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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone

When I first began writing romances, I hadn't a clue what subgenres to try. I knew what I liked to read, but that didn't mean I was going to plunge into an urban fantasy on my first attempt.

I ended up writing romantic comedies. They came naturally - and very easily - to me. My first pubbed romantic comedy was Lady Love about a vegetarian poet who gets a job on an Oregon sheep ranch owned by a super hot guy. He needs a cook for a month since his cook/housekeeper is on her honeymoon. My poet, bless her heart, needed a job and a place to stay. Having grown up in foster care, she's always been alone, but it hasn't dampened her spirit. As she tells him repeatedly, she's destined for greatness with her poetry. It was a sweet, funny story that was well reviewed and got tons of fan mail. To this day, I'm amazed at the response.

Following Lady Love, a number of my other romantic comedies were pubbed. It was heady stuff. I was simply writing the way I think and talk (borderline irreverent), but I wanted to try something new. I decided on historicals next and I had three pubbed in that genre.

Then along came erotic romance. I've had many fans tell me that my sex scenes and the sensual tension between my characters are beyond hot. Believe me, I sweated through those scenes. Moving from sweet romantic comedies to hot-and-heavy erotic romance wasn't easy. But I endured. The steamy contemporaries I write come more easily to me now, although I will admit that finding new ways for the couples to get it on is always a challenge. :)

And that brings me to my latest endeavor in paranormal romance. Wow - talk about hard. When I first became interested in writing paranormals, I honestly believed they'd be easy because I could make stuff up. You know, the hero can fly, disappear, shapeshift, whatever. What I didn't take into account is that even special powers have rules. If I wanted the hero's telekenetic power to work sometimes, but not always, I had to have a reason why. Mercy, it got complicated. But again, I endured.

Thankfully, my first paranormal The Yearning was pubbed in February of this year to great reviews. Fans of my erotic contemporaries made it a bestseller.

My next paranormal Unending Desire is coming out in mid October. I can't share the cover (which is HOT HOT HOT) or the blurb with you as yet. But here's the tagline: His hunger for one woman will make him a traitor to his world... And the warning: Will cause heart palpitations, dilated pupils and a rush of desire from a dose of Alpha male with a score to settle, a woman in peril and their smoking hot sex. For immediate relief, keep a lover on hand between chapters.  :)

For now, I'll leave you with that and the blurb from The Yearning

To break this curse, they’ll have to turn the heat up. Way up.

Jasmine Dante prowls Key West’s nightlife, fighting a losing battle against a jealous rival’s curse that forces her to seek carnal pleasure, no matter the danger. Weakened from lack of sleep, driven by insatiable lust, she spots a man who stirs her desperate craving, and begins yet another dance of seduction.

Except the dark stranger who returns her direct stare is no ordinary lover. Inside his powerful body lies a raw sexuality that just might be enough to break her curse. There’s only one way to find out: imprison him in her bed and feed on his passion.

Former U.S. Marshal Mike Stearn is many things, but he’s no woman’s sex slave. The deadly telekinetic power he ruthlessly suppresses comes alive again at Jasmine’s touch. Beneath her bold, potent sensuality he senses vulnerability and desperation. He may be in handcuffs, but she’s the one who’s enslaved.

As Mike resurrects his power to free himself so he can find the curse’s source and defeat it, Jasmine revels in his masterful rule. Her ravenous yearning evolves into rapture as she surrenders to his hunger, her darkest needs—and the emotional connection that lies beyond. Unless the curse takes her life first…

Warning: Tons of steamy sex, smoldering passion and a to-die-for love story with a hot Alpha hero who finds himself imprisoned by one sultry and desperate babe.


Kristal McKerrington said...

Sounds a great book Tina and its an awesome blog. Your have so much talent. I want to wish you the best of luck with the book. Kristal

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Great post, Tina! I'm with you on trying new things--I've got more different things coming out this year than I know what to do with! :)

Paris said...

I loved the post! Switching genre's is always exciting and I know this book is going to be awesome. Can't wait to see the new cover and blurb:)

Liz said...

sounds like a great book Tina. My big switch was from standard m/f romance to a m/f/m and I'm gonna try my hand at regular old m/m soon.
I don't know that I will ever write any paranormal but I enjoy reading well-written ones!

Sue Palmer Fineman said...

Great post, Tina. As the mother of a psychic daughter, light paranormal elements like ghost, visions, past life experiences, and seeing into the future seem normal to me.

Anonymous said...

My 1st book was Sci Fi with some romantic elements. My 2nd bookwas an erotic vampire love story. It was my first real attempt at any thing romance. I was way out of my comfort zone as the POV characteris a 19 yr old female and I'm almost 60 yr old male. I had some really good comments about my story. I feel that you won't know what you can do until you try and not trying is like failing.
G W Pickle

Tina Donahue said...

Kristal - aw, you're so sweet to say that - thanks, hon.

Anitra - hi - can't wait to see what you have in store!

Thanks, Paris - you know I love your work. :)

M/M - wow - good for you, Liz.

Really, Sue? Would love to hear about you and your daughters experiences.

Right on, GW - you have to try.

jean hart stewart said...

Wow, what a premise for a book. Something new and different and I admire your imagination. Can't wait to see the cover...Jean

Tamsyn said...

Hi Tina,

This sounds like a great book! Whatever genre you choose to write in, you always give your best and I'm betting that this one will be a hit too. Good luck!

Tina Donahue said...

Thanks, Jean - I squealed like a little girl when I saw the cover. :)

Hey, Tamsyn - thanks so much for your support. :D

Janice said...

Great post. Good luck with your release. I wish you many sales.


Tina Donahue said...

Thanks, Janice. :)

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