Friday, May 19, 2017

Your Input Needed: If I Could Write Anything, What Would You Want?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the publishing industry after more than 35 books, it’s that nothing is static. Reader preferences vary, genres fall in and out of favor, editors move on.

And publishers close their doors.

Authors for Love Inspired Historical, my current publisher, were shocked this week to hear that the line is folding. Current contracts will be honored, which means I’ll get to finish the Frontier Bachelors series with Mail-Order Marriage Promise (John Wallin, September 2017), His Frontier Christmas Family (Levi Wallin, December 2018), and the tentatively titled The Matchmaker Meets Her Match (Beth Wallin, spring of 2018). But the last books will hit the stores in June 2018.

Some of the authors will be invited to submit to other lines, but Harlequin, the parent company, doesn’t have many (read any) slots for an author who writes less-than-sexy historical romances. My editor won’t be able to talk to me about it until next week at the earliest, so I don’t know whether she’ll encourage me to write for the Love Inspired Contemporary Romance line instead. It may be I’ll have to start shopping my books to other publishers or move more aggressively into self-publishing.

So, I have some choices to make. And I’d very much like your input. Many of you read my books. If I could write anything you wanted (with the caveat that I want to keep my stories sweet, though not necessarily faith-based, and I cannot do horror), what would you like?

Do you want more Regency romances?

Should I lean on my plotting and produce historical mysteries?

Should I veer into contemporary romance?

Cowboys? Historical or contemporary?

Frontier stories?

Men on Mars?

Don’t be shy. Haven’t you ever wanted to suggest to an author what you’d like her to write? (I know I have!) No promises (because so much is beyond my control even in this market), but it may just be that if enough voices are heard, my agent and I can find a way.

So let me hear from you. I’m all ears. 


QNPoohBear said...

I'm sorry to hear the Love Inspired line is folding, yet not entirely surprised given the perception and reputation of Harlequin romances. Before you mentioned it, I had no idea they had clean romances. Their Regency Romances from the 80s are pretty good and clean but I still hear Harlequin and think sleazy romance.

Anyway, to answer your question, I would love more Regency romances and historical mysteries. Have you looked into Shadow Mountain's "A Proper Romance" line? I really liked the few books I've read.

Kath said...

It is sad they're closing that line. I appreciate when publishing housing offer clean lines. I personally enjoy secular clean romances the most, but do read inspirational stories (if the religious content is mild). I love Harlequin's Heartwarming line - would you be interested in writing secular contemporary stories under that line?

I enjoy your regency and westerns, I think it'd be fun if you wrote medievals, it's hard to find clean ones and you have a knack for historicals.

I think you'd do well in any genre.

Kath said...

Other genres I'd love to see you write would be Highlander, gladiator or WWI - WWII. :)

Regina Scott said...

Thanks for the suggestions, QNPoohBear. I will look into Shadow Mountain. In defense of Harlequin, they have changed over the years. People like Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs, and Kristin Higgins write for them.

Regina Scott said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Kath! Much to think about. I'm not sure about contemporary. I have a few ideas, but my mind tends toward the historical more. I've been thinking about trying to combine them--a contemporary romance about a woman who tracks down historical artifacts or a lady who captains a tall ship today. Hmmm.

Elizabeth Hull said...

I love your voice. You have a flair with characters so I'm pretty sure I will like whatever you choose. Is there something you have wanted to write but couldn't because of other constraints? The regencies are my favorites, but as I've said I'm pretty sure I'd like whatever it is you put out. Also, I've got no problem with your Indy books. In fact, I found you through the Beau Monde and most of the books I've bought so far are your self-produced ones. Perhaps hybrid is the way to go. Although I heard Roxanne St.Clair at the Moonlight and Magnolia conference last year, she is all about self-publishing and she's doing well. She has a whole production process set up. I'm rambling...I'm praying for a light in the lamp at your feet. ~Elizabeth

Regina Scott said...

Thank you, Elizabeth, for the kind words and prayers. I need both right now! I love the Regency period, but there are other moments in history I'd love to write about. And I have this Georgian mystery series set in London on the Thames I've been noodling about for years. Plus a YA steampunk set in the the early days of Victoria's reign. So many choices! I'm definitely looking for that lamp!