I was doing a search on Amazon for copies of an older book whose copyright has recently reverted when I was surprised to find a used copy of Assassin’s Kiss, with “slight highlighting and underlining marks” available from a bookseller.
I have to admit that I was curious and ended up buying the copy. What was marked and why?
My former editor (Pamela Campbell) was underlined, once in the publication notification and once on the dedication page where I acknowledged all of her hard work. Okay, I’ve checked out publishers and editors before. That’s not too alarming.
The next thing I noticed was that all of the erotic scenes were bracketed (I assume this was what the seller was referring to as highlighting). At this point I’m a little worried that this person was studying just the erotic bits. I do not want to find my love scenes in another person’s work, who would? Yes, I jumped to that conclusion.
Then I remembered my early days in RWA, when I was trying to figure out pacing and just where to put what, when plotting my book. I studied the genre I was interested in, which at the time was the very popular, category romance. I took those books apart, but I took the entire book apart, not just the love scenes. I looked for the “magic formula” because I was convinced that there was one. At the time, the heroes and heroines were for the most part, all perfect and the hero rescued the damsel in distress in the nick of time and everyone lived happily ever after.
Sounds simple but there’s much more to creating a good story whether it’s a sweet or scorching romance, category or single title. It took years to figure out what worked and what didn’t, find my voice, create a story that I was proud of. Along the way, I studied books that I liked and ones that I didn’t.
Even bad books can teach you something and as authors I think we are always studying, whether we realize it or not. In the end, I can’t know what was in the person’s mind that studied Assassin’s Kiss. Maybe, they were searching for an editor and trying to determine what that editor might like. I hope they found studying my book worthwhile.
It feels odd that someone “studied” a book that I created but in a way, I’m a little flattered and hope they learned what they needed to know, whether it was something they liked or disliked. I wish them well.
Whatever is on your agenda as we pass the half-way mark for the year, I wish you all well.
Until next month, happy reading!
Entice Me/I’ll Be Seeing You http://www.amazon.com/Entice-Me-Luscious-Love-Stories-ebook/dp/B015YEHP9U/
No Holds Barred
Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/7Oyq4j