Itâ€™s great to be back in OCC territory!
My name is Chris Green (writing as Crystal Green for Harlequin Silhouette), and Iâ€™m now an out-of-town member who misses coming to the meetings very much. If you havenâ€™t met me, you might not know that I write Silhouette Special Editions and Bombshells, Harlequin Blazes, plus single title vampire books for Berkley. Yes, just a few different genres and romance sub-genresâ€”and thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m blogging about today.
Writing for multiple lines.
There are a lot of authors out there who believe that writing in such an unfocused manner is a negative, and I absolutely understand their reasoning. â€œBrandingâ€ (making your name an easily identifiable product) is important to sales, and spreading out your â€œbrandâ€ (or what the audience expects from the author) only serves to hurt you in the long run. I can tell you firsthand that this is a scary situation for me because, oftentimes, a reader doesnâ€™t know what kind of story Iâ€™ll be giving them from one month to another. They canâ€™t depend on a definite â€œcomfort readâ€ from me. It makes Crystal Green, as a product, hard to pin down.
But my creative side loves that.
True, writing different types of stories is a business risk, but in my case, sticking to one thing is a quick road to burn out. First, I have eclectic tastes anywayâ€”for instance, I read three books at a time and theyâ€™re all from different genres. This is obviously reflected in my writing: I love challenge and variety (Key words, here!). Second, I know that if I created stories for just one line, I wouldnâ€™t be able to write as much as I do now. This past year, I had six original releases (that number isnâ€™t including two reissues). Next year, Iâ€™ll have about four, but thatâ€™s because these single-title fantasy Berkley Vampire Underground books take much more time (as do Bombshells). In order to keep up this pace, I need constant challenge and variety. Let me explain further: my â€œhome lineâ€ (where I made my first sale) is Special Edition; these books are known for their â€œhome-and-hearth/communityâ€ qualities and the stories speak to the innocent side of me that loves a good happy ending. Blaze stories, which are â€œhot and steamyâ€ romances, give me the chance to get a little wild. Bombshells feature more complex plots and they allow me to get a lot darker (Iâ€™ve written a vampire bookâ€”THE HUNTRESSâ€”as well as a murder mystery thatâ€™ll be released in fall, 2006.). And then there are the Berkley Vampire Underground booksâ€¦. These combine emotion, steaminess, mystery, adventure, and fantasy, so theyâ€™re a stew of everything else I write. So, you see, Iâ€™m getting plenty of that challenge and variety.
Third, and this is maybe the most important item for me, when I think of a story idea, it doesnâ€™t always fit into a certain line. I go with what excites me, and that can be just about anything. When I thought of the concept for THE HUNTRESS, I was writing for Special Edition and Blaze. Sure, I was wary about taking on another line, but, daggonit, I really wanted to do this book. Branding was the last thing that would soothe the creative monster in me, so I went for it. And you know what? That decision is redefining my careerâ€”it led to my three-book deal with Berkley and is taking me in different directions daily.
Business versus creativityâ€”thatâ€™s my biggest struggle right now. But everyone has to deal with it, and you have to come up with your own solutions. Whatâ€™s the right decision for you? How is each story idea going to affect your career and/or your well-being?
I hope this gives you something to chew on. Happy Holidays and all the best. : )
THE HUNTRESS has been re-released this month as TWICE BITTEN, a vampire story collection that also contains Erica Orloffâ€™s URBAN LEGEND. Youâ€™ll find PAST IMPERFECT, Crystalâ€™s next Special Edition, on shelves this month, too. Additionally, stay tuned for a release date for the first Vampire Underground book from Berkley.
To keep current with Chris/Crystal, visit her Web site at www.crystal-green.com, where thereâ€™s a great contest going on right nowâ€¦.
If you love Regency romance, you’ll simply adore the Townsbridges…More info →
When a romantic rival opens a competing restaurant in small-town Wheaton, Alabama, Sarah Blair discovers murder is the specialty of the house . . .More info →
He doesn’t need a minor goddess getting in his way—no matter how much the redhead tempts him.More info →