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[For contest info, see August 1 entry]

I’m feeling pretty lucky today. Sure, the Bombshell line was cancelled, but guess what? I had the privilege of writing for it. The challenge of writing for it. The fun of writing for it! Plus, I have a new book coming out in two/three weeks that might be my best Bombshell yet. I’ve already gotten some feedback from advance readers who loved Suzannah and Justin – yay! Believe me, that softened the blow. A lot. And it also made me think.

And guess what I found out?

If I had it all to do over again, I’d do it in a second. Heartache at seeing the line end – you bet. But still, I’d do it again.

Thinking back to the day when I first heard that H/S was going to do a series – as yet unnamed – about kick-ass heroines who save the day with love stories that were subplots and could be realistic and in proportion to the needs of the story, I just sat back and said – “wow, I wish I could get in on this, b/c I want to write stories with unique heroines and with romantic subplots rather than romance-centric ones. But kick-ass? I can’t do that!”

Then a further clarification was issued by H/S – the heroine’s kick-ass strength can be fighting, or a superpower, or her wits.

Her wits? Yay, that I could do. Or at least, could try.

Our family went to Hawaii for a vacation, and I spent the entire flight coming up with a plot. The result was Kristie Hennessy, a brand new analyst at a tiny federal agency. Her job? Use her brains, not her brawn – not her talent or training with weapons. Her talent was creative thinking. But just to hedge my bets, I gave her an impulse to participate in the ops, and I gave that impulse a name – Melissa Daniels, her cyber persona and alter ego.

Then I wrote three chapters and a synopsis. In April, I sent the proposal – now called IDENTITY CRISIS – to Silhouette. I really, really didn’t think they’d go for it. I didn’t think it would fit their requirements.

Months and months later – it got lost for a while, I’m told – they called. They loved it. Did it fit the requirements? Hah! They liked it because it was different from anything they had bought thus far. They were truly looking for variety!

So I can’t personally complain that the line ended. It was a magical, unexpected gift that I was allowed to be a part of it at all. Add to that the enthusiasm of the editors – wow. They actually loved our stories as much as we did.

When SPIN CONTROL hits the stores, I hope you all read it and love it. It’s got some hilarious moments, and some nail-biting ones. And the romance sizzles. I say that because I’m so full of bittersweet love for it, I can’t restrain myself. I’m sooo lucky I got to write it. And even though I won’t write another Bombshell – at least, not one with that imprint label – I’ll always be a Bombshell author, and trust me, that will always be a source of pride and good memories for me.

Thanks for listening!



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 18th, 2006 02:08 pm (UTC)
I AM LOVING THIS BOOK!! I've been exhausted this week b/c we drove over 1000 miles last Friday and Saturday to be back in time for school to start at 8 am on Monday. So tired that I had to put it down two nights in a row. But you can bet it will be done by noon tomorrow. Got to the first scene where Susannah and Noelle talk about HIGHLANDER last night . . . had to laugh since you had blogged about it.

I hope you can do some more SPIN books somewhere. They've all been stellar.

Aug. 18th, 2006 03:07 pm (UTC)
Penni, I'm so glad you're loving SPIN CONTROL! Is Justin everything you thought he'd be? Don't read the ending first, I'm begging you! (or did you do it already? sheesh ... I'm putting that in the contest rules next time -- all entrants have to sign a pledge not to read the ending until they get there)

Thanks for the positive feedback. It means so much!

Aug. 18th, 2006 02:15 pm (UTC)
I can't wait to get my copy of SPIN CONTROL! Penni, how come you have yours already???

Kate, one of the things that really punched me in the gut when Bombshell announced its closure was the fact that *I* can never call myself a Bombshell author, and that hurt. Bombshell was definitely part of my long-range publishing plans. :-( Being a Bombshell author, to me, said something about the writer -- about how she values courage, resilience and confidence IN HERSELF and in women around her.

I'm still in mourning and will be for a very, very, very long time. I can't wait to start reading SPIN CONTROL when it comes out!

Aug. 18th, 2006 03:05 pm (UTC)
honorary bombshell author
Hey Karm, didn't you know? We'll always think of you as a Bombshell author, and you should think of yourself that way too!

Penni won my July contest and chose SPIN CONTROL as her prize. The minute my author copies arrived last week I sent her one, so Justin was waiting for her when she got home from her trip! They've always had a connection, so it was fun that it worked out that way, especially given the news about Bombshell.


Aug. 18th, 2006 05:07 pm (UTC)
Penni and Justin
Yes, Kate says that i was the first reader to publicly mention Justin. He and I have always had a thing. And even though I'm not THAT much older than he is, I have these fond, indulgent feelings for him like a favorite cousin or something: I know he's charming me to his own ends (even if he's just storing points up for later) but it makes me feel so good how can I hold that against him?

