Daily Archives: May 26, 2005

The Lure of the Dream, H/S

McDonald’s, a millionaire, a french fry will and Mr. Novak are all responsible for my quest for publication.
The thrill of reading my work out loud to a class quickly morphed into hours spent trying to make my friends cry. Only it wasn’t quickly at all. Mr. Novak was fifth grade. My friends weren’t crying until eighth.
By then I’d fallen in love with the romance genre and the idea of being an author.
I forgot about that dream for awhile but it didn’t forget me.
Now all these years later I’m writing books that make my friends cry again. And still I’m chasing the dream.
What is it that keeps a writer going, spending the 74 cents on a query, the hours on a manuscript even when they know chances are the story will end in rejection?
When will the rejections add up to some insurmountable wall? Does that even happen?
I don’t know. For me, the time has not come. I still enjoy the story and the process of creating it even though the rejections still sting.
The dream still lures, drawing me in and willingly I go. And with each word typed, I know the dream is there, just a few steps ahead of me. Waiting for me to find the right path to get there.

For years I’ve read Harlequin and Silhouette romances. They’ve been a sort of comfort for my soul. Lately they’ve been in the news all the time. They’re losing readers and people are wondering what’s next.? I wonder too.
By the time I was my daughter’s age, I’d already fallen in love with a few hundred Greek Tycoons. I dreamed of being the secretary who won the lottery vacation of a lifetime, or maybe I was a nurse called Sister Mary. (It took me the longest time to figure out all the nurses were Sister so and so!)
I couldn’t wait to share my love of the genre with my daughter.
She tried to read romance. She really did.
But she never got past the first couple chapters.
She eats up Shopoholic and Bridget Jones, but keep her away from romance. She’s just not interested.
I thought maybe it as just an age thing, so I asked my students. None were reading romance. At least not romance without a chic lit feel or a suspense or horror element.
I was stunned.
I have my own theory on what’s happened, and I don’t really think it has to do with the fact that kids are reading less these days.
I just think the hopes and dreams of teenage girls today don’t rest on the fantasy of wife, mother and wealth. They want careers and credit cards and cute cars and a life filled with trips abroad. And a bunch of them have seen the lifestyle of Sex and the City and decided that’s not for them either. They want stability but not necessarily husbands.
It’s interesting and it’s really made me think.
Who is my target audience? Who do I want to read my stories?
If I’m thinking those thoughts, you can bet editors are too?
Answering that question first just might help the dream of publication come true.