A funny thing happened to me last year. I was lucky enough to make a sale to two very different publishers within a couple weeks of each other.
First I sold to Harlequin Blaze, a fun line that I’ve always enjoyed reading and knew it would be a blast to write for and challenge myself to write hotter and outside of my regular comfort zone.
HOT SPELL is about two paranormal agents who find themselves investigating a haunted house and an enchanted clock that reveals their true but hidden feelings for each other at the stroke of midnight.
And then I sold two young adult novels, a genre I’ve been in love with since I was a young adult. DEMON PRINCESS: REIGN OR SHINE is the first book in a new series about a sixteen year old girl who finds out that the father she’s never met before is a demon king.
I write both of these under my regular pen name Michelle Rowen. I was open to taking a new pen name for the YA, but it was deemed unnecessary (although, you may note that I’ve now split my website off into two distinct branches -- adult and YA).
So I now write hot, sexy books and YA fantasy under the same name. My debut YA came out in October and my Blaze is out in November. It’s been very interesting, not to mention challenging, to promote both of them back to back! LOL!
One of the main questions I seem to get is how difficult is it to write for both?
I have to say... it’s not difficult at all. Well, the writing is sometimes difficult, but switching between the two genres isn’t as big a deal as you might think.
For Blaze, it all comes down to having a sexy hook. And a hook is just that -- a concept that you can hang your plot on. The hook itself must revolve around the sexual relationship of the hero and heroine.
I don’t need to do that for a YA.
That in itself keeps them as very separate animals in my head.
For YA, the hook is the teenage experience -- angst, fitting in, finding your way in life. Some YA does focus on the sexual awakening of its characters. Mine does not. Sure, dating and falling in love is a bit part of it (my YA series definitely has a romantic angle to it) but it’s in a whole different ballpark.
Also, since I’m not much of a multitasker, I’ve never thought to try to write two books at the same time. So when I’m writing one book, I’m not even thinking about the next. I immerse myself in the world of my characters. Then, when I’m done, I take a couple weeks off to “cleanse my palette,” so to speak, and then move onto to the next world.
My Blaze is solely focused on a growing relationship between two people. My YAs are focused on the teenage heroine’s journey.
Clear as mud? ;-)
All I know is that even though I write in both genres now, I don’t foresee this becoming a problem. I embrace (no pun intended) the chance to stretch my writing muscles in several directions and can’t wait to see where my characters will take me next!
I’m giving away a signed copy of HOT SPELL or DEMON PRINCESS: REIGN OR SHINE to two commenters. Please indicate in your comment which one you’d prefer!
Find out more about Michelle’s books at www.michellerowen.com.
Excerpt from Demon Princess: Reign or Shine --
Chris smiled at me. “You look great this morning.”
I guess I looked more relaxed than I felt, but it was great to see him—a wonderful, normal guy who made me happy just by his presence and didn’t give me any problems. “You look pretty good, yourself.”
He leaned closer to me and kissed me. It was a morning greeting I could very easily get used to. After a moment he pulled away and his gaze moved to the right.
“Nikki, we seem to have an audience again,” he said.
I turned around in Chris’s arms and tensed when I saw that Michael stood about fifteen feet down the hall on the opposite side. He watched us, his face void of expression.
“Do you want something?” Chris asked.
Michael eyed him unpleasantly. “Nothing from you.”
I tried to grab Chris’s arm as he pulled away from me. “Chris—”
But it was too late. Chris was already moving to stand in front of Michael. They were both about the same height, around six feet tall. But where Michael was all sinewy, all lean lines under those loose-fitting clothes, Chris was solid muscle under designer threads. Michael’s hair was shoulder length, dark and shaggy, but Chris’s was blond, recently cut and gleaming from whatever hair products guys use to get that controlled-but-tussled look.
“Do you have a problem with me for some reason?”
Michael’s attention was now fixed on me. “I’m not sure yet.”
“You’re not sure?” Chris repeated. “What exactly do you think you’re looking at?”
Michael was looking at me so intensely that I could feel it.
“I’m looking at Nikki Donovan,” he said. “I need to protect her.”
I found that I couldn’t stop looking at Michael. It was as if he’d captured me in his green-eyed gaze and wouldn’t let go. I wanted to tell Chris what Michael had said—all the crazy things about my father that didn’t seem to make any sense. But I didn’t say anything. I knew I should be looking at Chris, but the only person I could see was Michael—and that haunted, protective look in his eyes.
“I suggest,” Chris’s voice cut through, “that you look somewhere else and leave her alone.”
“And I suggest,” Michael said calmly, “that you mind your own business.”
Excerpt from Hot Spell --
Jacob cocked his head to the side. “You’re all ruffled now. Lost that cool composure from before, huh? Do I really have the ability to make you lose control of yourself?”
“I really think I hate you.”
He snorted. “Now it’s hate. Awesome. Before, I knew it was indifference, maybe a little bit of disgust, but hate is so much more interesting.”
“Why are you baiting me like this?”
“Because I don’t think anybody ever does bait you like this. Nobody challenges you, Amanda. Nobody pushes your buttons.”
“Maybe I don’t want my buttons pushed.”
He raised a dark eyebrow. “Maybe your buttons have never been pushed by the right person.”
Her cheeks grew warmer. “Let’s leave my buttons out of this.”
“I don’t think that’s possible.” His gaze slid down the front of her and she self-consciously crossed her arms as a feeble form of protection from his intense scrutiny. “What you can do is amazing. You’re amazing, whether you realize it or not.”
“Amazing,” she said the word with an ironic twist. “So amazing that my father was so freaked out by me that he abandoned my family when I was a kid and my mom was stuck raising me.”
His eyes narrowed. “He did that?”
“A ghost pushed him down the stairs. He kind of blamed me for that.”
“He blamed you?” Another flash of anger entered his gaze.
“Of course he did. It was my fault the ghost was there in the first place.”
She turned away from him wishing the heat would leave her face. But there was something about Jacob that definitely did push those hidden buttons of hers. Why did she let him get to her? What was it about this admittedly gorgeous jerk that totally flustered her?