Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Geek at the Prom

Sunday night I participated in a 'live' chat at Romance Junkies. Attendance was fair, but those present were enthusuastic and funny. More is not necessarily merrier. Special thanks to Billie Jo, chat moderator and all-around-great-gal for hosting the awesome one-hour party!

Some guests had read my work. Some had not. I'm pretty sure no one there had read ALL ABOUT EVIE yet, except for my sister, (I didn't even realize the 'Barb' chatting was 'my' Barb until later. Too funny!) and my friend Mark Posey (two-time Mr. Romance contestant and husband to author Tracy Cooper-Posey). So although I was there to promote ALL ABOUT EVIE and though we did talk about the premise, the majority of the time we engaged in mutual Q&A. They asked me about writing in general--my process, my past works and future interests. I asked them about their likes and dislikes as readers.

For one, I was very interested to know if readers are still interested in romantic comedy given the current monumental popularity of erotica, dark paranormal and urban fantasy. Seriously, I'm beginning to feel like the odd man out! I witnessed the overwhelming popularity of these sub-genres at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. I also noticed it at my local Borders bookstore this past weekend. I can't tell you how thrilled I was to find ALL ABOUT EVIE on the new release table. This special placement is a bonus to the author and not to be taken lightly. After my euphoria settled, I studied the books surrounding Evie, all dark and intense with the exception of those in the mystery genre. Maybe Evie should turn super sleuth? *g*

On the positive side, my cover popped--vibrant white, cherry red and hot pink surrounded by earthy deep blue, black, and blood red. On the other... clearly I wasn't part of the popular crowd. A geek among the cool kids. Crazy thinking, I know. But, being an insecure artist, I must obssess on something.

When I posed the question regarding romantic comedy to the RJ chatters, everyone chimed in with a enthusastic, "Yes! We still like it!" Billie Jo said something poignant about balancing light and dark. Wish I could remember her exact words. Overall, the response indicated that though they were devouring dark paranormal and urban fantasy, they still enjoyed losing themselves in a light-hearted adventure sans otherworldly creatures. One reader mentioned how much she enjoys my books and how she considers them 'lift me ups'.

Lifting someone's mood. Making a bad day brighter. I'm thinking it doesn't get much better than that. So I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing, even though it sometimes feels like I showed up to the prom in overalls and high top sneakers. Special thanks to the RJ chatters for their insightful thoughts and good cheer!


"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart..." -- William Wordsworth

7 comments:

Constance said...

I for one am very glad you're out there writing for us geeks. :) I was beginning to feel as if I couldn't go in a bookstore without garlic, silver bullets, and a cross. Sometimes I just want a heroine who trips over her own feet and still manages to have a HEA.

(All About Evie is in my To Be Read pile, still working my way through the Acacia ARC. But I might have to sneak Evie in when I need a lift from reading about Saving The World.)

Beth Ciotta said...

Geeks unite! Actually, we're not really geeks, Constance. We're just marching to the beat of a different drum. :)

Flattered that Evie is in your TBR pile. Sneak Peeks work for me! ;)

Constance said...

I prefer to say we march to a different kettle of fish...
but hey, whatever floats your asparagus. :)

(I may be a spec fic geek, but I still like good romance!)

barb said...

Hey it's me, Barb. Your sister!
Just thought I would say hi and just remind you again that I read a lot of every type of romance and mystery and I am happy to have options depending on my mood! More often than not- I am in the mood for romance and humor all in one!

Mary Stella said...

Beth, there will always be room for romantic comedy in books -- just like movies and television. The airways might be filled with CSI: Every City in the World and Law and Order 1-7, people who talk with dead folks and see ghosts, plus all the reality shows, but there will still always be sitcoms and humorous shows, too.

Your marvelous book is a perfect example and one that people will absolutely love when they pick it up to read!

Roni said...

I think it's great that people have a variety to chose from! Just like Barb, I pick up books depending on my mood and what I feel like reading. I read paranormals--although I don't like them too dark, that's just my taste. I am SO enjoying reading Eveie! (I am a slow reader btw). I needed something FUN to read!

Beth Ciotta said...

Hello, ladies. Raising my hands in blissful surrender. Obviously there are PLENTY of people who want a lighter, humorous read. I fel much better now. ;)

And Roni... if you're a slow reader, I'm slug-slow. Honestly. I. Am. Slow. Just happy you're enjoying the ride. :)