Monday, May 08, 2006

Time of the Season for...Questions!


Hi, TKA Friends!
It's been a while, yet again, since I've held a big question and answer thread. Only this time let's shake things up a little. We've had lots of prizes and giveaways lately, but it's been some time since I gave away a free critique.

Here are the ground rules of this latest fun/question and answer:
1) You have to ask a question to enter the drawing.
2) One winner will be chosen from among the entrants for a one chapter critique.
3) The ending date will be May 15th, with winners being drawn on May 16th.
4) Have fun and be rowdy!
5) OH, and you must answer this question: Do you think a TKA message board, creating more of an online community, would be something you'd participate in? Enjoy? Or find unncessary in addition to the blog?

Thanks! Go for it!
Deidre

92 Comments:

Blogger Natalie Damschroder said...

Man, I have impeccable timing today.

But no questions.

But that's okay, 'cause I got a critique off the pitch stuff last year so I shouldn't qualify anyway.

As for the forum...I have to say I don't prefer them, but if you did one I'd go. I am not in favor of anything that requires more time and attention of you and the rest of the TKA staff than a few minutes a day. :)

Monday, May 8, 2006 at 3:57:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Karen said...

My question - Erotic romance and paranormal are both very hot now (and books that combine the two). I'm getting flashbacks to Chic Lit fever of several years ago. How long do you think the market can support what seems to be an avalanche of hot otherworldly tales before readers (and editors) say, "This is too much!"?

Re: the message board idea. I prefer the blog; I manage my too-long web site reading list through RSS feeds. I don't think the message boards are neccesary. If you *do* switch to a message board, please make sure to enable a RSS feed. :)

Thanks for taking questions again!

Monday, May 8, 2006 at 4:01:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Nonny said...

Actually, I have an odd question, somewhat similar to Karen's.With paranormal romance and fantasy/romance crossovers selling so well, do you think we'll see a rise in fantasy romance? (Romances set in a fantasy setting, not crossovers, which are usually 50/50 plot/romance.) While the fantasy and fantasy/romance crossover market seems to be open to them (Tor Paranormals and LUNA), I'm not aware of any traditional romance publishers that will take them.

As for the message board, I would definitely be interested in participating in it. :)

Monday, May 8, 2006 at 5:52:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Ah, Natalie! Jump on in! You should get to participate, you're such a faithful reader!! :)

Karen, I don't see over-saturation in the near future. On the sales end, this stuff just keeps on going and going. Already the staying power has proved far stronger than chick lit ever did--and, you'll notice, the plots are far more creative and varied, whereas chick lit--much as I love it--does basically play a similar tune unless you have someone exceptional like our very own Cara Lockwood whose voice is SO strong and her ideas SO original, that the books work outside the genre of chick lit.

As for paranormals, they are selling like mad, new authors breaking out very well, and the possiblities are endless. We've yet to see the saturation point coming anywhere near to us yet.

Nonny, more publishers seem open to fantasy romance now, seeing it as on an even playing field with paranormal at large. So, yes, there is room for it out there, so long as it's positioned properly as a companion or relative of paranormal.

Interesting feedback on the board. Before, some had said they were looking for that, though Natalie you made me feel all comforted (grin) when you were wanting to protect my time!
D

Monday, May 8, 2006 at 5:59:00 PM EDT  
Blogger lorraine said...

Do you see the YA market becoming more open to slightly older heroines, in the 18-19 year old range, as opposed to the more traditional 15-16 year olds? Or do books with that age heroine tend to get bumped up to the adult side of things? (Just in case it makes difference, the book is a dark, slightly edgy, urban fantasy.)

With regards to the forum, wow, it's very tempting, but I already have so many ways to procrastinate! In the interest of writerly efficiency, my (admittedly selfish) preference would be to stick with the blog and the occasional chats.

Monday, May 8, 2006 at 6:34:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Patrice Michelle said...

What do you predict the next trend in the market will be? What are editors looking for?

As for the message board question...I love TKA's blog!

Monday, May 8, 2006 at 6:59:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous jude said...

I love hearing the weird synchronicities that pop up in queries and partials like lots of heroines named Rowan, or titles that are a riff on Something Wicked This Way Comes, etc. What keeps showing up in your inbox?

As to the question posed, I think the blog is enough. It's hard to imagine what message boards would add.

Monday, May 8, 2006 at 7:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Patrick McNamara said...

There seems to be plenty of outlets for romances about 100,000 words, but is there much of a print market for romances under 90,000 words?

As for a forum, I probably would participate since I have a few forums I am involved in.

Monday, May 8, 2006 at 8:21:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Hello,

I'm good with the blog and probably wouldn't be able to participate much in the forums.

Deidre, have you heard that editors are looking for "chick lit suspense"? I've been trying to wrap my mind around that one and can see it has lots of possibilites.

Thanks for this question session.

Nancy

Monday, May 8, 2006 at 9:29:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Margaret said...

Hi Deidre,

Thanks for the opportunity.

I have a few questions revolving around a single element: contemporary romance; I hope you'll treat them as one. First of all, does contemporary romance (such as in your guidelines) encompass the category romances such as Harlequin Superromance, Blaze and the like? And with all the attention on paranormals and the like, what's the value in the contemporary market? I know that Dorchester Publishing is running a contest that includes contemporaries, but is that market still strong?

Answer as many or whichever you please.

On the forum, I'd have to pass. I'm very active on my writing forum and have no time for any other. The blog is a level of activity I can manage, along with the occasional chat.

Thanks again,
Margaret

Monday, May 8, 2006 at 9:30:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous cid said...

Yes, I have a question I'm hoping you can answer. Thanks for taking the time. When it comes to style, how is a memoir different from a novel? I've decided to take a book I am working on and change it from memoir to fiction and am wondering if there is anything I need to do besides the obvious changing of names and identifying characteristics. My plan is to leave the story as is, true, but give certain people reasonable deniability by going fiction. Are there other conventions to the memoir genre of which I need to be aware?

As for the message board, I'm a pretty dedicated lurker and probably wouldn't participate, but I would read it occasionally.

Thanks!

Monday, May 8, 2006 at 9:34:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous lauriejgs said...

