Monday, November 16, 2009

Enthusiasm by Jane Toombs

Title: ENTHUSIASM    Jane Toombs

Have you ever considered how important enthusiasm is for authors? I hadn’t, just assumed it was something we all had for writing our stories. For starts, let me tell you I’ve always been considered a midlist author and have never had a problem with that.

For years I went happily along my way, starting out with the old type a-kiss-or-two gothics, writing for different NY publishers, my agent finding them for me. I approached writing each new book eagerly. Of course this didn’t last. Fads in books come and go. Gothic went down the tubes and historical romances climbed. I had to switch genres. When I did, I found no publisher was happy with a lot of paranormal in such books. Unfortunately I’ve always been drawn to that genre, but now I began encountering editors who were following publisher guidelines. A touch of paranormal was allowed, but not a lot. All these editors were capable, but adhered to their particular publisher’s view of what sells and what doesn’t, which meant I had to.

I’ve never regarded editors as enemies, but as helpers who wanted my books to be as perfect as possible. We had the same goal in mind. But at many publishers the editors also had to consider their publishers’ views on what readers want. Sure, they still helped me, but they worked for the publisher, not me. I understood this and tried to acquiesce. But it grew more and more difficult. Certain romances could not contain as much as a hint of paranormal. So I had to rewrite, eliminating any possible paranormal reference.

This my sound odd to those writing and reading today, but for some lines, it’s still that way. Since this was an era before paranormal romances became popular, I had little choice. When I found no one cared if I wrote paranormal elements into suspense, I once again was happy. Plus I did a bit of horror. But that’s not really what I wanted to write because I always want to put at least a hint of an HEA, so, essentially, I had to tailor what I wanted to write. Gradually, over the years, book by book, my enthusiasm eroded away.

I found, though, that if I wasn’t writing I made everyone around me miserable. Then I discovered the epublishers What a difference! I could put whatever I wanted to in my stories and no editor complained. Plus the editors were as good at NY ones at finding weak spots in mss, and were death on typos. Best of all—I could do everything that had to be done online, How convenient. My enthusiasm returned in force. No, I’m not making as much money, but I am making some. To me, the important thing is being happy while I’m writing.

One of my epubs is Crescent Moon Press , where I have my UNDERWORLD SERIES. This is not Satan’s realm, but a strange, uncanny land. My first novella, “Unwise” is available now and the second, “Unwanted,” will be up soon. Fantasy, of course, and paranormal. Yay!


  1. Enthusiasm is a tough mental attitude to maintain, especially when it comes to something we do consistently. Happily, losing oneself in a new world everyday is a big help to a writer. Thanks for Sharing your thoughts.

  2. Unwise and Unwanted sound interesting. I'll need to check them out.

    Tracey D