As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, writer’s conferences provide great inspiration and motivation. The publishers, editors and agents are always looking for something fresh and new. So I came up with what I thought was a “brilliant” idea. I was going to write a romantic comedy from the hero’s point of view. Wouldn’t it be great to understand what was going on inside the male brain, to get his insights on the women he was interacting with and to view the world through his lens?
I jumped right in on what I was calling Pandora’s Closet. The storyline went something like this. Three 40-something women own and run a clothing company called Pandora’s Closet. Their administrative assistant retires and they end up hiring a young male technology guru who will not only answer the phones but will also bring their company into the 21st Century. The women are beautiful and smart. Two are divorced moms, and one forever single. The hero is young, hot, and a bit cocky, with lots to learn. There is plenty of interaction, love, angst, drama, to go around, especially when one of the bosses falls for our hero. Ninety-thousand words and 18 months later, I had a novel.
I tried sending the book out to agents, other publishers, other writers with the same result…they didn’t like the fact that this story was told 1st person from the hero’s point of view. “Romances are for women. Our readers want to be inside the heroine’s head. Who cares what the guy thinks.” These were some of the comments I got back. I was crushed.
Even though I knew this book wasn’t right for Ellora’s Cave, I sent it to my editor and asked for her opinion. She was brutally honest, which is something I love about her, although it can be painful. Number one, the book lacked big enough drama to warrant the 90,000 word length. Number two, romances told from the male perspective aren’t going to sell. I had a choice to make…rewrite and cut, changing the perspective to my heroine or shelve it. After a year and a half, I was ready to be done with it, so I shelved it. It was the first novel I’d written that wasn’t going to see the printed page.
Of course, I was extremely disappointed and at first I felt I had wasted 18 months of my life working on my “brilliant” idea. But as time went on, I realized it wasn’t a waste at all. I had loved writing this story. I still think it’s the bomb! I still love the quirky characters and the crazy situations. And I loved being inside of my hero’s head. He was young and had a lot to learn about older women, but he grew and ended up with the woman he loved. Maybe someday the world will be ready for a romance told from a young male’s point of view. Or maybe enough time will have passed and I’ll want to rewrite, but until then, I decided it was time to move on and get back to work. I was ready to try my hand at something different and I knew just what that something was going to be.
Christie Walker Bos lives in Big Bear Lake, California, with her husband Robbie, her very own Magical Man. She has four published novels: Magical Man List, The Write Man for Her, and Getting Back to Delaney. And writing as Susan Ashworthy, she has the first novel in the Hot PurSuits series of erotica, Stealing Hearts. She has two Web sites: www.ChristieWalkerBos.com and www.SusanAshworthy.com