Author Topic: Indie Romance thread--announcements, questions, pitches!  (Read 353720 times)  

Offline Ruth Harris

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Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
« Reply #175 on: January 03, 2011, 06:01:48 am »
I think we'll be seeing a lot of treasures being dug up out of obscurity.


@ Dana...I certainly hope so.  There's been so much excellent fiction written for and about women that would be of interest to today's readers.  I haven't checked (time as you point out is limited) but writers like Rona Jaffe, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Joyce Elbert, Penny Vincenzi (she's English), Jilly Cooper (also a Brit) come to mind immediately but there are so many others, too


I think some of us who write certain genres are still a little afraid to tread into romance groups...I find myself floundering, wondering... should I just call them romance? Are they even considered romance? Maybe the key is the love story underneath it all.


@ Jenna...I'm struggling with this issue too.  I write what's usually referred to as "women's fiction."  In my mind, the difference between women's fiction, chick lit and romance is that romance is primarily concerned with a woman's passionate/erotic life and relationships.  Women's fiction, chick lit, etc. is about women's romantic life but equally about her professional and/or family life as well as the challenges she faces as a result of the social and cultural dynamics of her times (a particular interest of mine).  I list my titles under women's fiction and contemporary fiction but also as romance because, viewed broadly, the categories seem to overlap & it's a way of reaching an audience of female readers.

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    Offline Amy Corwin

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #176 on: January 03, 2011, 08:48:08 am »
    Jenna:
    Don't be afraid to tread into romance-oriented groups! I've been a member of RWA since it's inception in the 80's and they are all very friendly people. And the romance industry really accommodates almost any kind of book--with the only real requirements being a "happy ending" and at least a sub-plot with a touch of romance. And who doesn't like happy endings? ;D

    Really, though, they are a fabulous bunch of folks and very welcoming. I've never met a romance-oriented group who didn't welcome me, even though the romance in my books tends to be more of a subplot to a central mystery, and almost always on the "sweet" side (read: not explicit).

    So go ahead and at least stick your big-toe in, it may surprise you!

    Offline Dana Taylor

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #177 on: January 03, 2011, 11:37:32 am »
    Hello--

    Picking up the discussion from Jenna, Amy & Ruth. I think we are seeing the genre walls falling down via the e-book revolution. There are no clearly marked shelves to wander and browse. Yet, it makes finding new favorites a challenge.  And what about writers who don't write the same genre every time? Do we have to go the way of "pen names," as has been traditionally done?

    This is a big question for me.  I have romantic comedies out right now.  But, I wrote them several years ago. My upcoming stuff all reflects my experiences in areas of energy healing and alternative medicine. Will people accept such completely different work from the same author? How do we find our audiences?

    I'm thinking developing target-market blogs and facebook pages is a good start.  I guess we need to some how break out of the pack by establishing our unique "branding".  Ah, the challenges!

    Dana Taylor
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    Offline JennaAnderson

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #178 on: January 03, 2011, 11:44:53 am »
    Jenna:
    Don't be afraid to tread into romance-oriented groups! I've been a member of RWA since it's inception in the 80's and they are all very friendly people. And the romance industry really accommodates almost any kind of book--

    This would be a good goal for 2011. It would push me outside my comfort zone 125%.

    Dreaming up the stories is the easy part. Once the first word is put down on paper... watch out. Ha ha

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    Offline Amy Corwin

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #179 on: January 03, 2011, 11:48:33 am »
    Those are very valid and difficult points to address.
    Much of it is definitely ensuring you have at least one blog and a website that clearly distinguishes what you write, and if applicable, what names you write it under.

    I, personally, think readers are smart enough to read a book blurb and figure out if it is their kind of book or not, so genre hopping doesn't necessarily mean a problem if you use one "pen name". A good example is Georgette Heyer. She wrote historical romances, historicals, contemporary stories like Barren Corn which were not really romances, and mysteries. She used the same name, throughout, and left it to the reader to decide which genres to select from.  I like both her mysteries and historical romances (although I prefer the less romance-y romances LOL) and I'm glad she wrote under the same name so I could find her books more easily.

    Other writers have elected to use different names for different genres, but since even they tend to link them all together from one master site, I'm not sure what the point really is. Readers tend to like multiple genres and if they find a writer whose style they like, they may wish to obtain books in other genres.

    Having more names does mean having more difficulties building up audiences as you have to "start fresh" with each name, and then there are all the technical challenges, i.e. acquiring domain names, websites, links, etc.