What do you see as the future for Mom Lit? Is it the next big thing since Chick Lit, since many of us who've loved Chick Lit all these years are now moms?

I would definitely read the message boards but might not post often, since there are so many other writers' message boards I frequent.

Monday, May 8, 2006 at 10:03:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jenna said...

OK, I'll bite.
My question: do you think the present boom in YA will follow the same "boom/bust/what next?" sales pattern as chick lit?
And as for the forum...I would enjoy it, but I'm afraid I might find it one more temptation to procrastinate actually writing! ;)

Monday, May 8, 2006 at 11:07:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kristen Painter said...

Question: Do contest wins and finals help get a writer noticed and following on to that, when you do request something that's finaled or won, how often does that manuscript fall apart after the first three chapters?

Forum: Between reading blogs and spending time at the Romance Divas forum board, I don't have a lot of extra time but if you had one, I'd probably lurk. Okay, I'd probably post but not too often.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 12:03:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Julie Rowe said...

My answer: I love the blog, but I doubt I'd have time to participate in a forum. If only there were more hours in the day (and night!).

My question: Do you, or any of your agents, ever consider representing category length romance?

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 12:13:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous shoshana brown said...

Hi Deidre

I’m a long time lurker, but a first time poster.

I saw on the RWA website that you’ll be taking appointments with authors for pitches at the conference in Atlanta. I’ve heard that many agents and editors request more material from everyone who pitches to them at a conference. Is this true for you, and if so, does a conference-requested partial or full have to do more to get your attention than material you’ve requested via the traditional query letter route?

As for a message board, I don’t think it’s necessary. This blog, with the periodic Q & A threads, is enough for me.

Thanks for the Q & A session!

Shoshana

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 1:28:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Angelle Trieste said...

My question:

Do you ask for exclusives? If so, how much time do you want to review the said manuscript exclusively?

If your answer is "NO", what do you advise a writer do when she has multiple req for more materials, but one or two of those ask for exclusives?

As for your questions:

Do you think a TKA message board, creating more of an online community, would be something you'd participate in? Enjoy? Or find unncessary in addition to the blog?

I lurk mostly, and I wouldn't visit another forum. I already have so many blogs and forums to read. Sorry! >.<

P.S. This doesn't mean I don't enjoy your blog. It just means I don't think I'll have time to add another forum to the TBV list

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 8:00:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Vernieda said...

A couple of my questions were already covered in earlier comments, but I do have another regarding YA -- what sorts of YA novels do you see as "hot" right now? I've been hearing conflicting things.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 8:05:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jennette said...

I'm concentrating on reworking my query right now. Assuming a query is professional, free of amateur mistakes, and the book is something your agency represents, what are the main reasons you reject a query, and what suggestions do you have on making it the best it can be?

I'm with the majority here on the message board - between this blog and your Yahoo group you're already cultivating a great 'net presence. I also like the RSS feed.

Thanks for answering our questions!

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 8:30:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Madison Reece said...

Question: If someone sends in sample pages with the equery, do you read them? (Sorry, I know your request says query only.)

Answer to your question: I think that whatever you decide to do I'll add it to my daily haunts. Advice from agents and writers is golden and I'll take any information I can get with a smile.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 9:11:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Library Lady said...

Can I win a critique from Deidre if I have a partial with Nephele? Does that count as a question?

The purpose of a forum is slightly different than a blog. A blog is a led discussion -- you only post in response to what the individuals in charge of the blog are wanting to talk about. In a forum, all members of the community can initiate discussion and talk amongst themselves. I think it makes for a freer, more inviting community. If you decided to have a forum, it would be a lot of fun, and you would get more tangents and discussions.

However, if you're only going to have one or the other, I think the blog is more important, because honestly, we writers care more about what actual agents/editors have to say than what our fellow hopefuls can add.

dandylyon85
A.K.A. The Library Lady

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 12:00:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Eleora said...

My question: I am thinking about signing up for a pitch session (with an agent on my A-list) at an upcoming local writer's conference.

My first draft will be done and at least the first five chapters will be smooth and polished by then.

What might this pitch gain me vs. a mail query? If so, what is the best way to pitch without trying to tell the whole plot and sound like an idiot? Just strike up a conversation about the genre or market?

I really enjoy the blog, but echo the sentiment that if its blog OR forum, I prefer the blog. Still, the forum would be an interesting place to get to know other writers who are struggling to break in.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 1:54:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My question is about POD publishing. If an aspiring author has published via POD, will that credit diminish their standing if you see that on their query letter?

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 2:38:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

My question is in regards to contemporary romantic suspense. Crime dramas seem to be all the rage on TV these days - CSI, Law & Order, etc. Several of my author friends who have recently sold in RS are selling "cop" books - either crime scene investigations or books that center around cops, serial killers, etc. My question then is whether or not there's a market for non-cop RS...books about everyday people who find themselves in suspenseful situations. Authors like Roxanne St. Claire and Nora Roberts can get away with these type of stories, but they're well-established authors. What about newbies trying to break into RS?

As for the forum, I too would spend way too much time on the forum instead of writing. I like the blog the way it is.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 4:42:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Holy cow!! You guys really aren't messing around with the questions! Love it!

HEre's the deal, after posting this yesterday it became apparent that my poor laptop is dead, dead, dead. So I'm using hubby's, and it just doesn't work as well. So it will probably be tomorrow before I start working on these questions, but keep 'em coming!! I'm not daunted! :)

But remember, you have to follow all the rules to qualify for the contest.

More to come! Deidre (who is guessing the consensus seems to indicate NO board.)

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 5:25:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

Hi, Deidre,

I don't usually visit online message boards, although I would probably visit TKA's message board. Personally, I think the blog works fine/better than a message board, esp. combined with the great chats.

My question? Can you please come finish my kitchen renovations for me? I'm going nuts trying to balance too many tasks at once. Did wallpapering today.

Oh, not the right sort of question you say? Okay, then my question is, where do you see The Knight Agency in five years? Bigger (as in more agents), the same, still based in Atlanta, more "branch offices", etc.? How fast is it possible to grow an agency without sacrificing the personal touches that keep authors knocking at your door? (not saying TKA has lost the personal touches--not at ALL!--however, I would imagine this is a topic you might think about from time to time and which I find very interesting).

