Did I say something about my illiterate summer? I met with my agent yesterday who handed me five romance novels by four authors. She swears that I am, at heart, a “smart romance writer” and that these books prove there’s a market for such a thing. My assignment: read them and share my reactions to each, what I like, what I don’t like, so we can talk about our vision for my career.
We both agreed that Hester was a bit of a fluke, that I’m more of a genre fiction writer than a literary one. While I know I have family and friends who were glad to see me “graduate” from romance to literary, I never saw it that way. I just want to like what I write.
At any rate, I am three chapters into Scandal by Carolyn Jewel. So far, there’s a ton of emphasis on the sexual tension between a man and a woman I neither know nor care anything about. I really have to care about the characters before I care whether or not they sleep together. Still, chapter four begins with some discussion of Napoleon, so there’s potential here for the “smart” part. I’ll keep reading…
Addendum: In all fairness, I don’t like Regency romance. Scandal is well written, and for folks who love that genre, I’d really recommend it. Trust me, though, I won’t be writing anything like it. Sigh.