Although many of my stories contain a romantic relationship, I don’t really consider myself a romance writer. My books never seem to contain enough romance to satisfy my critique partners, who are all successful romance writers. Presumably that means they don’t satisfy many romance readers, either, which explains why my critique partners have much better sales records than I do.
Maybe I have a less romantic view of the world. In my stories, as in my life, a romantic relationship is just one piece of complicated mosaic of friendships, family and other relationships. Having a stable romance and a great husband may be the most important blessing of my life, but it did not solve every problem instantaneously as it does in many romance books.
I guess I’m too cynical to write pure romance.
But I do believe in romance and I do write about relationships and my books are often marketed as romance so there’s no escaping the association.
One of my publishers is about to make that association even more obvious. Cerridwen Press, who published my stories A Certain Want of Reason, The Appearance of Impropriety and “Bride of Belznickel,” is changing its name to “Blush.” These stories all came out under the Cotillion line of traditional Regency romances which are somewhat Jane Austen-esque stories featuring witty dialogue and no sex whatsoever. And now all the Cotillion stories will be released under the label “Blush.”
Since there is nothing in the pages worth blushing about, I’m not sure the name fits our imprint particularly well. In fact, the whole Blush line is designed to be a less-blushworthy companion to the initial line, Ellora’s Cave. (Now some of those books will keep your cheeks permanently scarlet). But I can’t complain about the name change. The publisher had a contest to suggest new names to replace “Cerridwen” and I didn’t pay attention to my list-mail and missed the deadline to enter. So I have no one to blame but myself.
The bottom line is that I enjoy writing Regency era stories (mine are more romantic comedy than romance) for the company whether they call themselves Ellora’s Cave, Blush, Cerridwen or Acme Publishers. They are a great shop to work for and I hope to submit more stories to them in the near future.
Even though I probably won’t ever write anything worth blushing about.