NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!


Julie Moffet . Clare London . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A. Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Six Clues You Are Not Cut Out to be a Romance Writer

Yesterday Carina Press sent out a notice that they would be implementing something called the Carina Press Romance Promise.

You can read about what that promise entails right here.

Now I'm just going to put it on record that I am a wholehearted advocate of romance fiction. I want those happy endings to be realistic and believable, yes, but as someone who has been successfully and satisfyingly married for thirteen years (and managed to stay friends with my previous partners) I know for a fact that "Happy Endings" are believable and realistic for grown-up people willing to put the necessary work in. It doesn't matter what your orientation is -- seriously -- the work -- and it is work --  involved in maintaining healthy and happy relationships with other people (lovers or friends or family) is pretty much universal.

Romance fiction is the single best-selling and most lucrative of genres, which is why it attracts a fair share of writers who don't actually care for Romance fiction but figure it's easy to break into -- and a guaranteed way to make money writing.

(This is where the experienced romance writers in the audience smile sardonically.)

Naturally when this notion of easy money through romance writing turns out to be untrue, there can be frustration and disappointment on the part of those writers. Therefore, in an effort to save the rest of us from having to read any more angry, tearful blog posts,  I've devised a quick checklist for writers toying with the idea of turning to romance.


Six Clues You're Not Cut Out to be a Romance Writer.


1 - You do not read romance novels.

2 - You think romance novels are too...romantic.

3 - You've never had a long term relationship with a member of the same species. Also you hate your mother. Or maybe it's your father. Anyway, you hate more people than you like. Let alone love.

4 - You do not understand the need for Happy Endings. Or even Happy For Now Endings. What's so bad about Tragedy anyway? Death and Disaster happen!

5 - You spend hours redefining the genre in very long blog posts. When not redefining the genre, you like to write hostile reviews of more successful authors in the hope of showing readers the error of their ways. (That would be the error of these other authors' ways, though clearly the readers are also on the wrong path.)

6 - Romance readers don't like your books.


If you answered YES to two or more of the questions above, you probably need to rethink your writing career strategy. Which is actually A-OK because a lot of mystery readers don't like romance muddled in their murders. And what could be more satisfying that gruesomely knocking off thinly-disguised characters based on people you don't like? Happy Endings are not required in crime fiction. In fact, the more ambiguous and bleak your endings, the more you will be respected by your peers and even some readers.












7 comments:

Maureen A. Miller said...

Maureen slumps her shoulders and admits with a sigh, "I am addicted to happy endings." Of course, happy endings don't always have to be synonymous with romance. I burst into tears when I see a boy reunited with his dog. Or when Sandra Bullock falls from the space station and lands on a beach. :)

Great points, Josh!

Dee said...

It's fun for a mere reader to peek at this kind of blog once in a while. The posts often amuse me (sorry Josh, in case you didn't intend to be amusing).
As a reader though, I'm just along for the ride and just give *the look* to people who look down on romance book. We live in a crazy world, it's more than okay to look for romance and happy-ends in books. Or, in case of your books: happy for now. ;-)

Josh Lanyon said...

Me too! The world needs more happy endings -- be it a stray kitten finding a home at last or a lonely human finding someone who gives a damn. I think anything we can do to bring about more real life happy endings is a step in the right direction.

Josh Lanyon said...

Hey there, Dee. Yes, that was partly tongue-in-cheek.

AND partly not because there are an awful lot of wannabe writers out there angry and frustrated because their work doesn't receive the attention and support they believe it deserves. Mostly it's because, regardless of what they write, it's not ready for prime time -- and partly because they continually target the wrong audience.

Anne Marie Becker said...

Love this list, Josh. :) Count me in as someone who loves happy endings! And the sexual tension in romance novels. Love that, too. And murder and mayhem. Guess I'm in the right place! LOL

Marcelle Dubé said...

Good post, Josh. As a writer who doesn't have a romantic bone in her body, I am always surprised when hints of romance appear in my stories. I am definitely not a romance writer, but I do love me a happy ending.

Toni Anderson said...

I was probably a little too amused at your post, Josh. As a lover of the genre I completely agree :)

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