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Carolynn Carey

Carolynn Carey writes Sweet Romance.

3/20/06 6:56:14 PM Opening "Chat Log 3/20/06"

origjasstorm: Welcome Carolyn..
origjasstorm: Hi Ginny
Rose1533: Hi all.
MoonCat25: Hey Carolynn
SfwGst: I'm great and looking forward to visiting with everyone!
origjasstorm: Well, welcome Carolyn! We're pleased to have you
W2PSushi: one n or two? :-)
SfwGst: Two n's. My mother thought it looked pretty that way
SfwGst: Let me know when you'd like me to start. Not rushing anyone. Just don't want to fulfill my responsibilities as the guest. :-)
MoonCat25: Okay.. I guess we should go ahead and start
SfwGst: Oops! I mean to say I do want to fulfill my responsibilities.
Rose1533: What's your topic, Carolynn?
W2PDee: People will soon be in...but we should start.
MoonCat25: Tonight Southern Fried Writers is presenting Carolynn Carey
MoonCat25: she has one book on the shelves, "A Summer Sentence," and another coming out this year.
G1ft0fgabn0t: <><><>clapping<><><>
MoonCat25: Take it away Carolynn
W2PDee: clapping hard!
SfwGst: Writing the Sweet Romance is my topic. Thought I'd give a few basics and then take questions. Okay. Here goes.

SfwGst: The important thing to remember about sweet romances is that the heroine is a modern, intelligent, independent woman who can handle stresses. She does not need to be rescued by anyone. Sweet romance is still being published despite the popularity of erotic romances right now. There are still audiences for the sweet romance, and I think there will continue to be.
SfwGst: The thing I enjoy about writing sweet romance is the challenge. Obviously the hero and heroine have to be attracted to each other, but the deepest attachment has to be an emotional one which follows the initial attraction.
SfwGst: I have been published by Avalon Books, which, for those who may not know, publishes hardbacks for libraries. I have found that beginning with the physical attraction is essential.

origjasstorm: What is the difference between sweet romance and chick lit?
SfwGst: Good question. Chick lit is, IMO, more flighty and the heroines are probably younger. I have to admit I haven't read a lot of Chick Lit but I think of the heroines as being a bit more self-centered. Does this help at all?
origjasstorm: So the tone, then is different? Sweet romance is more of a lyrical tone, while chick lit is more humorous?
SfwGst: I think the sweet romance heroine is more mature. She is strong willed and very strong. She has goals and is determined to achieve them. When I think Chick Lit, I think Bridget Jones, who seemed not sure at all what she wanted.
origjasstorm: okay, thanks.
SfwGst: The basic difference between a sweet romance and any other is the level of sensuality. There can be no explicit sex but there can be sexual tension to a degree.
SfwGst: For Avalon Books, the hero and heroine pretty much stop with kisses, although those kisses obviously have a powerful effect because they end up in love.
SfwGst: There can also be a hint of sexual frustration, but this is muted at best.
SfwGst: For example, you might say about the hero, "His eyes darkened" and his dialogue could imply he feels more desire than he will try to follow through with.
SfwGst: When you read guidelines about sweet romances, they stress that both the hero and heroine are likable people who respect each other.
SfwGst: Now I'd like to open this to questions.

origjasstorm: Now, are all sweet romances set in modern times? By the definition of the female you mentioned earlier, I would think so, but could they also be historical in setting?
SfwGst: I think the definition of sweet romance in the publishing world today refers to contemporaries. I used to write Regencies and, as you may know, they moved from sweet to some that were rather sexy.
SfwGst: I burned out on historicals and don't read them much but I think the level of sensuality varies.
origjasstorm: I've heard that they're starting to get sexier there as well
origjasstorm: I don't' read them either

MoonCat25: Do most sweet romances take place in a small town type setting?
SfwGst: That varies but many do. I am originally from a small town and now live in a small city. I'm using a small-town setting but it's not required.

