Monday, June 10, 2013

Untypical-That's Me

     I once asked my editor what kind of books she thought I wrote.  Strangely, an author often doesn't know. She replied Untypical Romance or perhaps women's novels with romances in them.  In other words, I seldom follow the tried and true formula of one man, one woman, one romance.  My lovers live in a larger world where other things are going on besides their love affair.  In my Sinners books, the members of the team form a community.  They help each other out when problems crop up - mostly having to do with women. They have wives and children and problems of their own, too.  They have sex, but not in every other chapter, just when it applies to the plot.
     Having recently finished writing Love Letter for a Sinner, I realize it is another of my untypical romances.  I have followed the career of quarterback, Joe Dean Billodeaux, from his first success and now to the end of his career.  He has gone from a womanizer to a family man, from a party guy to a team leader, and helped younger players along the way while dealing with his own dilemmas.  The new quarterback is on the bench waiting for his retirement and his last chance for a Super Bowl is coming up.  He must overcome his dislike of the new guy and even help him find a good woman in order to get his final wish for a fifth ring.  Will there be more Sinners books?  Maybe.  Joe's oldest son, Dean, is now seventeen and showing great potential as a quarterback.  His second son, Tommy, is gearing up to be a kicker.  Like all things in publishing, it depends on how the previous books sell, but being untypical, I write two books a year whether I have a market for them or not.
     I've always thought I simply wrote romances. But it took a contest judge to clue me in that Queen of the Mardi Gras Ball was a "big" historical novel with a romantic sub-plot.  I believed Mardi Gras Madness was a mystery.  Not so, my editor said.  A mystery must start in the very first chapter. I seem to recall Miss Marple wandering around her village for page after page until the actual mystery crops up, but you don't want to argue with your editor.   So, it is a romance with a mystery buried inside of it. Got another one of those coming up later this year, Courir de Mardi Gras, but I won't dare call it a mystery.
     Whatever I write, I try to give the reader a good absorbing story that reads fast and smoothly to its happing ending.  All I can hope for is that people enjoy them no matter how untypical they are.