Monday, January 31, 2011

My Literary Romance

by Kris Kahrs

I’m currently entertaining the idea, among hundreds of other notions that take up regular residence in my brain, of attempting a Romance novel. I wonder if my WIP picture book was my Vampire boyfriend and the Romance MS was my Werewolf best friend, would my PB be insanely jealous of all the time I was spending on the new Romance MS?

Would the other PB vampires resent me for endangering their publications chances as I spend less time submitting in favor of my new fascination with the Romance MS?

My PB feels so cold to me now. I’ve worked on it for six months or more and the pages are cool to my touch. Since the PB was submitted, I’ve been alone. It has been seeing Publishers, being held in their hands and read in their beds. I’ve been sitting at my laptop waiting… for something to happen. Then the hot Romance MS shows up and everything’s new and exciting again. The Romance MS sends delicious shivers up and down my spine as I come up with the perfect scene and gasp, “yes, this is it”.

I’m afraid I’ve alienated everyone in my life because of my obsession with the Romance MS. I can’t seem to think of anything else. It’s always on my mind. I’m constantly thinking of ways to tighten the structure, to massage the limp narrative into the best shape of its life. I’m pretty sure my husband and son and desk cat have had enough of my single-mindedness. My Critique Group, not big fans of the genre, patiently tolerate my infatuation as I carry on about how chiseled the MS story arc is or if there will be a series in the future because once is never enough. The group wants to know what happened to my old PB love, they liked that one.

Suddenly, my PB gets picked up for publication!* I’ve forgotten how sexy my PB is until I see it in a contract. Well, hey there sailor. My interest is vibrantly renewed and we are together again everywhere. We are signing papers, revising for editors, meeting with illustrators, planning speaking trips to libraries, writing groups and schools. I’m breathless with excitement, until my editor asks, “So, what else do you have?”

I stop, cringe and whisper when my PB isn’t paying attention, “Uh, I have a Romance MS, I’ve been working on.”

*Author’s note: Please people, this is a work of fiction after all.


  1. LOL this was hysterical. . .and true! I know what it feels like to suddenly want to dump your current WIP for a new, shiny idea. Good luck with the budding romance:)

  2. Hi Lindsay--

    Thanks for stopping by. (sigh) Now I've got a crush on my new Southern Goth MS. What's a writer to do?

  3. Oh those shiney new ideas! How they tempt us! I know ALL about that!

  4. Hi Nicole--Thanks for stopping by the Pen and Ink. Yes, we all share the holy addiction.

  5. Whenever I woo a woman with, "I'm into literary romance. How about coming over to my place and looking at my book collection?," she opens a copy of Whoop Ass on me.

    Remainder Romeo

  6. So Lucky!--it could have been the Betty Crocker Cook Book.

  7. Go for it Chris! I too have been thinking of doing the same. Variety is the spice of life. Everyone loves a little potpourri.

  8. Hi Susan--

    Absolutely! I've working on an MS in a new genre I call "Dysfunctional Author". It's a format with disjointed dialog and text due to the author's inability to hold two thoughts in her head at once. It promises to be very entertaining and I'm billing it as the genre that put the "fun" into "dysfunctional". Thanks for stopping by Pen and Ink!


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