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March 21, 2013

National Celebrate Your Genre Day

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.


Sylvia said...

Good Morning Liz! I can't wait to read Shattered. It looks very interesting and you're always a good read. The genre I write in is Contemporaries or Historical. I like them both. But I enjoy a book that makes me laugh and cry. Occasionally a good suspense story, keeps me interested, but most of all I'm a contemporary reader. Hope you sell many books.

Unknown said...

Oh, Huzzah! I made it through!!!!!!!!! Meaning I clicked and clicked until it finally let me in to comment.

Liz, I LOVE the excerpt from Shattered! I can hear your voice, wry and smiling, coming through the words so clearly!

I write lush, lyrical steamy historical romance, but I like to think that ROMANCE is a big enough umbrella to have romantic suspense, romantic mysteries, sexy werewolves, flirty fairies, snappy contemporary love stories and and heartbroken gods all standing comfortably underneath. I happen to think your books ARE romances, but they are definitely KICK ASS kinds of romances at that. :)

Happy Celebrate your Genre Day to you, too.

Liese said...

What a great premise. I just finished MORAL DECEPTION and LOVED that premise too!

You can expect some real heart-pounding action and romance in Liz's books. I can attest.

Looking forward to Shattered!


Liz Lipperman said...

Morning, Sylvia. The very first book I ever read that made me want to be a writer was Shanna bu the great Kathleen Woodiwiss. I don't know when I turned to suspense. I love your books, though.

Liz Lipperman said...

Hey, Elizabeth, if anyone knows how to write sexy romance, it;s you.
And you;re write, I still sneak a lot fo romance ito my stories. Good luck with the contest. I voted.

Go here to vote for ALMOST A SCANDAL here:

Liz Lipperman said...

Morning, Liese. You say the nicest things. You aren't a slacker in the heart-stopping suspense department yourself.

Kathy Ivan said...

Good morning, Liz

I've loved everything you've written, regardless of what name you're publishing under. I love having some story along with my romance!

I write taut romantic suspense with paranormal elements that tends to be more dark in tone rather than light and humorous and paranormal romance. As a reader I will read across the board. If there are letters strung together on a piece of paper, chances are good I'll read 'em.

Great post!

Pamela Stone said...

Hi Liz, great blog. Love the excerpt. Elizabeth is right, I can hear your voice. And for anyone who doesn't know Liz and her work, that is a wonderful thing.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hello, Ms. Lipperman and congratulations on Shattered. My first three books (unpublished and seeking) are romantic mysteries. I read tons of mysteries. I read romance too.

I love your voice and your books and you!

Sylvia Rochester said...

Just downloaded it to my Nook. Ipad out of commission for a while. Can't wait to read it. Love everything you write.

cchant said...

Great post, Liz! SHATTERED sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing the excerpt.

I write suspense and romance for teens and adults, and love to read both those genres, but I also love reading historical novels, too.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Liz, this book sounds right up my alley, and I'm trying my best to carve out some time to read it soon.

I write romantic thrillers. There is murder and mayhem afoot, usually in an extreme setting, like Alaska (my current ms is in Finland). I also tend to throw in some surprising humor (at least it always surprising me that it gets in there). Adding a romance just makes the story edgier, as love is the biggest adventure of all.

Good luck, Liz, cutting your own path and getting this book out there when it didn't fit NY's cubby-hole genres.

Liz Lipperman said...

Kathy, I wonder if you are the norm about your eclectic reading tastes or not. I choose mainly mystery/suspense and only read something else when a friend has written it. Love your books, too.

Liz Lipperman said...

Ah, Pam, that was such a sweet thing to say. You forgot to say that you write wonderful contemporaries.

Liz Lipperman said...

Afternoon, Vicki. I didn't realize you had three suspense novels waiting for a home. Love your humorous stories, too. This is turning into a lovefest, but who better to love than my fellow Princesses.

Liz Lipperman said...

Sylvia, R., thanks. I am anxious to hear what you think. I got the first review today and the reviewer thought it was my best work to date. So did my sister. Let me know when you finish.

Liz Lipperman said...

Hey, cchant, thanks for commenting. I love YA suspense, too.

Liz Lipperman said...

Tiff, I love your Alaskan alpha hero books. And what a great way to summerize self publishing--putting it out there when it didn't fit the cubby-hole NY genres.

Hey, interested in guest blogging here?

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Yes, I would love to guest blog! Just tell me when. Thank you.

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Liz! I'm a bit late to the party, but better late than never. :) I love your books and this one sounds great too! Looking forward to reading it!!!!

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Laura Morrigan said...

Late posting!
I'll just say ditto- you know my story is so much like yours!
(kill somebody, damnit!)
I just wanted to say I'm looking forward to Shattered!

Liz Lipperman said...

Hey, Laura, we need to stick together with our mysteries!! Congrats on the release date for your debut in July.

Liz Lipperman said...

Better late than never. With choosing, the winner of the free copy if SHATTERED is cchant. Congrats.

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