Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul.
Before I made the decision to be indie published, I read blogs and listened to agents and editors talk about what they were looking for in the submissions they read.
Characters that readers would love, root for, identify with. (Yes, I know dangling preposition).
A core story readers could relate to so even if it was paranormal, historical, sci-fi, fantasy, etc., it was written in such a way the reader felt him/herself “there.”
And a story that draws the reader in and doesn’t let up. One where the suspense and tension pulls readers from chapter to chapter until the end of the book.
What I’ve learned over the course of almost two decades since I first started writing fiction is that, while the premise is true, the premise is also extremely flawed.
One of my author friends writes thrillers. (And if you like to read thrillers, check out http://PamelaCowan.com). Several of my friends write romantic suspense or paranormal romance. I hear them talking about writing a “page turner” a “can’t put it down” kind of book.
While I wish them all well, and hope they achieve mega success as authors, the probability of me reading their books is slim to non-existent.
Because I don’t want to read a “page turner” nor do I want to be up “all night because I can’t put the book down.” If people start talking about that or I see it in a review, I cross that book off my list.
I find there is enough thrills, drama, suspense, horror in the news every day. If I’m losing sleep because of nightmares and other sleep issues by watching/learning about what’s going on in “real life in real time,” why would I subject myself to fictional thrills, drama, suspense, horror in my leisure time?
Does this mean I only want lukewarm stories?
Not at all. There is a real difference between tension and suspense from my point of view. And because of our own personal/professional experiences our perception and tolerance levels are very different.
One of the things I realized working on the first draft of Gabriella: Chaos and Symmetry was I’d better get used to nightmares and other sleep disturbances. Gabby has had a very difficult childhood that she is finally coming to grips with. While I’ve never been a homeless teen living on the streets prostituting to survive, I’ve met and talked with several of them in my child welfare work.
So why tell you all this when the topic is “Getting Lost in a Book?” Because from my point of view, there is no one genre or sub-genre that will appeal to everyone. When a writer submits to an agent or editor, it is that person’s view of “relatable” “root for” “believable,” etc. that determines whether they are going to do business with the author.
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My books are ones I like to read. Tension between heroine and hero, a bit of suspense from real life scenarios like non-custodial parent kidnapping, runaway teenager, love scenes that fit the story (i.e. do you really think the hero and heroine are going to jump into bed and have any kind of sex when she’s just heaved her guts out)?
But mainly I deal with tough topics such as infidelity, domestic violence, single parenting, cancer, trusting others as well as trusting oneself. Tough topics that women deal with every day. Because they survive the tough times, my characters are stronger by the end of their books than they believed they were in the beginning.
What gets them through those tough times?
The support of their sacred women’s circle, their spiritual practices and learning to trust that they can survive the leap into the void. That leap comes with no guarantee other than the only way to have the love of their life is to take it.
Your free copy of Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl is waiting for you. Just click here and sign up for my mailing list (I will not spam you and you can always unsubscribe).
I’ve also ventured into non-fiction and Staying Sane in a Crazy World's release is planned for March 2018! Click this link to be added to my mailing list and you’ll receive a free copy of Staying Sane as soon as it’s published. FYI: You are actually only added once to my mailing list but this way you get both books free!
Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series at JudithAshleyRomance.com
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© 2018 Judith Ashley
© 2018 Judith Ashley