Wednesday, September 6, 2017

IWSG: Surprise! Thinking Outside Your Box


You never know what you can do until you try. Our monthly Insecure Writers Support Group topic concerns ways you’ve surprised yourself. For me, that’s easy. Since I’m OCD, any step outside my comfort zone is a tremendous achievement (this from someone who NEVER deviates from a set path. Really. Never!). I don’t like change. I’m wary of new things. It took me two years to be talked into trying social media on the Internet (Heck, it took me wrist surgery to convince me to move from writing my first drafts long hand to using a word processor!).

I started out in publishing decades ago writing historical romance under the pen name Dana Ransom (and a couple of regencies as Lauren Giddings). It was what I enjoyed, what I knew and was content with. Then when meeting with my editor at a conference, while we were discussing the next book in my Texas series, he mentioned out of the blue that vampire romance was going to be the next big thing and wondered if I’d consider writing them. Vampire romance? I was taken aback. No, never, I assured him, and we continued our conversation. I went from that meeting to my hotel room to take off my shoes to give my aching feet a rest. Stretched out on the bed, eyes closed, I mused, “Vampire romance," with a dismissive sniff. But I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind. I’d loved reading spooky stuff as a teen and was a creature feature fan. But vampire . . . romance?

My thoughts started weaving. What about a vampire historical romance? I could do that! I couldn’t imagine a vampire western but a vampire regency, now that had potential. Fog-draped London streets, a mysterious wealthy man seeking a cure for a blood disease . . . My imagination spun a wider web. A family of vampires moving through different eras . . . I grabbed for the hotel notepad and started scribbling. A half hour later, I called my editor. Imagine his surprise when I said I had an outline for not just one but THREE vampire books in a series, did he want to meet and discuss? He stammered for me to have the proposal to him as soon as possible. It was on his desk when he got back from the conference. Those three books evolved into my “Touched by Midnight” series of nine books which were recently rereleased by BellBridge Books. From there, I went on to my ten book “By Moonlight” shapeshifter series and am just getting ready to release the third book in its spin-off “House of Terriot” series. All because I asked myself, “What if…?” and “Why not?”

Stepping outside your personal box is scary business but also rewarding in and of itself. Taking a chance that forces you to stretch as a writer, to reach beyond what you know to what could be possible. I took another leap of faith by venturing into self-publishing to augment my traditional publications. Who knew I’d find that so exciting as I look forward to starting up the self-promo machine again for my next title, PRINCE OF FOOLS, “House of Terriot” Book 3, now available for pre-order.



“5 Captivating Stars (or Hearts)! A stunningly raw, heart racing story that held me in a trance from cover to cover! Intense and seductive paranormal romance/suspense at its best – PRINCE OF FOOLS is another Page Burning, Must Read by an author that delivers every single time!” – Cross My Heart Reviews

What risks have you been willing to take – or have let pass you by only to regret it? Don’t be afraid to spread your wings, fellow IWSGers! Fly high!! 


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. 

The awesome co-hosts for the September 6th posting of the IWSG will be Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

10 comments:

  1. Kudos for stepping out of your comfort box, Nancy! The resulting pnr series rank among my favorites. Congrats on the coming release of PoF...I predict the ladies will be lining up to try on this naughty Prince's glass slipper! I'm heading out to be first in line! ;)

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  2. Hello Nancy,
    I'm new to the romance genre, both as a reader and a writer. That I enjoyed writing a romance so fun was my big surprise; previously, I've written mysteries and women's fiction. I'll have to check out your stories. October sounds like a good time for a vampire romance.

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    1. Welcome to romance! It's a surprisingly wide-open genre, with shades of all others to appeal to any reader. Yes, I was surprised when I first crossed to the "romance" side but I've found all the variety I'll ever need within its embrace.

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  3. I never knew that's how you got into vampire romances! And we've known each other how long??? It's hard to step out of that comfort zone. Your loyal readers are certainly glad you did. By stepping out, you stretch yourself and even amaze yourself. Best wishes on the upcoming shifter romance.

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    1. Thanks, Di!! Baby steps . . . then a leap of faith, Indiana Jones style!

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  4. "Ransom" is a great last name for a pen name. And a vampire western actually sounds intriguing...different. I like different. :)

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    1. Both Dana and Ransom are family names so I was proud to use them (and it does sound good when applied to my tag line "Hold Your Heart for Ransom!") I believe there are some vampire westerns out there . . .

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  5. What a great lesson in staying open-minded. Thanks for sharing this story!

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  6. I agree with Raimey! It sounds like you took on a challenge and learned from it. On the other hand, I let an opportunity pass me up years ago. I was writing in an airport terminal and a gentleman who worked for a publishing company asked if I wrote romance. I didn't. And, I didn't realize the opportunity I lost until ten minutes after the conversation ended. However ... I have found that I struggle with romance and I think it's one of the toughest genres to write.

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