I started reading a new book today. JR.Ward writing as Jessica Bird’s An Unfortgettable Lady, which came out in 2004.
In my copy the author also offers the reader a bit of history – several pages she wrote in 2009 – a kind of look back at her evolution before she launched the extremely popular Brotherhood vampire series. Ward talked about her process. How she realized certain things about her own skills and what she needed to be successful. For instance, Lady was written without an outline, something she now says she must have to create her best work.
As I prepare to relaunch my first book Fiona Love on Kindle, I have to say I’ve learned a lot about what I need to do my best work. First, I need information. That came from multiple sources, and I’m sooo grateful for people’s honesty and support in telling me, hey, this needs work. Not only that, people were very generous with solutions, like, you need to learn deep third POV, which is bloody hard, by the way. It’s gonna take me awhile to master, but this iteration of my book is considerably better because I made a sincere effort to use a technique that romance readers want and expect.
I took a big ole bite of humble pie before I made these revisions. I’m no punk in my career as a magazine editor, but this romance writing thing is a completely different animal. One I have to feed and care for in a whole new way. Once I realized that, the book got better because I was able to let go of things, to cut for efficiency and to drive the story forward.
Fiona Love won’t be best work. I’m just getting started, but it won’t be my worst either. Maybe in five years I’ll be offering readers a look back at my process and discussing how my work has changed. Meantime, I hearby release this book into the universe and hope to hear from readers the good, the bad, and any other little thing they care to share.