Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pushing The Boundaries In Romance

Word on the street is that you need to write a middle-of-the-road story to attract readers. Get a lot of sales. Totally makes sense.

You don't want to lean too far to the right, too far to the left.

You want to make your characters likable, redeemable.

You need to make them relatively attractive. So folks want to read about these characters doing the horizontal lambada and not totally freak out.

You need to color within the lines. The romance lines. Young people, attractive people, dealing with issues like coming-of-age, overcoming trauma, family stuff. This is all perfectly acceptable.

But what if...what if...

You chucked all convention?

What if you decided to do the OPPOSITE? Would you sell any books?

What if you made your characters old. Older than I've ever seen in a traditional romance novel.

In their 60s. Hmm.

What if a character was rude, politically incorrect to an extreme, chain-smoked, was borderline alcoholic, and swore like a drunken sailor?

Would consumers want to read about him?

What if a character was uptight, a busybody, sexually-repressed, a judgmental know-it-all, and had been crushed by a cheating, unappreciative husband for forty years?

I don't know.

That's the real answer.

I don't know what will happen.

I took a big risk and colored WAY outside the lines.

This book is NOT a traditional romance. It's a love story. About real, flawed people.

I don't know what's going to happen.

But I do know that I had a great time writing this book.

It isn't exactly a romance, according to the genre parameters. But it is still a love story. And it's still romantic.

Does that makes sense?

APPLES SHOULD BE RED is now available at Amazon (ebook) for $1.99. It will be available later in the week at B/N and Kobo. And within the month it will be released in print, too.

Here's the purchase link at Amazon: APPLES SHOULD BE RED

If you decide to take a chance and read about Tom and Bev, let me know. I want to hear your feedback, good and bad. Something tells me you'll be cheering for this couple by the end of the story.

Happy Day,