Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Yes, I Write YA Contemporary Romance

A little while back, I posted about branding. I mentioned I wrote a YA contemporary romance but that I worried it wouldn't get picked up because I've been branded as a paranormal writer. I was a little crushed because the romance held a special place in my heart. I relived emotions I haven't felt in a long time, and the story I created (while fictional) spoke to the sixteen-year-old inside me.

Well, my agent and I decided to put the project on the back burner and focus on my paranormal and fantasy novels. I said I was okay with it. I wasn't. I was crushed. But... my agent, being the awesome woman she is, discovered a new imprint called Swoon Romance. Right now, Swoon is only publishing novellas, so my agent called me and said, "What if you turn your romance into two novellas?" I may have jumped for joy. ;)

She sold my novellas to Swoon Romance, and I started transforming one novel into two separate novellas. Only, I couldn't do it without losing the story. So... my two novellas became three, which worked so well. I jumped for joy again. And now Love All, the first book in the Game. Set. Match. Heartbreak series is releasing January 15, 2013. Serving Up Heartbreak (book 2) releases March 12, 2013, and Perfect Match (book 3) releases May 14, 2013. I'm officially a paranormal and contemporary romance author.

What's the moral of the story? My agent is awesome. Oh, and you never know what will happen. So write the stories you have to tell.

Have you ever strayed from writing the genre you've come to be known for?

53 comments:

  1. I've written contemporary romance and my upcoming YA is UF. My current project is contemporary romance. I really enjoy writing different genres, each has something to offer.

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    1. I agree, Cecilia. It's fun to branch out. Plus, all my novels have romance. I just love having that in there. :)

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  2. That is a fabulous idea! Lauren rocks! I've had this idea for a YA contemporary as well as an MG one, but have held off developing them because of the branding theory. Hmmm... you're definitely making me reconsider.

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    1. I don't like to play by the rules, Sheri. LOL I'm glad Lauren finds loopholes for me. ;)

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  3. First of all, congratulations! :D

    As for me, I haven't picked a genre to write, maybe that's my problem. I'm in the middle of a police procedural novel, only because I have a reference for research (my husband).

    I used to enjoy romance back in the day, so I have a really hard time keeping that out of my writing. I have to stop and remind myself that I'm not trying to write a romance.

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    1. I think you can definitely have romance in any story though. It doesn't have to be the focus. If that's what naturally comes to you, then go with it.

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    2. I did leave in some conflict with my protagonist and her new boss in the beginning. :D That's probably why it keeps wanting to go there. That's what happens when we love reading one genre and want to write another!

      You're right though, I think hybrids are interesting.

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  4. I'm so glad you gotto write and publish what you want. Beginner that I am, I still hope that it will be possible to follow my dreams. Your post says 'yes, it is'! xxx

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  5. I absolutely love the titles of the novellas and the series title. So clever!

    I was a fantasy writer until one day I looked down at the WIP I was about 1/2 way through a first draft on and realized it was contemporary. I was shocked, but Save the Lemmings was born. I'm working on a contemp ya romance now. I mean, heck, why not? But fantasy is the bulk of my work; gnomes or super villains or the underworld. I write it all.

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  6. That's awesome! Congratulations :)

    I've never really switched genres before-- I'm a pretty big paranormal romance/urban fantasy kind of writer. But, I suppose last year's Nano novel kind of counts as genre jumping. It was a ridiculously weird adventure story filled with unicorns, pirates and mermaids. It was absolutely crazy and unreadable, but a lot of fun to write!

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    1. It's fun to branch out a little, isn't it?

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  7. Ooh, there's cool. It's nice to know you don't HAVE to be a one-genre writer. And yes, you have an AWESOME agent!!

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    1. I love her. I really can't say enough good things about her. :)

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  8. I know you've written adorable picture Books also. Kelly, you can write anything!

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    1. Aw, thank you. I really appreciate that, Mirka. :)

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  9. Great advice about writing the stories you need to tell. Congrats on your new contemporary romance release!

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  10. Congrats, Kelly. Three books out of one, love it. Your agent is a genius. I don't know how you do it. I love fantasy YA, so I don't know if I'd ever write contemporary. Happy you can mix and match, Kelly.

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    1. Thanks, Ednah. Paranormal is still my favorite. Well, paranormal with some romance thrown in. The straight up romance is a little tough for me because I have to tap into emotions I had as a teenager. Reliving bad breakups is a little heart-wrenching.