    Personally, I've made the decision to use one pen name, regardless of genre. I figure whatever readers I get will be smart enough to decide which books/genres they like, or don't like and won't buy books in genres they don't want to read.

    Offline Ruth Harris

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #180 on: January 03, 2011, 12:15:56 pm »
    @Dana, Jenny & Amy...

    Quote
    I think we are seeing the genre walls falling down via the e-book revolution.

    Dana, I think you made a crucial point right here at the beginning of your post.  I'm just beginning to digitize my fiction which is all the same genre -- women's fiction -- so I'm hardly much of an expert but I tend to agree with Amy and think using one name for all one's work might trump the genre questions.  I suspect the covers themselves -- different looks for different genres -- + the blurbs might be all we and our readers need.  Our readers will be able to find us more easily and then can decide whether or not they want to read our mysteries, romances or whatever else we might choose to publish.

    Offline JennaAnderson

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #181 on: January 03, 2011, 12:47:10 pm »
    @Dana, Jenny & Amy...

    Dana, I think you made a crucial point right here at the beginning of your post.  I'm just beginning to digitize my fiction which is all the same genre -- women's fiction -- so I'm hardly much of an expert but I tend to agree with Amy and think using one name for all one's work might trump the genre questions.  I suspect the covers themselves -- different looks for different genres -- + the blurbs might be all we and our readers need.  Our readers will be able to find us more easily and then can decide whether or not they want to read our mysteries, romances or whatever else we might choose to publish.

    Ruth - Very good point and good tips. I would think a penname may be a good idea if you are going from middle grade books to horror/occult or religious fiction to erotica. The covers alone would be enough to separate the two bodies of work but perhaps we wouldn't want to distract a reader or potential reader with outside factors.

    Dana - if your readers like your style, feel your writing is smooth, etc... they will already have that in mind when picking up your new work. Part of the battle in gaining a satisfied reader is already done.

    Jenna

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    Offline Dana Taylor

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #182 on: January 03, 2011, 02:01:17 pm »
    Good afternoon--

    I think we're on the same page here. Forget the pen names and find other ways to differentiate our work. I have a hard enough time remembering "user names" and "passwords"!  Here on Kindleboards I've decided to consolidate threads and feature my rom comedies in one place. My upcoming stuff will go on another.

    Dana
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    Offline K. A. Jordan

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #183 on: January 05, 2011, 03:50:12 pm »
    I'm going to jump in with a definition that I got from an agent a few years ago:

    Chic-Lit is a book written in first person with a breezey, often snarky, voice. The MC will be a twenty-something female who shops for expensive clothing - or works in the clothing industry. The main part of the story is about men, sex and shopping - with lots of alcohol.

    Once my nose grew back, I never called any of my work 'Chic-lit' again.

    Later on her blog I saw she pronounced "Don't send me any Chic-lit - Chic-lit is dead."

    That time I didn't lose my nose.  ;) It is for this reason that I suggest 'Women's Fiction' is a nice safe genre. Nobody will bit your nose off if you call your book 'Women's Fiction.'

    Ask me, sometime, why I no longer query agents....I like my nose.
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    Offline Dana Taylor

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #184 on: January 05, 2011, 03:57:01 pm »
    Let's see if I can remember a joke about agents:

    A writer arrives home to find fire trucks surrounding its smouldering remains. She asks what happened. A fireman tells her, "You agent came to your house, killed your dog, set the fire and shot your husband."

    The writer looks dazed, "My agent came to my house????"

    I had an agent for about a year, but I could never find her! Sigh.

    Dana Taylor
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    Offline JennaAnderson

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #185 on: January 05, 2011, 04:41:41 pm »
    K.A. - that's a great story. I think agents have also been saying for a while now that readers are tired of vampire or paranormal books. Someone better notify Amanda Hocking that selling 109,000 ebooks in Dec was a fluke.

    :-)

    I love leaving things up to the reader.

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    Offline Nicki Lynn Justice

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #186 on: January 05, 2011, 07:06:04 pm »

    Hi Dana:

    I was just cruising around the Kindle boards and noticed your post. I hope it's not too late to do some "self-promoting". I noticed that alot of the other threads said not to self-promote, so this is really nice. I'm having a hard time figuring it out though. I'm not exactly a computer geru, so I hope I didn't make too many mistakes. I hope my cover appears here, somehow. I'm not sure how to zap it in.

