Curiosity

Okay, so my idea of what’s acceptable as far as editing errors in a published book has changed since I started writing. It’s not like I haven’t seen errors in NYT Bestselling books in all genres and mostly I thought … sheesh, they couldn’t catch that? Because the fact is, something missed in editing whether it’s a typo or an incorrect use of a word … just throws you from the story.

On the one hand, I’m a little more forgiving. Come on let’s face it. First I write the book. Then I spell check. Then a reread beginning to end looking for continuity (and yes, typos or wrong words). Then I have at least one other author do a pass and catch more. Then my editor gets her hands on it. More spell checks, grammar and word usage. Then I look at it again. Only this time completely out of order one scene at a time. Yes, every word, every book. And then last but not least … it goes through copy edits.

Still, errors get through. It’s disheartening.

So I cut the author lots of slack. I don’t think editing errors are their fault.

BUT, and this is a biggie. I’m feeling the publishing world is exploding. With authors and publishers. But there aren’t anymore of the reader’s dollars. As a matter of fact, with this economy, there are probably less. Which means more competition all the way around. I think there’s a push to get books out to the public. On the market.

Which means (and this is totally my opinion), that there may be some skimping or rushing on the part of the publisher to push through the editing stage. I think more errors are making it into print from NY pubs and small epubs. It’s happening everywhere.

Now, if the story is good, I let it pass especially if it’s only one or two in a rather clean book otherwise. But trust me when I say … it totally pulls me from the scene and interrupts the flow of the moment. I’ve actually given up on a story when there are errors every couple of pages. I’m not talking commas (I have no clue where they belong) but flat out in-your-face typos or word issues.

I LOVE my editor. She’s amazing. She finds my typos and “their” for “they’re” (which I’m terrible with regardless of how many times I read a scene) types of issues. But still, errors sneak through. I’m not sure where to lay the blame. Me? The final copy edits? The publisher in general?

And maybe it’s not an issue for you as a reader and I’m totally off base. But I am curious how you’re seeing the situation.

I love to read. I can’t remember not liking reading or the information you could gather when you opened a text book. (I know … I’m one of THOSE geeks!) I skipped all the obvious romance writers young women seem to cut their teeth on like Judy Blume. And my mother who read even more voraciously than me, didn’t read Harlequin romances, so there was no sneaking from her stack. Nope. Mom was more the classics kind of reader. She introduced me to The Yearling and The Thorn Birds (which remains one of my all time favorite books of ALL time). I read the latter when I was in middle school.

I had an awesome reading teacher in middle school who introduced me to science fiction. I wish I could remember the first book he recommended about stars and a moutain and some magic. For the life of me I can’t remember the title, but I remember how it sparked my imagination … and I LOVED it. I read the whole Wrinkle in Time series and all the Narnia series. And during that time I kept up my love affair with romance reading my way through every Danielle Steel book I could find. (I stopped reading her some time in college.) As a matter of fact, I stopped reading fiction only during the school years while I was in college. I was too busy devouring text books to have any time for pleasure reading.

Back then reading was fun. It was all about escaping to another city … another continent … another planet. You see I’m one of those readers that becomes completely immersed in the story. When I put a book down it takes me awhile to reorient myself into the real world. When my children were young and Mr. Nina was establishing himself in his career, I actually had to walk away from romance books. My life and my husband didn’t measure up to those ideal romance journeys and definitely not the romantic heroes. (Mr. Nina has it all over those guys in spades … I just didn’t realize it at the time.) I read books alllllll the time. I carry them whenever I leave the house lest I find myself waiting at the bank drive thru or the doctor’s office or for a kid to get out of sports. I learned a long time ago that reading before bed will take me away from all the worries of my life, transport me some place else and allow my busy brain to rest.

So I like reading. Big deal. A lot of people like reading … what’s my point? The point is … since I’ve become a writer reading has taken on a new dimension. I still read all the time. Every fiction genre. I’m not really picky. But NOW it is about learning. Reading has become the new classroom for me. That isn’t to say I don’t get immersed in a story, I do. But now when an author evokes a strong emotion in me, I stop. I look back over the passage (or pages) and discover what wonderful tool, turn of phrase, or sequence of events the author wove to make me cry or laugh or more recently … turn me on. *g*

Writing is an ever-evolving art form. After a difficult period, I’m rediscovering exactly how much I enjoy this new journey I’ve so recently embarked upon. But I’m a perfectionist … okay, some would call it incredibly competitive. I haven’t accomplished so many things that other authors have done. Which means I need to keep learning and improving. And the only way I can figure to do this is to study the craft. Reading is my studying. Which means I will never read another book for the pure pleasure of enjoying the story. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It just is.

