Christian Romance Author Liz Isaacson: March 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

To Pitch or Not to Pitch?

So I've been gearing up for #PitMad for about a month. I've been writing and rewriting pitches. I've been participating in some other online pitch opportunities.

The thing is, I haven't done super-well. Yes, I've gotten a request or two. Nothing major. I know the competition is tough, but after this last round of nothing, I had a distinct thought. "My novel isn't loud enough to stand out in a twitter pitch contest."

And I determined not to participate in #PitMad.

Because while I think my book is good, and there's a market for it, it's not something that's wildly looked after by the agents on twitter. That doesn't mean it won't find an agent or an editor. But after spending a lot of time online lurking in the hashtag threads, I've realized that there aren't a lot of adult romance agents in those threads. One search of the #MSWL proves that. (Yes, there are *some* people there. Not nearly as many as YA fantasy or another genre.)

But since #PitMad is coming up, I am reconsidering my thought. Maybe I'll throw out a tweet or two. I don't know. I think it'll be such a windstorm that a genre like mine, with a book like mine, just won't stand out. And then I'll be disappointed again.

I can query and submit. I'm not stranger to that. I just haven't decided if pitching is the way to go for this novel/genre.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Buying Books for Research

Yeah, that's right. That's what I'm doing... Ha! But I am getting ready to start submitting my contemporary romance to agents and editors. I've been doing a lot of research on the books I've read that I think are like mine. I'm checking out who sold those books, and to what publishers. I'm researching the publishers and agents using QueryTracker, AgentQuery, and some good old fashioned stalking on twitter and company websites.

Two books I just bought this week are LOVING YOU IS EASY by Wendy S. Marcus and CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT by Chelsey Krause.

I'm excited to read both of these titles and see if they compare to mine. Because they're both Random House Lovestruck titles, and if they fit, I'd like to submit to the publisher.

I think it's important to take the time to do the research when getting ready to submit. I recently sat in on a panel where someone suggested buying the books of a publisher you're interested in. I think it's really sound advice.

After all, it's not a race to submit. I want to make sure I'm trying to make the best match with my work to publishers and agents.

And if that requires me buying books, so be it! It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Keeping the Tension High

Writing romance has had a big learning curve for me. Putting romantic elements in my books has always been innate, but writing a book that's main focus IS the romance is a who different story.

Luckily, I have some great critique partners who've helped me realize some things. And double-lucky for me, I'm able to spend a lot of time reading and analyzing romance novels. I'm taking notes of what's similar, what each author does, and when, and why.

There's been something I've learned about keeping the sexual tension high. This was hard for me until I read enough and talked to other people enough.

Here's what I've come to realize. The romance -- and the sexual tension -- is all about push and pull, come and go, fast and slow, ebb and flow.

It's even a rhyme!

Keeping this in mind helps me push the romance forward, keep the tension high, and keep the stakes on the page as often as possible.

The hero and heroine come together, and then back off. Things move quickly, probably too quickly for one of the characters, and then they slow down. Everything seems to be working out wonderfully, and then they get sticky.

It seems obvious, but it was revolutionary to me. What have you learned that's helped you keep the tension high in a romance?

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