Monday, December 3, 2012

innocence and the process


A year ago last December I put out my first book on Kindle.  I was beginning a process that I knew little about even though I'd been writing full length manuscripts nearly all of my life.  I had very few expectations for how ePublishing would go, but I had decided to do it. Now I'd say I was naive and really innocent about the marketing process, about what I'd be doing, about what was required. I can't say I know it all now. I keep learning.

When I watch the video at the bottom linked below, it makes me a little teary as I think of the covers that first depicted my stories. I still love them even though readers did not. They were mine and as mine I never saw them as they would seem to others.

My books and I have come a long way since then. The characters have stayed true to their stories. They still have that same energy that I think these first covers depicted. I am still proud of these stories, the ones that did well and the ones not so well. Each is all I can make them be. I've changed what I can to meet the needs of a buying public but I have held true to what I saw as my reason for writing.

They are stories of love, the kind of love that fights to make it work, that stays the distance. It's about new love and that which has been lost only to be rediscovered. The stories are about lovers, who against all odds, struggle to solve problems that stand in their way. Always there is adventure and danger as a part of the plot.

My original covers are still true to my heart even though they are all gone now to be followed by covers that are good too-- just less innocent perhaps-- as am I.


The water is wide, I can't get oer
Neither have I wings to fly... 
Give me a boat that can carry two...
and both shall row, my love and I

It's what love is all about. It's why I think romances matter. Sometimes these kinds of feelings are pure fantasy for us but dreams that never become reality are not wrong. They become part of the energy that keeps us going.

Last week I watched The Magic of Belle Isle. At one point the hero, who is crippled, imagines in a dream that he is waltzing with the woman he knows he can never have in reality-- certainly not that way. Later the heroine speaks of that waltz that never really was. How did she feel it? It was the energy. I think that kind of waltz is what romance novels are about. 

photo is of one of my sculptures

5 comments:

Tabor said...

While your genre is not my kind of book, I think you should be proud of all of your children but also the fact that you have changed and grown with each book.

Rain Trueax said...

Thank you, Tabor. The problem my books have, I think, is they don't quite fit the romance genre either ;) That was why they had troubles with publishers. The women are not weak and needing help but they also are not super detectives.

I honestly don't know that they have a genre because they aren't chick or crone lit either. Pop fiction maybe in that they might have a greater purpose but they are written for pleasure with no apologies about it.

Now I understand better what the publishers were telling me when they would like the writing but they weren't right for their genre. When you don't have genre identification, it's harder to sell books.

ePub is allowing a lot of writers to be in that spot as they no longer have to fit publishing niches-- but they then also won't find it as easy to find the niche where readers, who are most likely to enjoy what they write, can find them. It's an interesting dilemma and I keep thinking there is a way to get around it; but in the meantime I enjoy writing fiction, as I always have, and continue as I try to figure out this world.

Partly it's finding a way to describe what I write in a way that the reader who would like them but wouldn't think of them can find them. I don't find that so much depressing as challenging. I think there is a way but not sure what it is yet-- so maybe there isn't ;)

It might be complicated by the fact that I don't so much have genres of books that I enjoy but just stories. So when I was told about Craig Johnson's books, which are mysteries, I loved them so much I had to have them all and yet mysteries are not my things. It was the characters he created. Maybe that's it-- character driven stories but they are romances so.......... lol

Diane Widler Wenzel said...

I like the original covers because in them I focus on the relationships of the characters to each other and their surroundings. They hint at the essence of your writing. They are you. They form a whole with the story. The ones that are made from purchased photos of models are targeting the market. They look like any romance at the grocery store. If you want to find a readership who will appreciate novels outside of the box keep working on your own painting. you have an extraordinary feel at bring forth the story. The naive stylistic charactercould be easily changed by experimentation with using a different painting digital application. I saw a brush advertised for computer painting in the christmas Utrecht catalog.
Of course being a painter myself and having seen your figure paintings in actual paint, figures in my confidence in your ability to paint strong covers.

Rain Trueax said...

Thanks Diane. I still like them also. The new ones though probably look more like the characters with less like the energy I originally tried to paint. I still have them; so who knows maybe someday they'll return ;)

Diane Widler Wenzel said...

When the author illustrates their own story, I see it as an art form. Yes, romance novels are expressive art just waiting to be fully developed. Rain, I was thinkin all day about the powerful sculpture illustrating this article. It is obviously art and could be an artistic cover for one of your not within the box romance novels.