I Think I Have a Game Plan

Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking over my current works in progress and where I want to take them. I’m not thinking in terms of what will appeal to the most people. I’m going to back to what I used to think, “What kind of book do I want to read in the future?” Because that’s what I used to do. I used to get frustrated going to the library and bookstore but being unable to find a specific plot and time period that I was looking for. So I was asking myself, “Why kind of books am I in the mood to read?”

And this is what I came up with…

The Outlaw’s Bride (Wyoming Series: Book 1)

The Outlaw's Bride ebook cover2

I picked this one back up. This is the rewrite of the book Stephannie BemanΒ and I did together. I bought the rights to take this book and the future books I plan to write for this series last year. I’ll address this in the author’s note when I publish it. Stephannie did create the hero’s family, so she deserves credit for some of the content in the book. I’ll have her read over it before I publish it. Since she did have a hand in creating most of the characters, she has a right to look this over.

I read back over the 17,000 words I did in the rewrite of this story, and I really like the direction I was going. So I’m going to keep on the track I was originally planning on. This book will yield no money because it will be free. The reason it’ll be free is because it’s a rewrite, and Stephannie and I decided it’s not fair to ask people to pay twice for a book that has the same plot. The overall plot will stay the same. The characters have been modified to fit the new version. I’m deleting some scenes, adding others, and rewriting the rest to fit my style.

The plan is to work on this about 250 words every writing day. (I still like word counts because I enjoy tracking my progress in my planner.) Anyway, according to my calculations, I should have this ready for December.

The Perfect Wife (Misled Mail Order Brides: Book 3)

The Perfect Wife Ebook Cover3

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This one actually will stay as I had planned because I love the “fish out of water” plot. The heroine has grown up on a farm, and now she’s married to a rich man who needs to impress his clients’ wives. In The Rejected Groom, Velma had pointed out Natalie wasn’t fit for this kind of life, and she’s right. But since this is a romance and I like happy endings, it’ll all work out in the end.

Now, the big source of change will take place in the next book in the Misled Mail Order Brides Series.

I don’t have a title or cover for it yet because the plot just came to me two days ago. This is going to be Annabelle’s romance. Remember how she felt about the preacher (Ben) in The Rejected Groom? She thinks he’s boring and annoying. So that’s who I want to pair her up with. I’ve never done a man disguised as a woman story, and I know of very little romances that have this theme. But it’s one I’m going to do for this one. I’m hoping to make it a comedy because there’s plenty of room for humor. My humor is often one of the things most readers don’t like. I haven’t done much humor in a long time, but since I’m writing books that aren’t geared to the market, I’m want to put humor back into some of my books.

Anyway, Ben is going to find a way to marry Annabelle so she doesn’t end up with the wrong man, and since Annabelle can’t stand him, he’ll disguise himself as a woman and (with Natalie’s help) will join the lady’s group in an attempt of figuring out what Annabelle wants so he could go about wooing her.

By the way, the resistant heroine is another one of those unpopular things I’ve noticed over the years. From the feedback I’ve gotten, it seems like most romance readers do not like heroines who make things hard on the hero. The hero can make things hard on the heroine, and for some reason, that is okay. But my most popular heroines are those like Mary Larson, who are very soft. Heroines like Sue Lewis, who gave Jake a hard time in the beginning, however are not. I’ve gotten my fair share of complaints about the scene where she throws the new clothes he gave her down the stairs because they were too feminine. Sue was definitely a strong and independent woman. Those tend not to go over very well.

Anyway, Annabelle is going to be one of those strong and independent heroines (probably because her mother, Amanda Larson, felt helpless when she was raped and only Richard believed her). Amanda’s not about to have her daughter unable to stand up for herself, and I’m sure Annabelle will be able to defend herself in any situation. That opens up a wide world of possibilities, and Annabelle might have to end up saving Ben at some point.

So anyway, mix in humor with a very strong and independent heroine, and it’s pretty much not what the market wants. But I’m exited about it.

One Enchanted Evening (Marriage by Fairytale: Book 2)

One Enchanted Evening ebook cover

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I was originally going to make the heroine super sweet without any blemishes (because those heroines are usually favored), but I decided the heroine is going to have an unpleasant past–a past where she actually was the villain. This one is loosely based off of Cinderella, and in this story, the heroine was the evil step-daughter. She did something horrible, ran off, and has been hiding out.

