Monday, July 23, 2007

A Whole New World

No, this isn't about that song that Jasmine and Aladdin sing in the Disney movie; I'm talking about a whole new world of writing.

Let me explain...

One of my favorite authors of Regency and Historical romance has been Lisa Kleypas, but she just recently came out with her first contemporary (A heavy hardback book that my dearest, wonderfulest, friend Eli dragged back from Dallas for lil' O' me) called, "Sugar Daddy". Now, I thought there was no way she could do it. Lisa Kleypas I mean. I had strong doubts that she would be able to pull off such a tremendous switch. But she did and I absobloominlutely LOVE "Sugar Daddy". I could not put it down, that's why I was so tired at church today. LOL

But seriously, how do you feel about this subject? The subject of one of your favorite authors switching her writing from one way to another? Do you think it's possible for you to switch? Could you go from writing say, historical to contemporary and pull it off like Lisa did? Have you ever considered breaking away from your comfort zone and trying something new?

I know Paty has done this by breaking away from straight Western romance to paranormal elements, and then she's got her latest coming out that's a contemporary Western. But I wonder how much of struggle that was.

I have to say that yeah, I'm shocked, but very impressed Lisa Kleypas did this so well. So completely. I was entranced. If any of you get a chance to read it, do. :)

Thanks for sharing what you think and feel about this subject and happy Monday to you!


Paty Jager said...

I found I enjoy writing the historical more than the contemporary. I did little research on the contemporary and I didn't feel like I learned anything from it. I guess that is why I write, I like the learning of history as I write a book. As for the paranormal - that part is fun. You can kind of make things up as you go. LOL

I've found that it doesn't matter if the author jumps around in genres as long as they provide a good read.

Off to get my walk in and check the fence to see where a bull got out while we were gone this weekend!

Anonymous said...

Paty-- What you said makes sense, and I agree with you, as long as the story is great authors can cross-genre write all they want. :)

Hope you find that bull escape route and foil him! Yikes!

Karen Duvall said...

I've always put a little romance into my adventure novels, but I'd never actually written a romance until I tried it out with Desert Guardian. Even then, it really straddles that line between suspense and romance, probably tipping more on the suspense side.

I enjoy reading romance, so writing it wasn't too tough of a stretch, though priorities regarding plot are very different. Still, it's a fun challenge finding that balance, and writing romance helped me in other areas of my writing, too. Like character development, and how to up the emotional stakes.

My novella that's coming out this September is my second romance, but it's also suspense. I doubt I could ever write a straight romance like a contemporary type of story. I most definitely could never write a historical. 8^) I admire those who can, but historical fiction doesn't do as much for me as it used to. When I was a teenager it's just about all I ever read, lol!

Anonymous said...

Karen-- I can see where you and historical writing wouldn't mix. :)

Your stories are more "out of the box" kind of things. Historical fiction takes it's information from what already happened, but the stories you write are more like "what if this could happen". If this makes sense. And duh, you already know this. LOL

It's great that there's so much to choose from in the genres of writing so that there's something for everyone. :)

Alice Sharpe said...

Karen -- I have to disagree with your notion that you couldn't write a straight romance. I come to this conclusion after reading your novella. Every romance has an element of intrigue and drama beyond the question "How are they ever going to fix things enough so they can fulfill their destinies and end up together?" Mine straight romances always had some other plot points -- not murders, but intrigues of sorts and I think you could do it if you wanted.

I've only written contemporary, either straight romance or RS. I wouldn't mind writing historical but I don't know enough about history and doubt I ever will.

I try to allow my favorite writers to do whatever they want, but of course, I have favorites wihin their work and sometimes a totally new direction jars me.

Interesting blog, Piper.


wavybrains said...

Several of my favorite authors have switched over the years: Catherine Coulter, Linda Lael Miller, Julie Garwood, etc. Many former historical authors are now writing RS, so I'm not sure whether that's been in response to market changes or whether they genuinely wanted to leave the genre behind. I've been really happy with Linda Lael Miller's return to westerns, and I hope she continues in this vein. But, on the flip side, did you know Meg Cabot used to write historicals? She found her true voice in contemporary and YA and that's where she broke out, despite being published in historicals. So, sometimes, trying a new thing can lead to the thing you were MEANT to try.

I think it all depends on where your head is at the moment. In thinking where to go next after my WIP, I really tried to force some of my YA ideas to the front. But my head wants to do a novella. So, that's where I'm going. I still love both genres (contemporary and YA), but I'm not going to force my head to go where it doesn't want to. I'll come back to YA soon. :) I just can't see doing a historical, but never say never.

Karen Duvall said...

Thanks, Alice! I may try writing a straight romance some day, but I'll always have some "out of the box" thing going on, like Piper said. 8^) She's so right about that.

I have a ghost story romance I started about a year ago, got the first 4 or 5 chapters done, then got distracted. What else is new. 8^) I was thinking category at the time, but man, Har and Sil are too tough to break into and their editors are constantly going through revolving doors.

It was funny, when Desert Guardian was under consideration with Sil Intimate Moments, the editor at the time told me on the phone that it wasn't a romance. LOL! So she helped me turn it into one. I'll always be thankful to her for that, it's just too bad she didn't stay there. I wonder what she's doing now.

Regarding Historical authors trying new things, there's a whole article about it in last month's RT, and Lisa Kleypas was interviewed for it. She said she's not done writing historicals after writing one a year for the past 20 years. But she "wanted to challenge myself with something a little different." Sugar Daddy is her first ever contemporary.

wavybrains said...

Karen, Ghost story romance??? Intriguing! Totally want to know more :) I hope you end up going back to that someday.

Danita Cahill said...

I think good writers are good writers, no matter what genre they write in. They can use basically the same core story over and over, in a variety of genres, and still come out each time with a winner.

Not all writers do this as well as others. Janet Evanovich rocks with her Stephanie Plum series. Her earlier romances, not so much.

My first book is a thriller with romantic elements. My second book is more like romantic paranormal suspense, or, let's call it romantic horror (have I created a new genre? will anyone want it? These are the questions). Both are contemporary. The third book I'm still mulling over will also be a contempory, told in third person instead of my trademark first, and as with the first book, will not be a romance but will have romantic elements.

If I had to write one book after another in the same cookie cutter mold, I would expire from sheer boredom. Unless it was an intriguing series that kept me interested.