And of course, I’m always curious about how other authors feel about their reading now. Does it feel the same as it always did before you put pen to paper or is it now part of your “process”? And not to leave readers out … I’m curious about HOW you read books. Do you immerse yourself in the story or is it like watching a movie? Do you care so much about the characters that you have to skip to the end to see if everything turns out all right? Share with me. I’d love to hear your experiences.

Where does an author go to keep in touch with and find new readers? Where do we hang out to gain words of wisdom from successful authors? And how do we do all this without sucking so much time from our day that we don’t have time to write?

These are all questions authors ask themselves. Social media sites have exploded exponentially with the growth of the internet. And in my opinion this means authors and readers are having a harder time finding each other. I absolutley love to talk to people. As an extravert it’s how I recharge my energy levels. Since writing is such a solitary endeaver and I’m now disabled and not getting out of the house to work, it’s the social sites that keep me in touch with the outside world. But how much is too much?

Here’s a list of some of the places I hang out on the internet and some of them I understand and use effectively, but others I’m still not sure about …

MySpace – I LOVED MySpace when I was first contracted two years ago. I had a teenager in the house who walked me through setting it up. I went there every day to touch base with my “friends”. This means I read comments left on my page and usually went over and commented on other’s pages in reply. MySpace has a blog feature which I tried to see if blogging was something I wanted to jump into. I really enjoyed it. But over the past year or so MySpace has become cumbersome. It loads slowly and often times locks up my computer when I try to visit other people’s pages. I have no doubt that it has invited several unwanted viruses onto my computer. I’m moving away from MySpace. I’m not sure if I’m going to delete my page, but I’m definitely not using it as much.

Blogging – Wow, this one is hard. If I were to do it all over again I don’t think I’d have my own blog. Though I do love having this space that’s all about me and a place where I can display all my book covers and buy links, a place where I can share my life with my readers, I’m not sure whether or not if I’ve run out of things to say. (Don’t laugh … yes, I can talk … blogging is something a little bit different. LOL!) If someone were asking me whether they should blog I would caution them about the time it takes to post blogs. In order to get followers YOU MUST BE CONSISTENT. IMHO there’s nothing worse than someone stumbling upon your blog and finding the last post was one month earlier. You’re going to be hard pressed to get them back when you have posted something that would be helpful. If you don’t have your own blog I would highly recommend finding a group of authors willing to start (or joining in) a group blog. But again, it’s very important for everyone to agree that posting on their scheduled days is important. Building a readership is hard. Losing a readership is very easy … don’t be consistent in your posting.

Yahoo Loops – When I first started writing I joined RWA and through that my local writing chapter. We stay in touch with each other through email on a Yahoo loop. The wonderful thing about loops is you email one announcement and it goes to the inbox of every member of the loop. It’s a great way to communicate. Many authors started their own loops. It gave them the opportunity to share news with readers. As I started looking into Yahoo loops I realized there were soooo many that I chose not to start my own group. As a matter of fact, at one point I was on so many loops I could receive up to 1000 emails a day! Though these groups allowed me the opportunity to post excerpts and chat with others about books and writing I found myself spending my day answering emails. (Mostly because it’s important to me not to be a “fly-by” poster. I try to chat with people on the loop even as I post my own promo.)

Forums – My first publisher had a forum. THAT threw me for a loop. It looked like one long list of goble-dee-gook. It just seemed so confusing. Then I realized chats were in threads and if I wanted to participate I simply needed to open the thread. I found a wonderful forum in Romance Divas. I highly recommend this group. It’s filled with authors both published and unpublished, new and some very established authors. They are a very welcoming group that is willing to share without reservation. Again, this is a place I visited every day, both my publisher and Romance Divas forum. But I found I was hanging out and chatting for so much of the day that I wasn’t writing. So I’ve slowly moved away from forums.

Facebook – This is the newest place I’ve set up housekeeping. I really enjoy it over there. There’s none of the personalizing of MySpace, which is good … because everyone’s home pages come up without having to take time to load. Again, besides posting my own news I do comment on the posts of my friends. I am really enjoying this social media and IMHO, I think more people are shifting to this site and away from MySpace. Mostly because it’s easy to set up and easy to use.

