Love Irresistibly and Then Some

Love Irresistibly is a romance novel by Julie James. I grabbed it because it featured lawyers and I use lawyer protags (sometimes) because it’s easier to use a profession you kinda know a little about than go Googling for something new. Ms. James actually knows a ton about lawyers and the law though, since she is a lawyer, so her book is really interesting from a plot and career POV. This doesn’t happen all that much in a romance.

I totally loved this book. It was a romance, no question (witty banter, hot sex, funny friends, manufactured crisis, epiphany, happy ending), but it was a little different. Hard to nail down exactly how, but the main characters seemed more like real people than usual. OK, maybe they were too good-looking, but besides that. They had interesting backgrounds, ongoing issues, and weren’t going to die if they couldn’t have each other. I liked that the heroine didn’t need to be rescued from anything. She managed her own life just fine, but that didn’t preclude a relationship with Mr. Wonderful.

The only thing that disappointed me was the excerpt from another James book at the end with a secondary character from LI as the heroine. It didn’t seem up to the standards of this novel at all. Oh well.

I’ve kind of stalled out on editing my romance novel. I’m sort of bogged down in a spiral of waaah it’s not artistically satisfying, but yet it’s fun and I should write what I enjoy … but but but at this pace I’m never going to get back to my “real writing” and that’s sad … but the real writing will never get published … so, neither will the romances … not true! self publishing! … ugh, that sucks, look at this article on Salon.

That article is long, but worth reading imo. Honestly if writers who are already published and know about the biz can’t get anywhere self-pubbing, what are we supposed to do as first-timers? After our dozen or so super-loyal friends buy our book, what then? Think of all the zillions of books out there gathering pixeldust and yours comes up in a flash on a search (which is a miracle in itself). What are the odds a stranger will read the blurb and purchase it, even for some low price? Every day more people are writing things and shoveling them out there. It really makes a person think about giving up and watching TV.

I’m scheduled to go to a writers’ group Monday but am losing all motivation.

Finally, there’s an interesting article in HuffPo by Maya Rodale on why we write and/or read romance novels ~ even if I quit writing them (and everything else), I will never quit reading them. Ms. Rodale’s premise is that in this awful world we need something with a guaranteed happy ending, that no matter what obstacles occur, we know True Love is gonna prevail in these things. We feel safe in giving our emotions over to the writer because she’s not going to fuck with us, unlike real life and real people. And I think that’s true. We never throw down a RN in despair because we can’t bear the pain; we know everything will work out. When you start reading a romance novel, it’s like you have a signed contract with the writer and she is not going to break it.

You can take that to the bank.

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7 responses to “Love Irresistibly and Then Some

  1. Wanting happy endings is also why folks read murder mysteries: The murder is solved, the murderer brought to justice. Evil does not win in the world of fiction! Yes!

    I like the idea of a heroine who doesn’t need rescuing. Finally, a real woman!

    Go to your writers’ group. Cuz I said so. πŸ™‚ (And I’m envious that you have one.)

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  2. I hate how you never know anymore if a link will open a new tab / window so when you click on it all your witty but unfinished commentary evaporates.

    Anyway, I didn’t connect RN with “romance novel” and pictured someone masking his internal pain by throwing a registered nurse down the stairs.

    And then I read the article and saw the writer use who / whom correctly one second and refer to the Los Angles Times the next but that’s just my occasional OCD monster talking, strewth I enjoyed the article and am now considering a long impoverished retirement building custom bicycles.

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  3. Salon is always full of grumpy old downers, though. Yes, marketing is hard. It’s VERY hard. Every freelancer knows this already. If you choose to take on any small business, you need to be prepared for that. You will get a 1-2% response rate. It will be an endless slog. You’re very unlikely to get rich; you probably can’t even quit your other job. (Which, you’re not at all likely to get rich or be able to quit your day job via traditional publishing, either, so…)

    I think you need to go into it with a realistic definition of success. How many people have to buy your book for it to count? How many of those people have to love it? Very few people are going to become bestselling authors regardless of how they publish, but that doesn’t mean there’s not an audience out there for them.

    Agree with the issue of people shoveling their crap up there though. As a reader it’s very hard for me to find the good “indie authors” among all the jackasses who are all “i r a riter!” and publish just because it’s easy, with no business plan, no polished manuscript, and nothing worthwhile to offer. But that’s growing pains, I think, and a result of the inevitable gatekeepers not being fully incorporated into the system yet. Amazon does try to feature independently published books that are actually good, but I don’t think they’ve got the resources to find every needle in every haystack. I’m hoping eventually the idiots will get discouraged by the absolute silence they’re being met with, and go away.

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  4. Right with you on the link/new-tab comment, Don. It is the exception when I want to close the page I’m on and go to the one the link is going to send me to. But . . . this is Windows 7, and can I not make all clicks open a new tab or something?

    I find all of this maddening, as both a potential writer and a real reader. That is about as far as I have gotten it in my thinking. Teacake, I was wondering about where the new gatekeepers might come from, as a matter of fact, when you wrote what you did. Aren’t there reviews of ebooks? But no one is saying, I think I’ll go find out what the reviewers are saying is good this month. They are just clicking around, doing their own searching for authors they know, apparently.

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    • Yes, but Amazon (and B&N and other online sellers) are manipulating all that clicking around. If you go to the front page of the Kindle bookstore and you see a book featured there in a genre you read, you’re much more likely to check that out than dig seventeen levels deep into their categories to look at something random. It used to be you had to impress an editor at a publishing house. Now you have to impress one of the editors at Amazon. The sellers are the new gatekeepers.

      And of course, all of us. The internet has done wonders for word-of-mouth successes.

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      • Well, at least that gives the author a fighting chance, but, seems a bit one-dimensional. Like, the internet is not helping diversity, but sort of killing it, because, what sells to the largest demographic is not necessarily what is good, and it seems like most of the time, selling is all about specializing in the largest demographic.

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  5. Whenever I see a writer sitting at a table making her/himself available to sign that copy of their book you did not buy, I wince in horror. That alone is enough to keep me self-publishing although these days Amazon is looking a whole lot better than what I’ve done till now…labor countless hours getting the layout JUST RIGHT then publishing those few copies and then spending countless hours constructing the “store’ on my website in hopes of selling a few. This spring I finally let my url go (my website has been down for years) and with it my “store” and online ordering. These days, it’s blogs and Amazon for me.

    Paula, also thanks for adding me to your Google+ circles. Just so you know, I am avoiding G+ like another plague I don’t need or I’d add you back. πŸ™‚

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