Thanks,
Cindy

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 5:38:00 PM EDT  
Blogger LaShaunda said...

Is there a market for AA historicals?

I'd stop by the forum if it has interesting topics.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 6:18:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Vernieda said...

Ah, I forgot to answer the question! Message board or blog, I like and visit them all, but I have a hunch the forum would consist of a slightly different "make up" than the blog. There'd be overlap, but it'd be different, I suspect.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 7:13:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous ipgirl said...

I’m trying to interest agents in a genre that doesn’t really exist: what I call “chicklit memoir”. Should I just “fictionalize” it and call it just plain old chicklit?

My early twenties were a hard, confusing time, and I found myself reading more and more memoirs, trying to figure out what kind of life to lead by learning how other before me did it. My favorite memoirs weren’t ones about celebrities, instead I gravitated towards the musings of “normal people”, especially if they were funny and wise like Ann Lamott’s Operating Instructions. She wrote so evocatively and yet was so straightforward that I truly understood what it was like to be her in the midst of her son’s first year.
So it wasn’t surprising after a time that I would try my hand at memoir. I quickly grew to enjoy the process of writing down my life in a funny, intriguing way. So now I have a 300 page manuscript that I would love to get published but every time I query an agent I get no response or one saying that they couldn’t sell a memoir that didn’t have a “theme” like overcoming abuse or addiction etc. In a way I think I do have a theme since my book is about the year I lived in Ireland, so it’s kind of a travelogue memoir but not really since it’s mostly about me dealing with lots of twenty-something problems like a crisis pregnancy and scary dating escapades. In a way, the closest the manuscript comes to a genre is chicklit. So why does no one interested in the idea of a chicklit memoir? Should I just pretend it’s all just fiction?


As for the forum question....I think I'd like an opportunity to talk more with other writers...I find myself looking at Verla Kay's forum a lot but that's only for children's books. It'd be great to have a forum for chicklit/adult writing.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 8:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Natalie Damschroder said...

Deidre, you say such nice things. :)

dandylyon85 had a really good point about the difference between a blog and a forum, so I guess it depends on your goal. I get so much value from the people that frequent this blog, as well as the TKA staff, that I'd probably get addicted pretty quickly.

I thought of a question! But I still don't consider myself qualified for the critique, so don't enter me (assuming I've followed all the rules).

I had been targeting Bombshell for a while, and love reading them. I am now writing mainly adventure romance, along the lines of the recent Crusie/Mayer release by St. Martin's, and similar to many of the Downtown Press books (though not in first person).

I have been hearing that Bombshell is not doing well at all. The Crusie/Mayer book, mainly due, of course, to the caliber of authors and size of the marketing push, has been a decent success. What, if anything, do you hear about the romantic adventure market?

Thank you!

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 8:29:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Milady Insanity said...

I'd sign up for the board, but I don't know that I'll be hanging around that much. I like the blog though--it'd be great to get the comments emailed back to us after we comment. Blogging software like Wordpress have plug ins for this.

My question is about writing in multiple genres. Do you think it's necessary to use different pseudonyms to write in different genres? Say, contemporary suspense versus SFF with romance.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 9:31:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Gina Black said...

Hey Deidre,

So sorry to hear about your laptop! :'(

As for blog or boards--I could go either way. The boards would have the advantage of being able to have your different authors have their own forums if they wanted (I can guess one who would). But I have always loved the blog and I think blogs work better than boards for getting the word out because you don't have to register and they are easier to navigate (like you don't have to...).

As to my question...do you think there would be interest in the marketplace for ubersexy women's fiction that isn't really chick-lit?

Gina

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 10:33:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 10:37:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Patrice Michelle said...
What do you predict the next trend in the market will be? What are editors looking for?

I always dodge this question. It's pretty much impossible to say what that next great thing will be since it's almost always unexpected. :) But generally, sexy is in, paranormal is in, YA is in, and that's what hits my world. Inspirational fiction and nonfiction seems to be continuing a very wonderful climb. As many know, our 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN is pushing a million copies sold in a year and a half. Brand new author Tamera Alexander at Bethany House is setting first book records for them.

As for what I want to find? Historicals that are *different*. I'm talking something very sexy, very unique, with a strong hook I haven't seen before. Great YA with high concepts, more sexy books, period. And I'm still open to a few new inspirational authors. Multicultural. More street/urban lit! Just made a fabulous deal on a street lit novel last week in a preempt. The writing blew me away, and it's all about great writing. :)
Deidre

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 10:41:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Lorraine said...
Do you see the YA market becoming more open to slightly older heroines, in the 18-19 year old range, as opposed to the more traditional 15-16 year olds? Or do books with that age heroine tend to get bumped up to the adult side of things? (Just in case it makes difference, the book is a dark, slightly edgy, urban fantasy.)

Okay, had an answer already posted and realized I needed to add more to it, so am going again. :)

Diana Peterfreund would be an excellent example of what you're talking about, which I'd term "cusp." Of the six houses who bid on her, three were adult and three were YA. I think her book is right where it belongs, as an adult book on Bantam Dell's list. HOWEVER, I think that's a lot to do with tone, themes and the story.

On the other hand, Marley Gibson's new four book series at Puffin about four sorority girls will be YA. AGain, I think this is the right spot for that because of tone and feel...I can see high school girls ANTICIPATING college loving this series. It's all about how a book should be positioned in the market, how it's geared, who the readership will be.

So I would say, it might well be that your urban fantasy series could be good on say MTV Books list, on the other hand, it might play more adult. Without reading it, it's a hard call to make.

That said, my gut tends to tell me that 19 and above belongs on an adult list, but that depends on how it reads, who it's really aimed at, the tone and themes and plot and so forth.

Okay, this is a more complete answer than the first one I typed up.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 10:54:00 AM EDT  
Blogger lorraine said...

Thank you so much, Deidre! (Especially for answering it twice!)

That was the perfect answer and tells me exactly what I needed to know.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 11:23:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Marley Gibson said...

