Friday, April 11, 2008

I Second That Advice!

How do I follow after Becky’s great post on Wednesday? That was excellent advice. (That's why she's the boss!)

I see a lot of repetitious ideas in Heartsong proposals. For a while, it seemed like too many were about the heroine inheriting a ranch or large estate of some sort and showing up to take it over, usually without a clue what to do, and the hero had to help her out and of course fell in love in the process. We did publish a few stories with that basic plot and they were great, but the scenario got tired. Maybe in a few years, we’ll revisit it, but no more for now. :-)

It is a challenge to find unique Heartsongs. I admit our strict guidelines and word limit can hinder some creative ideas, but we’re not going to throw those guidelines out. We must be doing something right because club membership numbers are strong. Our readers are obviously content knowing a Heartsong will tell an inspirational love story with a good spiritual message and a happy ending. But we still strive to give them a unique and different read with each new book they get.

So, like Becky blogged about, I am always looking for proposals where I see that the author brainstormed a little harder and dug a little deeper, pulling out unusual ideas for characters, plot, settings, conflicts, occupations, bits of history to include, etc. Tell me a story about a man and a woman falling in love in 45-50,000 words, but tell it to me midst unexpected twists and turns, in a fascinating setting, with interesting info I’ve never learned before.

We just contracted Heartsong #848! That’s a lot of love stories. Help me keep them fresh and new by following Becky’s great “opposite” advice.

After all those sweet comments about loving the baby pictures, how can I not post one of Jodi today? Here she is after her breakfast this morning. :-)


Mary Connealy said...

We have our marching orders. :)

I think these are nice peptalks. Keep it up, ladies.

And keep the pictures coming.

Janet Spaeth said...

848! Wow! Wouldn't it be cool to be #1000? Of course, that's far into the future, isn't it? Or maybe not. (I've wandered into the math section, and I'm lost....)

Jodi sure looks like she enjoyed her breakfast! Thanks for sharing that incredible smile with us. It's always a day-brightener.

Myra Johnson said...

848 Heartsongs! Wow! Add that number to the hundreds of other romance novels that have been published (and read!) and you have a true testament to the power of love. Not to mention the many and varied experiences and settings that bring romance to life. Obviously this is a genre that's here to stay.

Sweet, sweet baby girl! Makes me miss my little granddaughter!

Lynette Sowell said...

First, what a cutie-pie. That is such an adorable age. :) And then they become teenagers. My 16yo daughter is a doll, but her dramatics are MUCH larger... :)

Anyway, funny that Becky and you should mention this. I was telling my sister about my story (set back in the Gilded Age), and she has a few secular romances because she LOVES that setting. Well, my story has similar elements to the ones she's already read. I'm going to dig deeper into my story and characters and see what twists I can find. :)

Wow, 848!

Debby Mayne said...

Thanks for the picture of Jodi! I always enjoy seeing her.

I'll keep working on fresh ideas for stories. Thanks for the updates!

Darlene Franklin said...

The basic tension of my first published romance (Romanian Rhapsody) was that the hero and heroine both wanted to adopt the same child.

At the time I wrote the novel, I didn't realize how common that tension was. (Hey, maybe they all used MY idea! Hehe.)

There were other obstacles they had to overcome; my hero had to get past grieving for his dead wife and child; my heroine had to mature; and the setting was unique--a Romanian orphanage.

Anyhow, I appreciate the Petersons for giving me a chance. And I'm learning to stretch my thinking to obscure corners.

Cecelia Dowdy said...

What a CUTE picture! :-)
Joanne, you said the following in your post:
>>We must be doing something right because club membership numbers are strong.

I was wondering approximately how many people are currently members of the Heartsong Presents bookclub?

Pam Hillman said...

Wow, that's a lot of books. Thanks for the ideas about what's been done, and what can make an idea fresh, but still something that would make a great Heartsong.