Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Chemical Romance.

Susan Tranter on the British Council Blog was talking about Mills and Boon books today - apparently they produce one or two every day.

I once met a Mills and Boon author at a Society of Authors meeting. She was a sweet self-effacing woman who specialised in the medical stories. Apparently she had had romances 'catching light' in every emergency vehicle she could think of - ambulances, hospitals, fire engines, helicopters...

And while I am on the topic here is a Mills and Boon I found whilst having a bit of a purge last weekend. I have to tell you it is pretty steamy little number - especially if you do the reaction on page 211.


Once Mills and Boon signed you up they kept you at it, she said, they kept demanding another (of regulation length) straight away as soon as you'd finished one, there was no letting up at all.

Ah that is beginning to sound quite attractive in view of the dire warnings I have been reading around the blogosphere today. I am beginning to feel quite depressed. I've heard it before of course; how trying to sell a third novel after poor sales for your first two is nigh on impossible.

Still it is important to travel hopefully otherwise there is no point in travelling at all. And anyway, I don't write for money, I write because I love to write and I keep finding plenty of things I still want to say.

11 Comments:

Blogger Jonathan said...

It is apparent from reading your work that you write because you love to write. I, for one, am looking forward to book 3.

Tue Oct 10, 09:03:00 pm  
Blogger twitches said...

The naysaying is always out there, but there are always exceptions to the rule, also.

Tue Oct 10, 11:15:00 pm  
Anonymous crimeficreader said...

The first may not hit the well sought bean, Clare! Even John Grisham had "best rans" behind him before he made the big time. For him "The Firm" was his first major success and it made it into film, which helped.

But he'd written before, and this was eventually published by his main publisher I think, notably "A Time to Kill".

It's a fickle being, trying to find the words/plot/story/inspiration to appeal to the masses, in the context of market. And then there's the case of being published also. More difficult!

Keep writing Clare, many of us will help you over the boarder, I'm sure...

Tue Oct 10, 11:59:00 pm  
Blogger Galaxy said...

I think 98 Reasons would make a great movie. Maybe your agent should send a copy to Spielberg; it seems to be the kind of story he would make when he's being an auter filmmaker.

Wed Oct 11, 12:35:00 am  
Blogger Tammy said...

Hi Clare, thank you for being such an encouraging soul. I found out I must write fiction but I need to tell my story. I'll change the names and give it my dream ending :)

Wed Oct 11, 03:01:00 am  
Blogger Susan said...

I know nothing at all on the subject from a writer's perspective, so I wouldn't expect you to consider my suggestion, but my instinct tells me that perhaps you should consider trying to find an American publisher. You're a very competent and talented writer, Clare. That's obvious. I think you've suffered more from a lack of adequate commercial backing than anything else. I do believe that the American publishing scene would likely be more supportive. I also suspect that they would appreciate your superior product. From what I've read there is a dearth of competent writers in the North American marketplace. (That is borne out by the *incredibly bad* writing of some relatively well-known North American authors.)

Wed Oct 11, 05:27:00 am  
Blogger adrian the percussionist said...

Well I, for one, am not going to help you over the boarder. This sounds too salacious for words, beyond even Mills & Boon. And as for the true meaning of "liptrot", which clearly is not a real author's name, but rather a form of sensual interaction among the rural upper classes... Perhaps a 101 word story is looming involving lodgers, horse riders and steaminess in the stables.

Wed Oct 11, 12:23:00 pm  
Blogger Lee said...

I wish I could think of something encouraging to say, but all I know is that I love to read your work. But as you're aware, I'm foregoing all the traditional channels with malice aforethought - a different sort of hard road.

Wed Oct 11, 09:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Firmly and without a doubt Anonymous said...

"I think you've suffered more from a lack of adequate commercial backing than anything else. I do believe that the American publishing scene would likely be more supportive."

Susan, I believe that many, many American writers would say that they've never, ever gotten any sort of "push."

"I also suspect that they would appreciate your superior product. From what I've read there is a dearth of competent writers in the North American marketplace. (That is borne out by the *incredibly bad* writing of some relatively well-known North American authors.)"

Susan, I find this funny, alas for me, and in several different ways. I am afraid that there are just as many very good writers in North America as anywhere else; the continent is an awfully big place, so there are bound to be a good crop of both passables and much-better-than-passable writers.

It's just that many of these are the invisibles who have a small readership and have never received any sort of push whatsoever. I have a friend with considerably more than ten books who has decided to quit publishing, even though he can still publish. He is a "good" writer who is tired of going unseen and mostly unread.

I sympathize with the idea that there are bad writers in North America. But the reason that there are bad writers is not that we have no good and excellent writers. The reason is that publishing is a business, and a business that believes it can market and sell the books of "bad" or "trendy" writers in large quantities.

As writers go, I am more the "Clare" sort of writer than the "bad" sort of writer, despite being from North America.

And so I would tell Clare that somehow I have muddled on, well past my second book, despite my determination to write as I see fit. She will, too. She may have a smaller readership than she might like, unless a great piece of luck crowns her, but she will have what you could call a "good" readership.

And I, for one, will be aboard that "ship."

Wed Oct 11, 11:21:00 pm  
Anonymous clare said...

Thank you all of you - I much appreciate all that you say - and in fact you inspire me. I was thinking that the other night - how much, in some ways - this blog is all that I need. I write. You write back. I read what you write. You read what I write. It is pretty marvellous really when I think about it.

Thu Oct 12, 01:19:00 am  
Blogger Debi said...

Couldn't agree with that last comment more, Clare!

In the meantime, we keep on doing what we have no choice about anyway ... writing.

The 'rule' Twitches mentions is there all right but if we don't keep at it we'll never know if we're going to be the exceptions.

Meanwhile, here we all are ... writing and communicating. Lucky us!

Fri Oct 13, 11:49:00 am  

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