short story. Reasonably priced, mind you.

So on that note, I started writing erotic romances (again, a whole other story) and within a span of six months or so, I contracted THREE stories to publishers. I was finally living my dream. My first book, BANGED UP, is a male/female erotic contemporary romance with some elements of suspense. It released on September 21st and is available at Liquid Silver Books. My second story, RIP CORD, a male/male erotic contemporary novella, which released last November is now a bestseller with Phaze Books. And most recently, on January 5th, my male/male/female interracial ménage a trois, DOUBLE DARE, came out with Loose Id. Three great epublishers. Hopefully you will think they are three great stories. To read blurbs and excerpts of all three, or to get a sneak peek into future projects, please visit my website at http://www.jeannestjames.com or visit my blog at http://jeannestjames.blogspot.com.

BANGED UP at Liquid Silver books here: www.liquidsilverbooks.com/books/bangedup.htm

RIP CORD at Phaze Books: http://tinyurl.com/phaze-ripcord

DOUBLE DARE at Loose Id: http://www.loose-id.com/Double-Dare.aspx

4 comments:

Jeanne St. James said...

Thanks for having me!

Madelyn Ford said...

Finish? You mean we're supposed to actually do that, Jeanne? LOL! Anyway, you know I loved Double Dare.

Chloe Waits said...

Hey Jeanne,

Loved hearing about your writing experiences and background!
thanks for posting
:) Chloe

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Jeanne,

Welcome to Beyond Romance! I've never heard the phrase "category romance" before. I gather from the context that this means "traditional", behind-closed-doors romance.

I started writing erotica and moved into erotic romance--very different road from you!

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Warmly,
Lisabet

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