Today I'm very pleased to welcome NYT Best-selling author Betina Krahn to Terry's Place. Have you ever been afraid to try something new? See how Betina embraced the challenge of change. And be sure to leave a comment, because she's giving away books!
What’s life without a little excitement now and then? By excitement, I don’t mean “challenge that could drag you under if you don’t come through,” but it often seems to turn out that way. My writing life has been full of such moments and I’m not sure why. Karma, maybe? It seems to me that other people find their niche, zero in on their strength, and ride the slipstream of an early book straight to stardom. Or at least a comfortable career.
Not so the Krahn-ster.
Oh, I’ve had my share of success, no doubt about it. But there’s been nothing effortless or “slipstream” about it. I had published eight well-reviewed books before getting a break and snagging a livable contract. Then I did four more books (of varying themes and intensities) before finding a publishing house that understood how to market my work. I seemed to hit my stride—momentarily—for books 13-17 and then my life was overturned by personal trauma. After the death of my husband, the lavish historical romance I was known for writing no longer had a place in my bruised heart.
I struggled and finally found a footing in a funny, fantasy-oriented medieval series that became known as “The Brides of Virtue” Series. When the “Brides” trilogy was finished, I decided to strike out in an adventuresome direction. . . blending historical romance with high Victorian adventure. I was searching for a new spark and found it—I thought—in my second adventure “The Book of True Desires.” It was the best thing I had written to date. But I turned it in late and it got no support from the publisher and died before it ever took off. Afterward, I was told: adventure and romance just don’t go together in the marketplace.
I read every romantic adventure I can get my hands on. And movies like The Mummy and the Indiana Jones series prove that people love the genre, done right. What is necessary is a publisher with a modicum of enthusiasm to push it toward the top. “Vampires” would still be staked and six feet under if a courageous publisher hadn’t taken a chance on a vision. And we all know what a raging success they’ve been. Several times the sub-genre has been declared finished. . . written out. . . and manages to come back with a fresh angle and a new interpretation of the legend to make blockbusters again. The Vampire thing(forgive me) just refuses to die.
So when Brenda Chin at Blaze asked me to consider doing a historical Blaze, I thought it over and said a big, resounding YES. And my first Blaze Historical found a lot of new readers and was something I’ll always be proud of. A grown-up heroine with a feisty attitude and a libido to match. This is what I’ve been aching to write for along time.
Honey, I’m home.
Another of the things I’ve always wanted to do was write a contemporary. . . a big, sexy story that was smart and funny and impossible to put down. Well, I can’t speak to the “impossible to put down” part, but I think I nailed the sexy and funny part. . . in my first contemporary BLAZE. It’s the lead in Blaze’s Valentine Anthology: “MANHUNTING.” I LOVE this story. I just got my author copies and sat down to read all three stories and I fell in love all over again.
I really enjoy writing with a contemporary voice and I think my contemporary voice may be more compelling than my historical sound. And I’d like to know if anyone agrees. . . so I’m asking Terry to give away three of my Manhunting books for a preview. Share your own ideas about ways to keep spirits and motivations up during times of challenge.
And I’ll leave you with one last bit of advice. Take a page from the Vampire playbook. . . just refuse to die or to quit trying. Because there are things you need to do in this world: lessons yet to learn and people yet to love. Meet the obstacles you encounter as opportunities and never stop trying something new!
Betina is a regular at the "Riding With the Top Down" blog. You can also visit her at her website, BetinaKrahn.com. To win one of her books, leave a comment here. Winners announced Christmas Day to give everyone plenty of time during this busy season.