Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Sadly, God did not issue us with a Do Over Button, but don’t you just wish He had? A nice big one like a giant red Smartie on your desk that you could slam, and it would whip you back several years when you were deciding what to write.
In all the writing related blogs and instructive courses, we are told to study the market, see what publishers are selling, what readers are buying, etc. Good advice—advice I heartily recommend.
However, I started writing the first book in my historical series before I ever heard that advice. I was born in Great Britain, so I grew up on novels written about the flamboyant exploits of British Colonialism. Think dashing British Cavalry officers on glorious steeds and rescuing the courageous woman who went out to far flung colonies to be with the brave men they loved. Or soldiers from WW1 and WW2 in tropical uniform. Ah adventure and romance...doesn’t it just make your toes curl?
I grew up reading the blockbuster novels, Far Pavilions and Shadow of the Moon, written by the famous MM Kaye that big New York agents like Donald Maass and writers like Stephen King still drool over today.
You can’t beat quality. I wanted to write novels like MM Kaye set in British Colonial India but from a Christian viewpoint. However, I didn’t know that the setting of India would turn some readers off even before they cracked the book open. This even surprised me after my first book Shadowed in Silk won the ACFW Genesis and continued to win awards. This lack of interest in my chosen setting continued to amaze me even after Book 2 Captured by Moonlight won a few awards.
Ah, the setting. It actually hampers sales. Did I choose the wrong setting? Do I wish I had a big red Do Over Button on my desk?
After my first book Shadowed in Silk won the Genesis, The Grace Award, and was a finalist for Readers’ Favorite, I considered writing for the market. At that point I could have set aside my ideas on the 3-book series and started something with a more lucrative setting. But the artistic passion to finish what I started would not let go. To satisfy myself as a Christian writer, I simply had to finish that series to the best quality that I could. I had to write the kind of book I love to read.
Besides, I felt the encouragement from God to finish what I started.
Book 3 Veiled at Midnight is releasing this Oct. 15. As this third baby from this series is about to be released I can say with all honesty I’m glad I Don’t have a Do Over Button on my desk. I’m so thrilled that I stuck to my artistic integrity in spite of what the marketing gurus say. I feel good about the quality of these three novels.
Yes, it’s true my name isn’t as big as some of my contemporaries. YET!!! My sales numbers aren’t as high. YET!!!
So does this mean I am unsuccessful?
I don’t feel unsuccessful. In fact, I feel a deep satisfaction in my soul. I also believe in the steady build, the slow burn. I believe in longevity. Maybe the slow burn will burn bright in the long run.
So, yes, study the market. If you are passionate about a story that is popular with the market right now—Go for it.
Write the passion on your heart. It will show on the page, and that is what will make the readers heart go pitter-patter too.
VEILED AT MIDNIGHT-- The British empire draws to an end...
but the turmoil has only just begun.
Christine Lindsay was born in Ireland, and is proud of the fact that she was once patted on the head by Prince Philip when she was a baby. Her great grandfather, and her grandfather—yes father and son—were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. Tongue in cheek, Christine states that as a family they accept no responsibility for the sinking of that infamous ship. Londonderry Dreaming is Christine’s first contemporary romance set in N. Ireland.
CONNECT WITH CHRISTINE:
Please drop by Christine’s website http://www.christinelindsay.com/ or follow her on Twitter and be her friend on Pinterest , and Goodreads