Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Good, old-fashioned adventure?

Before you think this is a rant about the current state of books, let me assure you it is not. There are thousands of great books out there drawing all kinds of readers and pleasing them. They are doing exactly what they should be doing. I have nothing against sex in books, either, so don't think that's the problem. And, as someone pointed out not long ago, romance is not just about sex, though even I had started to think of it in those terms, based on a lot of books. That was blind on my part.
This is about is writing for other readers
Kat Among the Pigeons is a good, old-fashioned adventure. It's an Urban Fantasy. It does have a romance but there is no sex. It has talking cats and talking birds and a female lead who doesn't think she can handle trouble until she has to stand up on her own and do it.
Kat Among the Pigeons is not the best book ever written. It is, however, a nice adventure filled with amusing encounters and lots of excitement.
I've been telling people to write for themselves first for years. If you cannot please yourself with the book you're writing, you can't ever hope to please others. I have always written the types of stories that I want to read, and yes -- that did take me outside the mainstream of book publishing long before Indie Publication started to take their own paths.
The problem, I think, is trying to define the market I'm aiming at. I don't want to say things like, 'if you are looking for a sexy, edgy novel, this is not it' of course. Old-fashioned is right out. Yeah, my original source of inspiration for writing anything at all was Andre Norton, but that doesn't mean this is what I'm writing now.
The Silky books fit well into the young adult fantasy realm. Kat fits it in 'feel' but not in age, though I don't think it's so far off to miss the YA crowd entirely.
The next book I have coming out is a science fiction adventure, and the story is closer to C.J. Cherryh's type of tale than I ever thought I would be able to write. That does not mean it equals her fantastic ability to create such stories, but only that I can firmly see the lines of inspiration, though I didn't realize it until I had finished the first draft.
So I can clearly see where my writing comes from -- Norton, Cherryh and even writers like Rex Stout. You'll note the lack of Anis Nin and Laurell K. Hamilton, though I have read both. I was not inspired to write the sort of tales they did. The same with many other writers whom I read.
This really comes down to learning more about how to market what I write. I know this and I'm willing to learn. I know this is a slow, difficult process, and I'm willing to take the time to figure things out.
In the meantime, I have six out of seven excellent reviews of Kat Among the Pigeons, which brings us back to the 'you cannot please everyone' problem. Some people are not your market, even when you think they might be.
So reaching those people who are looking for the same sort of books you want to read -- and are therefore writing -- is the hardest part of this whole business. I'll be at it for a long time.

And before I forget again -- here is a link to a previous post.  In it you will find codes for all my novels at Smashwords to buy them at $0.99 until June 5th!
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