Sunday, March 18, 2012

Writing Killer Fiction

Today, I'd like to welcome guest blogger Patricia Rosemoor, one of my favorite, long-time Intrigue authors. Here's a little bit about Patricia:

With 90 novels and more than seven million books in print, Patricia Rosemoor is fascinated with "dangerous love" – combining romance with danger. She has written various forms of romantic and paranormal romantic thrillers, even romantic horror, bringing a different mix of thrills and chills. Patricia has won a Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America and two Reviewers Choice and two Career Achievement Awards from RT BOOKreviews, and in her other life, she teaches Popular Fiction and Suspense-Thriller Writing, credit courses at Columbia College Chicago.

Here's what Patricia has to say about writing killer fiction and her latest indie release, Skin.

Writing killer fiction has pretty much been my professional life since I first sold to Intrigue in 1985. PUREBRED in my 53rd Intrigue, but in order to fill my creative well, I need variety within my genre.

My current new release, SKIN, is a fast-paced dark thriller with a romantic element. The difference between SKIN and my Intrigues is that the ‘hero’ of the story is actually heroine Lilith Mitchell. The thriller story focuses on her efforts to rescue her sister Hannah from the killer who took her before he ends Hannah’s life. But of course the story still has that romantic element that I can’t write without.

SKIN has a long history. I wrote the first version – then known as THE LAST DANCE – as a screenplay in the 90s. Talk about writing something different! I entered the screenplay in the Motion Picture’s Academy Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting competition. It made the semi-finals (top 100 of approximately 5000) and garnered a lot of interest from agents and producers. Then a producer optioned it. She got a director (actually, two), had music written for it, found actors who wanted to star in it, had a backer with the money to publicize and distribute it, but she couldn’t get the money to produce the movie. So goes my short-lived experience with Hollywood (until I wrote another screenplay, but that’s another story).

I didn’t give up on this story, however. Since my Intrigues were so successful, I thought surely I could sell a single title thriller with a romantic subplot. I wrote a book proposal based on the screenplay in 2002. I heard “too dark” as the reason for rejection from nearly every editor who read it. In 2008, I made a major-major revision to the story and rewrote the proposal, which I renamed SKIN. My then longtime agent let it languish. My next agent sent it to a half-dozen editors, most of whom thought it had a good commercial premise and solid plot, characters and writing. However, the thriller editors thought it should go to romance editors, and romance editors were still afraid of the dark elements in the story, even though I’d lightened them up considerably.

Caught with my feet straddling the line between thriller and romantic suspense. Again.

So what to do?

I let SKIN languish for a year while I worked on other projects, but I couldn’t forget it any more than I had since writing the original screenplay. Thematically, it’s as current now as it was then. With the hope that SKIN had the potential to ‘thrill’ readers if only they had a chance at it, and the indie digital market spiraling upward, I had good reasons to. So when I made a New Year’s resolution to fill the well writing stories I loved, SKIN fit the bill. I finished the book, and it’s finally available to readers.

Currently SKIN is listed at Amazon and is available in trade paperback both at Createspace and at Amazon.

Whether or not SKIN is read as widely as my Intrigues, I am glad I took a chance on it. It was one of those ideas that just didn’t let go of me, and it turned out to be a book that practically wrote itself and truly filled my creative well.

Good reading. :)


For more information on Patricia and her books, visit her website.

Thanks so much for guest blogging, Patricia. Here’s wishing you many, many happy sales!

Have a great week, everyone!

Deadly DeLeon

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