Monday, April 2, 2012


Writing both YA and Adult romance

“No, you don’t want to do that….stick with one genre…once people get used to your style in one genre, they’ll expect the same tone and level of sensuality in all your books.”

I heard it all but life is too short. I say, go where the muse takes you. Re-invent yourself. My muse slapped me upside down once and I’ve never stopped swinging both ways. No, I don’t mean between the sheets. I mean writing both YA and adult romance.

Is it easy? No. Making the mental transition from hot kisses that shoot adrenaline through your veins to PG-13 lip-locking can be painful. Is it fun? yes. The yo-yo-ing between YA and adult romance does wonders to your creativity.

So where did my tango with different genres begin? I could say…It started on a warm summer afternoon…*staring into space, pen between my teeth*...but I’d be lying. It started with my child. My pre-pubescent know-it-all daughter.

I had just finished the first draft of an untitled adult romance and was feeling mighty pleased with myself, sipping a glass of wine and contemplating a depraved, steamy picture for the cover, when my daughter walked into ‘my office’ with her nose buried in some YA book. No, it wasn’t Twilight. This was before Twilight. I think it was one of the Vampire Academy books. My office is actually a desk at an alcove in the bedroom of my 7 and 9 year old—they love to fall asleep to the rhythmic pounding of the keyboard and occasional chuckles when one of my characters says something witty…or dirty... depending on my mood.

Anyhew, my oldest daughter walked in laughing and stopped long enough to say, “Mom, you should write something like this. It’s amazing.”

Amazing, ashmazing…what did she know? What I heard was, “Why CAN’T you write something like this?”

“Sure, hun,” I responded casual-like but on the inside I was miffed.

Hadn’t I just spent 4 gruesome months with the hottest guy EVER and a pig-headed artist? Visited a speakeasy and walked through the underground tunnels of L.A.?(online of course) Interviewed a real portrait artist and visited a local studio to chat with another?(I really did) Hung out with Hotshot firefighters and drooled over their toned bods? Jealous? Wondering if I really did? I did. All these cool stuff in the name of writing the best adult romance ever. In fact, I was busy visualizing a shirtless hunk with tats on his arms breaking through billowing flames with the heroine in his arms when my daughter interrupted me.

So the challenge began. If I can write an adult romance, I should be able to write YA, right? Grinning like a villain master-minding the ultimate heist, I dove into the teen literary world, read everything I could find. Some plots were funny-I don’t do funny. Others were ridiculous, I don’t do that either. Then I thought, why not go for something different? Write about a love so forbidden hell and heaven will strive to keep the characters apart. Since they’re teens, they can get their Happily Ever After on book 3 or 5. It’s been done before you say? I say no, it hasn’t. Not when the Nephilim are involved. I had no idea fallen angels were going to compete with the fanged ones, but I finished that book and the Guardian Legacy was born.

I submitted the first Guardian Legacy books to agents. I got one agent interested, the über wonderful agent Leticia Gomez of Savvy Literary Agency. One phone call and we clicked. While she tried to find a home for AWAKENED, I went back to my shelved adult romance, my Hotshot firefighter with the body of a god and the artist he wanted to…use …tame…love. I reworked it to my satisfaction and finally came up with a title…SLOW BURN.

So enamored by the family I had created and still waiting for the call from my agent, I started working on my second and third adult book, MINE UNTIL DAWN and KISS ME CRAZY. Finally I got the call. My agent had sold AWAKENED…rah, rah, bring out the pom-poms. Through edits, the waiting and nail-biting, I polished the adult romances and started on my second YA book, BETRAYED, the next book in the Guardian Legacy series.

Is it crazy to switch back and forth between genres? Yep.
Is it fun? Absolutely.

So this is what I have in the YA series:

AWAKENED (prequel to the series was released late 2010)

BETRAYED (Officially book 1 is due to be released on June 5th)

HUNTED (book 3 later this year….maybe).

The series, The Fitzgerald Family, has a strong following, so thanks to my many fans for loving this family and making the series a success. To date, I have published four:

SLOW BURN (Ashley Fitzgerald’s story)

MINE UNTIL DAWN (Jade Fitzgerald)

KISS ME CRAZY (Baron Fitzgerald)

DANGEROUS LOVE (Faith Fitzgerald)

Coming soon:
NOT YET NAMED (Eddie Fitzgerald…due late summer) 2012
NOT YET NAMED (Lex Fitzgerald's story...December 2012?)
Chase Fitzgerald and the cousins will follow in  2013.

Liek I said, doing more than one genre is not easy but fun. If you've read any of my books chime in.

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