With: Julie Miller
Congratulations to "Jayne", the winner in Julie's giveaway. Please contact JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE to claim your prize.
“Royalty doesn’t sell.” What?!
That’s the message I got from the marketing department via my editor, right after I turned in my book featuring—you guessed it—royalty. Specifically, a Cinderella story, complete with a crown prince and a kick-ass tomboy cop who needed a serious makeover in looks, demeanor and deportment in order to pass as the prince’s girlfriend while he is visiting with a trade delegation in Kansas City. Why the girlfriend? Because someone within his own entourage is trying to kill him, and it would be very nice to have an outside bodyguard he could trust without question.
I thought it was a great story idea. My editor thought it was a great story. I was so bummed to hear that about all my hard work.
Then marketing clarified… royalty doesn’t sell well in the romantic suspense market. Readers want gritty, real characters who can save themselves and others leading the story and falling in love. Ahem, have you actually read my book? My books? After 65 books, do you really think I won’t deliver on the promise of my beloved romantic suspense stories? Strong women. Protective, larger-than-life heroes. Fast pacing. Gritty elements and atmosphere. Heart-stopping action scenes. Deep emotions laid bare by the danger surrounding my couple? Duh. I love romantic suspense. Trust me, I got all the good stuff in there.
Even if it does have royalty in it.
In my mind, I was writing 2 things: a Cinderella story about a royal hero and working-class heroine from two very different backgrounds who discover they have more in common than one might think. And second, I was writing a story about secrets. Lots and lots of secrets in PERSONAL PROTECTION—some could get you killed if revealed; some could get you killed if you don’t figure them out; some could keep you from finding the happiness the outside world wants to deny you; while others are the vulnerability that makes you fall in love.
So… in the marketing for PERSONAL PROTECTION, you won’t see much (any?) references to royalty. If you love stories with a royal connection, I hope you’ll embrace this story. And if you happen to be part of that mysterious pool of romantic suspense readers whom marketing says doesn’t like royalty in your books, then please look at all the other elements in this story. Just like Cinderella, there’s a lot more there behind the façade than you might think.
Do you have a storyline/story element that you don’t like in your books?
(No guarantees that I’ll avoid them [wink-wink], because I try to write the stories I want to tell. But I am curious…)
I’ll give away a copy of PERSONAL PROTECTION to a reader who leaves a comment or asks a question below.
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