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Friday, January 22, 2010

Guest Blogger: Cindi Myers




Writing short stuff

Like many budding writers, I started out writing short stories. Specifically, I wrote confession stories for "the Trues" — True Story, True Romance, True Confessions, True Experience and Modern Romance. Told in first person, these were stories of everyday women facing problems. Sometimes the problems were ordinary — interfering mothers in law or impossible to please bosses. Other times they were bizarre — stealing the neighbor's baby or moonlighting as a stripper. I loved writing those stories and they were a good way to learn how to write emotion, character and dialogue.

Writing short stories is very different from writing complete novels. I don't do much short story writing these days. One exception is novellas. Novellas are between 20,000 and 30,000 words. Most of the ones I've written have been at the invitation of my publisher, Harlequin, who often comes up with a theme for the novella collection. Then it's up to me to create a story to fit that theme.

This month I have two books out. A full-length novel from Harlequin Superromance, The Father For Her Son, and a novella, "Melting Point" in the collection, Baby, It's Cold Outside! with Jennifer Greene and Merline Lovelace. The title says it all about the theme of this book — all the stories take place where it's cold. I was told the book could be set anywhere as long as it was cold and romantic and maybe even a little exotic. It didn't take me long to decide to set my story in Iceland. Hot springs, geysers, fjiords, not to mention tall blond men with sexy accents. What more could a gal want? I made my heroine an American in Iceland on business and my hero a sexy Olympic athlete with a reputation as a playboy. I hope you'll agree they create a lot of sizzle for such a cold climate.

Novellas are a fun change for the writer, and I think they are for the reader, too. Most novellas can be read in an hour or two, making them perfect for busy times. What do you think of novellas? Do you enjoy reading them or not? Why or why not?

***************************************************

THE FATHER FOR HER SON Harlequin Superromance January 2010 Life hasn't been easy for single mom Marlee Britton, but she's proud of her ability to look after herself and her son. Then old flame Troy Denton shows up after seven years, wanting to be a father to his son. and to rekindle his relationship with Marlee. While Troy struggles to prove himself trustworthy, Marlee wonders how she can ever give her heart to the man who broke it so long ago.

**************************MELTING POINT" in BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE with Jennifer Greene and Merline Lovelace Harlequin Anthology January 2010 Kristjan Gunnarson is Iceland's first ever Olympic medalist. Coloradoan Stacy Bristol thinks he'll be the perfect model for her new advertising campaign, but she isn't prepared for the impact handsome Kristjan has on her. As she supervises filming around Iceland, Stacy fights her attraction to Kristjan. Can a down-to-business American and a footloose Icelander find love in the land of ice and fire?

******************************************Bio: Cindi Myers became one of the most popular people in eighth grade when she and her best friend wrote and illustrated their own historical romance novel. The manuscript was eventually confiscated by her English teacher, who told her she should spend her time learning to properly conjugate a sentence. Since then, Cindi has gone on to write more than three dozen novels, both historical and contemporary. She also teaches writing and is a popular speaker and workshop presenter. She produces a weekly market newsletter at http://www.cindimyersmarketnews.wordpress.com/ Visit her website at http://www.cindimyers.com/

34 comments:

Lori said...

I love short stories, especially when I have had a stressful day and just need to escape. The quick read of a novella is perfect and doesn't require you to use too much of your tired brain!

geri said...

I find your comments about short stories really interesting. Also, that you started the writing process with the "True" magazines. I remember another author saying that this type of writing helped her do dialogue in a more evocative manner. Thanks for being a TRRC blogger, Cindi Myers! I like reading your books! geri

Cindi Myers said...

Thanks, Geri. Yes, I loved writing for the Trues! I love writing in first person, though there's not much call for that in romance.

Anonymous said...

Cindi: After reading your blog yesterday, I ordered your anthology for my KINDLE and spent today reading what turned out to be a terrific book! I loved these characters and you pitched this short story perfectly! So cool that I could get the book without ever leaving home! geri

geri said...

Sorry for not identifying that it was me, geri, who got that book on my KINDLE. I sent the blog post too soon! geri

Glo said...

I enjoy reading short stories, just to get the quick read I need. It's the superromance that lets me escape. I have already ordered The Father For Her Son. I'm just waiting for it to arrive. I can see now I'll have to order your other one too. Thank you for the enjoyment your stories have given me.

Livia said...

I have the Harl Sup FATHER TO HER SON and I'm proud to say I got it before your post because I'm an HS fan!

I have to ask you about the new appearance of the Harlequin Superromances. They look so much smaller than they were last year and I want to know if the change in size impacted the length of the story at all?

Did you know that HS was going to condense before you wrote the story and if so did it have an impact on your story, like did you have to cut some things out that you would have like to see stay in the book?

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