G1ft0fgabn0t: Is there a 'name' for books which are similar to sweet romances yet feature more explicit scenes? Stories like those written by Julie Ortolon or Shirley Jump for example, feature likable, strong characters. They almost bridge a gap between the 'sweet romances' and erotica types.
G1ft0fgabn0t: And they're definitely modern tales
SfwGst: I have not read either of the authors you mention. Of course there's now the "women's fiction" category that is still a bit ill defined, IMO, and features books like Harlequin's NEXT line. Have any of you read any NEXT?
origjasstorm: nope ... heard of it though
G1ft0fgabn0t: Yes, as well as those by Signet and Warner
MoonCat25: isn't the Next line deal with those over 30 facing changes in their lives like divorce?
SfwGst: They vary in sexuality level also but what I like about them is that the heroine doesn't have to be young.
SfwGst: To answer your question, MoonCat25, yes, the Next line does deal with people facing change.

Genjii555: Do these type of romances fall mainly in the Christian market or is there a secular market for them as well?
SfwGst: Next, Genjii555, these are completely different than the Christian market, which is generally referred to as the Inspirational category. Sweet romances don't have religion in them as a rule.
Genjii555: they seem to have more of a moral factor in them than conventional romances though? the sweet romances, I mean
SfwGst: I'm trying to decide how to answer that question. I think you are right, although no heroine in a romance could be called immoral. Maybe the sweet romance is just a bit more moral, as you stated.

origjasstorm: What lines out there take sweet romance?
SfwGst: Avalon, obviously. Also Harlequin American and the new Mill &amp; Boon Tender Romance line, which replaces Harlequin Romance and Silhouette Romance.

G1ft0fgabn0t: What first attracted you to Avalon Books and what do you like most about working with them?
SfwGst: I actually was attracted to Avalon because a friend of mine, Donna Wright, sold to Avalon first. Then I entered a contest for unpublished writers and Donna's Avalon editor judged the finals. I won the contest and she asked to see
G1ft0fgabn0t: A contest for unpublished writers? Are there many of those around judged by publishers/editors?
W2PSushi: yeah!
SfwGst: Actually, yes, if you are a romance writer and belong to RWA. Lots of chapters run contests and all have editors/agents that judge the finalists.
W2PSushi: wish the F&SF community did that more
SfwGst: I was just going to say that several people I've heard of have gotten published because of contests. As to how long sweet romances have been around, from day 1 of the romance market, I'd say.
SfwGst: Perhaps it's used more among romance writers.

Mallie1025: How long have "sweet romances" been around?

origjasstorm: How many novels do you have published? And are you a member of RWA?
SfwGst: My first book came out in August of last year and I sold a sequel which will be published in October 2006. Yes, I'm a member of RWA.
origjasstorm: how long have you been an RWA member?
SfwGst: I joined around 1990, give or take a year. I finalled in their national contest for unpublished writers in 1991, 1993, and 1996. None of those books sold. They were all Regencies. Guess I didn't have a historical voice!
trinapink: (Don't let her kid you, guys--just finalling in THAT contest is a VERY big deal.)

MoonCat25: Do the publishers have set storylines they prefer you to create from? Will they take an original concept just as easily?
SfwGst: Certain lines prefer certain storylines, but all say they want new and fresh ideas. So it depends. If you have a great concept and hit the right editor at the right time, it might sell. A lot of this business is pure luck.
SfwGst: If you are interested in writing romance, join RWA and check out eHarlequin.com for their writing guidelines. Some are very explicit.
SfwGst: Harlequin is not easy to break into, but it is certainly the biggest worldwide (to the best of my knowledge) and will get you good distribution (but short shelf life, as a rule).
origjasstorm: Short shelf life?????????????????????
MoonCat25: I've noticed they rotate them out monthly.
SfwGst: They may be put on the bookstore shelves this month and pulled next month to make room for the next ones. Exactly, MoonCat25!
G1ft0fgabn0t: Not even three months? Yikes!!!
MoonCat25: One of the local RWA members had a series and I've been trying to find the first two in the series.
MoonCat25: Hard to find unless you get them when they come out.
W2PSushi: that's not very sweet ;-)
SfwGst: I know. And it's not always possible to buy an author's backlist unless you go to a used book store. (You're reading my mind, MoonCat25)
Mallie1025: As long as you get paid, the short life should not matter much :)
SfwGst: But you'd get paid more if more people had time to buy your book.
G1ft0fgabn0t: It matters a great deal, Mallie! Short shelf life means less folks get to read your book and less chances for best sellers lists
Mallie1025: well if they were selling out wouldn't that be motivation to print more and keep them longer?
G1ft0fgabn0t: in one month?

