Random Thoughts on Strong Heroines, Multi-Author Stuff, Who To Write For

I notice that a lot of romance readers do not like strong heroines.

I think those of you who read my books are the exception.  Often, I hear over and over that people like my sweet heroes and the fact that my heroines aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves.  But when I look at comments I get on Wattpad, the majority of people there hate the fact that Sue Lewis (in An Inconvenient Marriage) is so strong.  There is one chapter in particular where they get especially upset with her.  I’m a lot like Sue Lewis, so when I see their comments, I often wonder, “Would these people like me if they were to meet me in real life?”

Sometimes the strong heroine can come across as a you-know-what.  She can be seen as bossy, temperamental, and rude.  They instinctively feel sorry for the hero, or they think the hero is a wimp for putting up with her.  If only they could see how my marriage is…  My husband is a beta hero.  I am an alpha heroine.  I don’t necessarily act alpha at all times, but when push comes to shove, I’m a Type A personality.  I lead because my husband tends to look to me to make the decisions.  He has a more relaxed and easy-going personality.  So I guess we do write what we know to some degree.

And before you think I became a Type A after marriage, the truth is, I was always a Type A.  My mom used to joke that I was like Lucy in the Charlie Brown TV shows and comics (except I wouldn’t pull the football away from the poor guy).  My mom and sister were both Type B’s.  My dad was a Type A.  I take after him in a lot of ways.  So I guess we can blame my dad for how I turned out. 😛

I think Type A’s and Type B’s naturally complement each other.  The people I have been closest to in life have been Type B’s.  I don’t see Type A women as being rude and overbearing.  I see them as being the type who isn’t afraid to go out and get what they want, but they aren’t usually the most popular personality type.  I think Type A’s (esp. women) tend to rub a lot of people the wrong way unless they suppress that side of their personality (which I do).  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to “tone it down” so I don’t come across so much like a “Lucy”.  My husband, however, might not agree.  But then, he gets to see the real me all the time.  (Lucky guy.  LOL)

Multi-author promotions are only good if an author is with other authors who write books similar to theirs.

I did a boxed set with authors I hadn’t read.  (Well, I had read one of the author’s work.)  I made a serious error in judgment in joining because my book was not a good fit for the set.  The authors in the set all sell very well, so they write books that a lot of romance readers want.  Judging by the reviews, these authors write alpha heroes.  Looking back, I realize the best thing I could have done was decline to join.  It probably would have been best for those authors if I had because over and over the consensus among the readers who were familiar with those authors did not like my hero because he was a “wimp”.

It was a good experience because it taught me that when doing a multi-author set of any kind, it’s best to join if the stories will complement each other.  You want authors similar to you to work with.  Otherwise, you’re going to piss off the audience and possibly hurt the other authors in group.  (I hope I didn’t hurt sales for any of the other authors I was in that set with.)  So I guess that would be my advice to any authors reading this is to make sure you are a good fit for the authors you are working with.

On the debate of “write to market” or “write for yourself”…

I love self-publishing.  It has given me the freedom to write the exact story that I want.  I don’t have to write something a publisher wants me to do.  I can create the stories and characters the way I want.  That doesn’t mean I don’t ask for opinions from people who like my books.  Their opinions are very important to me.  I started writing the stuff I did without any feedback because I had no author platform at the time I began publishing.  To be honest, I didn’t think anyone else in the entire world wanted to read the kinds of romances I was doing.  But since then, I have been fortunate to meet people who actually enjoy my work, and now I take them into consideration with every book I write.  I’m no longer just writing for me.  I’m writing for them, too.

There’s a huge debate on whether to “write for yourself” or “write to market”.  I know of authors who write specifically for a popular market, and they do very well.  This is going to have to be something you decide on.  I happened to love historical romances and the tropes already popular in the genre (marriage of convenience, arranged marriage, mail-order brides, just to name a few) when I began writing romances.  However, I’m a big fan of beta heroes, and those tend not to be as popular in the genre as alpha heroes are.  So I mix and match.  I can’t write completely to market.  To do so would make me lose interest in the story.  But I don’t completely exclude the market when I write.

As you write, I think you’ll find your comfort zone.  I don’t think it has to be one extreme or the other.  I think there’s wiggle room.  Writing somewhat for yourself will probably mean less sales.  I don’t sell as well as I probably could if I were to write completely to market.  Now, if you’re writing for a publisher, then you need to write for the publisher’s market.  Otherwise, the publisher won’t take the book.

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Updates on What I’m Doing

With school out and having some trouble with my eyes (it’s not serious), I haven’t been online as much as I would like to be.  So if I take some time to get back to you, it’s because I’m either tied up with the kids or need a day or two off the computer to help my eyes.

I don’t know how this is going to impact my writing this summer.  I might have to slow things down.  I know this doesn’t seem like a big deal, except I love writing so much that I get restless when I’m not able to do it. 🙂

All that aside, here is what I’ve managed to accomplish…

Taming The Viscountess will be out June 25!

This is Book 3 in the Marriage by Bargain Series.  (The Viscount’s Runaway Bride is Book 1, The Rake’s Vow is Book 2, and If It Takes A Scandal will be Book 4)

taming-the-viscount-ebook-cover

Taming The Viscountess is Celia’s book, and this time around, I actually have an alpha hero, which is something I don’t do often.  Celia has such a strong personality that she needed an alpha hero.  (He’s a sweetheart deep down.)

I now have it up on Amazon, so it’s finally at all the retailers!

In the meantime, you can pre-order it here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks

Smashwords (you can add it to your library)

If you want to receive the special epilogue I have made for this, you can sign up for my email list to receive it or join my private Facebook page.

