Everly Ryan

Historical Romance Author

Part Four - Practices of a Published Author by Debra Glass

"Debra Glass", "Michael Garrett", "romance writing", "writing craft", "writing"Debra Glass2 Comments
Be Able to Classify Your Book

Before I ever got serious about getting published, I attended a class with Michael Garret who is an editor and writer. I had 400 typed pages of my baby with me. It was a vampire story which I wrote from my dissatisfaction with all the other vampire stories I’d read or seen at the movies. Mr. Garret asked me, “If the book were to be published, in which section would it be found at your local bookstore?”

Well, that stumped me. I didn’t know. He told me, “If you don’t know, the publisher doesn’t know and they won’t buy your book.”

I can still quote the rejection letter I received after one long year of waiting for three chapters and a synopsis of this book to be read. “Dear Debra, your writing is, at times evocative, however we must pass on publishing this book because there are elements of both romance and horror and the editors don’t feel they can determine a genre for this work.”
Funny how those rejections stick with you but I can’t recall the exact wording of my first acceptance letter.

Michael Garret was right. I’ve heard many unpublished writers say they’re writing the next great American novel which is based on their own experiences. In the sage words of Spongebob Squarepants, “Well, good luck with that!”

Writers must know in which genre are writing. They need to know exactly where their book would be found on a bookstore shelf, be it romance, teen fiction, horror, inspirational, biographical, etc.

Editors do not want anything different – especially from an unknown. They want tried and true plots but with a fresh spin. They want to know exactly how to classify your book. Don’t hope to surprise an editor by crossing two genres. That’s the fastest track to rejection.

Study your "writing voice." Get input from friends and critique partners. Is your writing funny, serious, dramatic, melodramatic? Do you have a light voice which is perfect for contemporaries or a dark voice that lends itself well to suspense, horror or paranormal? Or perhaps, your writing is filled with prose and antiquated words perfect for penning a historical romance or historical fiction.

Know what it is that you write and write to your strength.

DEBRA GLASS is the author of over fifteen books of historical and paranormal romance, non-fiction, and folklore. The recipient of the National Society of Arts and Letters Alabama Screenwriter Award, she went on to win the NSAL Empire State Award for excellence in screenwriting. She received nominations as favorite erotic romance author with two of her books earning nominations as best erotic historical romance of 2009 from The Romance Studio. Two of Debra’s historical romances are currently finalists in Romance Writers of America’s Passionate Ink contest for published authors.

Debra is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Professional Authors’ Network, and Passionate Ink. She is also a member of RWA's Heart of Dixie chapter. She lives in Alabama with her real life hero, a couple of smart-aleck ghosts, and a diabolical black cat.

For more information about Debra or her books, click HERE