    I put my first novel on Kindle on Jan 1, 2011. It's called Black & White, by Nicki Lynn Justice.

    Here's the blurb:

    Thirty-four year old Jillian Kendall, Centurotechs corporate attorney, certainly hopes that the strange events that have been turning her formerly peaceful life upside-down since she arrived in Calgary, Alberta, are a product of her over-active imagination. But as she implements the merger between Centurotech and Hunter Electronics, she is drawn into the web of deceit that has been spun around her. There is only one way out, and it involves asking Code Hunter, founder of Hunter Electronics and childhood friend, for help. The problem is that Jillian is not certain that he can be trusted. And he is just as wary of her!

    Thanks,
    Nicki Lynn
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    Nicki Lynn Justice

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    Offline K. A. Jordan

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #187 on: January 05, 2011, 08:22:11 pm »
    K.A. - that's a great story. I think agents have also been saying for a while now that readers are tired of vampire or paranormal books. Someone better notify Amanda Hocking that selling 109,000 ebooks in Dec was a fluke.

    :-)

    Hehehe - I hope Amanda never queried that particular agent. I only made THAT mistake once.
    ....

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    Offline Rob Alex

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #188 on: January 06, 2011, 05:18:38 pm »
    The kindle has opened the door wide for those independent authors.

    Intimate Adventures - Guiding you to find the Blended Spirit in your relationship.

    Offline Dana Taylor

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #189 on: January 06, 2011, 05:32:33 pm »
    Hi Dana:

    I was just cruising around the Kindle boards and noticed your post. I hope it's not too late to do some "self-promoting". I noticed that alot of the other threads said not to self-promote, so this is really nice. I'm having a hard time figuring it out though. I'm not exactly a computer geru, so I hope I didn't make too many mistakes. I hope my cover appears here, somehow. I'm not sure how to zap it in.

    I put my first novel on Kindle on Jan 1, 2011. It's called Black & White, by Nicki Lynn Justice.


    Thanks,
    Nicki Lynn

    Hi Nicki Lynn-- Welcome! I opened this thread in the hopes of creating a little comraderie and team work.  It's also a nice one-stop-shopping place for people looking to sample some Indie Romance. So promote away!  Go ahead and post a snippet or two (approx. 500 words) to give us a flavor of your book. Welcome to Indie Land!

    Dana Taylor--Hawking "Devil Moon: A Mystic Romance"
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    Offline Misha Crews

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #190 on: January 06, 2011, 06:21:51 pm »
    Wow, Dana, what a great thread!  I've read all the posts and I'm totally tickled that there are so many of us indie romance writers out there.  Here are my books:

    Her Secret Bodyguard

    When a Special Forces veteran is hired to protect a Malibu playgirl, sparks fly faster than bullets. But will they live long enough to realize they're falling in love?

    Southern California is a well-used playground for former model Blake Sera. Although she's not yet thirty, jaded Blake is sure she's seen it all. Until she discovers that the man she's been been living with is up to his neck in the murky underworld of crime. When Special Forces veteran Caleb McKenna is secretly hired to protect the glamour gal, he's sure that Blake is just another pretty face whose only interests are sunning, funning and shopping till she drops. But soon he realizes that there's more to her than big blue eyes and a killer smile. Can they survive their passion? Can they survive at all?

    Still Waters

    A tragic death. A disturbing photo that can't be explained. A woman drowning in an ocean of secrets.  In 1950s Virginia, beautiful, serious Jenna Appleton seems to have found the life she's always wanted.  But underneath the shallow gleam of her bright suburban world, murky truths are waiting to surface.  On the morning that her husband dies in a tragic accident, Jenna finds a shocking photo of him in the arms of a beautiful woman.  And before she can ask him about it, he's gone forever.
     
    Five years later, Jenna has buried her questions and remade her life.  But the reappearance of an old love stirs up guilty questions, and she realizes that some secrets aren't meant to be hidden.  The deeper she dives for answers, the darker the water gets.  How will she find happiness for herself and her family, when every step she takes towards the strange and awful truth seems to lead her right back to her own home shores?

    Homesong (Finalist for the 2010 Bronte Prize)

    In a small town, everyone knows everything about everybody.  Or do they?