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  11. I started out writing paranormal and my last few have been contemp. I think I will probably jump back and forth.

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    1. I think it keeps your writing fresh when you can do more than one genre.

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  12. Contemporary romance is actually the direction I'm going in too :) Btw thanks for your advice on my post earlier!

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    1. You're welcome, Elizabeth. I hope it helps.

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  13. Congratulations, Kelly! I love YA contemporary romances! :)

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  16. Typos, argh!

    Good for you, Kelly. I know branding can be a double-edged sword, it's good for publishers and end-readers, but sometimes creatively stifling to writers, but I applaud your agent for being able to respect your diverse interests creatively, while still doing her part in moving your overall career forward.

    It's hard to find people who get the business of writing involved, without being numb to the frankly esoteric passion writers (especially in fiction and NON-Memoir narrative nonfiction) can't help but bring to their work.

    I think part of the reason my blog writing has stalled (Besides a trying summer and slowed writing output of non-blog material) is because I too have realized the need to broaden my storytelling horizons. Both for creative and career-oriented reasons.

    I'm always going to write animal fantasy (My first love), but I also need to expand my genres, and part of my blogging hiatus is to discover those new directions, and re-imagining my platform.

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    1. Good for you, Taurean. I hope you find something you really enjoy. :)

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  17. I write in the murder mystery genre for a living (plays) but my heart has always been in the fantasy genre - that's what I'm working on now.

    Great post and great news about your romances.

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    1. That's great that you get to work in both genres. I bet mystery is a lot of fun. I've never attempted it, though I love some mystery woven through any story.

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  18. I write in the murder mystery genre for a living (plays) but my heart has always been in the fantasy genre - that's what I'm working on now.

    Great post and great news about your romances.

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  19. The unexpected always happends when you lest expect it!! hahaha. Very pleased for you. It's horrid to have to file away a book you've loved writing (I have 6 of those!!) x

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    1. I have some books filed away, but I'm happy to keep them that way. Awful! I consider them learning experiences. ;)

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  20. I think a writer has go where the story takes him or her. I don't pay much attention to genres. If a story comes it comes. As you know I recently dabbled with fantasy aimed an the middle grade market. I didn't start out writing it, but that's what it ended up to be. An industry, music or publishing, likes to label something for marketing purposes or the demographic they market it to. It's easier from them if said writer (artist) fits into one of their buckets. Write what comes to you and see where it goes are my thoughts,

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    1. I agree, Brenda. I can't stifle the stories that want to be told. So, I have to find ways to make them work for me.

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  21. Inspiring. Thank you, Kelly. I know a lot of us YA authors are genre-benders, and it's so good (and comforting!) to know we don't have to be bound to the first genre we write. I hate the idea of publishing under a pen name just because I wanted to write a particular story that spoke to me! Congrats again.

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    1. Thanks, Kiersi. I would've used a pen name if I had to, but I'm glad I don't. When I saw my cover with my name, I was so happy because I still wasn't sure at that point if they were going to ask me to use a different name. It was a huge relief.

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  22. That is so awesome. Congratulations! I love it when writers branch off into different genres. Not only do they stretch their talents and abilities, but they come up with great stories.

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    1. Thanks, Medeia. I think it keeps up fresh to branch out, too. I'm having a blast writing in two different genres. :)

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  23. I really think we do need to branch out intelligently and strategically. If we're known for only one type of novel, what do we do when the market downswings in that genre? We also need to grow and stretch. Hurray for agents who can help us grow as artists, and satisfy the market, in the long run.

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    1. Yes, hurray for agents. :) I'm so lucky mine knows what she is doing. And I agree that it's good to be able to write more than one genre. Trends do change and it makes you more marketable.

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  24. Awesome! That's what I love about my agent, too. She's always open to trying out new types of projects. Branding is great, but that doesn't mean we can't branch out sometimes.

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    1. I completely agree, Anna. Oh, and I just liked Epic Fair on Amazon. :)

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  25. My solo work is in the spy thriller genre, but my work with my writing partner is in erotica.

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    1. Completely different genres! We go by Scarlett and James for that genre....

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    2. That's great that you can write both. Congrats!

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  26. So glad it's worked out for you, Kelly. Paranormal or contemporary, a good story is a good story. (And yeah, your agent is awesome!)

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    1. :) She really is. I'm so lucky to have her. And I agree that a good story is a good story regardless of genre.

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