MoonCat25: Anymore questions? Did I miss anybody's "?"
origjasstorm: Not likely to happen, in one month.. unless you're promoted on Oprah
G1ft0fgabn0t: That's like saying you have a cold because you sneeze twice.
G1ft0fgabn0t: Four weeks isn't enough time unless you start hype waaaaaaaaay before the book's out on the shelves.

BrownDvs: Thanks for hosting this shindig, Sfw.
G1ft0fgabn0t: and even then your chances are pretty low
G1ft0fgabn0t: ::: shaking head:::
MoonCat25: Carolynn thanks so much for sitting in with us tonight
W2PSushi: thanks Carolynn
origjasstorm: Yes Carolynn, thanks for coming!
G1ft0fgabn0t: Thanks for the warning, Carolynn. Much obliged
trinapink: Thanks, indeed, Carolynn!
W2PSushi: anyhow YOU are sweet :-)
W2PDee: yes, an excellent session...learned so much
W2PDee: thank you
Mallie1025: Wonderful chat--thanks so much!!
BrownDvs: Paul, you say the nicest things to me.
G1ft0fgabn0t: Thank you for joining us tonight. Excellent session
MoonCat25: Carolynn has one book already.. "A Summer Sentence" and coming out in August is "Falling in Dallas."
SfwGst: It's been my pleasure. Ah gee, W2PSushi and everyone else! That's so nice. Thanks for having me!