I would LOVE a TKA message board, Deidre. I think it would be a great idea and people would not only appreciate it and have fun with it, but your prospective clients could learn a lot from it. You're very accessible to people, answering questions and giving advice, and I believe it will only grow the traffic to your site.

Marley = )
...hard at work actually WRITING that YA series! :::tee hee:::

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 11:35:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgot #5)! I asked the POD question. As to the Message board, I'm a lurker, too. The blog works just as well (or better)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 11:41:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

r u looking 4 another sorority series for u 2 sell? i started writing 1.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 12:52:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lis said...

My question is what do you think is making paranormal so hot right now?

Regarding the forum, I think it would be a nice compliment to the blog. :o)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 2:35:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Karla Brandenburg said...

Hi Deidre - and thanks for making yourself available for questions. If I've had a request for the full manuscript but it comes back as a rejection, would it be worth my while to follow up with a thank you note. Do you folks remember things like that?

As to the blog vs. forum, this is a "no commitment" way to check in. I tend to be a lurker in forums because I don't have time to keep up.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 4:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jordan Summers said...

Will TKA be hiring more employees, since business seems to be booming? Also, do you see the agency growing to represent more genres? Thanks! I prefer a blog over a message board. It seems more immediate. :D

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 5:42:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

With paranormal romance and fantasy/romance crossovers selling so well, do you think we'll see a rise in fantasy romance? (Romances set in a fantasy setting, not crossovers, which are usually 50/50 plot/romance.) While the fantasy and fantasy/romance crossover market seems to be open to them (Tor Paranormals and LUNA), I'm not aware of any traditional romance publishers that will take them.

See, and I'm seeing a ton of these kind of books. The whole "urban fantasy" thing is huge now and there are a lot of fantasy markets that are publishing stories with strong romances in them. I think what might be going on here is that the publishers listed have dedicated lines for these fantasy-cum-romance stories (like LUNA) but many other publishers just roll thos stories into their established fantasy or just plain old commercial fiction lines. Bantam Spectra, for example, who does Kelley Armstrong. And there are definitely romantic fantasies that are published by traditional romance lines. I would say that PC Cast's books for Berkley, and Robin D. Owen's books are like that as well. And what about the series like Liz Maverick and Co.'s Crimson City for Dorchester? I think people are willing to open their boundaries a lot these days, in terms of fantasy and otherworldly stuff, even if it means bending the rules about what "romance" really is. Even if you look at Deidre Knight's books, which have their romance stories but also this huge alien war going on and a plotline hat spans several books, but is coming out of NAL's romance line. I know a lot of people who are selling things these days that are not by any means what you would call traditional.

So I think if you have an agent, and she sees that your book could go in a romance direction or in a fantasy direction (and now I'm going to cite the approach used by someone like Miriam Kriss in selling Rachel Vincent) then they'll send it out both ways and see who it is that makes the best offer.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 5:46:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

There seems to be plenty of outlets for romances about 100,000 words, but is there much of a print market for romances under 90,000 words?

90k is about right. I heard a publisher (I think it was Pocket) say at a conference that they didn't want anything OVER 90k, so you sound like you're in good shape. I think if you're in teh ballpark of 80-115k or so, you're in good shape in most single title markets. If it's much lower, like below 75k, the you're looking at category length for romance, and below 50k, novellas.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 5:47:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Heather Dawn Harper said...

I have heard conflicting advice on how to write a query.

One view says you should compare yourself to a like author...My writing resembles the wit of N.Y Times best selling author Miss Snarky Pants. (This advice was in a book written by an agent, btw.)

The other view says this is presumptuous.

What's your take?

Thanks. :)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 5:49:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

Deidre, have you heard that editors are looking for "chick lit suspense"? I've been trying to wrap my mind around that one and can see it has lots of possibilites.

The great thing about chick lit suspense, especially in this dwindling chick lit market, is that you can cross market it to mystery readers, and your AGENT can cross market it to mystery publishers. Check out the releases from Berkley's Prime Crime line, many releases from NAL (The Bubbles books, for example) and St. Martins and Tor (check out tori Carrington's new series Sophie Metropolis), a bunch of mysteries from RDI, and Gemma Halliday's Golden Heart winning debut from Dorchester, Spying in High Heels. There's a lot of chick litty stuff going on in mysteries and suspense. I think there's still potential in that market.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 5:51:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

I have a few questions revolving around a single element: contemporary romance; I hope you'll treat them as one. First of all, does contemporary romance (such as in your guidelines) encompass the category romances such as Harlequin Superromance, Blaze and the like? And with all the attention on paranormals and the like, what's the value in the contemporary market? I know that Dorchester Publishing is running a contest that includes contemporaries, but is that market still strong?

There are TKA clients who write category romances. Just check the client list. I don't know, however, if they are looking to consider unpublished clients with only category romances. We'll have to wait for the verdict from DK on that one. I think the straight contemporary single title category is really tight right now. I have a few friends working in it and I think that if you don't have an established name from category, or are offering something with a really strong hook, and it's not super erotic (which is selling amazingly well right now, see TKA clients like Jaci Burton), then it's tight. And I think Dorchester picks a new topic for their contest every year, so I wouldn't use that as a yardstick for trends.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 5:52:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

When it comes to style, how is a memoir different from a novel? I've decided to take a book I am working on and change it from memoir to fiction and am wondering if there is anything I need to do besides the obvious changing of names and identifying characteristics. My plan is to leave the story as is, true, but give certain people reasonable deniability by going fiction. Are there other conventions to the memoir genre of which I need to be aware?

I'm just going to paraphrase Mark Twain here: the difference between fiction and non-fiction is that fiction has got to be believable. The things that you oculd get away with in your memoir -- characters not having arcs, plot threads being dropped, etc. -- are not things that are acceptable in fiction. Yes, things in real life don't have neat endings. Stories do, though. Remember James Frey? He tried to make his book a novel. No one wanted anything to do with it. People judge fiction much more harshly because they know the writer can change it, make it better, if he or she wants. Memoirs you're supposedly stuck with what actually happened. I don't think it's a one-to-one ratio, but it depends on the story. So there's no specific advice that can be given without reading hte work in question, but yes, I think there are definite diffferences in the form.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 5:54:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

What do you see as the future for Mom Lit? Is it the next big thing since Chick Lit, since many of us who've loved Chick Lit all these years are now moms?

the mom lit I see doing best right now tends to be high concept, cross genre stuff, like Confessions of a Supermom and Carpe Demon. I'm interested to see what others have to say about this trend (?) though. I think that you are seeing the same sort of problem as in standard chick lit -- it isn't enough on it's own -- it needs to be cross genre with paranormal or suspense or be somethign really high concept and platformed... celebrity moms.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 5:55:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

My question: do you think the present boom in YA will follow the same "boom/bust/what next?" sales pattern as chick lit?

