A Golden Opportunity

In the first six months of 2016, I’m scheduled to release three novels. My fourth novel (Whippersnapper) is scheduled for release in January or February, with re-releases of my second and third novels in April or May and June or July. Shepherding them through the production process will keep me busy for the rest of the year.

My struggle to define myself as a writer is more or less over. Oh, I’m still learning — I just don’t stress out about my identity anymore. I’m just me, and that’s pretty much who I am as a writer too.

Challenges around genre continue to plague me. Up to now, my novels have been published as m-m romance. None of my books follow the conventions of the genre, but the stories included enough gay loving to make the cut.

More than anything else, genre is about reader expectations. Horror should be scary. Thrillers should be suspenseful. Mysteries should keep the reader guessing. My books don’t do what m-m romances are supposed to do. I can’t help it. I’ve tried.

Whippersnapper is my most serious attempt yet to write a real romance. Of course, I said the same thing about my previous novels. This time is different. Dreamspinner Press has assigned a “developmental editor” to help me beef up the romance. I’m anxious to see her suggestions.

My second novel (After Christmas Eve) is getting a new title, a new cover, and, rather than m-m romance, will be released as a mystery. The working title is Murder on the Anacostia. Since the original was published elsewhere, the manuscript will go through full edits with Dreamspinner.

Happy Independence Day is getting a new cover and minor edits. Instead of m-m romance, it will be released as historical fiction. Now that they’re all with the same publisher, the series is getting a new title too. I’m thinking maybe, “A Philip Potter Story.”

Re-releasing my novels is a golden opportunity. I’m getting a do-over for my writing career. Will the change in genre make a difference? I hope so, and of course, will keep you posted.

One response to “A Golden Opportunity”

  1. I’m really excited for you! I loved After Christmas Eve and will totally buy a copy of the revised version to be a companion to my first edition signed paperback :). I can tell it has rereadability value. I actually recommended it to my girlfriend as something to read after she read her first M/M romance, which was heavy on sexual content, and she’s trying to broaden her horizons. I recommended it because a) it’s great, b) it’s not a romance but it still has gay characters, and c) it’s a mystery (she’s not read much gay fiction or many mysteries).

    And I wonder if the new edition of Happy Independence Day will be available to people who bought the original in our download folder since it’s still under Dreamspinner as a whole, or if we will have to re-buy it. I know with some second editions the download link got updated. *shrug* I haven’t read the original yet but would re-buy it if necessary.

    This really resonated with me – “My books don’t do what m-m romances are supposed to do. I can’t help it. I’ve tried.” – I think it’s cool that you’ve tried, and I hope that Whippersnapper ends up being what you envision it being after edits are done. I definitely say, though, to not force yourself into a genre if you don’t feel it works for you. I’m really glad that Dreamspinner Publications is now an imprint that can print everything from historical to mysteries to fantasy with gay characters that aren’t necessarily M/M romance. You’re not the only one benefiting from it – I looked at the list of authors who have books with them and see several I’m fans of and several whose books I’m looking forward to reading.

    Also, I finally wrote my review of Until Thanksgiving that’s been a long time coming (four months). It’s kinda long and rambly, is generally positive, and has way more references to After Christmas Eve than I expected to put in… I was on roller coasters earlier today, so if it sounds crazy, blame the fact that my brain rattled around in my skull for a few minutes today. This comment may not even make sense, I don’t know. Whee.