Halló, good ladies of the roundtable!
Thank you so much for having me here today. Let me give you a quickie bio: I’m Kimberly Killion, author of Sexy Medieval Romance. My debut book, HER ONE DESIRE, came out in July from Kensington/Zebra books. It is the story of a Scottish spy and his quest to protect the executioner’s daughter. You can read Renee’s review for more details.
What I want to put out on the ‘round’ table today is a mind-boggling question. At least it is mind-boggling for me…What do I do now?
Every author, published or unpublished, has in their past or will in their future find themselves at a crossroad with this horrid question hanging over their head. Whether you have chosen to write historicals or paranormals or mystery/suspense, an author will always ask themselves, “Is this the genre I want to brand myself in?”
Brand can be a powerful thing. I would never pick up a Hannah Howell book and expect the first line to read, “Her cell phone beat out the tune, Back in Black by ACDC.” She has developed a brand for herself by writing ‘Highland’ books. A lot of them. J
Early on, some authors write what they love, but is that what will put money in their pocket. I’m at a place where I am asking myself this question. Do I want to write Scottish historicals forever? Right now, I would say, yes, yes, yes. I love a strapping braw Scot!
I had the pleasure of conversing with Hannah Howell at the RWA conference and asked her what she was working on. To my surprise, it wasn’t another Scottish tale. While it was a historical romance trilogy, it wasn’t set in Scotland like so many of her books are.
Soooo…do I want to write thirty Scottish tales before I am able to break out of that mold? No. I will most likely be dead long before I manage to write thirty books. LOL! But these are questions all of us will battle at some point in our careers.
My agent recently asked me this question and I have to tell you it scared the bejesus out of me. How can I answer such a huge question? My quick response was, “What else would I write if I didn’t write Scottish tales?”
Whoa! Slow down…there are lots of things I can write. So I dipped into what creative juices I had left after completing a 100k MS and sending it out the door. The easy ones came first: Regency, Medieval, the typical historical, then I went crazy and started thinking about vampires and were-creatures and thought, am I even capable of writing a paranormal? And I don’t want to write the same ole story. I want something fresh. So I started researching foreign lands; Turkey, Egypt, Medieval France (none of which would sell in today’s marketplace) and I zipped my agent a proposal. Well, needless to say, that wasn’t the direction she envisioned for me.
So here I sit, typing random words into google to spark an idea to the all-encompassing question: “What do I do now?”
I’m curious to know what genres you would choose to write in, if you were forced to make a choice. And nothing easy. If you write Medieval historicals, you can’t say, I would do a time-travel and send my contemporary character back to 1217 England.