Shannon Stacey

Dude, where's the buzz?

As a left-behind, I’ve been disappointed in the scuttlebutt making the rounds after Nationals this year.

In years past, boards and loops were alive with the latest in industry news and gossip. Those of us who didn’t get to attend lived vicariously through those who did. Agent X says she can’t sell a western to save her life. Editor B’s looking for westerns. Five out of six editors didn’t know you’re supposed to have 25 lines per manuscipt page. Agent C wants all vamps, all the time. Editor J’s actively seeking kick-ass heroines from Des Moines. And so it goes.

Not this year. The Rita fiasco has not only dominated the romance ‘net, but naturally dragged all the previous issues back onto the table. Post-conference is usually a happy time for me, RWA-wise. Even though I’ve never gone, seeing the information flying around made me grateful for the organization as a whole, and I’ve looked forward to going in the future. This year it’s just more gloom, doom and right-wing conspiracy theories.

I can’t wait to get the CDs. Hopefully they’ll be available soon!

11 comments to “Dude, where's the buzz?”

  1. Anna Lucia
      · August 9th, 2005 at 9:41 am · Link

    It’s a shame, isn’t it? I haven’t heard a single piece of industry news from the conference. :???: No fair!

  2. THIS! Christine
      · August 9th, 2005 at 12:37 pm · Link

    The only thing of note, theme wise, I have to report is the impression that everyone is waiting for the bottom to fall out of the vamp/were market… so far it aint happening.


  3. THIS! Christine
      · August 9th, 2005 at 12:39 pm · Link

    Oh, and I did a brief piece on EC. One of my highlights of the conference.


  4. Diana
      · August 9th, 2005 at 1:53 pm · Link

    Oh really? Girl, we must surf entirely different blogs. I’ll try to scrounge up soem good sources for you ere I get home.

    All in all, no groundbreakers this year. I guess I’ve just been to so many chats and stuff lately, and the blogging world means that information in general is passed on so quickly, there wasn’t really anything that sounded surprising to me. Chick lit is hard to break into unless you’ve got something “different”. Paranormal is hot hot hot, sexy is hot, hot hot, a couple places are opening erotica lines, everyone, surprise, is looking for “fresh”, YA is not dead despite what Dorchester says, hisotricals are tough to break in to unless you have something in the limited time frame that is also astoundingly “different,” and — oh, here’s news. Red Sage has raised their advance to $1k per novella.

  5. Sharon
      · August 9th, 2005 at 3:45 pm · Link

    My writing buddy went to conference and posted some industry stuff, but it was all harlequin related. Hmm what else. I got an email about the agent panel and the state of historicals (only one of the three agents said they were selling them regularly) oh and also at the Bantam spotlight apparently the two editors said they liked historicals and paranormals.

    but like you, mostly what I’ve heard has been all about the RITA ceremony. :blah:

  6. Shannon
      · August 9th, 2005 at 10:59 pm · Link

    No fair!

    I agree, dammit. :nod:

    …the impression that everyone is waiting for the bottom to fall out of the vamp/were market

    I’ve been kind of waiting for that, too, to be honest. It seems like a pretty saturated market to me, and yet they remain popular. And if they could remain popular for a wee bit longer, that would actually be a really good thing for me. :roll:

    Oh really? Girl, we must surf entirely different blogs.

    Probably. There are so many out there, and I probably don’t read as many from the chick lit crowd. I’ve seen some news, of course, but the main focus seems to be RWA and there just seems to be less info circulating than in previous years.

    I like hearing that paranormal and erotic romance are hot hot hot, since my current project is an erotic paranormal romance. :rofl: My historical ideas tend to not fall into the popular time periods (1918 Russia, anybody? Anybody?) and my pompoms and cheerleading skirt were really disguising a total dork in high school, so YA probably wouldn’t work out well for me. So doubly glad about paranormals and erotics.

    I’ve never really looked at Red Sage. It seemed, because of their specific focus, to be a very competitive market with little chance of breaking in. I think, when I turned to erotic romance, that EC pretty much filled my radar.

