Wednesday, January 4, 2012

TBR welcomes Susan Gourley

Avoid the Rush
Lots more people plan to write a novel than actually finish one.  Many people have this great idea, often inspired by their favorite novel, movie or TV show, and they start to write.  But somewhere between the idea and that file they open in Microsoft Word, they lose the drive.  There are lots of reasons why novels stall out and never get finished.  Even veteran, successful writer have novels stall out.  
Today I’ll only post about one of those reasons.  Often when a person is inspired to write that first novel, they’re feeling passionate about a genre that is a hot trend.  Vampires would be a good example.  Between The Vampire Diaries, True Blood and The Twilight Series; it seemed everyone thought they had a vampire story of their own to tell.  Lots of authors write vampire stories, trying to hurry them to the market.   But many of them found the market saturated by the time they had their novel ready to send out or were told by an agent or editor someone else had already sold a very similar story.
It’s very tempting to try and write what it seems is flying off the shelves right now.  But can you write fast enough to get it ready in time? Can you write in a genre other than what was your first love?  Or will you try and write it and find you stall out because it’s not what you like to write?  Will you find the middle of your novel sagging because it seems bland or empty of originality?
Trends come and go and no one can predict it.  Editors and agents might share what they’re looking for but not even those insiders to the business can predict the next ‘big’ thing.  As a personal example, I have a collection of rejection letters from a few years ago from agents and editors who claimed to love my writing but said they couldn’t sell epic fantasy.  But guess what happened.  George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones novel was made into a series on HBO and was a huge success.  Suddenly, epic fantasy is back ‘in.’ Now I’ve moved on with my series, taking my rights back from my incompetent publisher, and releasing it on my own, but I have a new epic series in the works now.  Hopefully the great epic fantasy battles of good versus evil will stay in vogue, but if it doesn’t it will come back.

The point is to write what you love and don’t try to follow market trends.  They come and go.  Vampires yesterday, zombies today.  Paranormal fantasy still going strong, but epic fantasy making a comeback.  What’s next?
If you love epic fantasy like I do, I hope you’ll put my books on your TBR shelf.  The Futhark Chronicles begins with The Keepers of Sulbreth. Beyond the Gate, Book#2, is now available and follows the saga of Marshal Cage Stone and Keeper Sabelline Shelton as they try to save the kingdom of Futhark from a demon invasion. But once they travel past The Gate, they discover there’s more to their problems than simple-minded fell beasts.  Cage will have to put aside his longing to be loved as a human and accept his elven heritage if their world is to survive.  But will one man’s sacrifice and one woman’s courage be enough to defeat the ancient evil entity directed the war on humanity.  Both books are available in digital format for your favorite style reader.
If you would prefer a print copy of The Keepers of Sulbreth, please say so in your comment and I’ll pick one winner to receive a signed copy.
What do you think will be the next popular trend? Which are you tired of? 

Thanks for visiting TBR, Susan. All the best to you!


  1. Welcome, Susan! Congrats on your release. Those covers are very cool!

  2. I didn't write to a trend, because at the time I was writing CassaStar, everything said science fiction is dead. And last month I read that while space operas make great movies they don't make books that sell.
    Glad I ignored all of that!

  3. Hi Susan, "Keepers" finally made it to the top of my reading list. I just downloaded the Kindle version and am looking forward to reading it. I agree with your premise that authors should "write what they love." An editor at a writer's conference once told me that the author's writing is what matters. If it's good enough, it can start its own trend. We should aspire to be trend setters not followers.

  4. Write what you love is great advice, life is too short and the market too fickle so you might as well be happy. I havent read much epic fantasy, but I'm interested now and bookmarked you. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hi Susan, great post! I agree with you about not writing to trends. You have to write what you know and what you love...if you don't it will show in your writing :)

    Congrats on being true to yourself and much success with your stories!

    Happy New Year!

  6. Agents often say, "write what you love" then reject it because it wasn't hot at the time. It's great that you stuck with what you loved and continue to do so.

  7. Alex, your commment reminds how agents and editors often say different things. I was at a Pennwriters' conference and an editor for DAW told us a good space opera would always be good.

  8. Dennis, thanks for getting my book. You're advice is good. I do love epic fantasy and can't imagine writing something else though I love reading suspense and am looking forward to your book.
    And Angela, I hear your frustration because the agents and editors do tell us to write what we love but then we can't sell them on it. Hope you keep at what you love.

  9. Thanks for visiting Christine and Arlene and thanks for your well wishes.

  10. I'd rather not say what I'm tired of because some of my friends write those stories. :) But I think popularity is cyclical.

    Eventually each trope or genre gets the chance to be top dawg, even if it's for a little while. We just have to wait our turn.

    The smartest thing we can do is write what we love.

    Congrats on your release, hon.

  11. Susan, congratulations on your release. I've noticed there are trends when all you hear about is one topic or another like vampires. I guess in a way it is good to get on the band wagon when everyone is talking about it, but for me that gets old quick. That's especially true when the stories start to sound too much alike. Wishing you much success with your writing. Great covers, BTW.

    Thoughts in Progress

  12. Thanks everyone for visiting me here and helping TBR get off to a great start. And now for the winner of a print copy of The Keepers of Sulbreth.....chosen in a drawing by my daughter...
    Maria Zannini could you email me at
    with your snail mail address so I can visit the friendly guys at the local post office.

  13. Cool. This is the nicest thing that's happen to me in a long time.

    Thanks, Susan.


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