    For twenty years, Kate Doyle has been haunted by the night when she was forced to flee from her tiny Virginia home town and abandon her childhood sweetheart, Reed Fitzgerald.  So when Kate, now in her mid-30s, escapes her unhappy life in Washington, DC and takes a much-needed vacation, the last thing she expects is to be reunited with Reed.  But will small-town secrets ruin their last chance for happiness?  Woven into the modern tale of Kate and Reed are the tales of those who came before them.  Their mothers: teenagers in the chaotic 1960s, best friends who are in love with the same man although only one of them knows it.  Reed's grandmother: already a bitter old woman by the 1930s, she would do anything to carry on the family nameand would drive away anyone who came between her and her grandson.  And even the founder of the town: in 1865, what guilty secret drove one man to bring his two daughters across the ocean from Ireland and settle in the dark Virginia hills?

    At its heart, Homesong is the story of a small town: its lies and truths, its beginnings and endings.  It's about proud secrets, unrestrained joy, and the old adage that you may leave your home, but it never really leaves you.

    -----

    Thanks for giving me the chance to talk about my stories!  :-)
       

    Offline Gertie Kindle

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #191 on: January 06, 2011, 06:25:43 pm »
    Working on a new romance as we speak. I'm hoping for about 10K words. I can do an awful lot in 30 pages.

    In the meantime, here are two other novelettes I've published. Both are 99 cents.



    John is just your typical soldier home on leave until Julie comes along. Can Julie tame him? Does she want to? The answer may surprise you.



    Delia is facing a 30th anniversary, overweight, under appreciated, in a nothing job with a life that's going nowhere. Until she meets the man of her dreams. Only problem is that he is only in her dreams. Can she turn that dream into reality?

    Offline Dana Taylor

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #192 on: January 07, 2011, 06:03:30 pm »
    Welcome Misha!

    Your covers are quite elegant. Feel free to post some snippets here, also.

    Gertie, you are a writing machine! Always good to see what you are up to.

    Dana
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    Offline Nicki Lynn Justice

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #193 on: January 07, 2011, 06:35:46 pm »
     Hello Again! Thanks for the friendly welcome!

     I read some of the comments. People on this thread really know their stuff!

     So I will keep reading.         

     Here is a clip from Black & White, my story. It's close to the end, but I used it because it's one of my favorite parts:


                 "Jump!" he bellowed.
       He had his Commando face on. Jillian could tell he was clenching his teeth, which caused the skin on his face to tighten up to the point that it looked as if it was stretched over his cheekbones. She wished she could do that. Her cheeks just looked pudgy when she clenched her teeth.
       Now! Or Ill get out of this seat and throw you out! 
       "I can't!" Her voice cracked in protest. She had to shout really loudly to be heard over the racket the engines were making. How could he expect her to jump? He was the pilot! It was his job to get the plane down safely!
            The plane banked again, and suddenly he was beside her. He picked up his chute and quickly secured it. "There's no time to talk about this! We're at 2000 feet! You've got to jump!"
            She craned her neck to look out the cargo door again, attempting to meld herself to the side of the plane. She wasn't going to jump! He was crazy if he thought she would! She'd rather take her chances and stick with the plane. Wordlessly, she shook her head.
       The plane lurched wildly. With a muttered expletive, he grasped her wrists and yanked her away from the shelving which had become her mainstay.
            "No," she protested, automatically bringing up her knee, trying to put some distance between them. "I can't!"
       He twisted, blocking her blows. "Not much chance of that. I've seen you in action before."
            "Let go! Theres something I have to tell you!" she said fervently, grasping a handful of his shirt. You need to know!
       It doesnt matter!
       Just let me tell you! Then Ill jump! I promise!
       Okay, it better be good. He left off pulling her fisted hands from his shirt.
       She didnt want to die! She had to think of something, fast! I didnt tell you why I helped Derrick!
       This isnt the time! He began to wrestle with her grip again.
       Please, Code, dont! she begged, desperation edging her voice. She was going to die! She just knew it! She so didnt want to end up as a shapeless blob on the grey landscape below! Derrick was Amandas supplier!
       He staggered back as the realization of what she had said hit him. You pick now to tell me? His voice was loud enough that she could hear every word he said, even above the sound of the engine and roar of the wind. You better hope I break every bone in my body when I land! He ripped her hands from his shirt.
       No, you dont understand! she wailed.
            "I'll be right behind you! Now get out!" he shouted, giving a mighty shove. "Pull on the count of four!"
            "Damn you, Hunter!" She slid across the heaving surface, attempting to catch hold of anything. "I can't! I might be pregnant!"   
       She clawed at the air as she fell. She should've have paid more attention to the ground schooling she'd received ten years ago, when her brother had gone parachuting with her for her twenty-first birthday.
       One-thousand and one, she counted. Her stomach was still in the plane. One-thousand and two. But her mind was on the ground, squashed. One-thousand and three. She reached for the cord. One-thousand and four. She pulled. Nothing happened. A scream welled up, torn from the very depths of her being. Then came a jerk that nearly snapped her neck and jolted every tooth in her mouth. But she smiled. Her chute was doing its job, and her descent was slowing. She was going to make it! The ground was coming closer and closer. It was still moving alarmingly quickly, but she didn't care. She just wanted to feel the earth under her feet. 

