WRITING ROMANCE NOVELS – WHICH SUBGENRE?

The different types of romance (subgenre) are as varied as the people who read romances. Even young adult romance has its place. These stories are light on intimacy, usually nothing heavier than a few kisses and holding hands. They deal with topics like problems with teachers, sports, weight, and shyness, but sometimes the themes move into more serious areas—bullying, death, parental divorce or even abuse.

A short step above the young adult romance is the sweet romance—books like Harlequin or Silhouette Romance. Graphic sex is a no-no here. Story lines are simple and usually revolve around issues of courtship.

From there, books gradually become longer with themes that are more complex. They contain love scenes that are more explicit and can range from a simple love story to the leave-nothing-to-the-imagination XXX-rated mental romp.

In addition to these basic rules, romance has branched out to encompass other genres.

Contemporary romance indicates stories set in the here and now, books about the sort of people we see every day. They can range from the sweet, discussed above, to varying degrees of sensuality.
Inspirational romance, as the name implies, are books aimed at the Christian market. Usually light on the love scenes, they are stories of faith and how it helps couples through difficult periods in their lives.
Fantasy romance is a subgenre that has become popular over the past few years. These are stories of dragons and wizards, castles and magic kingdoms. They often require the creation of an entire fantasy world.
Futuristic romance is much like the fantasies, only they’re set in this world, hundreds or thousands of years in the future. These books take things in this world—travel, weapons, government, environment etc., and imagine what they will be like in a future world.
Multicultural romance is another new subgenre. These are “romances of color” and have heroes and heroines of a Latino, African American or Asian culture. Most have their own trade name, like Kensington’s Arabesque and Genesis.
Time travel romance has several variations. Sometimes a character from the past or future ends up in the present, or a character from the present goes back to the past or into the future. To take this to the extreme, theoretically, someone from the future could travel into the past.

While we are talking about writing romance, I want to mention “Regency Romance.” The Regency was a brief period of English history that was characterized by elegance and upheaval. Named for the Prince Regent, who ruled the country from 1811-1820 after his father, George III, went insane, the era saw much political, social, and military change, including the beginnings of the industrial revolution, agricultural reform, the movement of population from country to city, and the beginnings of a social conscience and women’s rights.Much of the aristocracy took its cue from the Regent, a fat, fashion-conscious, fun-loving man whose interests encompassed art, architecture, food, music, clothes, and women. In many ways, the scandals surrounding the royal family today mirror those associated with their Regency ancestors.

Notable figures of the period include:

• Napoleon—the megalomaniac who tried to take over Europe
• Wellington—the man who prevented him from doing it
• Jane Austen—the first Regency romance author
• Beau Brummel—the dandy who dictated fashion
• Lady Jersey, the Countess Lieven, Princess Esterhazy, Mrs. Drummond-Burrell, Lady Sefton, and other Almack’s patronesses—the women who determined everyone’s social standing
• Writers—Sir Walter Scott, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Wordsworth, Mary Shelley, and others
• Musicians—Beethoven, Schubert, Paganini, Rossini and others
• Artists—Blake, Turner, Constable, and others

When we add an amusing collection of bucks, blades, dandies, rogues, rakes, rapscallions, and dowagers with jewels, we begin to taste the flavor of Regency Romance. Bright, witty, light-hearted, and usually chaste, Regency Romances are comedies of manners and mores that capture the opulence, glitter and elegance of a fleeting but romantic moment in history.

If you think you want to write romance and are just starting out, read several books from each genre to get a feel for what interests you most. Once you determine that, do your research for the story you are writing and make sure you are accurate. Your story might be fiction, but your research must be authentic. That is true no matter what kind of book you write. Most of all, enjoy the process. Have fun!

Thank you for stopping by. Next time I will talk to you about writing science fiction.

Barbara

EXCITING HAPPENINGS AT THE BARBARA CASEY AGENCY

This has been an extremely busy year, and as we approach the end of 2014, I wanted to give you an update on what books have been published over the past several months and represented by the Barbara Casey Agency. All of these books were published by traditional, royalty-paying publishers, either highly rated independents or major houses. You will see that the subjects are many and varied. These books are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or by ordering at your favorite bookstore.

