Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Is Western Historical Romance Dead?

I love Historical Westerns Romances. I love to read them, and I love to write them. However, ever since I got back to writing after a three year hiatus a year ago this past April, I've wondered if the Historical Western Romance was dead. The reason I've asked myself this question is because throughout the years, to my great disappointment, I've been told over and over that they were dead. Long gone. Zip. Zilch. Pouf. But I wrote one anyway. Did I waste my time? I don't think so. And I'll tell you why. First off, what woman doesn't love a strong, sexy Cowboy in tight jeans and leather chaps? Who doesn't love the romanticism of the American Cowboy and the Wild West? You just can't resist it. According to traffic and activity on the western romance sites I frequent, Love Western Romance, and Petticoats & Pistols, the western isn't dead. Oh, no. Just the opposite. It's alive and well. Just take a look at either of these two sites and you'll see. They're chock full of Western Romance info and trivia. New releases, author spotlights, you name it. And check out this Jessica Faust Q&A session I snipped a month or so back from the Bookends blog:

Q. Are there any publishers out there besides Harlequin, Dorchester, and Kensington looking for historical western romance books? Why do those houses seem to have a corner on these types of books?

A. Interesting question because in fact I just had lunch last week with an editor at a house that was not Harlequin, Dorchester, or Kensington who would love to see more historical western romances. The trick is rising above what has traditionally been called historical western. To do this I think you have to make your book stronger and different and bigger. There are a lot of editors out there who love this genre and would love to buy in it, but to break in you really need to write something that transcends everything else. Because that’s an easy task [she says sarcastically].

Good news, right? It is for us Western Romance lovers. :) When I first put pen to paper eight years ago, I knew exactly what I wanted to write. I knew what I loved and I knew what I wanted to read and before long, I began plotting my very first Historical Western Romance, Dangerous Desires, which takes place in 1866 Texas and Mexico. But how and why did I decide to set it during that time? What did I know about this time period? I'll admit, at first, not much. Of course I knew this was just after the Civil War, but what else was happening? I didn't have a clue. I wanted something different for my story. I knew I had a LOT of research to do. I found there are quite a few things happening around this time. In fact, I couldn't make up my mind what I wanted my characters, Mairan O'Donnell and Travis Morrison aka Santa, to be involved in! So I read...and read...and read until finally, I found just the little piece of history I was looking for. There wasn't a lot of American History involved, but there was a lot of Mexican history. Did you know that in 1861, during the Civil War, Mexico was was involved in their own Civil War? France had invaded Mexico and, to the horror of the Mexican people, installed the Austrian Prince Ferdinand Maximilian and his beautiful wife Carlotta, on the Mexican throne. Maximilian had good intentions, but the Mexican people wanted to elect their own leader. They didn't want a foreigner as Emperor. Then a little Indian man named Benito Juarez and his band of rebels, the Juaristas, fought to overthrow the intruders, and with a little help from President Abraham Lincoln, , they won. The French realized the American Civil War was coming to an end, and since the American President, Abraham Lincoln sympathized with the Juaristas and helped them with money and arms, the French figured they'd better split. They moved their troops out of Mexico pronto. Exciting, isn't it? I think so. So when I decided on this part of history to use for my novel, I made sure there was lot's of action and plenty of romance. I bet you could think of a few different plots from this little piece of history, couldn't you? :) Westerns are what I love. To read. To watch. To write. Over and over through the years I've heard the advice, write what you know; write what you love. And that's what I did. That's what I'll always do. I may throw in a contemporary Western here and there, because hey, a cowboy in a pair of tight jeans is a cowboy in a pair of tight jeans, :) but historicals are my first love. And Dangerous Desires is what came out of that love. Whether or not it's something other's love, well, time will only tell. So, do you like Historical Western Romance? If so, what do you like about them? Do you think they're dead and buried or do you think they're making a come back? Come on folks, what do you think? Inquiring minds want to know. :)

*Dangerous Desires has been rescheduled for publication. It will be available in digital format soon, and then in print sometime in the winter of 2009. Watch for it!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Author Banners

