When I created the tag line for my website, I included “Romance Rebel” as a place holder until I could come up with something else. However, the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. It’s actually an extremely accurate description of me.
I’m a Southern girl, born and bred. This means that I was raised to be polite and never rock the boat. That’s fine. Polite I can do. Never rock the boat? Not so much. That edict is in direct conflict with the part of me that has a “don’t tell me what to do” attitude; an attitude that is so ingrained I’m pretty sure it’s part of my DNA. There are varying terms for this tendency; my husband would vote for “hard-headed” while I prefer the term “rebel.”
I am the sort of person that marketers hate. The more you try to convince me that your product is the greatest thing on the planet and I absolutely must have it, the greater the likelihood that I will never, under any circumstances, purchase it. (As you may have guessed, I don’t have an iPhone.) I don’t make a conscious decision to be obstinate, it’s just an automatic reaction. Or maybe it’s a gift.
The further I go in my journey toward publication the more I see that once again, I am going against the flow. How so? My first novel is an epic fantasy romance. In fantasy, series sell; my story is a stand-alone. I’ve already purchased the cover for my book and no, there will not be a faceless, shirtless dude on it; my cover features my heroine. I recently saw a rather informal survey in which readers said that a lone female on the book cover comes across as more “literary” than “romance.” Romance readers also prefer books written in third person past tense. My book? First person past tense. *sigh* I could go on, but you get the picture.
Will my unconventionality hurt my sales? Possibly, but I’m okay with that. I write because it’s my passion, because I love it, and because it’s fun. Changing my stories to make them more of what “they say” they should be would take all of the “me” out of them – and all of the joy. I’m not willing to do that. Hopefully, if I like what I write and my joy in the process shows through, I will find others that like it too.
What’s next for this rebel? Once Assassin’s Heart is complete, I will begin work on a paranormal romance series complete with vampires, werewolves and zombies. What’s so rebellious about that? The series will be “sweet” – meaning no sex. What can I say? I gotta be me!