07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Write - and Read - Freely

By Regina Hart / Patricia Sargeant 
Love 'n Hoops 

I’m thrilled to be here with everyone at the Romancing the Genres community. I write romantic suspense as Patricia Sargeant and contemporary romance as Regina Hart. I wrote my professional basketball trilogy, The Brooklyn Monarchs (Fast Break, Smooth Play and Keeping Score) as Regina Hart. Fingers crossed that I’ll be able to continue them, which segues nicely to the topic of this blog.

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A group of authors and I recently discussed the impact the self e-publishing success has had on the romance genre. Specifically, that it’s given us the freedom to write the stories that speak to us and the stories our readers tell us they want. (Full disclosure: I haven’t self e-published anything. Yet.) With self e-publishing, we don’t have gatekeepers, those agents and editors who tell us our stories won’t sell. Or tell us certain aspects of our stories won’t appeal to readers.

For example, some of us are a little older now. Some of our readers are, too. Stories about twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings meeting and falling in love for the first time aren’t as appealing as they once were. Many traditional publishers aren’t open to romances between forty-somethings or fifity-somethings – at least not as the main characters. But many writers – and many of our readers – are hungry for those stories. Hungry. We want to write about characters who are more like us, and we understand our readers want stories about people who are more like them.

Which brings me to another story element: careers. Most of us aren’t independently wealthy. Many of us have thankless forty-plus-hour-a-week-jobs in which we aren’t likely to fall in love with our bosses. Ever. Really. Trust me. However, many traditional publishers want the romance, the escapism, the dream of power couples with rich bank accounts. Doctors, lawyers, corporate tycoons. But I’ve heard from readers who want stories featuring truck drivers, construction workers and factory employees. I also know authors who want to write those blue-collar romances. Sort of our “Knots Landing” to traditional publishers’ “Dallas.” (You’ve seen an episode or two; don’t deny it.)

And crossing subgenres! A historical romantic suspense with strong paranormal and inspirational elements. No more, “We don’t know how to market this” rejections. Hurray!

Are you enjoying the self e-publishing boom? What unique story elements have you come across? What story elements are you hoping to read or write yourself?

Weigh in on the topic. I’ll give one copy of Smooth Play by Regina Hart each to two commenters.  
(Be sure to include your email address in your comment.)

Thanks again for indulging me. Happy reading and writing! 
~ Regina Hart


Paty Jager said...

Welcome Patricia!

As one of those authors who can't stay in the bounds of NY expectations, I agree. Self-publishing has allowed me to write the books I want to write and give the reader a look into worlds they may not have otherwise had the chance to read about.

I have a historical paranormal western series out about the Nez Perce Indians with spirit siblings. It is with a small press but that small press/POD liked the story for the story now where they could market it. My Action Adventure I was told no one buys stories set in exotic locales. But the readers are loving the exotic locale. Those are self published. There is a greater freedom in being able to write what is calling to you when you are self published.

Your books sound like great reads. Congrats and Happy Writing!


Judith Ashley said...

I find many of the storylines about twenty-somethings who have it made (money, cars, house, loves) to be boring regardless of how well written because that demographic is so far from my own reality (I was born just before Pearl Harbor was bombed) then or now. I like older heros and heroines and mixing things up. In one of my stories, the heroine just turns 40 and finds a young man (32) loves her. Turns her world upside down.

So glad Romancing the Jock bloggers have come to visit this month at RTG!


PS: Keep checking in for comments because now that our chapter meeting is over and we are doing our weekend promo, I'm sure you'll have a few more!