Write What You Want
Two posts over the last week or so have me thinking about my writing. I'm worried about how it will sell. Not worried in a hand wringing sort of fashion, but concerned.
First, there was a post on Karen Knows Best about whether traditional romance readers were ready for lesbian romances. The other post, over at The Galaxy Express, posed the question about publishers being "ashamed" of the science fiction romance subgenre. Can you guess why I'm a little concerned? Yep, Bad Girl, the manuscript I'm currently peddling, is a science fiction romance (or SF with romantic elements, depending on how you see these things) that has a relationship between two women. If the commentary/information regarding the desire for and treatment of F/F romances and SFR are any indication, I may be out of luck.
Marketing for the subgenres separately is tough. I know. It's very possible I'm setting myself up for a lot of rejection and frustration. I know. Publishing for a newbie in ANY genre is tough. I know.
But you know what? It's the story I wanted to write. It's the story that made me think about love and sacrifice. About who we are, who we're meant to be, and who we're meant to be with. There are good guys who aren't really all that good, and bad guys who aren't all bad. There's betrayal and emotional abandonment, forgiveness and redemption. While I was writing, the setting on another planet, in a future time, made it fun. As the relationship between my two heroines began to develop, it made me think. Not about how I'd market this story, but how I could make it the best possible story I could write.
Now that Bad Girl is seeking a home, I do consider the marketability of a F/F SFR (I take my career, such as it is, as seriously as the next writer.). One of my crit partners has warned me that it will be a tough sell. She kindly recommends that my next WIP be more marketable because she wants to see me published. I love her and appreciate her concern, and the current WIP is more "traditional". But even if Bad Girl doesn't get any further than my hard drive, it's a book that wanted to be written, and I'm really glad I wrote it.