I got Sadhbh's copy of HAUNTED ECHOES, my copy (courtesy of Michele) of GETAWAY GIRL and SPIN CONTROL all on Monday and Tuesday. Took me a couple of days to even open them but once I did, couldn't put SC down and GG looks good, too (first page grabbed me, anyway, but I'd already started SC).

Aug. 20th, 2006 12:41 pm (UTC)
Hi Kate,
I was just thinking about how your SPIN books would work great as a Silhouette Intimate Moments or a Harlequin Intrigue. Your heros are wonderful and could take the lead in a story. What do you think?

Aug. 20th, 2006 02:41 pm (UTC)
No no no!! Not SIM or HI -- those have too much hero (okay, I'll take it if that's all I can get). But I'd rather see if MIRA would pick them up so Kate has the freedom and the higher word count (not that I'm saying I want Kate to get sloppy and wordy but SIMs and HIs have lower word counts than the first couple of years of Bombshells).

Just my very strong opinion,

Aug. 20th, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Penn. I would love to publish with MIRA. And I think Natashya would champion that, but we'd need to find just the right book -- something I want to write that they want to buy. It sounds like such a simple formula, but ugh! You'd be surprised.

I have a partially finished chick lit legal thriller and a partially finished chick lit time travel, both of which Natashya and I love, but we just don't know where they'd fit. In my heart, I know that I need to finish them before they can find a home, because they're so quirky, a partial and synopsis just doesn't do either of them justice. Neither is a "romance" although they're both romantic in their own way. If I were willing to re-tool them to turn them into romances, I think they'd sell in 30 seconds.

But I'm not. Ergo, I'm my worst enemy in this business.

Thanks again for all the support! Let me know how you and Justin are getting along. And before I forget, what do you think of Murphy? He's based on a beloved character from my real life. Including him in SPIN CONTROL was one of my favorite things about wrting that book. Very cathartic.

Aug. 21st, 2006 06:43 pm (UTC)
Hi Penn,
LOL, I'm on my knees hoping for your forgiveness....I have only read one MIRA and it was, ok, so I never considered it. I have always been a reader that looks for the story first, then the author. There are a lot of talented authors that write for MIRA but I usually don't find the stories interesting. Please don't think that I'm knocking MIRA, I just haven't read enough of them. Of course, if the Bombshell Authors wrote for that line I would be an automatic customer. :)

Aug. 21st, 2006 09:39 pm (UTC)
MIRA has an incredible variety of books. It has paranormal. It has suspense. It has mystery. It has relationship (women's lit). It has books with few words and books with lots of words. I don't think reading one MIRA can even begin to touch on the quality and variety that you'll find in it. Which of course leads to the problem of finding what you want in the MIRA imprint. Within MIRA you need to know what you're looking for. Next time you're at the bookstore, wander around and look for the MIRA star and underneath you'll see MIRA's take on what the book is. There's too much there for me to generalize

Anyway, I just see Bombshells being a little less than what I want if they're put in one of the "lines" instead of going to MIRA (or HQN in some instances -- I can imagine Ola's stuff at HQN) or going to another house entirely.

I think that the closing of Bombshell means working harder to follow your authors. It was so easy to just pick up the 4 books each month. I knew that the writing and editing were solid (with very few exceptions). No effort on my part . . .

Aug. 20th, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC)
I agree with you, Sheri. My heroes could easily take the lead in some of my stories. In fact, I have several projects that I was holding back from Bombshell because I wanted to write them someday as hero-led stories -- with strong heroines, but still, the guy is so powerful he dominates most of his scenes.

I love stories where the heroine saves the day, but I also have a strong rescue-fantasy side, which means, some of my heroines do too!

The problem with me writing for IM or Intrigue is tone. Mine is just too light for them, I think. The same goes for Nocturne -- I've got a couple of paranormal stories that I think are terrific, but I'm not even bothering to submit them to Nocturne because they're emphasizing dark, dark, dark, and mine just aren't, aren't, aren't. Mine have some scary moments, and some dark scenes, but the tone isn't as unrelenting as they'd like.

I've tried to write ultra-dark and it always morphs into something with lots of wisecracking. I'm hopeless on that front. But ironically, when I try to do pure romantic comedy, too much plot sneaks in.

So the bad news is, I don't think H/S has a line for me. I've been invited to submit to IM or Intrigue -- even invited to re-tool NIGHT ARROW to fit for them -- but I'm not optimistic about the prospect.

I'd have a better shot at one of their single title lines, but even there, I'm not sure they're convinced that my style could draw a big enough readership to justify it. So even for single title, I think they'd want me to up the angst level.

I'm probably just not a good "romance writer." I like a strong non-romance plot combined with a slowly building, sexy love story. I think my love stories are ultimately romantic, but not the way they would in an IM, where the romance is front and center.

I'm rambling a little. That's because this is an issue I've been wrestling with since I got the announcement: is there still a place for me at H/S?

I guess we'll find out.

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Sheri. It came at just the right moment.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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