Monday, November 08, 2010

Stubborn or Stupid?

Books set during World War II  - especially those that involve a love story and are not thrillers - are a hard sell.

I know this because I've got the agent rejections to prove it.

But that is what I write. Since I want to be traditionally published and at this point, am not considering e-publishers, I've had to deal with some emotional turmoil at the constant stream of, "Hard period to sell" that I'm hearing.

And one said this writing-for-publication gig would be easy.

My next novel-in-progress, which I should have completed by the end of the year, is also set during World War II. Since I'm planning this as a three-book series, I've got two more novels to write, and already have a rough outline in my mind as to the storylines.

Since World War II is a "hard time period to sell," I could chuck the whole lot of them and write something that does sell.

But I'm not going to.

I would not be true to myself if I did that. I don't want to lose my soul in this publishing business, and if that means I have to hold on a little longer to see my dream come true, than that is what will have to happen.

I've prayed an awful lot lately, asking God what He wants me to do. I get frustrated with the whole thing, but then I realize that these are the books I was meant to write. These are the stories I'm in love with. And I don't want to be published so badly that I will cave and write a story I'm not in love with.

Maybe this is a harder path. Maybe I should do myself a favor and write something that will get my foot in the door, and then roll out my World War II novels. But I can't fathom taking this route. Why? Because as we all know, you can't just write one book and then write a second book that is completely different from the first. You don't gain a following that way and you don't create the all important brand that way, either.

Is this stubborness or stupidity?

I'm not sure. But at this point, I'm sticking to my guns.

What about you?


  1. Neither stubborn nor stupid in my view. I can't imagine writing anything other than the book I want to write. I'm sure that if we tried to write the book we thought would sell well, it wouldn't come from the heart, it wouldn't have our voice ... and it wouldn't get published.

    I know exactly what you mean about wanting to be traditionally published, but there are a lot of good e-book publishers out there too these days. For the first time ever, my books sold more copies in e-format than in print. We live in interesting times!

    Good for you for sticking to your guns. You will get there!

  2. I don't really buy that, that WW II is a hard time period to sell. A good story is a good story, and there are all types of eras written about. So I'd say keep writing what's in your heart, and the story's heart will shine through and connect with the right agent.

  3. I totally agree with you, write what is true to what you want to write or need to write. That's the only thing I can ever do myself.

  4. My very favorite project is a WWII love story. And yes, it's a hard sell. I haven't started to query it quite yet, I just need to polish my query but fortunately, I'm pretty prepared for it being a hard sell.
    I'm actually a little amazed since I love books in that era but apparently i'm in the minority.

  5. I've always written what has grabbed my heart. If I'd found one niche and stayed with it (since I write YA, even better if the niche involved vampires) my career would be in far better shape than it is. But vampires bore me to tears, and I like what I like. So I have a contemporary, a historical (WWII!) and am now finishing up a speculative novel. I'm published to great reviews, but sales are poor, and nobody knows who I am. Which means that with the speculative novel, I may be going out under a pen name. And I wouldn't change a thing. I love my books, I believe in them, and they are the stories I was given to write.

    Follow your heart, and keep on.

  6. *hugs* Melissa, follow your heart as you say. It is NOT stubbornness nor stupidity to listen to inspiration.

    There is a reason why God is inspiring you to write that stuff. I find it fascinating.

    Just be patient and put your trust in Him. I know He will provide a pathway which will influence those who will find a need to read your work.

    Keep heart, you're doing well...

    I'll pray for you, too.

  7. I'm glad you're sticking to your guns and hopefully you'll be published soon and we can read your WW2 books.

  8. WWII books seem to be making a comeback. Steeple Hill historicals recently published WWII, and Sarah Sundin has a popular inspirational romance series set in WWII.
    I'd stay with it!

  9. Perhaps compromise a bit and tweak it a do a time travel story of someone from the present ending up in the WWII era? I only suggest that because I LOVE time travel plots, lol! :)

  10. I needed to read this today. I am wrestling with similar issues myself-and like you I feel like I have to be true to myself, no matter what. Thanks:)

  11. I'm not a publisher, but I'm a reader, and I want to read your books already! :)

  12. Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts. Love reading your comments! You help me feel so much better about things. :-)


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