Twitter – The best way to describe this is that it’s an instant chat with 800 (or however many followers you have) of your very best friends. When I post a tweet it feeds to the home page of anyone following me. When anyone I follow tweets it streams to my home page. If you enjoy chatting, twitter is a great place. Some people complain that people are chatting out about what they’re eating or the fact that they’re doing their laundry. Some are. It doesn’t bother me to follow a few people who do that once in awhile. I’m probably guilty of doing that as well. I use Twitter to give links to my blog posts or share a link to someone else’s blog if I think it’s a good post. I also use twitter to follow links to blogs on subjects that interest me. Since I don’t surf blogs I do find this is a great way to visit blogs with relevent posts. I like twitter. But there are a lot of people who don’t and avoid it at all costs. I do have this linked to MySpace and my blog (you can see it in the sidebar) so it posts to those two places whenever I tweet. (But couldn’t figure out how to get it to go to my facebook, but it does have that feature.)

These are the places I’m active. But I also have accounts at

Goodreads – I can’t help you here folks. On most days I can post what I’m currently reading and what I’ve read. But I don’t go there enough to be able to remember how I did it the last time. *g* I know you can post events or join groups and do a whole bunch of stuff, but I don’t know how to do it.

LinkedIn – Again, I’m hanging there … but I REALLY have no clue what to do with it. Not even sort of.

And that’s where I am. Now there’s NING’s and I know some people on Live Journal (who love it). But at the moment I’m pretty overwhelmed with all the places I’m visiting right now. Sometimes my social obligations can take over my whole day. I’m trying to figure out what’s an efficient use of my time. I’d love to hear your opinion. Where do you go and what do you enjoy. Because in the end it’s all about what helps readers find new authors and authors to help readers find their books. And sometimes it’s having the opportunity for experienced authors to share what they know.

So what works for you as a reader or an author?

It’s everywhere these days. The celebs do it on the red carpet. Your friendly bank teller isn’t immune and yes, right into the board room it’s becoming the new “thing”. I’m talking about SKIN. From cleavage to bellies, shoulders to butts … it’s hanging out everywhere.
Now, don’t think me a prude. I don’t want to go back to the time when even ladies showing ankles was improper, but I’m not sure how I feel about this new freedom. Young women especially don’t think anything of having the better part of their breasts exposed when they’re wearing tank tops. They lean over and whisper your ear … I mean where is your gaze supposed to go? It’s not like I don’t have the same equipment, but curiousity just draws my eye straight to the exposed cleavage … and I’M A WOMAN!

I feel for men these days. Breasts and bellies are sexual. Trust me. I know this. I write about it every day. Poor Mr. Nina came home from the office one day talking about a woman who sat across from him at a business meeting with a lot of cleavage hanging around. He had a hard time trying to figure out where to look. Another day a young lady turned and bent over to retrieve something from the file cabinet and her pants rode down low exposing her thong. He felt like a pervert and he hadn’t done anything wrong.

Which brings me to the whole UNDERwear issue. The key word being under. I’m not sure when bras became a fashion accessory, but that’s one thing that drives me insane. I hate it when my bra strap peeks out! When a young lady’s shirt is so tiny that her bra shows over the top or around the sides then it’s not really a top is it? But now it’s almost a fashion statement. I am happy that the whole “whale tail” trend of showing your thong over the top of your lowcut jeans waistband seems to be a forgotten fad. That one just squicked me out. We sat behind two young ladies at an honors gathering not so many years ago at the high school. Their pants came down so low they nearly had butt cleavage. And of course their cute little thongs (that matched their tops) curved up and around their hips. I was sitting with two DADS … and I was heartsick for them. I couldn’t help staring all night, I can’t imagine how they felt.

When I wear a top that shows a little cleavage and I see a man’s eyes wander south, I don’t react. What do I expect? I mean, let’s face it, aren’t we hoping for a little extra attention when we put on that sexy bra and low-cut shirt? Otherwise we wouldn’t wear them would we? Or am I way off base there?

I know some woman get offended when people drop their gaze to their cleavage. Why? Let’s face it, when a guy wears his jeans slung low on his hips … you look. Out of curousity. The eye naturally travels down his stomach to his … ah hem … fly. We can’t help it. But we’re lucky, we’re woman. Men consider this kind of attention an invitation or at the very least … a compliment.

