Thursday, November 18, 2010

Slushing Through : Reading Up!

The Pink Heart Society editor Jenna Bayley-Burke had her boots on, but since it's raining, she's opted to stay Yeah, that's it.

The absolute best thing about being a romance novelist?

Reading is working! Not just reading, which we love, but reading romance novels. Isn't it fantastic. This is my job.

There are few things better than an afternoon alone with a good book, warm blanket and a pot of hot tea. Reading a romance novel is better than therapy, and nearly as good as a vacation. We can experience places and things we've always wondered about...and then go back to our regularly scheduled lives.

For both the someday-novelist and the re-emerging author, very little is more important than reading within the genre you want to write in. (Actually writing is the only thing I can think of that you might learn more from.)

When writing for category romance, reading within the line you're targeting is imperative. When new writers ask the difference between lines like Special Edition and Intrigue, it can be hard to articulate, but when you've read enough of both lines, you could easily tell which is with, even without the cover branding. Knowing what any loyal series reader will expect from your story is the key to writing category romance.

Writing for category isn't easy. The lines are always changing with reader interest, keeping things fresh and exciting. For writers, this means a series you were up on two years ago can be dramatically different now. It's important to read current releases, and to notice commonalities between the way the stories flow.

That isn't to say you should expect every story you read in a line to have a kiss on page 14 and a shoot-out on page 79. Watch for where the suspense begins, builds, eases, and explodes. Notice the flirting, Frenching, fighting, and

Find what you love about the stories in a particular line. Because THAT is what the editors love about the stories too.

Jenna Bayley-Burke is a best-selling author recently featured on Good Morning America. Kinda. Compromising Positions made the best seller list for Kindle for a few weeks, and GMA did their daily top ten list of Kindle bestselling ebooks and Compromising Positions made the list. But doesn't it sound better the first way? Keep up with Jenna's spin on things on her website & blog.


  1. You're so right about researching the lines, Jenna. I've always loved reading Presents/Modern's intelligent, motivated Alphas. A tough job, but someone has to do it ;)

  2. Jenna, I LOVE, Love, love all the research! Have a nice stack of research sitting next to the couch right now...darn it, I'M BEHIND! Quick, to the couch!! :-) I'm researching a little Intrigue this week, just to mix things up.

  3. Intrigue is one of my favorite lines. I try and crack too many jokes for suspense, I think :) But they are the fastest reads! Love all the action and sexual tension.