- by Janet Woods
My 23rd novel WITHOUT REPROACH is a romantic suspense set in the UK and just released there. Except for six paperbacks, my books are all hard cover library editions. My writing leans towards mainstream rather than category. Even so, there was a bit of consternation from my publisher because I’d written a modern novel, since they’d been expecting a historical. Nobody’s fault, just a question of crossed wires.
Currently I’ve picked up the threads of another modern novel, one I’d previously shelved in favor of a contracted historical (that is now en route to my agent in London). The WIP has very little romance in it, but is a family relationship novel with a strong story line and characters who are desperate for their voices to be heard. I was enjoying the creation of this novel, and it’s been pulling at me so strongly that I was unable to leave the characters out on a limb with their conflict unresolved.
The stories that insist on being told are the ones I enjoy most. My favorite books have all been written by the characters with a little guidance from me. Changing lanes now and again isn’t a bad thing to my mind. If a story or character climbs into the in-box in my head and thumps me hard enough, I like to run with it. Modern or historical? I enjoy writing both equally.
With writing being regard as an business – and authors have to think that way to survive – I understand the need to write for a particular market. But authors are also creative artists with a need to express what their hearts dictate. Although I do my best to conform to markets, I also need to satisfy the hunger of creativity in my soul. Changing lanes refreshes my writing and me as an author.