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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sci Fi Romance, Write Now! by Cathryn Cade

The market for sci fi romance is wide open, and here’s why you should join me in writing it.
Let me just start out by saying that I don’t think of myself as a sci fi fan. I was force-fed Heinlein and Bradbury in high school and while they are truly outstanding writers, I was creeped out by the subject matter they chose. Which of course, was the point--using their craft to take a critical look at human nature and society. But I didn’t want that hard edge of technology used for the subjugation of human joy and freedom. If I read sci/fantasy by choice, it was Madeline L’Engle or Watership Down.
Then years later I picked up Sweet Starfire by Jayne Castle/Jayne Ann Krentz. I’d read every one of her Amanda Quick historicals, and I was ready to follow her to new galaxies just to get more of her stellar writing. The book opened up a whole new universe! Still sweeping romance, with all the action, adventure and humor that JAK is known for. But being set on another world in the future, it also contained some fun aliens and creatures, gadgets and even paranormal features. It was romance, it was space opera as opposed to hard sci fi, and it was fun. So were the rest of her sci fi romances.
My writer’s brain began to percolate. Thus, a few years later when Samhain Publishing put out a call for shifter novellas, I was ready. If I set my shifter tale on another planet, where capture romance was not only acceptable but expected, I could shrug off pesky modern Earth mores and bust out a sexy fantasy.
That first book Tyger, Tyger, Burning Bryght was followed by the rest of the Orion Series. Hard sci fi readers hated it, complaining that the stories were ‘just romance and sex’ set on a spaceship. These reviews did not hurt sales, lol, because romance readers loved the idea of romance and sex on a spaceship. Like me, many women were ready to head for new frontiers, as long as there was some great romance between the protagonists along the way.
I went on to write in other genres, fun I would not have missed for the world. But readers continued to ask when I was going to write more Orion stories. They were not happy I had genre-jumped, and many did not follow. Reviews were stellar, sales were not.
This spring I debuted The LodeStar Series and a free paraquel novella, Heart of Stone. Set on Earth II and the planet of Frontiera, many of the Orion characters are along for the space flight. Readers have downloaded over 50K copies of the free read, and sales of the LodeStar books are brisk. Brisk enough that I’m smiling pretty much all day long, and it ain’t just because Christmas is a comin’. There is just nothing like the thrill of writing stories readers want to read.
If you are here, it’s because you’re interested in writing fantasy, paranormal, and possibly sci fi romance. Do it! The sci fi rom market is wide open. Yes, it is a small niche in the romance market, but readers are loyal and they are voracious as genetically enhanced piranhas! Hmm, sounds like something from the Cade-iverse.
And have you noticed all the help we’re getting from Hollywood? The success of the new Star Trek, Firefly, and all the Marvel superheroes show that consumers want heroes who are larger than life, who have gadgets and know how to use them! TV is following, with Almost Human and other prime time shows.
Many of the digital first pubs like Samhain, Carina Press and Entangled are actively seeking new sci fi romance. A great way to get noticed if you’re just starting out or breaking into the genre.
If you already have a fan base, why not self-publish? 70% royalties and complete control over every aspect of your book. A related free read or making the first book of a series free will capture lots of new-to-you readers.
And your sci fi rom needn’t be hard-core sci fi. Readers enjoy a wide variety, just as they do all the other sub-genre of romance. Join me and the other many romance authors heading out to space and beyond.
Just remember … it’s hot in space, red hot!
Cathryn Cade

Best-selling author of sci fi romance,
RT 4.5 Stars and Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK
Goodreads     My Website     Facebook
Cathryn’s latest release is Creed of Pleasure; the Space Miner’s Concubine, The LodeStar Series, Bk 2

Her mother's people are renowned for courage & sensuality, but can her human side go along when she must seduce a man to survive? 

    Half-Serpentian or not, in the crime-ridden streets of New Seattle, Earth II, Taara Ravel can't defend her quirky cousin and herself against an enemy they can't even see. Then a wealthy man agrees to whisk them away to safety on the new planet of Frontiera—but only for a high price.

  One the lovely blonde will have to pay with her body.

  Logan Stark wants her to seduce his younger brother Creed Forth, and bring the lonely space miner fully into life. Orphaned in New Seattle, Earth II, with only his adoptive brothers between him and the human and alien predators prowling the rough docks, Creed grew into a man with one burning desire--never to cede control of his body or emotions to any living being. Joining a sect of fighting monks, he lived a life of physical control and chastity, until the wild planet of Frontiera called to him to come and mine her treasures.

  Now Creed is trapped by old vows of celibacy & and by even older nightmares, in a life of loneliness. That is, until his eldest brother, space magnate Logan Stark sends him a living gift. She’s a concubine, skilled in the art of seduction and giving a man pleasure beyond his wildest dreams ... or is she?

   And will throwing the two together create a heat neither can resist, or will the explosion when Creed learns the truth destroy them both?


Diane Burton said...

I feel the same way about hard sf. I LOVE Jayne Castle's sfr, too. Great post, Cathryn.

Dani Harper said...

Excellent article, and a lot of food for thought. I grew up reading science fiction by choice, and Ray Bradbury is the reason I wanted to write. Have I ever written sci-fi? Nope, but maybe I need to allow myself to try. Thank you so much for making me aware of the possibilities. :)

Cathryn Cade said...

Diane Burton,

We are kindred spirits! Thanks for stopping by.

Dani Harper,

This is what I love about writing today--we can stretch in any direction and find our audience. Hope you do give sci fi rom a try!


Debra Elise said...

Cathryn, great blog. You definitely have made me think more about sci-fi and if I should also give it a try along with my PNR wip???? I never read sci-fi but am a Star Trek fan both old and new and newer series...LOL

Debra Elise said...

I meant to say I never read sci-fi in school. But I read a series by Johanna Lindsay years ago and of course your books are on my TBR...LOL

Cathryn Cade said...


It's not that long a jump from PNR to sci fi rom, esp with special powers, lol!

And thanks for putting me on your TBR shelf. It's so cozy up here.


NLB said...

I love to read Sci-Fi and am enthralled with people who can build the worlds, describe the spaceships, and make me want to turn page after page. Thanks for the insight.