This week I officially start plotting my first Harlequin BLAZE submission. This has been a market I’ve loved since I started writing romance almost ten years ago and is an excellent way to get into mass market publication. It seems that many authors I know and read have made the crossover from erotica into romance now that we’re allowed to push the sexual boundaries. Emma Holly and Lora Leigh are two successful authors who have made the transition from one smaller market to a much larger one. Miss Holly used to write steamy erotica for Black Lace before being picked up by Jove. Lora Leigh wrote for the up and coming e-book market before also being picked up by Berkley.
Coming from the E-book market myself, my niche is only slightly different than Miss Leigh’s. Her books are steamy, sexy, and edgy. Mine are BDSM romances and cross a lot of boundaries but for a variety of reasons I’m not able to break into the romance market without a fight. I’m not sure why but it doesn’t matter in the end. I can write a BLAZE or even a Silhouette Nocturne for Harlequin. The crux is that since these novels aren’t going to be my normal action adventure style novels, I have to re-examine my writing tools.
Sure I still must determine premise and goal, character motivation, And I must still plot in my three to four acts but the formula is slightly different than it would be. When writing Category Romances, I’m struggling to get my characters down and keep the emotions exciting, expressible and intense without giving my readers the feeling that if these two don’t end up together then the entire world will end.
Just their world.
I’m not overly concerned with the hero’s journey anymore than I am about the heroine’s. We’re taking them on a trip that concerns matters of the heart and slightly more than that. The Harlequin romance formula isn’t complicated as some would like to believe of it, but the stories must be unique and sexy. My sensuous tales will be shared here shortly. I’m looking forward to plotting and getting started with the actual writing.