Last year I tried my hand at making some author banners. As you can see, my middle name is on a couple of them because at the time, I hadn't made up my mind if I wanted to use it on my books or not. I ended up deciding against it, but I have to admit I sort of like it better with my middle name. And if I really want to use it, it's still not too late. :) Oops. Now I'm getting off track. Anyway...
I messed around and sort of stretched these banners out so you could read what they say, but in doing so, it made the writing on some of them look sort of blurry. So, here's what they say: On banner #1 the bottom line says Hot & Wild Western Romance. Hmmm, I think I really like that one. :) On banner #2 the bottom line says Saddle Up And Take A Ride Down the Hot & Wild Western Romance Trail. Not too bad, but a bit long. I like the first one better. As far as the designs, personally, I like #'s 1, 2, and 5. What about you? What do you think? Which one(s) do you like best?

2. ) 3.) 4.) 5.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Win A Sony eReader Contest At Wild Rose Press

If you've never had the chance to use an eReader you are in for a treat! What a pleasure to have your reading material all in one compact "book" that you can take wherever you go. Slim enough to fit into your purse or briefcase or leave on your nightside table, its changed my life! The Wild Rose Press is dedicated to getting SONY eReaders into the hands of every day readers and writers. We are running a contest taht is very simple to enter. You simply purchase a short story or full length book from any of our sponsoring authors and then send your order # to sonyreader@thewildrosepress.com. You can enter as often as you wish. On Labor Day, I will draw a winner from the entrants and that winner will be announced on our usual Tuesday night chat on Tuesday, September 2 at 9:00 p.m. eastern. We will be running this contest again with new authors beginning end of September to give away an eReader just in time for Christmas. For all details, please visit our site and click on SONY contest. Rhonda Penders Editor-in-Chief Wild Rose Press

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Call For Submissions - Samhains Cowboy Roundup Anthology

Writing Western Romance? Look what I ran across! *permission to forward granted I'm thrilled to announce my call for submissions for the Samhain Cowboy Roundup! Put on Tim McGraw's "Real Good Man", close your eyes and picture a guy who wears jeans to work and who's real good with his hands, and let your muse have her way. I'm looking for 3 novellas to fit into Samhain's Cowboy Roundup Anthology. This anthology will consist of three novellas to be released individually as eBooks in June 2009 and combined into one print title in 2010. I'm open to any romance genre but the stories must end with a HEA. Submissions are open to all authors previously published with Samhainas well as authors aspiring to publish with Samhain. Submissions must be new material-previously published material will not be considered. Additionally, we will not consider manuscripts previously submitted whether individually or for past anthologies. Please be aware that manuscripts submitted to this anthology cannot be resubmitted at a later date unless by invitation from an editor. To submit, please include the full manuscript of 24,000-30,000 words with a 2-5 page synopsis. Also include a letter of introduction/query letter if you are an author not previously contracted with Samhain. Submissions are open until December 1, 2008, and the final decision will be made by December 24, 2008. Submissions should be sent to editor@samhainpublishing.com. Please put Cowboy Roundup Anthology Submission in the subject line. If you receive an auto response, your submission has been received. Anthologies are special projects exempt to the general closing of submissions. I'm happy to answer questions about this anthology either on the Samhain Author loop, Samhain Café, or by private email at heidi at samhainpublishing dot com Heidi Moore, Editor heidi@samhainpublishing.com For More Information, go to Samhain Submissions Page *permission to forward granted

Monday, August 4, 2008

Deep POV Workshop by Laurie Sanders At Coffee Time Romance Forum

Black Velvet Seductions founder, CEO, and Editor Lau-rie Sanders will present a workshop on deep point of view at the Coffee Time Romance Forum during the month of August 2008. Mark your calendars now for this event. Laurie will cover:
  • What fiction readers want
  • Connecting the dots – how does deep point of view give readers a satisfying experience? How is the reader‘s experience different with shallow point of view versus a deep point of view?
  • How to decide whose point of view to use for key scenes, and how to make the best use of that viewpoint.
  • Deciding when and where and how to change point of view. Is changing viewpoint in the middle of a scene always bad?
  • Author invisibility -- avoiding author point of view.
  • Choosing details that deepen point of view
  • Infusing dialogue with point of view.
  • Point of view and character motivation – your char-acter has done a bad, bad thing – how can you use point of view to make the reader still root for him or her?

See ? for information.