Man, I hope not! I think that the important thing to remember here is that though the romance/chick lit community may have just jumped on the YA bandwagon, there's a lot outside that market that has existed and will exist long after people have hopped on the next trend. YA is hugely strong right now. A lot of people think it's because the popularity of Harry Potter has gotten kids reading. Woo hoo, I say! Like the boom of chick lit, there are right now a lot of lines being opened specifically targetting the young adult female reader, to capitalize on the success of Meg Cabot and certain recent Alloy properties. But there are also a TON of publishers that have been devoted to YA for ages, and I think they aren't going anywhere, trend or not. I think that the best of those books and writers and lines will survive. I think that some of them will not. I think some of the writers who are writing YA right now aren't really interested in YA, they are interested in shortcuts. I think they'll be gone. But I think that YA is not some new genre that's just been discovered. It's a booming market right now, but it's been a steady market for years, and it's a good market OUTSIDE of the "teen chick lit" kind of books like Meg Cabot's.

It's important to keep in mind that "YA" isn't a genre, like historical romance or mystery or space opera. YA is just about the readership. It's like saying "women's fiction."

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 5:57:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

What sorts of YA novels do you see as "hot" right now? I've been hearing conflicting things.

I was at a conference in February, and all the industry folks there said that paranormal was hot, and edgy was hot. They weren't looking for sweet stories in YA (try the tween market).

If you go to Kelly Parra's blog, you will see that she's getting the same report from her recent conference.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 5:58:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

What might this pitch gain me vs. a mail query? If so, what is the best way to pitch without trying to tell the whole plot and sound like an idiot? Just strike up a conversation about the genre or market?

Personally? I don't know if I put much value in a face-to-face pitch over a finely-crafted query letter. Either one is just a means to an end -- get your book in front of them. It's the book that makes the difference. If you're meeting for a pitch, that's great, though! As for what to say in the pitch, just start from the premise. Premise and character. Look at book flap copy and back cover copy. Try to make it a dialogue if at all possible, rather than just lecturing them.

I queried Deidre first over email, and it wasn't until later, after she rejected my first book, that she found out in person how Made-For-Each-Other we were. Still I had to find the right project to tempt her. Otherwise, we just would have been drinking buddies, not agent and client.

So pitch or query letter, the important part is the book.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 6:01:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

My question is in regards to contemporary romantic suspense. Crime dramas seem to be all the rage on TV these days - CSI, Law & Order, etc. Several of my author friends who have recently sold in RS are selling "cop" books - either crime scene investigations or books that center around cops, serial killers, etc. My question then is whether or not there's a market for non-cop RS...books about everyday people who find themselves in suspenseful situations. Authors like Roxanne St. Claire and Nora Roberts can get away with these type of stories, but they're well-established authors. What about newbies trying to break into RS?


this answer comes courtesy of Roxanne St. Claire herself:

I have been contemplating the "regular guy/girl in trouble" story vs. "cop/FBI agent/superhero" crime solver in developing my next romantic suspense. I'm anxious to see how TKA and the other writers Diana mentioned will answer.

I sure hope there is a market for regular hero(ines)on a quest for something that puts them in danger and in love. Those are the books I love to read, and those are the stories I love to tell. I think they are a little harder to market, however. And believable motivation is critical to make sure our heroine-on-a-quest doesn't suddenly morph into TSTL. Again, I am looking forward to Deidre's wise response.


Sounds like it's once again all in the execution...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 6:03:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

I’m trying to interest agents in a genre that doesn’t really exist: what I call “chicklit memoir”. Should I just “fictionalize” it and call it just plain old chicklit?

Well, memoir, like most non-fiction, needs an intense platform, so I understand why you are getting these kind of responses. I also hear that, post-Freygate, people are being very sticky about memoirs. In addition, chick lit is not doing well right now, so I think my instinctive answer, without knowing anything about the project, and with no desire to offend anyone involved, would probably be c) None of the Above. I know that sounds harsh, and I sympathize, because I myself have some truly rocking travel tales as well. But I know it's not a book. I suppose you could try caling it a novel (keeping in mind the advice for memoir-to-novel, above) and give that a whirl, but if nothing happens, put it under the bed and write something totally new. the other thing to keep in mind is that most agents want to launch career writers in fiction, not people with one book. People who write memoirs don't usually write many books (most not more than one). So before you fictionalize your memoir, make sure you want to be a novelist and write other stuff after you're done with that. good luck!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 6:05:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

Okay, deidre has deputized me to come in and answer some questions. let's hope she catches me if I truly screw up!

Meanwhile, I will list the questions I don't feel qualified to answer:

1) Kristen Painter's questions about contests, how much they mean to agents, and how often requested manuscripts fall apart after three chapters (my guess is that it varies according to agent, and a lot of manuscripts fall apart after three chapters, which is the main reason most houses won't buy on proposal from unpublished writers).

2) Julie rowe asked about cateogry manuscripts. TKA represtens many of those. Just check out Publisher's Marketplace. I think Pamela Harty is the one who most often reps them. HOWEVER, I'm under the impression that, like many agents, they aren't interested in "category only" writers. many of their writers write category, and also single title. I could be totally wrong, in which case, Deidre can slap me. I know she advocates getting an agent for all circumstances...

3) natalie's question about romantic adventure is one I'm interested in hearing the example to as well. I know deidre just signed a Bombshell-hopeful, but she's also sold a lot of romantic adventures to single title lines (like gena Showalter's Alien huntress series)

4) lashaunda's question about AA hisotricals. I know very little about historicals or the AA market, but that's a cool question!

