Or … as authors often call it … finding a new plot.
As great as it feels to come up with a new story idea, the hard work behind ‘the chase’ is not all that glamorous. Both authors and readers long for a new idea, an unusual twist to a standard plot.
Romances of the 1960’s and early 70’s were filled with doctor heroes and their steadfast nurse or receptionist heroines. A singular twist was the widowed doctor hero who falls for his child’s nanny. If the book had a foreign setting the hero was most likely a Prince or Sheikh.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s romances added in suspense. By the late 80’s, love scenes had come out in the open. All the major publishers were adding racier lines to their catalog. Still, no swear words, and body parts were still euphemisms rather than the real bold thing.
The late 1980’s and early 1990’s saw a rise in shorter historical romances. No longer the 300+ page saga, Shorter, quicker, but equally satisfying reads could be found with more emphasis on the relationship than on the history.
And, just as the genre was changing, so were the authors’ careers. As story lines got bolder, so did the writers creating them.
My very first romance novel was published in 1996. Courting Trouble was a typical sweet category romance. Looking back now, I realize I might have been ahead of my time because I’d created a “foodie” romance long before they were a thing.
With a small town sheriff for my hero, and a cookbook author for my heroine, I’d set a personal bar for myself that my second book would have to beat.
My second book also sold to the Precious Gem line but, unfortunately was lost when the line closed unexpectedly. I tucked the book away and didn’t bring it back out until 2014 when, revamped, I sold it to Soul Mate Publishing. This was my take on a plot twist. Home is Where the Hunk is became my backward secret baby book and featured a father who knew he was the father but had no idea who the the woman was who’d given his child life.
Winner of the 2015 International Digital Award for Contemporary Romance, this book will always be one of my favorites.
In between Courting Trouble and Home is Where the Hunk is, there were many other books in a variety of genres. Everything from vintage historical (1960’s and 70’s) to futuristic fantasy to erotic romance. Hey, a girl’s got to keep her options open!
What’s next? What new idea? What plot twist?
At the moment, I’m in the final editing stages of a story titled, Return of the Wolf. It’s not a shifter romance, as the title might imply, but an age-old story of the return of the lone wolf, bad boy hero. With any luck, I’ve twisted the old premise just enough to make it new again.
Until my next turn on the blog, happy reading and creative writing!