Don’t worry. By the time we get to this story, she’s a different person and is trying to atone for her sins. She’s basically the Neil Craftsman of the Regency world. I never really showed the transition Neil went through from Eye of the Beholder to His Redeeming Bride. I’ve alluded to it, but I never showed the process he went through. I’m going to show the process of redemption in this heroine. (Side note: she didn’t have the same sins as Neil. Her sins are different. I won’t say more than that because I don’t want to spoil the book.)

But suffice it to say, this is going to dive into some dark issues (and light ones to counteract the darkness), but the heroine is by no means perfect. She seems like she’ll be when you meet her in The Marriage Contract (which is book 1), but as they say, “A smile can often mask pain.”

The Perfect Duke (Marriage by Fate: Book 4)

The Perfect Duke Ebook Cover

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This one, like The Bride Price, will stay as originally planned. Actually, I don’t have a lot prepared for this anyway, except that the heroine’s brother is a jerk. But for the most part, this one is wide open to how I navigate within the story, so I’m going to just let it takes me where it wants to go.

I have decided to try something different with Book 5 in this series. I don’t have a cover or a title for it yet, but this will be Miss Duff’s story, and she’s going to get her man (so to speak). With this book, I’ll be doing something else that isn’t made for the market. The heroine is going to take matters into her own hands and make the hero marry her. This happened in Patty’s Gamble, and some people didn’t like Patty because of it. Miss Duff’s motives will be good, but I’m sure the fact that she is more alpha than the hero will turn some people off. But in this case, I might give her the mother-in-law from you-know-where. I have a gut feeling the hero’s mother is controlling and manipulative. I could be wrong. I’ll see as I write the book.

I am going to continue on with the Larson family when I finish up with the Misled Mail Order Brides Series.

My next plan is to get into Tom and Jessica Larson’s four daughters. I love the Larsons. I’ve been putting their stuff aside in favor of other plots that better fit a different cast of characters, but I want to get back to the Larsons, and I want to see how Tom’s four daughters plan a way for each of them to get a husband. I think it will be a lot of fun and cute. And with Tom for a father, it’ll be fun to see how things play out.

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to contemporaries romances and other genres (such as science fiction thrillers). For more information, please go to www.ruthannnordin.com or check out https://ruthannnordinauthorblog.wordpress.com.
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18 Responses to I Think I Have a Game Plan

  1. Mary McCall says:

    As long as I’m notified whenever your new books are available, I’m happy!

  2. Good luck with the new stories. I hope they help you get your proverbial groove back and that they come out wonderful.

  3. Sandra Clay says:

    I loved “Patty’s Gamble”!! Please keep writing about strong,blemished heroines. I don’t know who thinks that heroines need to be quiet and soft, but not me! Thanks for your fun books. Your humor is great, also!

    • Thanks, Sandra! You’re one of the few who likes my feistier heroines and my humor. πŸ™‚ I love working with imperfect characters because they give me hope that I can overcome my own imperfections. I prefer stories that resonate with me on a deeper level, but I’m also the kind of person who likes to think there will always be a happy ending somewhere down the road, even when it doesn’t look like it during the trials in our lives. As for my humor, I know it can be weird. I grew up watching Mel Brooks’ movies, and I love satires.

  4. This sounds like a great plan!

    You know, from what I’m hearing, readers are loving stronger women. I think the problem is that many historical romance readers don’t like them. I like strong women in books, and sometimes it’s funny when they’re extra difficult. As long as there’s an HEA, I’m good with all kinds of characters. Wasn’t it Patty that I liked so much and you were surprised because others didn’t like her? That sounds kind of familiar for some reason. LOL

    • I think you’re right. I didn’t get the criticisms in my contemporaries with the strong women like I did in the historicals. It probably boils down to how people imagine things were back in the historical time period. But I think people were people no matter time period they were in. There had to have been some strong women who took charge of their lives back in the past. It can’t just be today that this happened. In fact, the women’s suffrage movement began in the mid-1850s, so there were definitely strong women back in that time period. In Regencies, I don’t know how strong they could be. In the US, I think there was a stronger independent spirit that was a part of the culture. At least, that’s the impression I get from what I’ve researched. I’m more familiar with the historical US than England, though. It seemed like in the Regency period, women really didn’t have much say unless they were widows. But even then, there had to have been some who asserted themselves.

      Yeah, Patty’s gotten her share of complaints. Poor girl. In the whole Montana series, I enjoyed her story the most because I laughed through most of it.

