Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Don't Just Know Your Genre, Understand Your Genre

When I work with beginning writers who are just starting their career and who have probably never gotten to write that first "THE END" I always stress the importance of taking the time to learn. I do think that far too many authors out there just blaze ahead with the story of their heart without truly understanding what they are doing with their craft.

As an agent, I really see this when the submission pile starts to fill up with the authors attempting to write to the latest trend. It really doesn't matter what the sub-genre is, it becomes very clear who gets it and who are running blind with their writing. Right now, it seems to be those authors who are writing "New Adult" since apparently the whole YA thing didn't work for them since they couldn't spice things up. And yet, I am betting that a lot of these authors are finding the same number of struggles they had when they were trying out the last trend.

I have had several authors in the past who have wanted to "try" a new publisher or genre. Before they dive into the writing, however, I always stress the importance of taking the time to know and learn that area first. This is not simply a basic level of understanding, but a clear vision of all the nuances of that voice and style. To be successful, writers have to reach a level of understanding of that voice and not simply that elementary understanding. Here are some great examples that frankly, if you have not read these authors, you are clearly missing out!

SHARON LATHAN
If you want to see someone with an understanding the the Jane Austen voice, this is the person to check out! Not only does she write some fantastic stories about
this wonderful family, she has been able to extend that same voice to some great new historical romances. We are currently working on some great new projects for those readers who have really fallen for the whole Darcy clan.


HELEN LACEY
Helen is my awesome writer from "down under" and really is the poster-child of someone who does her research before she jumps. In her case, she knew she wanted to write for Harlequin. She knew she wanted to write for Special Edition. In fact, she knew she wanted the amazing Susan Litman as an editor and she
knew she wanted to work with Greyhaus Literary Agency. So she did her research! She learned that voice and she nailed it. Her latest book with Special Edition just earned a 4 1/2 start review from Romantic Times and is now nominated for the coveted RUBY Award!

BRONWYN SCOTT
Bronwyn knew she wanted to write when she was in the 7th grade. She even knew she wanted to write romance. After she got her start with Avalon Books working with Erin Cartwright Niumata (awesome editor) she knew she wanted more and she had her eyes set on Mills and Boon Historicals. Was she
successful? I would say with 20 some odd books under her belt, the answer would be yes. Her latest also earned a 4 1/2 stars from RT!


SUSAN EDWARDS
If you want a bit of the old west and a great dose of paranormal, this is the person for you! She was fortunate enough to work with both Chris Keeslar and Kate Seaver at the height of Dorchester Publishing's run! She has since moved on and nothing has stopped her! Certainly take the time to check out her back list with Carnina and her up and coming books!


Look, I could probably go on and on with each of my authors. They all have proven the success of doing that research. I guess I would simply say, if you want to be successful, you too have to take the time to understand what you are doing. Don't worry, people will wait for that great story of yours!

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