GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN
Two things before we start: first, big thanks to Cindy for inviting me to party at Muse Interrupted on this very special occasion, my virgin release day. And second—well, I already said it. My first published novel, SEXY BY DESIGN, releases TODAY! (Enter a horde of hyperactive emoticons.)
I have to admit I had a lot of trouble coming up with a topic for this post. I kept reading other guest blogs and searching the Web for profound ideas…and that’s when I discovered that my profound idea is my tendency for lighter subjects.
Writing short contemporary romance can feel a bit elementary at times, in a neurotic, am-I-good-enough kind of way. Trust me, completing any piece of novel-length fiction is no easy task, but when someone asks what I write, “short contemporary” doesn’t sound nearly as powerful as dark paranormal (cue scary music) or sweeping historical (wave dainty fan at heaving, corseted chest). I fully expect my first bad review to mention a lack of drama and too many flirty young women.
But that’s not bad—it’s the point! Remember when life didn’t revolve around money, career, marriage, and kid issues? When terrorism and recession weren’t front page news, and all that mattered was the moment the cute guy in class or the stud in the next cubicle made eye contact and left you floating for a week? That’s what my stories are about. I want people to close the books and smile, maybe laugh, and definitely wish those days would happen to them all over again.
The choice to write romance—especially series romance, which I’ve always loved—seems to shock people, as though they believe all authors should aspire to tragic and controversial tales intense enough to suit Oprah’s book club or a Hollywood adaptation. While bestsellerdom and a six-figure royalty check would be sweet, I often need to explain to naysayers that I’m not actually aiming for those things—I’m after a steady career that brings an hour or two of happiness to readers’ lives. When I wrote the first draft of SEXY BY DESIGN long ago, I did it for no reason other than fun. Had a vision of a conservative woman frantically sneaking out of a stranger’s apartment after a sorry attempt at her first one-night stand, and wrote it down. (That scene became an unnecessary prologue that eventually got thrown out of the book.)
Despite my certainty that the manuscript was too light, too character-driven, too “just the romance” to make it in an industry demanding edge-of-your-seat conflict (or so it seems at times), that story was the one to pull me out of romance-publishing obscurity. Still, there’s pressure to write something tragic and tear-jerking—and to post technical, intelligent blogs all the time instead of the random thoughts that blow through my mind on any given day.
So, what do you think? Do you like your romance novels with a side of danger or a heavy dose of humor? Should an author keep her online presence all business, or is there a place for girls who, well, just want to have fun?
P.S. If you want to have fun, I’m giving away a (digital) copy of SEXY BY DESIGN to one commenter. Talk to me!
Please leave a comment to enter for your chance to to win an ebook of Avery’s SEXY BY DESIGN. Entries accepted until midnight PST.
To read Avery’s bio and the blurb for SEXY BY DESIGN, please see yesterday’s post. To learn more about Avery and her books, please visit her website.