    I’m fairly well-versed in all things Harlequin, but I always love hearing about the historical market. (Although I do wish the news was slightly better.) My first writing love was historical romance, and I’d love to actually write some of my favorite historical ideas. But I’d like to actually sell them, too. :wink:

    I guess the good news is that I’m not writing a DOA subgenre. :thumb:

  7. Anna Lucia
      · August 10th, 2005 at 7:54 am · Link

    Shan, I wish you’d write that Russian one anyway. Time periods cycle round, and I firmly believe that is one that’s going to be hot in the next couple of years – imagine how fab it would be if you were right there on the crest of the wave.

    But I know. Time, time, time.

    And I should probably write that trebuchet book DH wants to write with me…. *sigh* Or even the Bloody Book that was supposed to be Bloody Finished by BLoody now.

    I know at the recent RNA (UK) conference, there was a sense that historicals were coming back, but that they would be epic, semi-serious historicals. Paranormal and romantic suspense still weren’t quite happening over here – there was one pub who was enthusiastic, but still a prisoner of marketing.

    And if you wanted to sell a women’s fiction novel, you’d better not call it Chick Lit, since that is dead as the proverbial doornail over here. But for once, we’re ahead of the US in that respect, since CL started here. I think the shelf life of CL might be even longer in the US – over here it was a Phenomenon, over there I think it’s become a genre in the lasting sense of the word.

  8. Diana
      · August 10th, 2005 at 8:48 am · Link

    I agree, Anna. I think in the Old Country (hee hee, the O.C. — sorry, that’s only amusing to me, obviously) the idea of chick lit was in a sense very limiting. They were all very much about these city girls in London or wherever doing the Bridget JOnes Shopaholic Sex and City thing — or at least, that’s what I’ve garnered from the imports I’ve read.

    However, I think here we took the original chick lit formula and ran with it, and what has happened is that it’s the chick lit tone and voice, rather than the plots and situations, that have becoem the hot thing. (I remember Abby Zidle saying at our editor appointment that she thinks that if chick lit goes anywhere, it will become swallowed by women’s fiction and romance at large and become more of a way of telling a story rather than an actual story itself.) So you have country girls snarking around, soccer mom’s sneaking cosmopolitans, paranormal chicks fighting vampires…

    I say this, having written what I’ve called a chick lit, and been told by my agent and publisher and marketing people is actually more “chick lit informed” than a member of the classic genre.

    Re: Red Sage : We *are* an increidbly competitive market, since for years we put out one book a year and that was it. However, now that we’re branching into 6 anthology collections per year plus single titles, it’s a great time to break in. HTough I don’t know what your situation is with you EC contract. Might be you’re booked with the erotic romance?

  9. Charlene
      · August 10th, 2005 at 9:05 am · Link

    Great news about Red Sage! I hadn’t heard that. Better go :type:

  10. Shannon
      · August 10th, 2005 at 11:39 pm · Link

    I do love the way the chick lit genre is expanding. I didn’t read much of it before because, though I usually like the chick-lit “voice”, I have a hard time identifying with the traditional (?) heroines. But now, with Gena’s Awaken Me Darkly and Julie Kenner’s Carpe Demon, I’m getting the voice and tone I like in stories I really enjoy.

    (I remember Abby Zidle saying at our editor appointment that she thinks that if chick lit goes anywhere, it will become swallowed by women’s fiction and romance at large and become more of a way of telling a story rather than an actual story itself.)

    That may sum up how I feel about chick lit—I often love the voice and the pacing and the tone, just not the situations and settings. If that makes any sense. (Note time stamp, not that I make any more sense during the day.)

    *unplugs Charli’s computer* Sheesh, woman. Aren’t you busy enough? :rofl:

  11. Cece
      · August 13th, 2005 at 5:56 pm · Link

    I kinda think paranormal is hitting that same place that chick lit did. It’s getting glutted, and soon (if not now), it’s going to take something extraordinary to sell (like Vickie Taylors gargoyles–i hope I got her name right since I have her book around here). Same with erotica eventually.

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