I know this new trend is only going to continue. I’m just not really sure how I feel about it. So I’m throwing it out there. How do you feel when someone checks out your cleavage? Does it matter if it’s a man or a woman? And how does this whole new flesh-fest affect you?

We all have those things that drive us absolutely nutty when we read. Something that pulls us from the story and if it gets bad enough … causes us to throw the book against the wall, never to finish it.

As a writer I think my threshhold has gotten more sensitive. Things I didn’t know were a problem when I was just a reader now drive the writer in me insane.

Constant head-hopping between characters in a scene is one of mine. It’s a rule … don’t do it very often. And if you must … once … and DO IT WELL. Make me be in the other character’s head before I realize it. Make me go back and see exactly where and how you skillfully moved me into the thoughts of another. But for goodness sake … please don’t keep flitting in and out of heads. (Of course only NYT best selling authors seem to get away with this … which is why it drives me MORE insane.)

Also, the choice of adverbs vs a good solid verb. I’ve mentioned this before. Used sparingly adverbs are AWESOME. Overused and they pull me from the story. My other nitpic is repeating a word (unconsciously) a couple times in sentences close together. Sometimes repetition is used as a tool … I get that. But when another word could have been used so the repetition didn’t occur, it makes me crazy. Words are an authors livelihood. Use them to your full advantage.

Those are things the author can control.

Then there are those things the author can’t control. Typos or bad editing. I can forgive a few typos. They happen. I’ve had them in my books. Even after 3 sets of edits (where I read EVERY word the first two passes) and a line editor … it happens. It’s easy to read a word you expect to be there when it’s actually missing. As an author you hope it won’t happen, but it does. I’m okay with a few, but when there are several in each chapter … I’ve been known to give up.

A friend of mine actually read and enjoyed a book that had at least one typo every two pages. She mentioned it, so it bugged her, but not enough to stop reading. No. It is so not going to happen with me. That’s too many. The book will sail through the air never to be read by me.

So I guess I was just wondering … what makes a book a wall banger for you?

I’ve often wondered about the phenomenon of the kiss. If two young people were never exposed to kissing, would it be a natural thing that would happen? I know they explored this in The Blue Lagoon (1980) a movie starring Brooke Shields, but the scene was kind of hokey. And since I’m a scientest at heart I had to go seeking some answers. Here’s what I found …

Believe it or not there’s a name for the science of kissing … philematology and it is widely studied. Nearly 90% of human societies do it and it seems I’m not the only one interested in finding out the whys of the action. Lots of scientists are trying to figure out why we get the warm, fuzzy feelings or the icky, creepy feelings when we’re locking lips with another.

Some anthropologists believe that kissing evolved from sniffing, as some indigenous cultures rub noses rather than kissing. It seems we have a very powerful musk gland right under our eyes, and each person has a distinct smell. Kissing got started by people smelling each other and they would rub across the nose. Touching the lips was a natural outgrowth.

The tongue and the lips are some of the most sensitive parts of our bodies. Both of them are packed with large amounts of nerve endings. Scientifically speaking, kissing releases chemical messengers in the brain called neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters attach to pleasure receptors in your brain creating feelings of passion, euphoria and elation. The same transmitters are released in high risk activities like skydiving or bungee jumping. It works the same way with passionate kissing, which is why your heart to beats faster and your breathing becomes deep and irregular.

Male saliva also holds testosterone which definitely affects the way a female reacts to her kissing partner. Some theorize that the testosterone makes the female more receptive to sex. In any case it appears feelings of like or love definitely affect the pleasure of the kiss as well.

There’s also the theory that kissing breaks the personal barriers and therefore creates an attachment to another person. This vulnerability heightens the chemical sensitivity well above normal levels, often blocking other types of synaptic chemical transmissions throughout the brain such as basic principles of reasoning. This may be way some people experience a surreal reality during and right after kissing that is created by purely animal like physical reactions rather than advanced means of humanistic logic.

This still doesn’t really answer my question as to whether humans not exposed to kissing would naturally do this. But I guess it really doesn’t matter. In the end I guess I’m just going to do what feels right. And trust me when I tell you, Mr. Pierce has perfected the kiss!

It’s not like you have to bonk me over the head with it … okay, you totally do. But eventually, it will sink in. What is “it” this time? Well, it’s the writing method that has finally gotten me to go “ohhhhh…”

You see there are two schools of thought about writing.(prolly more, but I’m only dealing with two today)  1) The write the story of your heart school and 2) Write for the market school. When I first started writing I knew nothing about the market and I spent a year writing stories I would love to read. They didn’t sell. (Of course it never occurred to me that the writing sucked eggs … but that’s a blog for another time.) In my mind, I wasn’t fitting what the market was clamoring for.

