by Abbie Roads
Brand spanking newbie writers are told is to Write What You Want To Read. Seems like great advice, right? I sure took it to heart.
When I first started seriously writing, I knew nothing—seriously, nothing—about writing. I had to learn everything from the bottom up. Plotting, characters, conflict… grammar—which I still struggle with. The only thing I did know was what I liked to read. I love a good damsel in distress story. I love Beauty and Beast stories. I love danger. I love being shocked. And I love getting so angry at a character I want to stop reading, but then CAN’T stop because I have to find out what happens! So I set out to write books like that.
As time went on and I developed my writing skills, I learned there was this thing called genre romance. My book was supposed to fit into a genre? Huh. I know… I know… I sound so stupid that I didn’t even know there was a thing such as genre romance. Then I noticed other writers seemed to have such an easy time saying “I write contemporary romance.” Or “I write paranormal romance.” Or “I write mystery.” But when it came to my own writing, I was left scratching my head. My books were contemporary. They contained mystery/thriller elements. They contained romance. They had paranormal elements. But I was pretty sure there wasn’t a genre named Contemporary Paranormal Mystery Thriller Romance.
I asked other writers about it. A few said that since my book had paranormal in it, it had to be classified as a paranormal romance. Okay. So I entered contests in the paranormal category. But more often than not, a contest judge would knock off points saying that my book wasn’t paranormal because it didn’t have any vampires, shifters, weres, witches, demons, or angels. They didn’t consider psychic abilities and psychic dreams as paranormal enough, I guess. I stopped entering contests because they were too disheartening.
At that point, I wasn’t even ready to even think about submitting my books to an agent or publisher. So the genre didn’t matter as much as me figuring out how to write the way I wanted to write. Then I stumbled upon a workshop where the presenter discussed in detail the differences between all the genres.
I had a ding-ding-ding-we-have-a-winner moment. The presenter explained that in a romantic suspense novel—the romance is resolved before the suspense. Basically, the couple knows they want to be together, but the killer/bad guy/race against the clock is what keeps them apart. Viola! I had a genre! A genre I’d never considered before, but one that made a whole lot of sense!
I began entering Hunt the Dawn (titled Dangerous Dreams at the time) in contests under the romantic suspense category and you know what? For the first time, my novel became a finalist. And it kept reaching the finals. Contests confirmed my genre. Romantic suspense.
So you see—I never set out to write romantic suspense. I didn’t even realize that was what I was writing!
I just wrote what I got a thrill out of reading.
If you were a writer, what kind of books would you like to write?
Abbie's Newest Chilling-Thrilling Release: Saving Mercy
Cain Killion knows himself to be a damaged man, his only saving grace the extrasensory connection to blood that he uses to catch murderers. His latest case takes a macabre turn when he discovers a familiar and haunting symbol linking the crime to his own horrific past—and only one woman could know what it means.
Only to lose her to a nightmare
Mercy Ledger is brave, resilient, beautiful—and in terrible danger. The moment he sees Mercy, Cain knows he’s the one who can save her. He also knows he’s beyond redemption. But the lines between good and evil blur and the only thing clear to Cain and Mercy is that they belong together. Love is the antidote for blood—but is their bond strong enough to overcome the evil that stalks them?
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