Change Can Be Our Friend


Change is generally a scary proposition.

Some people thrive on it. I kick and scream and rant...until I realize, it's not that bad. Sometimes, it's better than what you had. Sometimes it's just different and different isn't bad.

The first two books I sold were sweet romance to Avalon. I'd been writing for five years, trying to break into Silhouette Desire. When that didn't happen, I revised the book for Avalon, where couples couldn't touch below the shoulders or share open-mouthed kisses. In revising, I found that what I thought I loved most about writing Desires--namely, the hot sex (at the time, I didn't know about Ellora's Cave)--was really more about emotion. Sex without emotion is merely body parts coming together. Those two books, Risking His Heart and Designs On Him, still worked without the sex because the emotion held true.

I never sold anything else to Avalon because I love to write hot. And paranormal. Big no-nos at Avalon. So I wrote a huge sexy paranormal about witches in a world that would eventually become my Etruscan stories. That book still hasn't sold (I hold out hope that maybe someday...). But in the 12 years between when I started and today, my writing has changed considerably. And that change has not been bad.

At Ellora's Cave, I can literally write about anything I want. Fairies, witches, werewolves, deities, tiny little insect-like creatures who glow like fireflies. My editors have been open to it all. All four editors.

The first I never really got to know. She left before we started revisions. The next two were wonderful and completely different.

I'd open revisions from my second editor and every page would be blue with edits. I should thank her for that because she made me look at every word I wrote in a different light. And that was good.

My third editor was completely opposite. She saw the big picture, honed in on dropped threads and unanswered questions. When she announced she was leaving, her writers wanted to band together to duct tape her to her chair and force her to stay.

So how do you move on? Well, you get a great new editor, who knows just what questions to ask to make the story better and the precise scenes and moments where attention starts to wander.
And you realize change can be good.