I’m back at it. Currently I’m querying The Professor and Miss St. James. It’s been polished to a shiny gleam. My biggest problem in querying this book is that it has the structure and payoff of a contemporary romance, but I’m trying to carve out a new spot in this genre with a story that goes a little deeper than will they/won’t they. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that kind of thing, but other people do that better than I do.
I’ve read many girl-meets-billionaire-and-turns-him-into-less-of-an-ass books, and I love them as much as the next girl, but my problem is I’m way more interested in the men in those books than the women. My pregnant heroine, Jocelyn, is at least as interesting as her professor. Instead of will they/won’t they I wanted to explore how these two people fit into each others’ lives with all the baggage they’re hauling around.
How do they overcome obstacles together? How do they fight? How do they forgive? How do they know they’re right for each other?
And I also wanted it to be really sexy. And I wanted it to have a plot that’s bigger than the romance, but also derived from it.
Then, once I realized Jocelyn didn’t have time to give birth in this book, I had to write the book where she does have the baby. And that book ends up being about who the father actually is. And then of course, I had to write a third book about how she deals with everyone knowing the truth and also, her first steps on her journey to motherhood. Meanwhile the professor is dealing with a huge scandal, his vindictive ex-wife, and his constant fear that he’ll lose Jocelyn to the baby’s father.
It’s basically an epic beach read with some big twists. I was once a huge fan of soap operas, as my plot will show. The thing about soaps was– I always tuned in the next day. I always wanted to see what would happen next. But then One Life to Live went off the air and I cried because I’d really miss Todd and Blair. I still do. But I have Joss and Vincent now and I find them very entertaining in much the same way.
There’s this genre I know nothing about other than it’s called ‘space opera’ and so I think I’ll call my new genre soap romance. Scoff if you will, but there’s a reason OLTL was on for more than 43 years. I’m pretty sure the fan base of contemporary romance and soaps isn’t all that different. Not that I actually know, I just know I like them both so… it stands to reason… And as an added bonus, the sex scenes in my book don’t fade out for commercial breaks.
Anyway, that’s my hard sell on broadening the scope of contemporary romance.
It’s really fun to try new things.