Jade Lee | It's Sara's Fault!
July 5, 2013
It was Sara Reyes of Fresh Fiction who first told me about feed-in novellas.
There was lots of discussion and business talk around this topic, but it all
boiled down to one thing: readers love them. Longtime fans love more from their
favorite author and new readers like a taste of my writing style before
committing to the longer novel.
There's only one problem: I can't seem to write short.
It's a basic character flaw: I love to make things more complicated. (Drives my
husband nuts) I can't just throw on a red shirt, it has to have a complimentary
necklace. I can't just tell people, I'm fine, how are you? I have to make a
story of my current moment then wait to hear theirs. (That's the secret of my
success at conferences, btw. I can sit around and talk with readers FOREVER. My
quick question with Sara led to a three hour discussion until she pleaded
exhaustion and ran from me.) And why would I ever write a simple story when I
can easily add a little complexity to it, a little more sass (and sex!), in only
50 more pages? Or maybe 100? Hell, why not make it a full novel?
It took me a bit to get control of writing a novella. It has to be complete
story in a tiny space with depth, fascinating characters, and hot sex. No
problem--except for the tiny space part.
So readers be warned: WINNING A BRIDE by Jade Lee is double the length of a normal
novella. Oops. It started out as a simple story. William Benton is steward to
the Lawton family and he has been in love with their eldest daughter Josephine
for five years now. Simple idea, easy story.
Then I decided that the land was actually Benton land sold to cover gambling
debts. So Will is working his family land...for someone else. That had to sting
a bit, right? Especially since Lord Lawton hates Will's family and will never
entertain his suit for Josephine. That's just normal complication, right.
Then this Scotsman showed up as suitor to Josephine. wait! Not a suitor. Dad's
arranged the marriage. He's the fiancé! And he's a great guy. There's unrest in
the village too because of all the workers building the new canal. And that
doesn't even begin to address the source of Josephine's unhappiness. It's not
just a lack of love, it's not the migraines that plague her, there's something
deep inside her that needs something and it has nothing to do with a man. Of
course, Will figures it out, but I won't tell you how here.
And let's not forget the love scenes. Well, yeah, I could shorten the book by
cutting those, but who wants that? Not me! I enjoy writing love scenes and I
think I'm pretty good at them. So those had to stay. And really, a second love
scene (actually I think it was a third) fits perfectly, so why not just write
it? (I did.)
So there you are. What should have been 25,000 words, ended up at 52,000.
Double sized. And it's all Sara's fault!!!! Oh, and in case you’re wondering,
the follow on novel is WHAT THE BRIDE WORE.
Jade Lee / Kathy Lyons
www.JadeLeeAuthor.com / www.KathyLyons.com
USA TODAY BESTSELLER
DREAM NIGHTS WITH THE
CEO by Kathy Lyons, May 2013
WINNING A BRIDE by Jade
Lee, July 2013
WHAT THE BRIDE WORE by
Jade Lee, August 2012
46 comments posted.
Re: Jade Lee | It's Sara's Fault!
Seriously, do you ALL blame me for the novella that introduces you to a new series, or gives us just a little more story than we'd get if we just had a book?
Am I alone in this? Not according to fellow book club members but tell us what YOU think!
(Sara Reyes 2:07pm July 5, 2013)
Nope. do not mind novellas at all sometimes that short intro is hat grabs me into a series. It gets me invested in the characters, story and setting. Just a taste is what I am in the mood for. Also as mentioned anything from a favorite author is appreciated. Especially if about a side character ho Id like to know a bit more about.
So novellas are kool. Bring it on.
(Richelle Soon 2:18pm July 5, 2013)
Novellas are very much appreciated. I have read a few lately and then ended up ordering the book shortly thereafter, so from a writer's approach, I can't imagine that his isn't a great way to introduce a series or a stand alone book. Novellas can be any length; I am a "wordy" writer myself and so appreciate getting ALL the "story" in the novella rather than wondering about something prior to the book coming out. Keep up the great work, Jade and I for one of many I am sure will be thrilled to read your novellas/novellas. Thank you so much for including me in your giveaway.
(Cynthia Blain 2:45pm July 5, 2013)
I couldn’t be more delighted to find that your novella turned out to be longer
that you thought. Obviously, after you were into writing it, you found that
there was more of a story inside of you to be told. I think that’s great. So,
plan to write a story and let it grow as big as it wants to. If it turns out to be a
novella, that’s great. If it continues to grow, all the better. Who knows?
Maybe your next story will turn out to be the next “War and Peace!” :-)
(Connie Fischer 2:52pm July 5, 2013)
Novellas are OK, but just OK, I like something with a little more "meat" on it. So I'll probably like your long novella.
(Sue Farrell 3:21pm July 5, 2013)
I don't mind novella's. I know it's hard for writer's to write enough novels to please all us readers, so a little reminder or taste of what is going on in a favorite series or heroine (or hero) keeps that author on my to find list. It might also get me to buy the author's other books if I like the little taste. The longer the novella of course the better.