    Thanks!

    Nicki Lynn
    H.E.A.'s Forever,
    Nicki Lynn Justice

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    Offline Nicki Lynn Justice

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #194 on: January 08, 2011, 12:48:05 am »
    I just read the sample for "Only In My Dreams" by Margaret Lake. One word...WOW!!! Delia was a real person (4 kids and what it took to raise the kids ie braces and university, her job, etc). Her personality, right down to how she wants to be inconspicuous, was well-crafted.

    Now I just have to get the charge card working...Christmas and all...so I can buy it. I really can't wait to see how it ends. Maybe I will be inspired to lose weight.

    Also, I really liked that the heroine didn't have a "fat" moment where she suddenly decides to lose weight. The weight loss, as in eating less and changing her eating habits, as well as the change in her level of self esteem, is nicely done.

    I also liked the way the dream guy was introduced and what he had to say about happiness.

    I'm rooting for Charlie though!!!

    Nicki Lynn
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    Nicki Lynn Justice

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    Offline Rob Alex

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #195 on: January 09, 2011, 05:57:42 am »
    This has been my best selling story!


    Intimate Adventures - Guiding you to find the Blended Spirit in your relationship.

    Offline Dana Taylor

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #196 on: January 10, 2011, 12:11:41 pm »




    Cattitude is my first experience in the wonderful imagination of Edie Ramer. A blend of Freaky Friday and romantic suspense, Ramers deft writing allowed me to park credibility at the door and thoroughly enjoy this tale of woman/cat switch. By far, the most fun is Belle keeping her cattitude while in her human body. Beyond that, there are a couple plot lines spinning to keep the action going, even as Belle and Max build the romance that began as feline and man. This off-beat book is a prime example of the good Indie Authors that emerging with different takes on familiar themes.

    Dana Taylor
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    Offline Edie Ramer

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #197 on: January 11, 2011, 01:05:53 pm »
    Dana, I'm thrilled that you posted a review of Cattitude. That was an unexpected gift! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I'm reading your book Devil Moon and loving it!

    I actually got an agent with that book. I made changes according to her suggestions. She shopped it around, couldn't sell it, and said I should make more changes. In the end, she quit the business. When I decided to go indie, I revised it, taking out the changes and making it a better book than the one she shopped around. That was in late August. I've since published my American Title V book, Dead People, Book 1 of the Haunted Hearts series, a paranormal romances with a snarky ghost whisperer, a cynical former rock god, his recently discovered 10-year-old daughter, and an angry ghost.

    I love self-publishing. It's empowering. And I'm finding so much support. Indie writers are awesome!

    Offline Dana Taylor

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      • Supernal Living
    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #198 on: January 11, 2011, 03:55:13 pm »
    Dana, I'm thrilled that you posted a review of Cattitude. That was an unexpected gift! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I'm reading your book Devil Moon and loving it!
    I love self-publishing. It's empowering. And I'm finding so much support. Indie writers are awesome!

    Hi Edie--
    I hear you! I had the same experience with an agent that held onto "Princess Robin" for a year. When the Kindle thing broke open my girlfriend called me and told me to go for it.  This is really an adventure!

    I loved that your "Cattitude" was different.  It wasn't the same old, same old. I'm sure that's one reason it didn't sell! But it's fun and has some surprises to keep the reader going. Looking forward to reading more of your work.

    Dana Taylor
    Dana Taylor
    Twitter: @SupernalDana @bookluvinbabes Blog www.DanaTaylorAuthor.com
         

    Offline OliverCrommer

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #199 on: January 11, 2011, 04:04:19 pm »
    Hi Everyone!

    I feel even more at home in this thread. I am one of the few male romance writers out there, although I don't write category romances. I write love stories, similar to Nicholas Sparks.

    In any case, hi!

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