Thanks for inviting me to the FF&P Blog today!Do you write outside the box? Maybe you write paranormal romance with secondary characters who are under 18, so you keep getting rejected because it’s straddling the line of Paranormal Romance and Young Adult. Or maybe you wrote an Urban Fantasy with intermittent blurbs of omniscient point of view.What about that Korean War historical with one character who is a ghost? You get the idea…
For me, I never set out to write out of the box, it just happened. Over and over.LOLI’ve found that if you write out of the box books, you need to brace yourself for lots of rejection. Sometimes it’ll break your heart, because the editor or agent will tell you how much they enjoyed your book… BUT they can’t figure out how they would market the book so they have to pass.
Don’t you hate those buts? Ugh!My debut novel, Night Walker, is a contemporary paranormal romance, but it has quite a few historical flashbacks throughout the first half of the book. The historical flashbacks made the book tough for me to sell. I had more than one agent advise me to cut the flashbacks, but I really believed they were necessary. Without them, the heart of the book, and the source of my hero’s angst would be erased.
So rather than conform, I wrote a new series and set my Night Walker world aside. I couldn’t face more rejection at the time.But an opportunity arose and my husband (Who also believed in my out of the box vampire novel.) encouraged me to submit the book one last time. It was a new publisher, and I thought I might have a chance at getting my foot in the door.
I held my breath and hit send…Now here comes the gift!
The publisher loved that this was a different take on vampires, and they embraced the flashbacks. So far, readers have also embraced the concept as well. Night Walker has gone on to win a San Diego Book Award for Best Published Book in Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror, and it’s a double finalist for the Book Seller’s Best.I think readers are hungry for something new, but publishing is a business. Taking a chance on a book that might be too far out of the box is risky for a publisher.
But, the other side of the coin is that it can also make you stand out.So if you’re writing the book of your heart and it speaks to you in first-person present tense, or maybe you have that story set during the Korean War with a ghost for a hero, keep in mind that it’ll be a bumpy publishing road outside the box.
However, it’s not impossible!And I’m here to tell you that once you get to the other side and you hold that book in your hands, readers will be excited to see a new angle, and with any luck they’ll tell their friends and your audience will grow.
Is writing out of the box a gift or a curse?I guess it depends who you ask. For me, I wouldn’t have it any other way…
Bio:Lisa Kessler is an award winning author of dark paranormal fiction. Her debut novel, Night Walker, won a San Diego Book Award for best Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror, and was also a double finalist for the Book Seller’s Best for Best Paranormal and Best First Book.
Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego. You can learn more at http://Lisa-Kessler.com
Lisa lives in southern California with her incredibly fun husband and two amazing kids.
Night Walker Blurb:He gave up his soul for a second chance to love her...
Two and a half centuries ago, Calisto Terana lost everything when a zealous priest murdered the woman he loved. Now, desperate for another chance to love her, he wants redemption for the mistake that cost her life.
She's haunted by dreams of her own death...
After catching her fiance with another woman, Kate Bradley returns to San Diego to clear her head. The last thing she needs is romance, but after meeting Calisto she's drawn to him in ways she doesn't understand.
They've waited in the shadows for centuries...
Calisto has no doubt Kate is the reincarnation of his lost love, but the Fraternidad Del Fuego Santo has a new watcher with dark ambitions of his own. As old enemies reemerge and a new threat arises, the betrayal that enslaved Calisto to the night might destroy the only woman he's ever loved again.