Friday, 22 February 2013

Romance writers

I suppose if I had to describe it myself, I’d call my writing romance. I am still not entirely sure what defines it as a genre, nor why it is discredited as not ‘real’ literature when compared to other genres. Surely there are just as many poor writers in science fantasy or some other category? Nor why readers of romance feel the need to defend reading it as escapism? All reading is escapism.

I recently fell into the book depository bargain bin. They mail free to Australia so I love that I can buy a book and have it delivered to my door for a quarter of the price if I bought it at a bookstore in Australia. Sorry guys, the budget wins that argument hands down. Thanks, +The Book Depository.

So I picked up a few new titles at an average price of between $4 and $5. It costs $2 to reserve a book at my local library and Roberts’ new release paperbacks have a RRP of A$29. I am not kidding.

My reading list:
·       Captivated by Nora Roberts
·       Nightshade by Nora Roberts
·       The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
·       Torn: Book Two in the Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking
·       Wake: Book One in the Watersong Series by Amanda Hocking

I have read one Nicholas Sparks book and seen a couple of his movies. I am fascinated as to why he is not categorized as a romance writer. Is it because he routinely kills people? Is it because he is not a slave to the standard HEA ending? Is it because he has a penis? It seems very odd that he has such a stranglehold on the movie tie-in. He must have a brilliant agent. I mean, Safe Haven (his latest movie version) has such a bizarre storyline that some sites have described it as ‘batsh*t crazy’. Spoilers in the article, if you haven’t seen it and want to.

I proposed a Sparks recipe after reading the Lucky One:

·       Make up perfect people,
·       Take an odd or quirky reason for the perfect people to meet, (a death, a photo, a bottle, a letter)
·       Add kids, dogs and/or dependent parent,
·       Add ugly one dimensional ex-partner, usually abusive
·       Heat to generate love,
·       Add a storm/flood/natural event,
·       Kill someone or threaten to do so,
·       Stir to mix.

I shall see if ‘Best of me’ follows the same recipe.

Nora Roberts writes a book every 45 days or some such crazy statistic and is estimated to earn $60m a year from them. She also writes detective stories as JD Robb. She's spent 16 years  on the New York Times bestseller list.

I have never read any of her work and I want to scribble on it, so a library book was out of the question. I want to see if she follows a similar recipe to Sparks.

Hocking is the poster girl for self-publishers after signing a book contract for stories she had already sold in the millions as ebooks. I did read the first book in her troll series and was a little disappointed. I want to see how the others are. Wake is about mermaids and sirens; the new vampires, I hear, in YA fiction.

Pity, I like wolves, myself.


  1. Hey MTR! Love what you have going on here! LOVE you found a cheaper place to get books!! LOL. Nice discussion (not what I thought it was gonna be about tho!) But yes...I'm very hard to please in the book department (still stunned over my Twi involvement) and Nicholas Sparks gives me the heebs. I think he's fronting for a woman, or fronting he's a man..whatever -
    But yes, it seems when someone "finds a working recipe" they tend to OVER stick to it, and it all gets old! The initial freshness and originality is what wins over the readers, editors, publishers, but if you can't stay that way..interest fades. There are ALWAYS the Cling-ons tho! The ones that do stuff, read stuff, buy stuff, just because "OMG its Nicolas Sparks!"
    or whoever the momentary golden child is. This type of blind/herd mentality has lifted too many undeserving's to success.
    I just stick to what turns me on, like JR Ward. (and now..10 books in **yawn**) Quinn and Blay are gonna have to be SPECTACULAR to hold my attention.
    The search is definitely ON for the next "big thing". I think WE should come up with it MTR! If anyone could it would be this pair of Pisces!
    I'm already on my way to hell with a Wolf Pack in my hand basket - lets see what new trouble we can get into!
    Thanks for letting me hang out here.
    ( came looking for some help to freshen up some lemon aid I need)You gotta blog on that? :)
    Shit, I'm logged in as JBNP - followed the link over from twitter! LOL
    its Lori

    1. I suspect that those cling-ons as you call them, know that they can pick up one of his books and have a good cry or whatever; *because* he follows that standard recipe, they won't be surprised, or annoyed by the book. It has to be his strategy. A friends mother owns every Nora Roberts book EVER. Scary stuff.
      Book depository is v. cool. They even email me when things on my wish list drop in price.

      One of my most popular posts is the editing fanfic posts. Maybe I should do more of those?

  2. I visited your book depository link!
    in coming soon...Lover At Last is available to you!
    May I? For you? I owe you so much!

    1. I beat you to it! I ordered it months ago, at the reduced pre-order price. Sorry honey :( And you don't need to give me anything!