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Write What You Love

When I first decided I wanted to write romance fiction, I spent a lot of time reading current romance novels. I loved the time travels set in medieval times, Scottish Highlands and a few Regencies. I even lucked out and found a few set during the American Civil War.

Since my first attempt at a novel was a YA historical set during the Civil War, I decided my first romance would be a Civil War time travel. But it wasn’t until after I’d written Erin’s Rebel that I discovered it was a hard genre to sell.

Editors told me they couldn’t sell a Civil War romance, while contest judges said I should put my efforts into another genre, because the one I’d chosen was so unpopular.

Not to be put off, I persisted in revising, editing and submitting my CW romance until it found a home. After all, this was the book of my heart. And now, I’ve got another Civil War romance, Confederate Rose, as well as a short story, Angel of My Dreams, to be in our upcoming Civil War romance anthology.

As a beginner writer, I was told to write what I loved to read. I couldn’t help it that Civil War romances were so scarce, but I can hope that my books and stories will start a trend.

And it’s better to be on the leading edge of a curve instead of running like crazy and never catching up.

Do any of you like reading or writing genres that are near to impossible to find or sell right now? Tell me what they are?

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11 Comments

  1. Isabel Roman says:

    I agree. And if YOU like it, there are bound to be others who do, too. It’s merely a matter of finding the right fit. Congrats on selling what you love!

  2. Thanks, Isabel! I never did like having to fit into a mold.

  3. This is a subject near and dear to my heart, Susan. While I believe in writing what you love to read, I also believe in writing the story you would love to read, but can’t find anywhere else, LOL. I’ve always been on the outside of trends when it comes to that.

    Civil War and CW time travels are near and dear to my heart and I have a couple of short stories in the works that involve both, LOL, so I guess that would be considered writing an era that’s impossible to find.

    Looking forward to indulging my love for the era when Erin’s Rebel comes out!

  4. Thanks, Nic! And you’re right, if you can’t find it to read, write the story yourself and push your way into the marketplace. There are sure to be readers like us just looking for those Civil War romances.

  5. “If there is a book you really want
    to read but it hasn’t been written
    yet, then you must write it.”
    Toni Morrison

    And she says it on the home page of my website, so yes, I’d say this was near and dear to my heart, LOL! I want to read historical romances set in my own country–as I think many people do. The thing is, I’m Canadian.

    To expand on what I mean, I went to my Canadian online bookstore today to order some more books (my TBR pile is down to less than 10). I looked at each, individual historical romance in stock. Of the 198 choices, not one–NOT A SINGLE ONE! was set in the country it was selling to.

    Totally ridiculous.

  6. Yes, Jenn. I believe what most readers want is choice. But with traditional publishers shoving what they believe will sell down the readers’ throats, I think it’s up to small and e-publishers who are more open to different genres and good writing.

    Let’s hear it for variety!

  7. angiecameron says:

    Be proud of your persistance. Ten years ago I tinkered with a vampire erotic romance that was my first full manuscript. At the time, those I knew in the industry were not even remotely interested. I walked away from it and didn’t come back until about 3 years ago. I don’t think that I need to explain how I should have persisted. LOL.

  8. You are so right, Angie! Look how popular vampire and erotic romance stories are now!

  9. David says:

    This post hits home. You get two types of advice out there. The first says to follow your passion. Do what you love. The second says to see what the market wants.

    Congratulations on finding the market for you passion. Surely the best of both worlds is to follow your passion and then find the people who share it!

  10. Thanks, David! As a fiction writer, you often get conflicting advice. I believe your passion comes through when you write what you love instead of just following market trends.

  11. HHinson says:

    CW fiction is considered politically incorrect by publishers. Unfortunately much of what does get published is not written by people familiar with the period.

    I’m going to scream if I read another scene with a mourning widow looking sweet in black satin, a lace veil, and pearls.

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