Kelly Maher

What to write?

In the last few months, I’ve been discussing various aspects of writing and career planning with writing colleagues. One conversation was specifically about what I was writing. Novel A–which is now out with beta readers–and Novel C (which needs a new code name) are not and will not be erotic. If I publish them, I will probably do so under another pseudonym. The person I was having the conversation with, after I gave a brief overview of both projects, asked me why I was writing them. Market-wise, neither will probably be ready at the right time. Novel A will probably be a little too late while Novel C is just iffy in the first place. My response to my conversation partner? It’s because I love these stories and need to tell them. I am lucky in that I have a full-time job which I also love, so continuing to work and having that be my primary income is no hardship.

However, in order to achieve my long-term career goals, I need to better align the timing of my projects to the market. This is in some ways hard to do because you don’t want to write in response to what’s hot now, but you want to anticipate the market just enough to ride the cresting wave of it. I love erotic fiction, so I will continue to write it under this name. I’m also planning on stretching to writing still steamy, though not necessarily erotic, fiction. Whether or not it’s romance, I’ll leave it up in the air, but I consider romance to be my “home” genre. To hopefully achieve a balance of continuing to build this name as well as staying true to the stories that move me, I will be more deliberate about alternating writing projects. For a writing “break” between finishing the rewrite of Novel A and starting the revision of said rewrite, you may remember I worked on Short Story B. SSB was an erotic story with a specific submission call in mind. Project Occipital is going to be more on the steamy rather than erotic side of things (though it’s knocking hard on the erotic door), but again with a specific market in mind.

My answer to “why are you writing X?” is always going to be “because I love the story I have to tell.” Whether I succeed or not is going to be up to the reader, but I promise to have delivered to you the best story I was capable of writing at the time I wrote it.

If you live anywhere near Frederick, MD and are looking for something to do this Saturday, come on over and check out the Frederick Book Festival’s WRW panel which I will be moderating!

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