Monday, October 10, 2011

Breaking the Rules

Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm a stickler for "The Rules." I'm a champion of fairness and with most things, I find a sense of order in doing things the way they are supposed to be done.

But when it comes to writing erotic romance, sometimes the rules need to be broken. Case in point: A book I recently self-published, Employee Relations.

I first pitched this book to an agent at a conference several years ago (not the agent I eventually landed). That agent seemed interested and asked for the full manuscript. I got her feedback (and rejection) only a week or so later. She loved my voice, really enjoyed the concept of the book. But (isn't there always one of those?) some elements of the book fell outside the lines of traditional romance.

I made a few changes the agent suggested then pitched it to a publisher. The editor got back to me quickly. They liked it a lot, but the hero's troubled teenage daughter made the book a poor fit for the line. They suggested I remove that character. You can't have a kid in an erotic romance even if that kid has nothing to do with the sexual relationship of the hero and heroine. 

Now, that teenage character was integral to the story's conflict and resolution. If I took her out, I wouldn't have a story.

So I sat on the book. Then the self-publishing boom hit and I thought, what the heck? So I gave the book a face lift and put it out there. I've now made more money on this book than any of my other books. Employee Relations has garnered rave reader reviews and I couldn't be happier.

Just goes to show you. Sometimes it really pays off when you break the rules. Sometimes, you know in your heart it's just the right thing to do.

What about you? Have you even broken the rules and triumphed?


Michelle Polaris said...

Although I haven't broken the rules in this way, who knows what will be in the cards in the future. Your experience encourages me, because some stories just need to be even if they fall outside of the publishers' parameters.

As far as taking risks in general by breaking rules, yes I've done that. And I would even add that sometimes the experience has been valuable even when it didn't seem to turn out in the end.

Ashlyn Chase said...

Wow, Wynter!

Congratulations! It's an exciting time for romance writers. I've been afraid to self-publish simply because I need another set of eyes to edit and proofread my manuscript (and I'm too cheap to pay anyone. LOL)

Breaking rules is what I do, though. My publishers seem to enjoy it...or if one doesn't, another one will.

Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks, Michelle. I agree. Sometimes you just have to do it.

Wynter Daniels said...

Ash - good for you that you have publishers who allow you to write the story you must!

Callie Croix said...

Poetic justice at its finest!

Fellow rule follower here, so I think it's cool that you stretched the boundaries of the erotic romance genre with something unconventional. Good on you for going with your gut. You deserve every bit of success :)

Wynter Daniels said...

Callie; It's good to know I'm not alone;-) Thanks for the support!

Paige Tyler said...

Congratulations on self-pubbing it! You're talking to the Zombie Queen here, so I know all about non-traditional romances! LOL!


Wynter Daniels said...

Zombies might be the new vampires;-)

Jina Bacarr said...

Wynter, I'm late getting here this week, but I want to congratulate you on a job well done!

I'm about to join you in self-pubbing a erotic Christmas novella...more to come!