origjasstorm: Carolynn, will you be at DARA this April?
SfwGst: No, I'm going to Atlanta though.
MoonCat25: Atlanta's in July, right?
W2PSushi: how Dara you talk that way ;-p
origjasstorm: Just checking.. The title, made me think you might be close to Dallas ... they have a nice one in Dallas in April every year
SfwGst: Yes, RWA National is the last week of July.
origjasstorm: It's in Atlanta this year?
MoonCat25: yeah! I should have vacation time built up
origjasstorm: Darn, I'd have to win the lottery to go.
SfwGst: No, actually I'm in Tennessee but one of my heroes is named Dallas.
origjasstorm: oh.. lol
W2PSushi: LOL
origjasstorm: You might think about coming to it if you can next year, it'll be in time to promote your new book.. ;)
G1ft0fgabn0t: Oooh! Sherillyn Kenyon's going to the one in Atlanta, right? You'll be in awesome company!
G1ft0fgabn0t: Jas, keep writing and you'll be there one day soon too :)
SfwGst: Yes, Sherry Kenyon will be in Atlanta I'm sure. She's quite a writer, isn't she?
MoonCat25: Gabby.. I'm going to Sherrilyn's conference in October
G1ft0fgabn0t: She's fantastic
G1ft0fgabn0t: One of my writing muses, actually ;)
SfwGst: What conference is that, MoonCat25?
MoonCat25: She has a dark hunter convention in New Orleans
G1ft0fgabn0t: I read her work and weep, then try to emulate it...lol
MoonCat25: my husband even reads her books and is going with me
origjasstorm: I'll be there eventually
W2PSushi: ah, well
SfwGst: I've heard her speak a few times. She belonged to our local chapter at one time and came to our conferences. She's a very interesting speaker also.
G1ft0fgabn0t: That's wonderful, Jen. You're sooooo lucky our husband cooperates too
W2PSushi: I met 3 big SF writers last weekend :)
G1ft0fgabn0t: Maybe one day you could prevail upon one of them to speak here, Paul <G>
MoonCat25: She's really interesting. I met her at a luncheon in Bham and she was dressed in her SCA clothes (medieval reenactment clothes)
SfwGst: Do most of you write SF?
MoonCat25: Gabby my husband finally read the books after me telling him about this scene and that one
G1ft0fgabn0t: Carolynn, I'll have to look for you book. Your site looks great :)
origjasstorm: I write scifi and contemporary romance
W2PSushi: we have minigroups. mine is mostly into F&SF. clearly you have encountered the Romance Gals.
MoonCat25: I write Romance.
trinapink: -writes that ill-defined women's lit.
origjasstorm: lol
LaTina11868: children's
W2PSushi: and hubbies :)
G1ft0fgabn0t: <~~ write fantasy, mystery/cozy, paranormal, and other types of romances
W2PSushi: some are doing thrillers, etc.,
origjasstorm: Oh, yeah, Paul... Guess what???????????????
W2PSushi: we have a diverse group
W2PSushi: yes Jas? :)
Pattyapplet: Hi!
origjasstorm: I sold my Jasmine Storm novel!
origjasstorm: It's coming out this summer!
G1ft0fgabn0t: HOOORRAAYYY!!!
W2PSushi: WOW
trinapink: Whoo hoo!!
Pattyapplet: Clapping
G1ft0fgabn0t: {{{{{BIG HUGS for Jas}}}}}}
origjasstorm: Aphrodite's Apples, new ebook and paperback publisher
LaTina11868: congrats
W2PSushi: so they will class it as Romance?
origjasstorm: Thanks, everyone.
origjasstorm: Scifi Romance, actually
G1ft0fgabn0t: She's in a class all her own, Paul ;)
origjasstorm: Well, that's true, lol
origjasstorm: :)
origjasstorm: (((banging ego back down)))
G1ft0fgabn0t: lololol
W2PSushi: recall, that one lady took $400K as Romance instead of $4K as SF -- some book, "Outlander"
trinapink: LOL
G1ft0fgabn0t: It wasn't her first book published, Paul
trinapink: And created a new genre!
origjasstorm: :)
W2PSushi: recall, do NOT call it SciFi
W2PSushi: not if you wish to attract its dedicated fans!
W2PSushi: dedicated
G1ft0fgabn0t: Yeah, they have a skiffy complex
G1ft0fgabn0t: <G>
origjasstorm: lololol
W2PSushi: serious
G1ft0fgabn0t: does that mean you avoid skiffy peanut butter?
G1ft0fgabn0t: hon, I've been reading sci fi since I began to read. it never offended me
W2PSushi: good, that's one customer
G1ft0fgabn0t: but I respect your right to avoid whatever titles you wish ;)
SfwGst: This is fun but it's my bedtime. I have a day job to go to. Thanks again everyone. And good night!
G1ft0fgabn0t: I don't care what titles are used as long as I get published...lol
origjasstorm: I don't do "serious" scifi, which is why I do scifi romance, or futuristic romance,
origjasstorm: :)
G1ft0fgabn0t: Nite Carolynn
origjasstorm: night Carolynn
G1ft0fgabn0t: okay, pumpkin time here too ::: spreading pixie dust:::
G1ft0fgabn0t: niters ::: poof:::
origjasstorm: night gabby
W2PSushi: we will add it to our Buy Page(s) ASAP, okay? :-D
MoonCat25: yep.. off to balance the check book.. eek.. how's that for a horror story?
origjasstorm: Well, as soon as it's available, I'll email a link to you kay?
W2PSushi: LOL
W2PSushi: yes please
W2PSushi: well it's dinner time here
origjasstorm: nighters all..
Mallie1025: night all
trinapink: Night everybody.

3/20/06 8:19:42 PM Closing "Chat Log 3/20/06"

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