I’m excited to introduce MACY BECKETT, a debut author from the Ohio Valley RWA chapter which, coincidentally, is also my chapter. I’ve been following her career with great anticipation. It’s not every day an author sells to two different publishers nearly back-to-back! I’ll let Macy tell you her story…
“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” –Toni Morrison
I LOVE this quote. I want to marry it—or at least make it my secret lover—because it expresses what I’ve always believed: the best books are written from the heart.
When you write what you love, it shows. Conversely, I can tell when an author is phoning it in, either because they need a break, or because they’ve hopped on a trend that doesn’t excite them. You’re not doing your readership any favors that way.
Now, don’t get me wrong—you still have to pay some attention to the market. If editors are currently drowning in leprechaun ménage, maybe now’s not the time to pen that M-M-F “wee folk” erotica you’ve been brainstorming. But you can still balance market demands with your preferences and put a personal spin on the project to keep it organic.
Let me tell you about my experience writing my debut romance, SULTRY WITH A TWIST.
It all started in the shower, where most of my ideas ambush me. A romantic plot unfolded before my eyes as I shampooed my hair. After rinsing and repeating, I rushed to my laptop to jot down the details.
At the time, I had one completed manuscript under my belt—a YA sci-fi that would eventually sell to Disney—but I’d never attempted an adult romance. So I figured I’d dip my toe into the genre by targeting one of Harlequin’s category lines. 50k seemed a lot less intimidating than 90k. I began reading and researching the different categories, then sat down to write my own.
It didn’t take long to discover my plan wouldn’t work. With its small-town and family vibe, humorous voice, and high sensuality level, my story captured elements of each category without fitting into a single one. But I didn’t want to quit. I’d already fallen in love with my characters.
So basically, I said “screw it.” I decided to write the story I wanted to read, to hell with the rules. And you know what? I HAD A BLAST! Drafting that book was pure pleasure—it practically wrote itself. (To this day, I’ve never finished a manuscript so quickly.)
After typing “the end,” I added 20k to bring it up to single title length, and then my agent began shopping it. Three weeks later, we had an offer, and the rest is history!
I like to think my enthusiasm played a role in my success, but my preferences likely had something to do with it, especially considering I’d vowed to write the kind of book I wanted to read.
And what kind of book is that? Well…
My favorite romances:
1. Are set in small towns. Would I want to live in one? Hell to the no. Been there, done that, not going back. But I’m still drawn to rural settings enough to read and write them. There’s something appealing about a tight-knit community…even if you can’t sneeze at the breakfast table without rumors of your demise circulating by lunch. (That’s a line from book #3, Surrender to Sultry, by the way.)
2. Involve heroes and heroines with a history. And I mean history—the longer the better—preferably dating all the way back to childhood. Those shared memories add a level of sweetness to the story that can’t be beat. (See #5)
3. Are light and funny. The real world is depressing enough. Make me laugh, and I’m yours forever.
4. Include hot, lengthy, detailed love scenes. I like big smut and I cannot lie. ‘Nuff said.
5. Capture an element of sweetness. “Sweet” romance usually means no explicit sex. That’s not what I’m referring to here. (See #4) Give me heat, but with a heaping side of poignancy. One without the other, and it feels incomplete.
And since writing is an escape for me, I try to incorporate all of the above when I’m drafting a new romance. What’s the point of landing your dream job if you can’t have fun doing it?
If you’re like me and enjoy flirty contemporaries, SULTRY WITH A TWIST might just float your boat. It releases October 1st from Sourcebooks Casablanca.
Is it available for pre-order? Why, yes, it is! Thanks for asking. You can order SULTRY WITH A TWIST from several retailers, including: Amazon, Barnes & Noble ,
Books-A-Million, Powell’s and Indie Bound.
Many thanks to Romance University! I wish all of you happy writing—organically, of course!
What kind of books do you want to read?
Join us tomorrow when we celebrate Robin Covington’s first ever RELEASE DAY!! The party will have good food, lots of adult beverages and giveaways! Dont’ miss it!
Note: Jennifer Crusie and Lani Diane Rich were originally scheduled to visit with us today. They’ve both been under the weather, so I rescheduled their visit. Be sure to come by on July 23 when they’ll tell us all about their new Writewell Academy. Thanks to Macy for stepping in at the last moment!
Macy Beckett writes hot & humorous small-town romances set in Sultry Springs, Texas: where first loves find second chances. Her debut novel, SULTRY WITH A TWIST, releases in October from Sourcebooks Casablanca, and two additional Sultry Springs romances will follow in 2013. Macy lives in the appropriately-named town of Loveland, Ohio, with her husband and their three energetic children.
Macy loves to chat with readers on Facebook and Twitter, so make sure to say hello! Check out her blog, too. Sultry with a Twist, now available for pre-order! Watch for: A Shot of Sultry, spring 2013, Surrender to Sultry, fall 2013.
Additionally, she publishes young adult sci-fi under the name Melissa Landers: Alienated, YA science fiction, coming in 2013 from Disney-Hyperion
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