Forced Into Marriage is with my editing team!

This is the last book in the Pioneer Series.  Wagon Trail Bride is Book 1, The Marriage Agreement is Book 2, and Groom For Hire is Book 3.

forced-into-marriage-ebook-cover7

Click here to pre-order!

I don’t have a release date set yet.  I currently have it set for October 7, but I’m planning on having it out in late July or some time in August.  I have to see how far I can get in the other books I’m doing before I decide.  I try to space book releases out so that I don’t end up with a whole bunch of books coming out at once.

If It Takes A Scandal is still at the halfway point.

This is the last book in the Marriage by Bargain Series!  (The Viscount’s Runaway Bride is Book 1, The Rake’s Vow is Book 2, and Taming The Viscountess is Book 3.)

if-it-takes-a-scandal-ebook-cover

I haven’t been able to do anything in this book for the last two weeks, and yes, I’m extremely frustrated by my lack of progress.  I would love to have this out around the end of August or early September, but we’ll see what my eyes (and my kiddos and possible jury duty) allow.  People say if they could write full-time, they would be able to crank out a lot of books, but it really depends on other factors going on at the time. 🙂

I’ve also been stuck on The Bride Price and The Outlaw’s Bride, so there’s nothing new to report there.

the-bride-price-ebook-cover10   The Outlaw's Bride ebook cover

I’ll be adding Married In Haste to my “Writing” List.

Married In Haste ebook cover 3

This is Book 2 in the Marriage by Fate Series.  (The Reclusive Earl is Book 1.  I’m still debating what to do for Book 3 and possibly Book 4.)

This is going to be Loretta’s brother’s (Brad) book.  Since he has a tendency to be meticulous and orderly, I’m pairing him up with a clumsy but fun loving heroine.  There heroine is Opal’s friend, Ava, from The Reclusive Earl.

*****

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask.  I was distracted while writing this post, and I’m not sure I was coherent.  But I wanted to get this post out today since it’s been a long time I made one over here.

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Updates

Taming The Viscountess will be out June 25!

This is Book 3 in the Marriage by Bargain Series.  (Book 1: The Viscount’s Runaway Bride, Book 2: The Rake’s Vow, Book 3: Taming The Viscountess, Book 4: If It Takes A Scandal)

taming-the-viscount-ebook-cover

Reserve your copy today!

I getting this back from my editing team, and I am polishing it up as we speak.  I should have it up for pre-order on Amazon soon.  In the meantime, it is available for pre-order on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks, and you can add it to your library in Smashwords.

I finished the first draft of Forced Into Marriage!

This is the final book in the Pioneer Series.  (Book 1: Wagon Trail Bride, Book 2: The Marriage Agreement; Book 3: Groom For Hire; and Book 4: Forced Into Marriage)

forced-into-marriage-ebook-cover7

Click here to reserve your copy!

This puts me on track to have this out in August.  I’m not sure when in August yet, though.  I know it says October 7 for the release date, but I’m ahead of schedule.

If It Takes A Scandal is halfway done!

This is the final book in the Marriage by Bargain Series.  (Book 1: The Viscount’s Runaway Bride, Book 2: The Rake’s Vow; Book 3: Taming The Viscountess, and Book 4: If It Takes A Scandal)

if-it-takes-a-scandal-ebook-cover

Click here to reserve your copy!

I would love to have this out in September, and I am trying to do everything I can to have it ready by then, but we shall see.  However, it should definitely be out in or by October at the latest since I am halfway done with this one.

I’m in Chapter Four of The Bride Price

This is Book 1 in the Misled Mail Order Bride Series.  (I plan on two other books in this series.)

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Click here to reserve your copy!

So far so good with the limited plotting I did, but then I was on chapter three when I plotted, so I had a springboard to go by.  We shall see if this stays true to form.  I can tell you already that a lot of the story changed from what I originally thought it was going to be just in writing the first three chapters.  I will be posting a new description some time in June.

Meanwhile, be assured that this book does feature Sep from Shotgun Groom.  At least that hasn’t changed.

I’m about 10,000 words into The Outlaw’s Bride

This is Book 1 in the Wyoming Series.  (Book 1: The Outlaw’s Bride, Book 2: The Rancher’s Bride, Book 3: To Be Titled)

The Outlaw's Bride ebook cover

Since this is the fourth book on my daily writing list, I average 250 words in this a day.  Sometimes I will write 500-700 words.  On other days, I’ll get 0 words in.  So the average is turning out to be 250 words.  My plan is for this to be out next June-August.

I will be starting Married In Haste This Week

This is Book 2 in the Marriage by Fate Series.  (Book 1: The Reclusive Earl, Book 2: Married In Haste; other books to be announced)

Married In Haste ebook cover 3

Click here to reserve your copy!

I’m looking forward to this because I think it will be a comedy.  Remember Brad’s and Loretta’s younger brother, Stephen, who was a pain in the butt in The Rake’s Vow?  I bring him back for a bit in Taming The Viscountess and If It Takes A Scandal.  And I enjoyed his mischief so much, he’ll be causing more trouble in this one.  This time, he will be giving Brad grief.  But, I promise that Brad will end up very happy with the lady Stephen picks out for him.  The heroine of this book is Ava (who is Opal’s best friend in The Reclusive Earl).

And I will finally get to start the crumbling of Lady Eloise’s group in this book.  I was hoping to do that in the Marriage by Bargain Series, but the storylines never played out that way.  This time, however, the process will begin.  I’ve been wanting to take down Lady Eloise and her group since The Viscount’s Runaway Bride when I first introduced them.

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