FREE Book, Some SWAG, and a SALE

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Hello there,

To celebrate my new release this Monday, March 28th, I will be having some freebies and sales. I will be positing specific links here on Monday, but for now the information is below.

 

First the freebie. Dreamspinner is launching an Instagram freebie of Here for You

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#free

#Monday, March 28

#Dreamspinner

Isn’t that what Instagram is about? Hashtags? I plan to open an account today and try and join in on the fun.

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On Monday at the Dreamspinner website; Lovers, Losers, and You will be only .99 cents!

 

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FREE SWAG

Like swag? I’m making special bookmarks and pens for Close to You. It should be ready about April 1st. To get some free Close to You swag, just shoot me out a PM with a screen shot of your purchase of Close to You and your mailing address. As a big thank you, I will send you some free swag!  This offer is only for those who bought the novel by April 1st. But I might offer more free swag of other novels soon.

I’m also planning some coming audiobook freebies too!

I’ll post all the links here on Monday! Happy reading!

 

Why Do You Buy Romance Books? Finding the Best Romance Books to Match a Reader’s Needs

 

 TheOnlyGuy-3

Why do you buy romance books?

Romance has so many sub-genres these days. I find myself scrolling through more and more choices of what to purchase. This is not only wonderful, but also confusing. It is wonderful to see the romance industry thriving. It is confusing because do I decide by price, a familiar name, or an excerpt?

How do you buy your romance books? As a writer of gay romance, I want to attract more readers. My publisher controls the price of my book, and my name is not that familiar to folks, so what is a poor gal to do? Do you buy books if you engage with the author on social media? Do you buy books if another writer praises it?

To be fair with this inquiry, I turned the question inward. I’m a reader of romances too. I buy my share. Why do I buy romance?

Here are three reasons that came to me:

For Escape

For Cathartic Release

For Hope

 

I did not think about the individual author or the price when this entered my mind. What is this then? It is what I want my product (in this case a romance novel) to deliver.

The promise of why I buy dictates what I buy.

If I know an author writes light and “beachy” books, for example, I might pick her when I want to escape. If I do not know any of the authors, I might skim the books with covers that look as if there is a fun escape to them. I might then compare the prices or read the blurbs to decide my final purchase. Another option is to look at list on Goodreads and Amazon for “escape romances” or “beach reads.”

My favorite romances offer cathartic experiences. I feel purged when I read them. These are the deeply emotional romances, where the heroes might go through some serious shit. I want to go through it with them. My emotions are on a rollercoaster, and I love it. These are also the books I tend to write. I love strong character-driven romances. Any book in my Guy series revolves around emotion and family, for instance.

Other readers, might get this type of cathartic thrill from romantic suspense. Those might be more plot-orientated, where the cathartic release is from the pulse-pounding action. I find it interesting how so many bigtime romance writers went from the emotion-packed romances to the suspenseful ones. Of course, a good novel can have both types of cathartic release.

 

Buying a book with the promise of hope often makes me choose either the totally sweet, low-angst read, or the romance book where opposites attract. The sweet book is like eating cotton candy—sometimes that is just what I want. But a hopeful read can also be about two people who should not be lovers, but find themselves in love against all odds. I’m not thinking about the enemies-to-lovers trope as much as two main characters who are from vastly different worlds. Because, for example, if the bad boy rocker can love the do-gooder animal rights activist, it means there is hope for any two people out there to fall in love.

I think about my book The Holiday Hoax for a sweet fix. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6988

My “two world colliding” books do tend to go for enemies to lovers like Exposed or The Last Guy Breathing, but I do think Lovers, Losers and You has a sweeter version of two world’s colliding…

Why else do you buy romances? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Romance Writing and Pacing

Pacing is an odd aspect of writing. There must be a sense of timing (similar to comic timing) that a writer explores. The story has to be not only quick, but also satisfying. Those two things can be at opposition if the scene requires description and details, but the characters goals are still far away.

Today I cut an entire scene out of my story. It was a cute scene, but it did not add to the arc of my story. It only cluttered the pacing of what I needed to accomplish, so I cut away at it. Often I do this or I might rearrange the order of the scenes, like puzzle pieces, finding a way to make them fit.

If you ever wrote an academic essay, think about the way you find your thesis and topic sentences. The rough draft is all gut instinct. The final draft, though, might need to be polished and reordered. It is not about the plotter vs. the pantser, although one might revise more than another. It is about pieces of a novel vs. the entire novel. Even the most fabulous scene can be cut if it distracts from the whole.

To put this another way, if I’m lost and desperate in the deep woods, looking for my way home, I won’t stop to pick some flowers and make a hair decoration.

Pacing is about figuring out timing +necessity. However there is also a magical quality that enters the formula, and this is where it can be tricky. Because in any good scene, the readers need to have gone through it with the character and have the “feels” from the experience. The scene has to emotionally fulfilling. Yet it cannot take so long that readers get impatient. That is why timing is key to so much of good writing. When I googled the topic, I was disappointed how few articles I found on pacing in creative writing, especially in romances. It would be a terrific panel discussion. Maybe it is not often discussed because it has that magical, murky quality?

I’m definitely going to ponder the topic more! In the meantime, it is back to my WIP and my red pen.

Close To You, Romance in the Sunshine and Happiness Series: Links

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For those interested, my pre-order links went up! Yay! I’m happy dancing!

http://www.amazon.com/Close-You-Sunshine-Happiness-Book-ebook/dp/B01CXPVDV4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457984865&sr=8-1&keywords=Close+To+You+Skylar+Cates

 

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-closetoyou-1999996-149.html#.VuYq1WIdyZU.twitter

 

Best Gay Romance

Whatever book you think of when you hear the words “Best Gay Romance,” I would encourage you to share it, tweet about it, pin it, and so on….In other words, promote the books you love!

What inspired me to say this?

Having just come from a few conferences, I can tell you that writers (myself especially) are often shy. Many of us look like deer caught in the headlights when the marketing person stands up and tells us what we “should” be doing.

At the same time, readers from Gay Romance to YA, are often shamed about their choices (more on this in a coming post).  It makes me angry when I see book shaming for any reason.

We should support and not judge each other.

I’m going to work on this blog and sharing more books that I love.  I want to talk craft. Craft excites me!

I want to  share some news. Maybe offer some free reads and some polls? Because I think being interactive with each other is success.

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I stopped blogging here because talking to myself is not exciting. I’d rather go off and create a story and listen to the voices in my head. On the other hand, listening to all of you out there is awesome.

For example, I’d love to simply know what makes a romance book great to you? What tropes would you like to see more of in Gay Romance? What do you think of when you hear words like “best”?

Then I want to go and read what you:

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