Why did I buy THAT book?

Warning: Don’t jump to conclusions about my next novel from the book pictured. When I can’t find a book I know I own, that makes me grumpy. I can think of two right now that are “missing”. They’re not likely books I loaned out, gave away, or sold. That I can’t find them bugs me. Every once in awhile, I renew a search.

This morning I thought about the closed shelves at the bottom of the bookcase in my short hallway. I knew the shelves were there, of course, but in my memory the only books on them were metaphysical—astrology, the supernatural, etc. But today I actually opened the doors.

The books I expected to see where there, but also reference books on writing romance. I bought those books nearly twelve years ago when I thought I might become a paranormal romance author.  I tried. You know the advice to write what you read? Well, I was not a romance reader. I found out I’d only written a paranormal.

Judging from the title of the book pictured, apparently, I intended to write erotica at some point. Or else really spice up my paranormal romances. I don’t remember either intention. Erotica was not on my reading list either. I wasted well over $100 on these books. Wish I had it back.

This post is not a condemnation of Kelly’s book. It may well be an excellent reference for erotica writers. In my case, the only thing I might consult is the author’s appendix of “sensual” words in the back of the book. They’re not all words you might expect—unbelievable is “one of the sexiest words in the English language”? Then again, I guess it depends on the context. 😉

Your turn—once or twice! Have you ever tried to write in a genre that just wasn’t you? Do you ever look at your bookshelves and wish you could get back wasted money?

18 thoughts on “Why did I buy THAT book?

  1. No, but I wish I knew how to write a good detective story, darn it! I just finished reading one by a young Swiss author. I couldn’t put it down. I’m afraid I’m stuck with relationship/family dramas for the time being. Oh, well.
    Christa

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  2. I tried a few times – in my head – to think along the lines of YA paranormal romance, teenie stuff… and I can’t do it.

    I understand that market is hot and will be for a long time – and sure, it pains me a little to see new authors jumping in making more sales than me – but my niche is horror/thriller and that’s where I’ll stand.

    I can say though that I did not spend on money on YA stuff, thankfully. Now don’t get me wrong, reading it sometimes is fine… but for me to write it. Just can’t do it.

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    1. I hear you, Jim. I’ve wished many times I could write YA. A good friend who does, and just got an unbelievable two-book deal, told me about another author who tried to write YA, but her heart wasn’t in it and she was miserable. I think, if I were miserable writing the book, it would be evident in the finished product. So, like you, I’ll stick to what comes naturally.

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  3. Powell’s Books in Portland gladly buys back gently used books, and resells them, of course. Not recently published, not paperbacks generally, but classics and how to’s, etc. But yes, I wish I had some purchase prices back in my wallet!

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  4. I read a lot of everything, maybe that’s why I feel like I have no direction. Or the stamina to stick with one genre.

    Generally I don’t feel I’ve wasted money, but I keep saying I need to take a reading retreat vacation to have the time to actually get to all the books I want. That’s my problem, needing more time to enjoy all the books.

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    1. No, Jess, there’s never enough time to read, is there? 😦 I would think you’d be well-rounded by reading a lot of everything. I used to read more widely than I do now. I’m probably missing out. I wish for you more time to read. 🙂

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  5. I have bought and subsequently given away so many books to tell me how to write a novel (and I also have a software programme) but as yet have never got any more than a short story published, Oh I have had a book on surviving grief published but that took no imagination on my part
    I am looking forward to reading your next novel.

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