I write mysteries. You write or read the (fill in the blank) genre. What makes us so different?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this since my latest book SHATTERED released last week. If you ask me about my stories, I will tell you every time that SHATTERED is my favorite, the book of my heart. This was the first book I ever wrote, and I don’t even want to tell you how long it took!
It was also the book that got some of the best rejections I’ve ever had. The consensus was that although there was much to be loved about it, you can’t have a romance set in a Third World country nor can you have two heroes in one book. And God forbid if the hero doesn’t show up until the middle of the book. I’m pretty sure the guns and explosions didn’t win anyone over, either.
You see, I was trying to sell SHATTERED (originally titled SHATTERED DREAMS) as a romance. I even had an excerpt from a poem in the front of the book from the great Kahil Gibran’s The Prophet about how love can make you feel like you’re on top of a mountain one minute and then shatter your dreams the next. That makes it a romance, right? Wrong.
Imagine my surprise when my agent told me I was more of a mystery/suspense writer than a romance one. In retrospect I probably already knew that. For one, my reading tastes always leaned more toward romantic suspense. (Think Sandra Brown.) More importantly, I skim all the introspection that is so important to a romance since it’s all about getting into the H/H’s heads. Sometimes when I’m reading a straight romance, I want to throw the book across the room and scream, “Kill somebody, dammit! (For those of you who love romance, I’ll bet you feel the same way about mysteries –I can hear you saying, “Have sex, you idiots!!”)
Anyway, I put SHATTERED on the back burner when I started my publishing career with the Clueless Cook mysteries from Berkley. In May my debut of A Dead Sister Talking mystery releases from Midnight Ink. SHATTERED was not the only story I had that didn’t seem to fit any genre exclusively, either. There was also MORTAL DECEPTION (available on all the buy sites.) Shameless plug—sorry!
I know now that what I write would probably best be described as romantic mystery. There’s always a hot guy and usually a steamy sex scene or two. MORTAL DECEPTION is definitely a whodunnit with romance. SHATTERED is more of a woman in jeopardy but with a beautiful love story that if I did it right, will make you tear up a little.
So to answer my initial question, what makes my writing different than yours,--absolutely nothing. Where I see guns and killers, you see heartbreak, secret babies, fairies, or werewolves (waving at a couple of my fellow Princesses.)
You may know about wolf packs and immortals, but trust me when I say, I know murder!
So I decided to call today--celebrate your genre day. I’d like to hear what genre you write or read and a small blurb about your favorite story (or readers--why you loved that book.) Some lucky commenter will win a free download of SHATTERED. Come back at the end of the day (9 PM Central) to find out who that will be.
And just to tease you a little, here’s the blurb for SHATTERED.
Jennifer Lozano was on her way to a friend’s bachelorette party in Costa Rica. But things don’t always work out as planned, and she ends up in a remote jungle in Colombia where she has to rely on her nursing skills to stay alive.
Jenny was hoping a few days on the sandy beaches would help ease the pain of a broken heart. Little did she know that when she walked into the airport terminal with the Dallas businessman, she’d end up a hostage for a group of Colombian rebels after a botched kidnapping attempt. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that one of her captors has plans to dump her body on the side of the road after they use her to escape. But the rebel leader has been wounded, and as long as Jenny can keep him alive, she lives another day.