Sunday, July 19, 2015

You Name It I Write It by Jenny Gardiner

I am definitely a crazy mixed-up kid when it comes to what I write. Perhaps it's because I started out as a writer, which isn't always the case with authors. I studied journalism and minored in broadcast news, worked in newspaper, radio and TV, and then as a publicist.
So even before I started writing books, I was all over the place. And even now, I'm always writing and pitching stories for newspapers, magazines, radio programming, and online sites. Sort of Whack-A-Mole publishing, that's me. In some ways that has held me in good stead, but in others it sort of feeds a kind of ADD writing, where focusing on one thing, versus covering all bases and then some, might be a good idea.

For years I would just write the book I wanted to write at the time I wanted to write it. Which led me to writing a novel that was a cross between humorous women's fiction and chick lit. Then a novel that was women's fiction. Then a memoir. Then came some rom/com, one ill-conceived dabble in very steamy romance that came about as a result of a writing challenge. Next I put together a collection of essays, contributed to an anthology about dogs, then some more women's fiction, even 2/3 of a vampire novel (written as a joke), I have a brilliant mystery series, and well, it goes on from there. My last full-length novel that I wrote but didn't publish is serious commercial women's fiction (although it is dead to the world right now, perhaps to be resurrected some day if I get the energy to figure out how to fix it).
Years ago I was at a conference talking with my friend Marie Force. This was before the onset of digital publishing, just on the cusp of it. We were both with some publishing houses, me with my foray of all-over-the-place writing, and her with her romance novels, with which she was wisely building up a group of readers who eagerly awaited her next novel. Both of us were quite frustrated with the publishing climate as it existed back then.

"Did you ever think that maybe you should concentrate on one genre?" Marie asked me.
Huh. I hadn't really considered that, to be honest. I sort of proudly wore that "write what I want to write when I want to write it" badge, hoping for the best.

Fast forward a good handful of years. Both of us got into digital publishing in the early days, me with some terrific early success, though a subsequent hiatus from publishing was a really bad plan, but that is what it is. And Marie has sold tens of millions of romance novels and now runs a publishing empire.

And finally I decided I did indeed need focus on one thing and go from there. Which is why now I've been writing and publishing a rom/com series called It's Reigning Men. And I've got an eye to my next series that I can't wait to start writing (although I'm still having a lot of fun with this one so not sure when I can get around to that).

The fact is, Marie was right: I needed to stick with the program and find an audience who would come along with my books. Which is how I started writing my current series. The great upside is that I've had a lot of fun delving into world-building and jet-setting my characters all over the world.

Now I need to to get rid of the myriad distractions that are keeping me from finishing book four in this series and I'll be good to go!

PS today is the last day that SOMETHING IN THE HEIR is on sale everywhere! Only 99 cents through today!
JennyGardiner_SomethingintheHeir200  JennyGardiner_HeirTodayGoneTommorrow200
JennyGardiner_BadtotheThrone200  JennyGardiner_LoveIsInTheHeir_200
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dstoutholcomb said...

sounds like fun to write in so many genres!

Jenny Gardiner said...

it is! perfect for someone with a short attention span ;-)