I’m all about research, so I set on my merry way to figure out what readers were buying and what publishers were contracting. I stumbled upon erotic romance. Now I love reading erotica. How hard would it be for me to write a story I loved and open the bedroom door? It wasn’t. *poof* The Healer’s Garden was born! Then came the Tilling Passions series … wonderfully fun and challenging to write. Ya know, with the whole “stand alone, but tie a suspense thread” through the whole series. A challenge and a joy to write.

And through all this I watched and learned what readers were buying, what they were looking for … so to speak. (Though as any publisher or writer will tell you, there really is no crystal ball and things could change with the next phase of the moon.) Anyway, I jumped feet first into an anthology of wolf shifters. I knew nothing about them. But I knew erotic stories of furry shifters were big sellers. *poof* Blue Moon Rising was born. (Okay, it’s not like *poof* because there was a TON of research involved, but you get the idea.)

I fell in love with them. I’m now in the middle of a three book shifter menage series. But I’m going to say something that’s probably not a good thing to admit … I’m stalled. I mean I love this series, well, the premise of this series. But the finer details ellude me. And I think I figured out why.

Instead of starting with the whole “what if…” I’m thinking “I need to write a story about a shifter who has two partners.” THEN I’m trying to figure out the story. And this just isn’t working for me. With every other book I thought “What if a virus killed off the male population?” or “What if drugs were running up the Maine coast?” or  “What would happen if someone got involved in the Internet porn industry?”

See the difference?

I do.

And apparently so does my muse. She seems to have taken a vacation until I stop writing what I think will sell and writing the stories in my head and heart. At the moment, those two things aren’t meshing. It is a balance. And I will eventually find it. In the meantime, I’m off to haul my margarita-drinking, cabana-boy-flirting, toes-in-the-sand muse back to her corner of my very messy desk. She needs to get her butt in gear and fall in love with these shifters as much as me!

But before I go, I am curious … how do you choose your stories? or do they choose you?  

So last week I focused on my family. With Little Boy Blue’s graduation we had family stay with us, parties, and project grad and all the busy-ness that comes with a graduation celebration. I chose to set aside writing to enjoy my family. But now it’s time to step up to the plate and get that daily word count up where it should be. Get that first draft down on paper, revise, and submit to my editor.

I’m headed out next week to visit with Jen, my CP. Yay! We have two blissful days of brainstorming planned. You might laugh because most writers have a critique group close to them that they meet with a few times a month, but we’re 3 hours from each other! Maine is very big state! This is the second time we’ve done this. It’s awesome. I hope to walk away with at least three books ready to go.

In addition, this month I’m trying something new. I’m taking a plotting class. Man, for a “pantser” this is a challenge! Which is why I’m taking it. I’ve never plotted a book on paper. In my head of course, (I couldn’t write suspense without having some idea of where I’m going.) but never on paper. I got close with my last couple of stories by writing out a synopsis, but that’s the most I’ve done.

So this is new.

What’s exciting is that I can take all this new information and share it with Jen. It may keep us even more focused than the last time we did this. Yay!

The problem is that this makes me feel unproductive. It’s not. I get that. But writing character outlines and setting description isn’t putting a story on paper … ya know? But it is pushing me to look at my story ahead of time. There are lots of people who are plotters and lots of people who are pantsers. I’m not sure if plotting is going to work for me, but if I don’t try I’ll never know.

In the end it won’t matter how I got to the final product. Just that it’s the best story it can be. But I am curious … how do you get from the nugget of an idea to the end of the first draft?

I love my “local” chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America) … despite the fact that they meet four hours from my home and refuse to change their meeting location for me. ;). No, seriously, without this wonderful group of writers I know the road to publication would have been filled with potholes of doubt and hairpin turns of confusion. They were there patiently teaching me about writing queries and synopses and submitting manuscripts. And when my first contract offers came in, they helped me sort through the confusion and make a decision. I really appreciate their support and guidance.

I enjoy my online chapters of RWA. I am able to be part of chapters that talk about the erotic romance industry and others that deal with the suspense market. There’s also a paranormal chapter which I haven’t joined, but it’s on my to-do list. These chapters are important to me.

I tolerate RWA national.

