Thursday, June 28, 2007

Are you ever going to write a....?

I often get asked if I ever plan to write a contemporary romance. Or a paranormal romance. Or some other kind of romance.

The short answer is "no."

The longer answer is "I don't wanna."

Here's the thing: what I don't know about the contemporary dating/relationships would fill volumes. I'm way, way out of touch there. I'm way out of touch about contemporary office life, too. For instance, the last time I worked in an office, nobody had a computer.

Which is why I sometimes chuckle to myself when people tell me they hesitate to write a historical because they don't want to tackle a lot of research. Should my contemporary heroine have any career other than a writer, I would have to do a whole lot of research to sound like I knew what I was talking about. Heck, if she were to have a life, unless she was a happily married writer who liked to watch TV. Ooops -- happily married. That lets her out right there.

As for paranormals, that sort of story just doesn't float my boat. Yes, I liked Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I thought Spike was great. But I have absolutely no desire to write about vampires, sprites, elves, or other supernatural creatures. And since I have to spend many hours, days and months with my characters, I'd better be enthused or that's an invitation to a nightmare.

Hmmm.... Writer trying to write about supernatural creatures...entering a different sort of hellish nightmare world...

Nope, not happening. I'm not getting that surge of excitement I should be feeling. So that's as far as that idea will go.

At least for now, because one thing I've learned in this business? Never say never.


Kimber said...

I think that's the biggest issue with writing contemporary. People are directly comparing the novel world to their own world so its gotta be realistic.

Which means ya gotta live it.

(Same holds true with blogging.)

So no full retirement for me anytime soon.

Margaret Moore said...

I always aim for realism in my historicals; I think it's more a question of which sort of research I prefer.

Armor? Castles? Women's lives in medieval society? Yep.

Veterinary medicine? Law enforcement? Modern litigation? Not so much.

Michelle Styles said...

Hooray! A kindred spirit.

I can never understand why anyone thinks that contemporary authors don't do research. they just have to research different things.

Kimber said...


I think the difference between realism in contemporary fiction and realism in historical fiction is that in historical fiction, you don't have readers saying to themselves "I go to the office every day and the office I work at doesn't have blue carpeting and no boss I've ever worked for has ever told me to take the day off with pay and why is the assistant using wordperfect when everyone on this planet knows that Word is the program to use..."

Not only does contemporary writers have to deal with realism (which historical writers do also) but they have to deal with reader's personal realities.

Margaret Moore said...

We get a variation of that. There are plenty of misconceptions about how people lived in the past, and many times, even the experts disagree. But if what an author writes doesn't jive with a reader's particular take or understanding, some readers will assume the writer must be wrong.

I guess that's a chance every author takes, the potential conflict between the writer's personal experience and knowledge, and a reader's.