Crazy times.  I'm about two weeks away from finishing My Loving Vigil Keeping (the Winter Quarters Mine Disaster story), and getting ready to sign another two-book contract with Harlequin Historicals. They wanted a three-book contract for only Regencies, and I wanted a one-book contract. We compromised on two books, but they have to be Regencies. Ah, well. I'm doing it because I have a kitchen remodel coming up this summer.  I'm also close to signing a contract for the first of my mystery series set in northeast New Mexico in 1780.  Totally jazzed about that one.

But I have to tell you: There's a strong possibility that My Loving Vigil Keeping will end up being the book closest to my heart. So far, that's still Here's to the Ladies. And I really like The Hesitant Heart, my Fort Laramie novel now in London with my publisher. Is The Hesitant Heart a so-called "clean read"? Nope. (I'd call it PG-13) Is it a good novel? Yep.

But here's the funny stuff. Harlequin sent me a box of freebies on my next book, Marriage of Mercy. I had argued long and vociferously to keep my original title, Choosing Rob Inman, but no luck. Marriage of Mercy it would be, even though no one gets married in the book.

The funny part: My name is so huge on this book that you can barely see the stupid title. How crazy is that? If even they thought their title was good, it would have been larger, surely. Or maybe Carla Kelly is enough to sell a book. And if that's the case, then why not use the original title, if it's going to be so small?  I do not understand the publishing world. Never have, never will. So I'll write two more Regency romances and probably call it good after that for Regencies, because all my house will be remodeled then. :o)

There's an awards banquet coming up soon for the Whitney Award. Borrowed Light has been nominated in the romantic fiction category. I haven't signed up for the banquet yet, because those things scare me to death. I probably won't go. I have a big problem with a lot of the books cranked out for the LDS market, where the going concern seems to be a "clean read," as opposed to anything with literary merit. The idea of the Whitney Award is to celebrate the best in LDS fiction. I suppose the search is on for the great Mormon novel, but it's already been written, and years ago, when LDS writers had to write for the big boys in New York and Boston, because there were no LDS presses to make it a whole lot simpler.

The result was great books with lots of literary merit. I think The Giant Joshua is the best novel about Mormons ever written, so far, anyway. Maureen Whipple did it so well in 1941, and her publisher was Doubleday. Great novel. It shows Mormons, warts and all, hacking out a life in St. George. Juanita Brooks also wrote great stuff, and so did Virginia Sorensen. They wrote for national markets so they had to be good. They wrote what was in their hearts. If you had said "clean read," to them, they would have been dumbfounded. And rightly so.

I realize these thoughts will probably make me a pariah among the advocates of clean reads and nothing but, but that's OK. I came late to this LDS fiction party, and that's OK, too. I write what I want. That's what writers are supposed to do.

Especially if they have a kitchen remodel and their NY/London pubisher wants only Regencies. Tee hee. I have just officially contradicted myself. I'm tired of Regencies, but I can guaran-damn-tee you, you'll never know, because those two books will be good. I hate to disappoint readers, and I love to write, warts and all.
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Published on April 16, 2012 06:50 • 155 views

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