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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Last week I shared one of two interesting reader emails. Here, in summary, is the other: when is your next book coming out and isn't it a long time between books for a romance writer?

First off--yes, October 2010 IS a loooong time from May 2009, when my current book, One Deadly Sin, came out.

Second--it ain't my fault!!!

Okay, we'll that's not exactly true. I don't set the pub schedule, that's true. The publisher, in this case, Grand Central Publishing, sets the release date. The schedule is based on who they have lined up, how they're going to juggle the available slots (they only release a set amount of books/month), and how fast I can get the manuscript to them.

So some of that I can't control. But the latter--yeah, entirely in my hands.

And I'm afraid my hands just don't type very fast. When it comes to writing, I am not a quick study. I like to tell myself it's because my books are more carefully crafted than some, but you and I both know Nora's books are terrific and she's no slowpoke.

This "crank 'em out" issue is a dilemma. To have a real career in romance, it's an unwritten law. According to the research, romance readers go through piles of books a week, and they're always hungry for more. They want to be able to go back to the bookstore and read another one by a favorite author. What's this stuff about waiting a year for another book? The faster you can write the books, the faster your career moves.

I don't think it's the same with other genres. Michael Connelly doesn't put out more than one book a year, does he? Then again, neither does Susan Elizabeth Phillips. In fact, I once heard her speak at a conference and she said she writes one page a day.

One page!

Of course, it's a damn good page. But still...
I'm struggling with this need for speed. I've got a few ideas for series, but my agent is doubtful I could produce that fast.

Maybe she's right.

Maybe she doesn't know what the hell she's talking about.

In any case, isn't it the turtle who wins the race?

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Blogger Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

At least you have fans who are anxious for the next book.

At a conference I heard Linda Howard say she only writes one book a year because she has a life. Fancy that. If you've never heard her tale about the cow who got stuck in the mudbank, you should.

I wish my excuse for not writing fast was that my hands couldn't type fast. I'm a fast typist. But sometimes I get hung at a point in a story and don't know how I want to get from point B to point C. Sometimes I'm just lazy. Nora never has to worry about me releasing 10-12 books a year. Two is doable if I could find a publisher who wanted two books a year. Ah, there's the rub.

January 25, 2010 at 2:51 PM  
Blogger Annie Solomon said...

Well, the fast typing was kind of a metaphor. I type fast enough. I have the same issues you do about getting stuck and being lazy. Well, maybe not lazy. Some other character flaw, I think.

I met Sue Grafton at a party and she said the same thing about a book a year that LH did. But both those women have well established careers and can afford to do that. Those of us trying to get started don't have that luxury. Life or no life.

And no, I've never heard the tale about the mud-stuck cow. Sounds interesting...

January 25, 2010 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

I think you're right that they both have well-established careers and can afford to write one book a year.

The cow in the mud story just explains why an author who lives on a working farm might have something else to do besides write.

January 26, 2010 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Annie Solomon said...

Ahh...so, what's my excuse?

January 26, 2010 at 10:21 AM  

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