5) Milady Insanity's questions about pseudonyms... it's an age-old question, whether or not to take them... I'm askign it of myself.

6) I know nothing about POD. Sorry.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 6:16:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

karla, I think tank you notes are always in good taste. You don't do it "so they'll remember you" though, you do it just because it's nice. I don't think people are going to hold a thank you note AGAINST you. So, short answerL: it couldn't hurt. (Remember, these gals are Southern!)

Lis, I think that's an excellent question. I've heard a theory that it has something to do with the wartime atmosphere -- that people are dealing with all kinds of personal tragedy,a nd want the escapism of imaginary stuff rather than real dangers for a while -- sort of like MGM musicals. I've also heard it's all to do with Harry Potter, and the generation who first read them being adults now and reading adult magic stuff. And I've heard it has to do with that whole "Age of Aquarius" thing where all of a sudden people are more open to the mystical in their everyday lives. Who knows?

Gina, I think that there are a lot of uber sexy women's fictions out there right now. What would you call all these ertoica lines? Kayla Perrin's books for Spice, etc. Or do you mean not quite that sexy...?

Heather, you shouldn't say "I write like so-and-so." You should say "fans of so and so would enjoy my book." That way, they can't say, "Oh, we have a Christine Feehan. We don't need a Mary Janice Davidson" but instead they'll say, "Great, because Chris isn't coming out with a book for another eight months!" See?

And Jordan, I can probably think of soemone who should be on the payroll right about now. ::cough, cough:: :-)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 6:23:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. You're smoking Diana! Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. Love how the cross-over opens the markets.

Nancy

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 6:29:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Patrice Michelle said...

Deidre,

Thanks so much for answering my question. I know it was a broad one. :o) Looking forward to meeting you at RT!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 7:42:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no 1 answered my ? about another sorority series. r u interested?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 9:27:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Other anonymous, I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that 1) anonymously 2) querying an agent on a blog 3) using "txt msg" speak about a story that you have 4) "just started writing" is never going to get you a positive response, regardless of 5) how many books just like it the agent has sold.

#5 isn't the problem here. It's the other 4.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 11:28:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Cherry Tea said...

Question - I have noticed that many agents/editors say you should mention previous publication, awards, and other such credentials, in your query. What if a writer has no wins, no publications, and no college degree? What should they put then?

As for the forum vs the blog, I vote blog. I know I don't have much time to spend on other forums, so it is easier to get information from a blog.

Thanks

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 8:16:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Gina Black said...

>>Gina, I think that there are a lot of uber sexy women's fictions out there right now. What would you call all these ertoica lines? Kayla Perrin's books for Spice, etc. Or do you mean not quite that sexy...?<<

Thank you, Diana! I guess I'm going to have to read Kayla Perrin's books, huh. :) But from the excerpts on her website I'd have to say that it might fit into that same market. I'm fairly certain that my story wouldn't classify as erotica, but would be erotic women's fiction.

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 11:59:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Moira said...

Long time lurker emerges like tentative butterful:

Hi Deidre! Thanks for this great opportunity.

What do you think of the combination of historic comic thats V. hot? I'm working on a non-Regency Historical thats very sexy and I wondered if you thought the combination with sexy is a good thing.

I thin a message board could be a very good thing, though I love reading the blog because I can just read through it.

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 12:43:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jordan Summers said...

LOL Diana! I was thinking the same thing. (wg)

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 12:43:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Deidre,

First, I'd like to put in my two cents regarding Roxanne's comments about RS with ordinary hero/heroines: I have my first ST RS coming out in December with one of the major publishers. It is a story of an ordinary heroine, though the hero is a fire chief. The setting is a small town, the story premise/scope is very local and has nothing to do with terrorism, FBI, etc. So if my experience is any indicator, these kinds of stories *can* be sold. BUT, it was a hard sell--most editors liked the story but hesitated over the narrow scope. Like Roxanne, I would love to see this trend grow--I love reading stories about ordinary people who deal with extreme circumstances, which is why I wrote one! Deidre, I'd love to hear your input on this subject--just how hard do you think these stories will be to sell in the future?

My second question is about cozy mysteries: I am being encouraged to write a cozy series. However, I'm concerned that a) there are so many series already on the market that are only a few years old (which makes me wonder if there will be a major "belt-tightening" soon), and b)I'm hearing that everyone is trying to write these, because they are selling. Deidre, I don't know if your agency handles these--forgive my ignorance--but I would love to hear whether you think cozies will continue to sell at the rapid clip they have in recent years.

Thanks so much for your time--this blog is wonderful. (I vote for blog versus message board, by the way... :))

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 1:17:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jana J. Hanson said...

To Anon. "R U Interested..."

I would suggest writing your sorority book, then query TKA through the proper channels.

Deidre and company don't know if they're interested unless they read it!!

Great job, Diana!!

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 1:18:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Melinda L said...

Here's my question (and thank you very much for this opportunity):) Should a mention be made on a query letter adding the RWA &/or Chapter affiliation? Does this help in anyway?

I'd say on the message board, I'd be very likely to participate and enjoy. I have my favorite sites and groups marked and visit them daily. You never know where the next big idea or influence will come from.

Thanks! Melinda

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 1:25:00 PM EDT  
Blogger April Erwin said...

I mostly lurk, but I'm going to jump in this time around. Elisabeth Naughton asked about the RS category, and my question falls along those lines too.

I'm working on a Christian Romantic Suspense. The events revolve around an Arson Investigator and his love interest is a Graphologist. Events force them to solve the crime together. My question is, Is the fireman thing been overdone since 9/11? I feel like this story has a unique twist on it due to the Graphology angle, but does the Arson Investigator/Fireman seem to overdone or cliche?

As to a Msg board/Forum. I much prefer the blog. Thanks!

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 1:42:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Demented M said...

In a way, I do kind of prefer a message board because it's a littler easier to navigate topics visually. But I think it's just whatever works best for you.

I would like some insight on what editors aren't looking for in the fantasy/urban fantasy genre. I have heard some rumors that vampires aren't quite as hot, and, while the genre is definitely booming, they want to see plots that go beyond the vamps, ghosts, psychics, and werewolves to broach new territory. Is this an accurate assessment, or is the market still wide open for these kinds of stories?

