So what is a Margaret Moore reader doing writing contemporary romance?
I tried writing historical romances. My first venture into serious romance writing was a 400 page plus monster of a Regency called The Dragon's Protector. I sent it to a former Harlequin editor ('cause I admired Margaret Moore and she writes for Harlequin). The editor was kind. He sent it back with a short, terse note saying I didn't have a historical 'voice.'
I didn't know what that meant. So I asked around. A literary friend read my first page (that was all I allowed her to see). She then held it up to the first page of a published historical novel and asked me if I saw a difference.
You mean besides the total lack of description in my novel (yes, those 400 plus pages were all action and dialogue)? The shorter sentences? The modern slang? The casual dialogue? The missing verbs? The flow of thought writing?
Ummm… yes, all that. And that's the thing, ALL that. There are historical writers (including Margaret) incorporating contemporary elements in their novels. However, they tweak one or two areas, not all. The bare bones are still a historical romance. That's what readers expect.
The process of writing a contemporary romance is also different.
How we do research is a prime example.
A historical writer pores over books and documentaries and talks to academics. Margaret has some great posts on her process. I won't duplicate that good thinking.
Me? I touch and feel and talk to my research. When writing about Maeve, my heroine in Invisible, I emailed one of the top skip tracers on the planet and asked him questions directly. I needed to describe the Wynn Casino in Vegas so I went to the Wynn Casino in Vegas. It is important that I get these details right as many of my readers have also been to the Wynn. They'll know if Maeve's heels click on the tile floor or are muffled by carpet (and they'll email me 'cause I have the best readers in the world).
Some writers can write both contemporary and historical romances well. Those writers are rare. Many can only write (well) one or the other. A turning point in my writing 'career' was discovering which one I was meant to write.
And no, I'm not posting an excerpt from The Dragon's Protector.
Kimber Chin writes contemporary romances set in the sexy world of business. Her latest release, Invisible, is a contemporary treasure hunt romance through the world of hidden identities. A world where loyalty and love can be found in the most unexpected places. You can track her down on http://businessromance.com/ where she gives away her favorite eBooks, shares short stories, and posts photos of good looking men in business suits.