Monday, July 16, 2007

Who do you write like?

by Maggie Toussaint

I was recently asked this question at a booksigning for my romantic suspense, HOUSE OF LIES. Truthfully the question stumped me for several heart pounding seconds. I'd worked hard to write like me, so this question was especially difficult.

By a miracle a few NYT bestseller names in my genre popped into my head. "JD Robb, Lisa Scottoline, Lisa Gardner, Linda Howard." All the while I knew that my style wasn't like these giants, but at least our stories were both romance and suspense.

The woman said she'd never heard of them. I figured I'd lost the sale. Then she rattled off a list of straight romance authors she'd read and I had heard of them. When she paused for a breath, I said, "My book is like those books, but there's a big secret tossed in too."
Her eyes widened appreciatively and she handed me a book to sign for her.

Keep on writing!

Maggie Toussaint
House of Lies available now from TWRP
No Second Chance coming soon from TWRP


Lynette said...

Interesting topic, Maggie. I know authors like Karen Rose, James Patterson, Peter Robinson and Jackie Collins have influenced my writing.

The other day, someone asked me what RETURN TO WINTER is about, I replied: Think Romeo and Juliet meet The Sopranos!

Maggie Toussaint said...

How wonderful Lynette! I need to develop a stock supply of quick comebacks like yours. I was so surprised by the question that I thought I'd done good to answer at all. I was even more shocked that she'd never heard of the NYT authors I listed. What bat cave has that woman been living in?

Allie Boniface said...

I probably wouldn't even be able to think that fast! I'll have to have some answers in my back pocket...or on a cheat sheet!

Maggie Toussaint said...

You're funny Allie! I bet you could have come up with something witty. I think it all comes back to knowing how to pitch.

The same spiel you use on editors and agents is what you need to hook a customer. And you usually only have a minute or two of their time, so you have to think fast.