Tomorrow is both cover and title reveal for my next in my Englishwoman in series, which I call a modern historical for want of a term that actually fits my writing style or indeed genre. A modern historical has all the feel of a Regency Romance with Lord such and such and The Dowager Viscount whatever but it’s very much set in modern times.
My inability to write in genre, or to a formula isn’t new. It’s something I’ve struggled with from day one and is (probably ) the reason I’m still a (traditionally published) literary reject. Obviously there may be other reasons but I’ve been told I can write so if it’s not that… However there’s not many writers who would use chlamydia as the central theme for a romance (Girl Descending) or what about cataracts (Unhappy Ever After Girl), or indeed head-injury (Ideal Girl)?
Whilst there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Sheik Greek Geek style of writing I just can’t write them. The nearest I’ve managed to popular fiction is this ‘Englishwoman in’ series and then I only came up with the idea when I was on a pile of drugs when my back finally decided it had had enough of all the years of abuse. So you could say it’s drug induced nonsense, but enjoyable nonsense where I have very much let my imagination run wild.
Its not just my tropes that let me down it’s the way I write because I’m not really writing popular romances at all – I’m writing love stories and there is a difference. A few months ago I examined the top 100 books on Amazon.com and, do you know what I found? Number One was JKR (good for her, I love her books) but, of the 99 others 54 were sex laden erotica. So if you want to get ahead in this game write a saucy piece! In my last book ‘Englishwoman in Manhattan’ I was already 50,000 words in when I realised they hadn’t kissed and that’s what I mean about my writing. It doesn’t fit the expected norm of what a best selling romance book should be, and I’m not just talking erotic here. There’s an old-fashioned flavour to my works where the MC’s are more concerned with what goes on above the neck as opposed to below the waist. But writing is a hobby and I’m writing the kind of book I enjoy reading…
So, if you read a Jenny O’Brien you won’t be getting sex (there’s not much kissing either, although I have made an effort to include more). You won’t be getting Greeks/Sheiks or Geeks and you may just find yourself reading about something you know very little about like er mould. If anyone would like an ARC… 🙂