Let me start by saying it's not my fault. I didn't plan to write a women's fiction book. I'm a romance writer. I love romance. I love all the firsts. First meet, first kiss, first—well, you know. But I had this idea for a story...
The heroine came to me one Saturday afternoon while I was watching Project Runway. (I’m obsessed with Project Runway.) With great excitement, I told my agent all about this quirky, artsy girl. Megan was one of those kids who could take an outfit from ordinary to awesome with nothing but scissors and some thread. She saw art in fabric and texture, put together odd combinations that shouldn’t have worked but did.
What would happen to a girl like that, I wondered, if she bowed to family pressure and got a “sensible” job? And how would she feel about a sister who rejected sensibility to pursue her own crazy dream?
“Sounds fabulous,” my agent said. “You realize, of course, it’s not a romance.”
Not a romance? Heresy! Of course it’s a romance. I’m a romance writer. So I pulled out Travis, the Boy Not Taken. The bad boy Megan loved but let go. See? A real, live hero. They kiss. They—well, you know. (Hope I haven’t ruined any surprises for you.)
My agent patted my hand condescendingly. “Not a romance,” she repeated. “You want to tell Megan’s story.”
She was right, as she often is. Travis is a big part of Megan’s story, but her annoying sister and hypochondriac mother also play major roles. Sunset Bay is Megan’s journey. Rediscovering her quirky, funny side. Making peace with her less than perfect family. And yes, finding the man who will appreciate everything that’s unique and wonderful about her.
Sunset Bay was such fun to write that I almost hated finishing it. Almost. To celebrate its release, I’m giving away $250 in gift cards to some of my favorite department stores so that some lucky reader will be able to enjoy a fashion spree. You can enter at my website, http://www.susanmallery.com/.
Sunset Bay is, I’m forced to admit, women’s fiction. But wow, the line between romance and women’s fiction sure is blurry. At least for me. What’s the difference between the two for you?