Saturday, May 28, 2016


   Spring is in the air…and in my heart this month. On May 17th I was emailed notice that THE ACCIDENTAL WIFE was named a Finalist in the RWA Golden Quill Awards for Best First Novel. The Chairman wrote: “The judges in our contest are readers who love romance, and they loved your book!”  

     But is it a true romance? Wild Rose Press qualifies a romance as having the HEA (happily-ever-after) ending between hero and heroine after push-pull encounters that tweak the reader to the end. (Think Nicolas Sparks.) Add history and a time-slip and you may find yourself reading historical fiction. Add some biting humor and mystery and you may have a historical fiction with those ADDED elements. Set the novel in the American West (Wyoming), and you may have a Western with all of the above. Twist that HEA ending into hints of sequel, and you have the lst book in a series that shares some—or all—of the characters. 

     With all these sub-genre’s invoked, my first novel may defy category. I’ve seen it dubbed a time travel, historical, spicy romance, mainstream, woman’s fiction, as well as all of the above. The Historical Novel Review Magazine (who generally categorizes all books by their century setting) linked my review with a few others, under a more obscure “Time Slip” category. I loved that other reviewers hailed it as a fresh new genre. I also approved of the mainstream tag, after noting the book’s appeal to many readers regardless of gender or age.

      My personal reading tastes move toward mystery, history, romance and page-turning adventure. One best-selling author who combines all of these in her intelligent and emotionally-draining Outlander novels is Diana Gabaldon—my inspiration. Behold my writing blueprint, posted above my laptop: Read the BEST in your genre and work toward imitating, emulating, equaling and then surpassing! Okay. Diana’s got the lock on long sagas, sexy Scots, British intrigue and detailed medical practices in the eighteenth century, but her story-telling talent AND defiance of category has mesmerized me along with her fans—millions more who are viewing the Outlander series currently on Starz TV. 
   Hey, hope springs eternal. The Accidental Wife has had an auspicious debut so far. The story continues in a sequel that again defies category, bridges time and even an ocean. This girl can’t help it! 

             ***Writing the sequel is a WIP nearly finished and full of surprising twists. 

1 comment:

Kimberly Keyes Romance said...

First, CJ, congratulations! How awesome to win such a prestigious award.
Second, as I read your blog post, I was thinking of Diana Gabaldon's works. Her epic novels definitely cross genres. She set the bar high. I agree that's a perfect place to aim :-) Good luck with your WIP. I hope you continue to have success :-)
Kimberly Keyes
(A fellow rose)