Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Little Something for the Weekend - The Romance Writing Merry-Go-Round

Amber Page, of the #3Amigas, is back at the Pink Heart Society, talking about what happens when things don't go quite to plan in publishing...

Romance writing is not a career for the easily discouraged. Everyone knows this, of course, but I keep getting more and more proof.

Picture this: I’ve just finished dotting the last i and crossing the last t on the book proposal I’ve spent the last three months perfecting.The story is one I’ve created specifically for Harlequin Blaze. It’s got a hunky blue-collar hero, a spunky heroine, and a premise built to allow for lots and lots of time between the sheets (and on the floor, on a boat, in the sand, etc.).

I’m feeling really good. I’ve even conquered the synopsis. I am just opening my email to send it off to my editor when the tornado siren goes off.

“Shoot,” I think to myself. “I guess that will have to wait” (actually, the first thing I think is “Ohcrapwearegoingtodie.” Then I think the other thing.).

Ten minutes later, I’m crowded into the half bath with my daughter, husband, and 70-pound mutt waiting for the Funnel of Doom to hit our house when the Facebook-notifier-thingy pops up on my phone.

It’s from one of my author friends, and mentions Harlequin Blaze within the first five words. Because I clearly have my priorities in order, I tap the notification to see what she has to say.

She is reporting the somewhat imminent death of the line.

“No, no, no, no, NO! Are you freaking kidding me?”

My husband looks at me in alarm. “What, did a tornado hit somewhere?”

“No, Blaze is shutting down.”

“Oh no. That’s awful. I’m sorry, honey.”

That’s why I love this man. He totally gets me—and my screwed up priorities.

Obviously, my story isn’t going to find a home as easily as I had hoped. I spend the next week or two sulking (thankfully, a tornado does NOT hit us, and we don’t die). First KISS, now Blaze. Is any imprint I choose to target doomed to fail?

I’m choosing to believe that’s not true. There are rumors that Blaze will be replaced by something even sexier, so perhaps I’ll still find a home for my story there. Or perhaps I will find a place for it somewhere else—romance is still a multi-billion dollar business, and lots of other publishing houses are looking for writers.

And if all else fails, there’s always the indie route.

And of course, there are no shortage of story ideas in my head. I’ve got a couple that could even work for Harlequin Presents—although I’d hate for that venerable line’s demise to be on my head, should I choose to look there.

So what’s next for me? I’m going to finish writing Dan and Lily’s story. I have no choice—they’re taking  up far too much space in my head to be ignored right now.

I have no idea what comes after that. Maybe I’ll end up with something that’s right for the new Harlequin line. Or maybe I’ll shop it around to other publishing houses. Or maybe I’ll try to get an agent interested.

The path forward is uncertain. All I know is that there is a path to success somewhere. I just have to find it.

Are you bewailing the death of Blaze?  Do you think this isn't quite fair?  Join our discussion in the comments! 

Amber’s latest book, Dating the Enemy, is available now:

The dating game…

Jessie Owens is determined to live life to the fullest so her only rule after meeting the delicious Nick Thornton is to get him into bed!

But things get complicated when Jessie discovers Nick is her company’s biggest rival and that she’s been dating her enemy! By day, Nick seems determined to destroy her company, but by night his sizzling kisses show so much more…

Amber Page lives in Indiana, USA with her husband and daughter. When she's not writing, she's an advertising copywriter. You can find out more at her website or on Facebook and Twitter.

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