Hey, my hero shot my heroine! He even did it on purpose. But (thereâ€™s always a but) he did it in a secret baby book.
It occured to me, while doing my morning dispersal of children, that I’ve written two secret baby books. I’d forgotten all about the first one–the Silhouette Romance I wrote for the wrong reasons, which was rightly rejected by the acquiring editor even though the requesting editor liked it. That secret baby existed solely for the hook.
The second secret baby exists because he needs to. The central theme (I guess it’s the theme?) is that no matter how hard a woman tries to reinvent herself as the perfect mother, she can’t deny who she was or who she still is deep inside, and the father’s a part of that. But I’m sure every other writer who’s written a secret baby book thinks her secret baby transcends the cliche, too.
Considering the comments I’ve seen around blogs in recent days wishing immediate doom on secret baby books (and I’m not link hunting–if you bloghop, you’ve seen them), the fact I’ve written two made me feel kind of blecchy.
Then I remembered something Silhouette Editor Leslie Wainger said on a workshop tape. (Paraphrasing) “Hooks are hooks because they sell.”
A finely-tuned marketing machine like Silhouette wouldn’t pump those secret babies out there if they didn’t sell. Those titles we make fun of? The ones I see put down the most are Presents titles. Check out the Waldenbooks series list–those same Presents with the much lamented titles.
So where the heck do all of those readers live? Presumably not on the internet. But they’re out there. And they’re buying books. Lots of them.
So if you’ve written a secret baby book, or a book entitled The Commodore’s Charming Concubine hold your head up.
And when The Sartorial Senator’s Secret Son hits the list, you can laugh all the way to the bank.