Thursday, 28 July 2016
A different kind of MC Romance...?
I'm one of those authors who finds it hard to stick to one particular genre. I tend to write what I'm in the mood to write, and because I self-publish (although, I have been signed to a traditional publisher, too), I've got the luxury of being able to do that, to write what I feel like writing. And over the past couple of years I've been steadily drawn towards the much darker side of romance in the shape of MC (Motorcycle Club) romance.
I released my first biker romance back in 2014 with Revolution, which, considering the level I'm at and the amount of promo I do (or don't do, as is sometimes the case) well; it didn't actually do too badly. I mean, it was no bestseller, but it did make the bestseller's list in Action and Adventure romance, and romantic suspense. As did the other two books in the Lone Riders series - Retribution and Resurrection.
After I'd finished writing those I took some time out from the world of bad boy bikers to write an erotic romance trilogy - the Forbidden Series - which did all right, but nowhere near as well as the MC romances had done.
So, I decided to re-enter that world and write another biker novel. Broken - book #1 in the Soldiers of Darkness Series - was released back in April, and has, so far, been the most successful of any of my books. The second book in the series, Betrayed, was released on July 26th and is doing OK, but right now it isn't faring quite as well as Broken did when it was first released, and I'm guessing that's because everyone who read Broken possibly didn't enjoy it enough to want to continue with Mack, Zeb and Izzi's story. And I think there might be a reason for that, too.
I write in a very different style, I think, to that of most of the extremely successful MC Romances that are out there. My stories are dark, gritty, and very HOT, so there's nothing different there, but I just think that my style of writing divides opinion. However, the one thing I will never do - the one thing I CAN'T do, is change the way I write. It's MY style, my thing, that's how I roll. I can't, and won't, go and read a dozen bestselling biker books and then try to emulate those, because that's something I just don't do. And, besides, it's never a good idea to try and copy someone else's style because it never works. But I love writing in that genre, I love writing dark, dirty biker romances. It's just that, they don't always sit well with some MC romance fans. Some readers have loved my books, others have loathed them, don't "get" the characters, or don't understand the point of the story when others have got it straightaway. I guess I might well be confusing some readers because some of my stories can be a little complicated, with quite complex characters and extremely dark plots, I don't do just a straightforward romance. I don't see the fun in that. I want to stretch myself and my imagination. So, yeah, maybe some of the stuff could read as though it's a little far fetched, but, on the other hand, isn't that what reading fiction is all about? If we wanted one hundred per cent accuracy we'd watch a documentary or read a non-fiction book on the subject. I'm not saying an element of realism isn't necessary, but let's face it, I think that a lot of us authors who write MC romance - how many of us have actually set foot or been a part of a real-life MC? Some will have, yes. Some authors will know people, have contacts, but for a lot of us I think we rely on our imagination. And I like that fact, it's what authors do - we use our imagination. And if the stories I write are sometimes a little extreme, a little more complex than the norm, great! I'm all for something different.
And I think my MC books ARE a little different. They're certainly different to the ones I've read, which I've loved, incidentally, but I can't write what isn't my style. And I think that's why I've been having so much trouble writing Bound - the third book in the Soldiers of Darkness series. It's a brand new, standalone story, but because Broken got a handful of negative comments - mainly from readers who, when I checked out the other books they'd reviewed, seem to prefer the work of the more successful MC authors out there - I think I've been trying far too hard to write what I think they'd prefer to read, instead of just letting my imagination run and writing what I know I can write; what I want to write. And that's a mistake. The one piece of advice I always give authors starting out on this crazy journey is, find your own voice, and learn to love it. And I think it's time I actually listened to those words now; time I took my own advice. I've found my own voice, and if some people don't like it, that's fine. You will never, ever please everyone, and sometimes being the kind of author who divides opinion isn't always a bad thing. At least people HAVE an opinion, which is way better than sliding into obscurity; than people feeling nothing about your work.
So, I'm still going to write MC romances, but I'm going to stick to writing them MY way. Yes, they're different, but I can't begin to compete with the likes of Nicole Snow or Jamie Begley. I'm not them, I don't write like them, I'm writing my books MY way, because I don't think any writer should be afraid of doing that. Trying to be something you're not, trying to emulate somebody you're not - big mistake.
So, yeah, I write a different kind of MC Romance... and I'm not going to apologise for that. After all, in every genre, there's always room for something a little different, right...?
You can check out all of my MC Romances by clicking on the titles of the books below...
Both 'Revolution' and 'Broken' are now only 99p/$0.99 each, and all of the above books are available to read for FREE if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited.
And you can check out the first chapter of all of the above books for free over on my blog. Again, just click on the book title to access the page...
Revolution - Chapter One
Retribution - Chapter One
Resurrection - Chapter One
Broken - Chapter One
Betrayed - Chapter One