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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Confessions of a Romance Novelist (Or Is She?)

Deborah Nam-Krane 

confess: to tell or make known (as something wrong or damaging to oneself)

Wrong or damaging... Alrighty then. Where do I start?

- I don’t read enough. I read a lot, but not enough. And I read a lot outside the genre I write in.

- I’m really judgemental when I do. How judgemental  When I read a book for review from Amazon’s Vine Program six years ago, I looked at it and said, “Hey, if that got published what have I been waiting for?” (Yeah, I can be full of myself sometimes.)

- I’m a plotter... until I ride by the seat of my pants. I usually stick with the same beginning and end, but then change about half of what's in the middle. Yes, that does mean a bunch of rewriting.

- I don’t hang out with writers enough because I’m too obsessed with current events and I’m afraid of talking about nothing but writing. The good thing is that I don't usually include writing in my stories; the bad thing is that I don't get to talk about writing as much as other writers do.

- The spark of my series occurred when I imagined what Lolita would look like if 1) it were a romance and 2) it had a happy ending. Do I get a little bit of a pass because I was thirteen?

- Corollary to above: I have been working on the same story since I was thirteen. I’m very stubborn.

- My second book was originally supposed to be written in the first person- from the point of view of the character that has since become the villain. Even better: that character was supposed to be the romantic interest.

- The romantic interest of my first book is based on my husband... and Van Williams. (You might know him as the actor who played Britt Reid on the television version of The Green Hornet.)

- … But the romantic interest in my second book has my husband’s first name- and the villain has my husband’s middle name. I swear, I came up with these characters before I met him- I just decided to keep the names anyway.

- I worry all the time that I’m not in the right genre or category. Romance: girl meets boy and eventually they get their Happily Ever After (HEA). Chick Lit: as much as my stories are about romances, the women are the stars and the story is also about how they come into their own- with a little help from their friends. Women's Fiction: because, um, the stories are about women. New Adult: because the stories are about women between the ages of 18 and 26. But if you're writing in all of the above, shouldn't you be able to just say you've written... fiction?

- I don’t include a lot of explicit sex because I don’t want to write about it. I’d embarrass myself by being too explicit or not explicit enough. I also don't want to write about anything I don't, ahem, know about myself, and I have a feeling people wouldn't learn anything new from me. Oh yeah, I also think you’ll be more turned on if you use your imagination. But …

- I'm old school.

The Smartest Girl in the Room

Nineteen year old Emily wants her college diploma fast, and she's going to get it. But when the perfect night with perfect Mitch leads her to a broken heart, Emily is blind to her vulnerability. When the person she cares about the most is hurt as a result, Emily's ambition gives way to more than a little ruthlessness. She's going to use her smarts to take care of herself and protect the people she loves, and everyone else had better stay out of her way. 

But shouldn't the smartest girl everyone knows realize that the ones she'd cross the line for would do the same for her?

The Smartest Girl In The Room is Book One in The New Pioneers series.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Reviews - Smartest Girl in the Room 

Deborah Nam-Krane
Deborah Nam-Krane was born in New York, raised in Cambridge and educated in Boston. You’re forgiven for assuming she’s prejudiced toward anything city or urban. She’s been writing in one way or another since she was eight years old (and telling stories well before that). It only took 27 years, but she’s finally ready to let the world read her series, The New Pioneers.  The first book in the series- The Smartest Girl in the Room- was released in late March.

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  1. Thanks Deb, great confessions.

  2. I am amused. Your post chimes with me because I have issues with 'romance'. If the heroine is drop dead gorgeous I immediately hate her and don't want her to get the man, because she could have anyone. If the hero is super-successful, rich, handsome, powerful, arrogant, I don't like him either. I prefer my protagonists to be real people with flaws and baggage. I want the situations they find themselves in to be real. Yes, there is love (not lurve) but I don't like predictable or rose tinted. But perhaps I'm weird.