In addition to representing established authors, one of the things I especially enjoy as a literary agent is successfully representing new authors. My new authors this year have really made me proud.

 

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Never Try to Drink a Chinese Woman under the Table: Plus Other Fun and Practical Tips for Doing Business in China and at Home, written by Richard Bradspies and JD Fox. This was released in early March and has already gone to its second printing. Rich and Jim are marketing dynamos; they think outside the box and have managed to come up with a new idea to add to their marketing each week since their book’s release.

 

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Troubled Water, the third book in the Lark Chadwick Mystery Series written by John DeDakis, a former White House Correspondent and copy editor for CNNs Wolf Blitzer, was released in June of this year and is doing exceptionally well in sales. This is a thrilling mystery series told from a female’s perspective.

 

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Patriot Priest: The Story of Monsignor WIlliam A. Hemmick, The Vatican’s First American Canon written by Patricia Daly-Lipe, came out in February of this year. A biography of Patricia’s famous great uncle, this is a well researched, fascinating read of one man’s personal experience over several epochs and periods of history and his close connection to royalty, Hollywood, and politicians.

 

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Tarnished Heels: How Unethical Actions and Deliberate Deceit at the University of North Carolina Ended The Carolina Way, written by Rob J. Anderson, was released in June of this year and is already in its second printing. Ranked among the 100 top sports books on Amazon since its release, this is a comprehensive insider’s report of what has taken place over the past few decades leading up to the scandal UNC now faces.

 

In addition to my new authors, I represent over 100 additional authors who have had successful careers in publishing with several titles. Three of these titles released in the recent months are below.

 

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Among my established authors, Hawk Mackinney’s The Missing Planets, the second book in his science fiction series The Cairns of Sanctuarie, was just released and is currently on an international book review tour.

 

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Hunting the President: Threats, Plots, and Assassination Attempts from FDR to Obama, by British author Mel Ayton, just recently came out and will be followed next year by a sequel that will cover the period between President George Washington to the Depression. This is an exceptional book which reveals information about presidential assassination attempts never before reported.

 

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Beyond Reasonable Doubt, also by Mel Ayton, brilliantly addresses the Warren Commission’s report on the John F. Kennedy assassination as well as new information about the assassination.

 

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On a more personal note, two of my own novels, The Coach’s Wife and The House of Kane, were re-released in trade paperback in July. They are now available in hard cover, trade paperback, and ebook. My young adult novel, The Cadence of Gypsies, will be re-released with a new cover in hard cover, trade paperback, ebook, and audio book in 2015. The sequel to it is under contract. There is also a third book in this series underway. Finally, for all of you who like scary stories, my short story, Late in the Tenth Month, was published in CATACOMBS ANTHOLOGY.  This collection of short stories is available in hard cover, paperback, and e-book through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and your favorite local bookshop.  The audio version will be ready next month.

Thanks for stopping by. Next time I will talk about writing romance novels, the most popular genre in the publishing world. I will cover such things as what makes a good romance novel, what is required to make it a romance, who is publishing romance, and what are the different types of romance novels.
See you soon!
Barbara

Virtual Super Book Blast Tour: THE COACH’S WIFE BY BARBARA CASEY

SBB The Coachs Wife Banner copy

My mystery/suspense novel, The Coach’s Wife, has just been released in paperback and is available through Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and all leading book retailers.  Reviews and comments throughout the United States and several foreign countries will be posted on my virtual blog tour at www.GoddessFish.com as well as on each of the links below on Friday, May 2. I will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter, so I hope you will be able to stop by and visit.

Barbara

The Internet Web Hosts who will be carrying the tour are:

1: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
2: Our Families Adventure REVIEW
3: Books Direct
4: The Book Review REVIEW
5: Room With Books
6: Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock REVIEW
7: Beckstar Reviews REVIEW
8: Deal Sharing Aunt
9: Welcome to My World of Dreams
10: Beer, Books and More 
11: My Devotional Thoughts
12: The Pen and Muse Book Reviews
13: Brooke Blogs
14: Book Bling
15: Booklover Sue
16: Book ‘Em North Carolina
17: The Write to Read
18: Sexy Adventures Passionate Tales
19: Writer Wonderland
20: Andi’s Book Reviews
21: Literary Lunes Magazine
22: Reviews by Crystal
23: Bookgirl Knitting
24: Blood Moons and Nightscapes
25: The Cerebral Writer
26: My Odd Little World
27: Tina Donahue Presents
28: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love
29: Dawn’s Reading Nook
30: Queen of the Night Reviews
31: It’s Raining Books
32: Straight from the Library
33: Long and Short Reviews