Why? Because I can’t belong to my local chapter or my online chapters without being a member of the national organization. But (through no fault of theirs) I don’t get anything from them, but a big fat bill once a year and a monthly magazine (that promptly goes in a stack in the odd chance someone will mention something I might want to read.) I don’t use their website or other resources. Not that they’re not out there … I just don’t need them at this point in my journey.

But now … now there’s all this upheaval about erotic romance and electronic books and the powers that be in the national organization accusing me of not having a career-oriented mindset because I pub books without receiving an advance. (Never mind the fact that a high majority of authors never earn out their advance and therefore never receive a royalty check on their sales.)

I had been considering dropping my membership. But then an agent at the convention this past weekend mentioned that they really look at whether someone is a member of writing organizations to gauge how serious the author is about their career. Now, RWA was mentioned specifically (because after all, it was a group of romance authors), but then other writing organizations were also mentioned. But it did bring me up short.

Writing is my career. I do take it seriously. Some day I’d like to be NY pubbed (one of the “big” guys) and I’d like to have an agent. I keep weighing this whole RWA membership and trying to decide if it’s worth my money. Perhaps things will change. With all the members lifting their voices it will be hard to ignore us all. I truly believe electronic books are the new wave. Big houses like Harlequin, Silhouette, and Kensington all have erotic lines. These aren’t going away. It just seems to me that RWA is going to have to stop ignoring the kid in the corner of the playground with our funny looking toys.

It’s an interesting place and it puts me in a quandary as I continue to look at all the pros and cons. I am curious how you feel about the whole RWA issue.

I’ve been writing for nearly four years. I can’t even begin to list all the things I’ve learned about the publishing industry in that short period of time. This world rotates with its own set of rules and expectations. It’s a wild ride that continues to throw me for loops and twists with every turn.

My latest battle has to do with the genre of my writing.

The first book I wrote was a simple romance with flawed characters that wanted to fall in love and get to a “happy-ever-after” ending, but had too many obstacles thrown at them. I mean … isn’t that the equation of all romances? (The answer is an emphatic NO! but that’s a blog for another time.) If we ignore the horrible writing errors that are so common in first time writers like point of view problems and dangling modifiers, the whole premise was an unstable house of cards that crumbled with one comment from another writer. I’ll probably never be able to salvage it to make it marketable, but I had fun writing it.

Then I jumped into a romantic suspense (that I’m still looking to sell). It’s a very convoluted plot with a cast of characters that rivals a broadway musical. But I love it. It was a challenge to write. I got up every day and looked forward to the next scene, the next chapter. But then I tried to sell the book. What I’ve found out is that publishers and agents don’t usually represent mid-list romantic suspense. It doesn’t make them money. *sigh*. I was now a year into my writing journey and getting very frustrated.

But I had learned a lot. Mostly what was selling and what wasn’t … namely that the erotic market was wide open with sales at some publishers that were off the charts. I’ve always enjoyed the red hot pages of love stories. It just added to the romance and in turn, the enjoyment of the book for me. Making the leap from romantic suspense to erotic suspense seemed simple. The next four books I wrote became The Healer’s Garden (Liquid Silver Books Dec 2007), Blind Love, Love’s Bounty, and Arranging Love (LSB Spring 2008). I loved writing those books. They flowed from my fingers and nearly wrote themselves. I was a little smug about writing for the “market” rather than the stories in my “heart”.

Some will say that good writing can’t happen when an author is working on stories trying to ride the wave. Mostly because it’s thought that by the time you sell the book the crest of the wave has passed you by. For a year I worked to prove them wrong. And for awhile, it worked for me. Erotic suspense was a thrill ride and my books were picked up one after another.

But now I’m stalled.

Opening my story is hard. My bored muse takes leisurely baths, long walks on the beach and more recently–hasn’t bothered to show up at my computer for days at a time. Which leaves me sitting at the keyboard staring at a cursor that blinks tauntingly, daring me to try putting crappy words on the page. It’s frustrating! I’m not getting any writing done. My writing friends are celebrating finishing scenes, chapters, and books. And I’m happy for them (and just a tad jealous). I can’t even finish a flippin’ sentence! Urrrr …

So now I’m wondering if writing a story I believed would sell rather than a story that would be fun is truly what’s tripping up my muse and me. Perhaps writing for the market is a bad direction. And now I’m curious .. what do you think? Have you ever changed your story in a direction you knew was more marketable? or perhaps completely changed genres?

I’d love to hear what you think.

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