Thanks
M

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 3:34:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Cynthia said...

I've tried to read through all the comments to find out if this has been asked already, but if I missed it, I'm sorry!

My question: If an author sells in one genre, are they then 'stuck' in that genre, so to speak? For instance, I'm currently working on a romantic suspense but I also enjoy writing contemporary romances (w/o the suspense element). Do I need to 'pigeonhole' myself? Or is it okay to write in multiple genres?

As to the forum...I enjoy coming to your blog and reading (though I usually lurk). I don't think I'd visit a forum in addition to a blog.

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 3:42:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Kasey Mackenzie said...

Wow, lots of comments...I don't have time to read them all right this minute but want to get my question in so hopefully it hasn't been asked yet...As you cultivate your own presence on the 'net--both via your agency and as a relatively new (published, that is) author--what pros and cons have you discovered? Is there any particular advice you would give to other newly published authors? I.E. anything that seems to work especially well versus things that aren't all that useful?

As far as the webboard goes, I don't think it's necessary what with the blog and the chats. I also visit a lot of blogs/forums and do not think I'd have a lot of time to add another when the blog and chats seem to work so well.

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 5:21:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

Question - I have noticed that many agents/editors say you should mention previous publication, awards, and other such credentials, in your query. What if a writer has no wins, no publications, and no college degree? What should they put then?

They should put the meticulously crafted, kick ass blurb of a beautifully written, marektable book. Really, that's all that matters. If you have a great story, they don't care if you just fell off the turnip truck or landed on this planet from Venus.

Just say, "I'm seeking representation for my book..." then describe the book (genre, length, blurb), then tell them it's complete and ready for them to see. Sign your name and put your ocntact info at the bottom.

Good luck!

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 9:03:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

Moira, I think "very sexy" probably makes just about anything more marketable these days. I've been hearing that historicals are making a slow comeback. There are some new medieval series out and I've even heard of a few Western sales. And there's also a Gilded Age here and there (which is my absolute FAVORITE). Of course, this is a far far cry from the glory days in the 80s, when you could write just about any place, any time period, and people would eat it up with a spoon. I don't think Colonial America is doing well -- something to do with slavery, no doubt. I have a friend with an incredibly lauded colonial and she just can't seem to convince anyone to take a chance on it.

So I think, like everything else, it really depends on the details in YOUR story, and of course, the quality. But I think making it very very sexy is probably a step in the right direction. Good luck!

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 9:12:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

Here's my question (and thank you very much for this opportunity):) Should a mention be made on a query letter adding the RWA &/or Chapter affiliation? Does this help in anyway?

It doesn't hurt.

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 9:50:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

April, I think firemen are an ever-popular trope. Like cowboys and cops. Who doesn't love someone who is so obviously and selflessly heroic as a fireman? I mean, didn't we all think that Steve Buscemi was sexier just by dint of the fact that he was NYFD? I'm not alone on this one, am I?

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 10:02:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

I would like some insight on what editors aren't looking for in the fantasy/urban fantasy genre. I have heard some rumors that vampires aren't quite as hot, and, while the genre is definitely booming, they want to see plots that go beyond the vamps, ghosts, psychics, and werewolves to broach new territory. Is this an accurate assessment, or is the market still wide open for these kinds of stories?

I think editors are looking for good stories. For every "rumor" that someone hears about no more werewolves, there's a big, six-figure auction for a debut werewolf (or werecat) author like Rachel Vincent. I've also heard folks say, "we think we have enough vamps, but we can always fit more in." I think you're seeing people do a lot of really bizarre things with those tropes these days. You've got the disco-ball vamps of Twilight, and then the valkyrie/vampire/werewolf thingies of Kresley Cole's newest series -- there are a lot of twists and turns to explore. I've been getting into these "vampirism-as-disease" books, like the Darkyn series or Scott Westerfeld's Peeps.

Which isn't to say that there isn't room for paranormals that don't deal with creatures who are altogether different. Write teh book, whether it's a new twist on the common myths or somethign altogether different, I think both kinds are selling right now.

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 10:07:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Kristin said...

What matters more when an agent decides to take on a brand-new writer: the voice and story or how polished the ms happens to be? Are most agents looking for new writers willing to take on a book that might need some minor tweaking?

Ok, that might be considered 2 questions, but I feel they go together. :-)

As for your question, I don't particularly like message board formats. The blog with comments is just fine for me. Sometimes message board threads get to be super-long and go off on tangents that are completely off-topic. A blog has more current info, keeps the discussion short (most of the time), and you can easily search old posts that interest you.

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 10:14:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

My question: If an author sells in one genre, are they then 'stuck' in that genre, so to speak? For instance, I'm currently working on a romantic suspense but I also enjoy writing contemporary romances (w/o the suspense element). Do I need to 'pigeonhole' myself? Or is it okay to write in multiple genres?

Many people write in multiple genres, but it probably isn't a good idea to get yourself into a genre that you aren't interested in writing at least several books in. Your editor and publisher are making an investment in you when they publish your book. If you intend for it to be a one-off, you aren't doing anyone any favors. If you look at most writers, they write several books in a particular genre to sort of "cement" themselves there before flitting off to something else entirely.

Stephanie Bond says you probably shouldn't publish anything in a genre you aren't willing to write a bunch of books in. Not only because of the reasons listed above, but also, how valuable is your backlist going to be if it has nothing to do with what you go on to write?

I think that if you sell in a particular genre, you should be prepared to write at least a few more books in that genre before worrying about soemthign else. So, maybe not "stuck" but definitely "rooted." I think this probably goes double if you're writing in one of the heavily branded and difficult genres, such as romantic suspense. It's not easy to break in in RS (as the above posters have mentioned) and if you expect a publisher to put the dough behind you so you can play on the massive and competitive playing field that is RS, you'd better be willing to stick around for a while.

On the flip side, there are other writers whose first book has been in a genre that may be dead or dying, so they need to go into another genre to make a nother book sale. this is borne of necessity, not of desire to flit around.

Or there are authors so prolific that they can write in several genres at once. Look at Sylvia Day, who writes both contemporaries and hisotricals. However, they are both romance, and both sexy, so you've got a good link going on between them.

