What do you mean paranormal romance is dead? According to the New York Publishers, paranormal romance should be buried out in the graveyard, never to rise again. Never? Really? Haven’t the publishers said this about romantic suspense, western historicals? What do you do if you’re a paranormal romance writer? Give up? Or should you grab your favorite bottle of vino, tear open a box of Oreos, and sit in front of the television crying and moaning? Tempting, I know. But this is the last thing you should be doing. What should you be doing? Write. Write. Write. When the well dries up of paranormal romance, those readers will go to the graveyard and dig up the paranormal romance left behind. You want them to find you. Have a backlist ready for them to buy. But what do you do now? I also believe you need to be resilient. You need to learn how to survive the rollercoaster of publishing. I went to a workshop to listen to Julie Kenner. She used to write paranormal romance with her demon hunting soccer mom series, but several years ago, the publishers yanked her series. Did she curl in a ball and eat Dunkin Donuts for a week? No. She reinvented herself and wrote erotica with her award winning Stark series. However, she is now self-publishing her demon books. Julie isn’t the only one who had to reinvent herself. Sherrilyn Kenyon, one of my favorite paranormal romance writers, also had to start over. She wrote pirate historical books as Kinsey McGregor, but the powers at be said those weren’t selling. She went underground but emerged years later with her Dark Hunter series. Now, it’s my turn. I had a friend of mine, Jennifer Maitlen, who always gives me half day to pout. Pouting was yesterday. Now, I’ve put on my big girl panties. What am I going to do? I’m still going to write paranormal romance, but I have another plan. In my day job, I’ve worked as a school social work for over twenty years. My favorite clientele has been middle school and high school students. I have two young adult books already published with Featherweight Press under the pen name J.L. Bowen.
Grant it, they are paranormal, but I don’t have to write paranormal. I plan to write a contemporary young adult book, not under J.L. Bowen, but under my own name—M.L. Guida Julie Kenner made a great point. Readers will find you based on your writing. You’re the brand, not your genre. So—will my contemporary young adult be dark? Will it be suspenseful? Absolutely. It’s me!