In case you missed it, I have a new book coming out next Friday. I think one or two people may not have heard me scream it. I promised to introduce you to Mira over the next few days until the release. If you missed it, here are the first two posts:
There’s been some rumbling…and even (shock!) insinuations that I might deserve a spanking for not telling you about Mira earlier.
In my defense, I did tell you back in October. The book has been finished for several months now.
Why didn’t I tell you sooner?
I was told that Mira wouldn’t sell.
It didn’t follow a formula. It didn’t have a traditional romance, or juicy sex scenes, or the voyeuristic tone of several-pages-long intimate descriptions of a spanking including fifteen synonyms for “buttocks”. It didn’t set up a recognizable storyline from the beginning, and it didn’t tell the same story with the same characters.
I was told that I should write a story that people actually want to read rather than write the story I thought they should read.
(I write the story I want to read. It’s all about me, folks. )
So I put Mira away. I loved her, I’d worked hard on her, and her story contains some of my favorite scenes ever. I wasn’t going to send her out with just anyone. I didn’t care about the “glory” of getting published just for the sake of saying she’d been published. I wanted her to be loved. Cherished.
Then I thought perhaps I should market Mira as a romance. Except it doesn’t follow the rules of a romance. I don’t want to spoil the story for you, so I’ll just say that it’s not a typical Harlequin romance by any means. (Did you really need me to tell you that?) I thought perhaps I was being too stubborn and should overhaul Mira to fit the romance formula. Maybe I had made the story all about me and what I wanted. Maybe I should think more about what readers would like.
I talked with a good friend about this, and she finally stopped me. “I keep hearing you say that you like it the way it is,” she said.
That made me think. I did. I do. But would it sell? Would anyone like it, or at least anyone besides Ana Vitsky? Anyone besides my loyal and loving supporters/readers/friends who spoil me shamelessly?
After much soul-searching, I decided that I wanted it the way it was. I submitted it to Blushing. You know the rest of the story. Acceptance a few hours later, fast-track to publication the following week, and a contract/cover art form the next day. My choice of release dates.
As if that wasn’t exciting enough, my editor patiently listened to all of my fearful questions (“I heard this and this before. Should I change it? Should I take this out? Should I make it more…you know, like everyone else’s books?”) and offered to let me change whatever I felt necessary but said that it was okay not to. I thought about it again, endlessly, and went back to her.
“I’d like to keep it as it is, if you really think it’s okay,” I said. I still didn’t know if I was a petulant writer refusing to take constructive criticism (those early words stung deeply), but I was going to take the chance. Listen to my editor…and my heart.
Oh, I’m glad you’re not changing it. It is beautifully written and delightfully poignant. I love how the book kind of slowly seduces the reader. Well done. We need more variation. I have to believe readers get tired of the same old-same old.
I’m glad you left the ending the way you did. You know, so many of these books are formulaic – couple meets, there’s some sort of tension/need/conflict that leads to a spanking, they sort it out and end up together. I think your book broke that mold beautifully and that’s why I’m in love with it. It’s good for the reader to be shaken up once in a while and the ending was bittersweet and lovely and – I thought – apropos to the story. It was a romance, just a different start. I love the Agape angle. Simply wonderful.
And I’m honored to be your editor.
I know! Are editors allowed to say things like that? Aren’t they supposed to be evil and…well, evil?
I think I’m in love with my new editor.
Desire in Any Language (January 18th), Blushing
Mira thought she wanted a spanking. What she got was love.
On her own for the first time, Mira is studying abroad for her translator’s certificate. Unfortunately, the heady excitement of dance clubs, late-night parties, and endless shopping quickly distracts her from her educational goals. Mira’s advisor offers her private tutoring, but the combined pressures of culture and language difference threaten Mira’s progress at school. She is unable to get her act together until she makes a discovery that horrifies and tantalizes her: in her new country, corporal punishment is a way of life. The secret to her academic success just might also fulfill her wildest, unspoken dreams.