  5. I am seriously impressed with how you’re able to plan so many books so you know what you’ll be doing for the foreseeable future. I’m still surprised to hear that so many women want soft, more weak women than strong ones who stand up for themselves. I know for a fact that authors like Jude Deveraux and Nora Roberts write very strong-willed heroines. And they’re wildly popular. So just go with what you want and maybe target their audiences as well as your fans? I don’t know. Just do whatever you have to in order to keep writing. πŸ™‚

    • I was at a point where I was unable to plan any more books. For the past month, I’ve been stalling out in my works in progress because I didn’t know where to go in the books. (I had just started them, so I only had their vague book descriptions to go by. I try to make the book descriptions vague enough so if I have to make changes later on, they will be easy.) Last week, I reached the point where I didn’t want to write anything, and I couldn’t get excited about the stories. Then I thought of writing something else, and the same thing happened. That’s why I finally decided to change course. And two days after I admitted I couldn’t keep going like that anymore, all of these new ideas came to me. So that’s how all of these plots came about. πŸ™‚

      Jude Deveraux does have strong heroines. I remember one book in the Velvet series where the bride wore black (or something like that) on her wedding day to denote that she felt she was going to her own funeral. It was a Scotland book, and I think I still have it. I should read it. Another one (The Raider) had a heroine who openly defied the British coming to the colonies. Maybe she inspired me more than I thought. I’ve never read Nora Roberts. Has she done historicals? I know she’s done contemporaries.

  6. Gen Lawrence says:

    I like your different style of writing. I had noticed them becoming different, I still enjoyed reading your later books but something felt off about them. So happy you’re going back to doing it your way. But prob won’t be able to afford the increase in prices sorry. Which is such a shame as I have bought all your other books. Genevieve

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • I’ve heard several people say that something was different about my recent books. I was just trying to take stuff out that people had said they didn’t like. I should have learned my lesson when I changed the Virginia series from historicals to contemporaries. People who already liked my stuff wanted them to stay historicals. So I ended up switching them back. I guess some lessons have to be learned twice. πŸ™‚

      I’m sorry to hear about the price change being rough on you. I understand, and there are no hard feelings on my end if you can’t buy my books anymore. The price change was a very hard decision to make. I put it off for as long as I could. It might be that this won’t help me out any more than trying to write market and get books out faster did. But I have to try it and see because what I’ve been doing for the past two years hasn’t worked. (That’s why my stuff was different. It wasn’t really what I was passionate about. I picked storylines I was interested in, but I was afraid to take risks like I did early on. I was trying to write what I thought other people wanted to read because other authors who’ve done that have seen a profit. It didn’t work for me.)

      The Outlaw’s Bride will be free since it is a rewrite and I don’t think it’s fair to ask for a price on a rewrite in case someone already bought the original story. Also, The Marriage Contract and The Perfect Wife are already on pre-order for $2.99, and I will keep them at that price. It’s the other stuff that will start coming out at $3.99. From time to time, I’ll run sales on those books, just as I have on other books in the past, so maybe you can get them during a sale.

      I do appreciate your honesty, and thank you for being with me for as long as you have. That’s been very nice of you.

      • Authors have to make changes as time and facts on the ground change. Price increases are difficult to do, but there are costs in which an author incurs, such as editing and cover artists fees, that also increase. An author has to accommodate for those changes and in the end this might include a rise in the book’s price. Each author has to make decisions on what is happening in getting their book to market. I know I have had to make changes in some marketing methods I used in the past since they were not bringing the necessary rewards needed. Take care and keep up the good work and writing what your heart desires. God bless.

        • It is very hard for an author to do a price change, and you’re right about other changes being hard, too. The way authors do things have changed so much over the course of ten years alone. It used to be that traditional publishers were the big thing, and publishers handled everything for the author. Now, even if an author went with a publisher, they’re expected to do the lion’s share of the work. Marketing has drastically changed, too. You used to be able to put a free book out and lots of people would discover you. Today, you’re expected to run ads or pay Facebook to boost your posts in order to be noticed. Who knows what the landscape will even look like in another five years? I never thought I’d see these changes when I got into publishing on Amazon and Smashwords back in 2009. Things are happening so fast, it’s hard for me to keep up. That’s part of what made me drop out of the rat race. I just can’t focus on all of that and writing books I’m really passionate about. Some authors can do both, but I’m not one of them.

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