Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why a Writer Should Never Underestimate Romance

Cindi Myers knows romance. Multi-award winning author of over 36 titles, spanning across publishers such as Berkley, Kensington, and Harlequin, she is an authority on the subject.

Hungry to be an author, I tried my hand at penning the dramatic love genre and was fortunate enough to get pointers from Cindi. Several things dawned on me soon after as a result of her guidance. These epiphanies were noticing that: most movies and books--be they suspense, horror, sci-fi, or any of the countless sub genres--usually have some kind of love interest in them; Shakespeare always employed the romantic element in his plays; and ultimately, most tales really are love stories at the core.

Here’s the axiom that I gained from reading Cindi’s publications and paying attention to her expertise: writing romance forces an author to capture emotion on the page. Every writer should have this in their toolbox.

The characteristic that I absolutely must tout about Ms. Myers and will keep praising is that she constantly produces quality manuscripts. If you make it as a writer, then you should embrace the job and keep putting out titles. With Things I Want to Say having come out in August of 2010 and Dance with the Doctor releasing in October of this fall, one can see that Cindi is a prolific committed professional.

At the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s Colorado Gold Conference, I caught up with Ms. Myers and we talked a bit about the genre in which she prospers.

CIR: Do you agree that at least a thread of romance is in most stories?

CM: Absolutely! While romance may not be the focus of every story, it's often in the background. Hard-boiled detectives brood over the woman who got away and the complications of romance form a powerful subplot as aliens take over the world in a science fiction epic.

CIR: What is your take on why love pops up in so many genres?

CM: Romance – wanting it, having it, remembering it, pursuing it – is an important part of human life, so it's important to fiction, too.

CIR: Obviously, I’m most impressed with how productive you are. How do you kick out so many books?

CM: Sheer terror at the idea of having to go out and make a living at a "real" job. I am constitutionally unsuited for corporate life, as I learned after ten years working for a large medical corporation.

CIR: Erotic romance has bumped up as one of the bestselling genres. Harlequin has its Blaze line (Ms. Myers has a few titles in this category) which is pretty steamy and then the Spice titles which are outright erotic. What do you envision in the future as far as erotic romance vs. traditional. Will they be the same thing before long?

CM: Interestingly enough, two of the areas of romance which currently show the strongest sales are erotica and inspirational romance. Which I think shows there are readers hungry for both extremes. I think erotica is a way for the romance market to capture another segment of readers, but not to the exclusion of other types of romance, including sweet romance. That said, editors and readers seem to prefer sex with romance, even if it's not out and out erotica.

CIR: Can we get an exclusive blurb about what you’re working on now?

CM: I just TODAY turned in the manuscript for my next book, due out in January. WORK OF HEART is the fourth in a series of Reality Based Romance from HCI Books – the people responsible for the wildly successful Chicken Soup for the Soul franchise. They launched True Vows Romance this month with 3 books. Work of Heart is based on the love story of a real life couple who live in Denver – Danny de Zayas and Nina Barry. I took the basics of their story and fictionalized it into a romance novel. It was a fun experience and I hope readers will enjoy reading this instance of "true" love!

CIR: Because I have to be different, one question way off the beaten path. I hear that you dabble in belly dancing; how did you get into that?

CM: Sitting on your butt in front of a computer all day is hazardous to your health, not to mention your figure, so I was looking for some form of exercise that wouldn't bore me out of my skull. A friend invited me to a belly dancing class and I was hooked. I've been doing it about four years. I'm part of the Mountain Kahai Dancers and we perform at festivals and shows around the area. We recently did two shows at the Taste of Colorado.
(And the heroine of my October book, DANCE WITH THE DOCTOR is a belly dancer.)

CIR: Is there any thing that you wished someone would have told you when you started writing romance?

CM: That this is a wildly unpredictable business and the only thing you can really control is the story you choose to tell and the writing itself. Try to enjoy yourself as much as possible and have fun with your writing. Don't be so deadly serious all the time – millions of people envy the fact that you get to create, so don't waste today by worrying over what you don't have or what might happen tomorrow.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for blogging me!
Ed Hickok
BLOOD NATION - The White Vampire