Another deafening roar exploded from the coliseum, and when it did Marla threw down her partially smoked cigarette and ground it into the polished tile floor with the toe of her shoe. Quickly she reached for another cigarette from the opened pack in her small red handbag. She lit it, sucked the smoke into her mouth, held her breath, coughed, and then slowly released it. Marla didn’t smoke, but when she paced up and down the hallways of basketball coliseums, puffing on cigarettes seemed appropriate. It gave her something to do with her hands, and it helped keep her sane.

Marla Connors, recently married to head basketball coach Neal Connors, travels with her husband to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the Piedmont State University Coyote team is playing in the NCAA Finals. Marla has not been accepted by the Coyotes, that loyal bunch of fans who follows the university team, partly because she is almost twenty years younger than Coach Connors and a divorcée, but also because the fans are afraid she will distract her husband from his duties as head coach. They see her as someone who married Coach Connors just for his money. Only Gale, the older wife of assistant coach Stu Simmons, goes out of her way to be a friend to Marla.

The Coyote team is plagued with problems from the very beginning of the season, and when they finally manage to reach the NCAA Finals, it’s even worse. Their center is caught using drugs, Athletics Director Charlie Morgan, who is also in Albuquerque for the games, makes a pass at Marla in her hotel room, and Coach Connors comes down with the flu. No one believes that State can win the big game.

With so much happening, Marla can’t shake the feeling that something evil is taking over her life. She tries to convince herself that it is emotional anxiety left over from the abuse she experienced during her first marriage to Dr. Martin Andrews and that the stress from the tournament has brought it once again to the surface. She soon learns, however, that the evil is real and it threatens not only everything she loves, but her very life.

Illegal drugs, illicit affairs, murder, and scandal that shakes the entire university system are woven inextricably into Marla’s life until eventually she comes face to face with her real tormentor. It is only then that she realizes the full depth of her love for her husband–and his love for her.

 

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PRISSY WINS IPPY BOOK AWARD FOR BEST REGIONAL FICTION

I have just received notice that my latest novel written for adults,THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PRISSY, has won the IPPY Award for “Best Book in Regional Fiction.” This is especially good news since it is the second IPPY I have received, the first awarded a few years ago for my novel, SHYLA’S INITIATIVE, for “Best Paranormal Romance.”

Launched in 1996, the “IPPY” Awards were conceived as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry, and are open to authors and publishers worldwide who produce books written in English and intended for the North American market. Now in its seventeenth year, the Independent Publisher Book Awards are presented annually to honor the year’s best independently published titles.

As in all of my novels, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PRISSY deals with several themes driven by strong characters. Spousal abuse, teenage crime, women’s prisons, our military veterans trying to get acclimated back into society, and children who are born “special”—either physically or mentally. Prissy is one such child, born with the “gift of prophecy,” and the ability to apply that gift to whatever problems she is confronted with. Prissy was first conceived in my imagination from a beautiful oil painting of a little girl I discovered in an art museum in Madrid, Spain. She was kneeling in the grass examining something fascinating–a bug, a pretty flower, a shiny rock.  What I most noticed, though, was the look of rapture and total wonderment on her face–a look that expresses something that only an innocent child can experience. My heart was touched deeply by her. If you get a chance to read THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PRISSY, I hope your heart will be touched as well.

Barbara

BARBARA CASEY TO BE GUEST ON “MIDDAY CONVERSATIONS” RADIO SHOW WITH HOST CYRUS WEBB

I have been invited to be the guest today on the Cyrus Webb Radio Show, “Midday Conversations.” It will be streaming live at www.blogtalkradio.com/middayconversations at 1 pm and podcasted there as well. I will be talking about my latest novel, The Gospel According to Prissy, as well as my other award-winning novels. Please stop by if you have the time.

Barbara