Liar McLyingplants, Books, and Other Growing Things

First, we have an update on the Wars of the Roses. Not the historical one, to make things clear from the outset. I mean the one in my living room window. I’d been touched that the boys seemed to be reaching for each other, to make a  natural arch for the Skye O’Malley Hart-Bowling Memorial Garden, but, yesterday, I found out it was all lies. Tudor (the big, big boy, with both of the rosebuds) had not been twining with his brother, Lancaster, but reaching all the way across him, to steal all of his sunlight, and climb the window. Well, then. I have since changed their seating arrangements, and, since Tudor’s higher stems (branches? New rose mom here, so I don’t know all the terms yet.) get floppy if I  move him away from the actual glass, probably some sort of support. Is this where a trellis comes in? I’ve always wanted a trellis. There’s even a scene with a trellis in Her Last First Kiss. Two of the, actually, as what goes up must come down, so this is somewhat romance novel related.

Tudor is the big one, Lancaster is the shrimp.

Most things are, these days, which is a good thing, as that’s what I do, so I will count that as a good thing. In the next week, Melva and I should have the first batch of information for Chasing Prince Charming’s blurbs and such, off to The Wild Rose Press, and then we get to fill out a cover art questionnaire (super excited for this part!) and then it will be galley time. I don’t think this part of the process is ever going to grow old. Won’t be long now before the idea that started as a way to kill time before breakfast turns into a real, live book. I love when that happens.

This time is also bittersweet. Chances of getting an ad and/or review in Romantic Times magazine (aka RT Book Reviews) are nil, because the magazine that had been a mainstay of my romance reading and writing life, closed last year. No editorials on the current plagiarism scandal that has hit Romancelandia (Nora Roberts has a better bead on it than I ever could, so go here for a closer look) from Kathryn Falk, RT’s mastermind, now in well-earned retirement, or from her close friend and one of the OG historical romance writers, the late, great Bertrice Small, a wise woman as well as an unmatched and always original writer. I’m sure ther are other romance writers, who have been around the block a time or two, with opinions and experiences to share on this front, but sometimes, one misses a specific flavor, and that’s applicable to current events at the moment.

My forays into the world of Book Tube continue, as I search out Book Tubers who specialize in the romance genre, and, specifically, in historical romance. It’s a minority, from what I’ve found, and I do love the enthusiasm I see in these predominantly young, so far exclusively women, sharing their love of the historical romances they read. Watching someone geek out about something they love is one of my big pleasures (no guilt!) and poses the question of what it might have been like if Book Tube was around in the 80s and 90s, when many of the books that made me the reader and writer I am were first available. I find the fact that it’s been an entire generation since some of the names that populate my keeper shelves have been the new kids on the block.

There are avid romance readers today, who have never seen a Traditional Regency, and/or would possibly need a minute to pinpoint the difference between a trad Regency and a Regency set historical romance. There are romance readers who have not heard of the midlist cull of long ago (to some) that sliced some wonderful authors with innovative voices and widely varied timeframes, out of the mainstream publishing world. Romance readers exist, and romance writers, as well, who don’t remember when series books were not the norm, and one writer might write -under the same name, no less- in any historical period that struck their fancy. Sure, there are some delightful historical romances that are the bookish equivalent of a romantic comedy movie, with lovely wallpaper, but that’s not the only flavor out there. Darker and grittier (but still with the all-important HEA!) angstbunny me wants to blabber, too.

Where am I going with all this? Not sure I know at this exact moment. Melva and I have our first co-written contemporary romance to see all the way home, as it were (or put on the school bus; that might be a better metaphor) while we move our second co-written book to the end of its first draft, and I am definitely feeling the historical romance love, which means Her Last First Kiss moves ever closer to the end of draft two. A Heart Most Errant, as well, is itching to go back out on the submission rounds, once its edit is done, and a couple of other opportunities are waving at me, so I am still sorting stuff out. I think it’s appropriate for the season of new growth.

How about you? Where are you stretching or itching this season?

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