While we're on the topic, one of the things that annoys me most whenever there is a trend is that sometimes writers will just leap into it without any thought or respect for the given trend. they'll sell a book to that market and then loudly and publicly declare their contempt for that market, for it's readers, its other writers, and how they "can't wait to get out." Um yeah, I'm just itching to buy that book. I'm seeing this a lot in the current YA trend. People go on and on in their blogs about how stupid YA is, and then sell it, and CONTINUE to say how stupid it is and how they can't wait to get out and write a "real" book. makes me see red...

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 10:21:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

What matters more when an agent decides to take on a brand-new writer: the voice and story or how polished the ms happens to be? Are most agents looking for new writers willing to take on a book that might need some minor tweaking?

I think this really depends on the writer, the story, the agent, and the timing. This reads to me like a "chances" question. You want to know the statistical chances of getting an agent with a less than perfect story. the only reasonable answer to that is: smaller than if you have a perfect story.

Most agents are looking for writers who have books they can sell. Period. Everything else is on a complicated axis of how many tweaks are involved, how much the agent thinks he or she can sell the story, what the agent's MO is regarding editing, working with new writers, etc...

I have heard of a few instances in which an agent has signed a person on the basis of a manuscript that they don't think they can sell, because they know the person is about to come out with something more marketable... but these instances are very few and far between.

Don't spend your time betting on chances or worrying about the balance of the various axes. Spend your time making sure the axis marked "how good is this manuscript?" is at 100%.

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 10:53:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Melinda L said...

Thanks Diana! I've been lurking on your blog for a while now and appreciate you answering the questions here for TKA! Can't wait to read your book, SSG. Best of luck with finishing up SSG2 as well.

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 10:57:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

I'm back! FINALLY! So here's what happened to me in the past week...

Dropped my laptop and destroyed it. Had to buy a new one! So did that, and had it all set up, and then--we are told--someone simultaneously started trying to hijack our domain so all our emails were bouncing, not arriving, not showing up on blackberry. Basically? TKA chaos.

Because of that the glorious Diana Peterfreund, who always helps during question sessions, was kind enough to answer on a lot of these. We've divided questions up into sort of market vs. agency topics, so I'll be handling the ones she hasn't answered and maybe dipping in with additional insights on ones that she did--though she's so thorough and smart, that's hardly necessary. :)

SO, dear friends, we are CLOSING THE QUESTIONS. I need time to catch up, sort everything out, etc. No worries, we'll be doing this again in the near future.
Also, I'm happy to announce that Romance Junkies is going to host a monthly chat with me starting in June, the second Thursday of every month. So you'll want to put that on your calendars!

I will be around this weekend working my way through the questions, so don't worry! I'm not ignoring you! Deidre

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 11:07:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jillian said...

Thanks for this opportunity to ask a question -- sorry if it's a repeat (I don't have time to read through 81 comments....ack!):

Where exactly is the "line," if it does indeed exist, between "Middle Grade" and "Young Adult?"

I've seen racy, downright smutty YA books out there, and I've seen MG that center around a hero that might be 10 or 11. Where does the 13-year-old heroine of a non-smutty novel that is on a higher reader level than Grade Five belong?

Thank you!

As for message boards, I find that they definitely enhance the sense of community in any forum. Downside: They are time consuming for whomever is moderating (been there, done that, quit).

Friday, May 12, 2006 at 1:28:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Brenda Bradshaw said...

Well crap - I was going to ask a question after reading all these comments to find the question session is close. And here I was wondering why you're not listed as seeking romantic comedy at Nationals. And hi, btw - been a long time - hope all is well!

Saturday, May 13, 2006 at 1:17:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Greta said...

Who would you choose to have breakfast with if you were a first time writer, hungry, and had a magic genie who could bring anyone to the table?

Saturday, May 13, 2006 at 3:18:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Margaret said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sunday, May 14, 2006 at 8:41:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Margaret said...

Thanks for answering my question, Diana. I'm looking forward to Deidre's comments as well because these threads always come up with questions I haven't even thought to ask yet.

Cheers,
Margaret

Sunday, May 14, 2006 at 8:43:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forums shouldn't necessarily take the place of a blog. Each is different. Forums can inspire threads of conversation by other people, whereas the blog sets the agenda, leaving a thread on that subject.

My question is:

I have an m/s that is set in 1951. It's romantic. It's erotic. It's adventure. The adventure takes place in a fictional country and it's a comedy.
What is it????

Sunday, May 14, 2006 at 9:55:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous pennyoz said...

Sorry the above anonymous is me. Pennyoz. I have forgotten my password - stupid me!

Sunday, May 14, 2006 at 9:57:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Nicole Reising said...

Hi Deidre!

I love this opportunity! Thanks!

First - No to the extra place to visit. I love this blog!

Second - I realize you take all kinds of romance(without listing them all) but I also realize erotic and paranormals are hot. With that in mind, have you narrowed your interests to really only taking on new clients in these categories? Or would say a contemporary romance still interests you to the same degree?

Thanks again for your time!
Cole

Monday, May 15, 2006 at 11:38:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Julie said...

Drat! I'm too late! And I had the same question as Brenda, who was also too late. Gosh, we comedy writers must be the worst sort of slackers!

Anyway, are you interested in romantic comedy? Is there a market for it? Or does it just tend to get sold as mainstream contemporary romance?

Monday, May 15, 2006 at 10:42:00 PM EDT  
Blogger PJ said...

1. My question: Everyone seems to have advice regarding final word counts for novel length works. What are you seeing out there?

2. My answer: I'm conflicted. I like forums, as a general rule, but sometimes when someone attaches one to their blog, it takes over. Maybe if the forum was to be a mostly separate thing, with a link to it from the blog. And I agree with Karen - an RSS feed is a must have.

Thanks,

~PJ~

Monday, May 15, 2006 at 10:59:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Heather Dawn Harper said...

I forgot to pipe up with my opinion when I asked my question earlier.

I don't care for forums, because it's another format I have to get used too, along with new account registration, etc.

I prefer the blog.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 at 6:22:00 PM EDT  

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