(Annetta Sweetko 3:53pm July 5, 2013)
I do love novellas and look forward to reading a few of yours!!
(Betty Hamilton 3:55pm July 5, 2013)
I LOVE your books Jade and can't wait to read this one. Thanks!!!!
(Bonnie Capuano 4:03pm July 5, 2013)
I love novellas! Some of them have characters that played a minor role in a bigger book that caught us readers' attention and we just want to know their story too. And most of the time I find myself wanting a novella to be longer, which in this case Winning a Bride was a perfect fit!
(Ki Pha 4:06pm July 5, 2013)
Okay, so everyone loves novellas. Or at least most everyone.
So I'm either going to have to learn to write shorter or just
accept that I'll do LOOOONNNNNGGGG novellas. But I still say
it's Sara's fault!
(Jade Lee 4:09pm July 5, 2013)
When the novellas have a continuation which is the series, I'm all for it. Just don't be cruel by leaving the ending of the novella opened and unfinished. It just makes me want to cry when the story in the novella is not finished.
(Kai Wong 4:36pm July 5, 2013)
I don't care for a very short novella. When I read a story, I want to read the story, not a preamble to the story.
(Carol Woodruff 4:36pm July 5, 2013)
Awesome post Jade! You sound just like me and the "novella" is sure to please me,
lol. I love complicated. You and Jennifer Ashley write lonnnng novellas, lol.
Novella's tend to frustrate me. I love the plus to the series but they are just
too rushed in my opinion. A longer one is just fine with me. That's why I don't
read Harlequin Series romance -- just to short, simple and rushed. Thanks for
cluing us in and giving us incite to this story :-)
(Lenna Hendershott 4:42pm July 5, 2013)
Novellas are good to read when you don't have a lot of time to devote to a long sit-down.
(Mary Smith 4:45pm July 5, 2013)
I like full size books
(Wilma Frana 4:46pm July 5, 2013)
More words are great, so an expanded novella suits me fine. I
do look forward to love scenes, it's the reader's reward for
(Alyson Widen 5:20pm July 5, 2013)
Novellas are okay but I prefer a longer book.
(Rita Wray 5:47pm July 5, 2013)
I like novellas, especially when I don't have much time to read!
(Cheryl McEwen 5:57pm July 5, 2013)
well, I recommend instead of 'short' the 'long' becomes a
serial! I'd buy it!
(Lori Howe 6:19pm July 5, 2013)
I like novellas sometimes but much prefer a full length novel.
(Donna Antonio 6:43pm July 5, 2013)
Wow, Congrats on your new novella: WINNING A BRIDE. I would
love to win it and read it this summer. Length of a book
whether long or short is of no importance to me because a
person can always find something important to enjoy when they
are reading a fantastic book. Thank You so much. Cecilia CECE
(Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez 6:57pm July 5, 2013)
Jade, you are so funny. I like Novellas or regular book length books. I just love to read a good plot with great characters. That's how I have been spending this glorious 4th of July and it has been wonderful. Keep writing and keep making us smile!
(Patricia (Pat) Pascale 7:18pm July 5, 2013)
I think that the decision should be up to Jade. It sounds like she's bursting at the seams to write another book, so she should stick with books!! She's so creative, and I'd hate to see her have to leave anything out of her novella, because she's pressed for space!! Do what your gut and heart tell you to do, Jade!!
(Peggy Roberson 11:00pm July 5, 2013)
I don't much care for the typical novella. They are too short!! Just as you start investing in the characters, the story is over! Give me a double length one any day!! The other thing I've learned is not to limit an author. Give them the time to tell the story and you'll leave satisfied!!
(Marcia Berbeza 11:33pm July 5, 2013)
While I enjoy novellas at times, I will always prefer a full
length book. Give me more & I'm very happy.
(Mary Preston 6:45am July 6, 2013)
I never care how long a story is just how good it is. I love a little tease that
gets me wanting more. Give me a tease with dessert oh yeah!
(Patti Paonessa 7:50am July 6, 2013)
The novella sounds great.
(Pam Howell 9:30am July 6, 2013)
Usually when i read novella - its a short story anth - I like them - it has introduced me to several new authors
(Pamela Faye Howell 2:05pm July 6, 2013)
I enjoy quick little stories, but more is better! :)
(Colleen Conklin 2:30pm July 6, 2013)
I like novellas a lot, but your headline had me ready to jump in and remind folks that each of us is totally responsible for our own decisions. But after reading your intro, I have to say that I really do love that Sara was able to inspire a whole new series. I also like the little teasers that are now popular, either before the first book or inserted between series episodes.
(Janet Martin 4:41pm July 6, 2013)
I enjoy novella's, but prefer full length novels.
(Cathy Phillips 5:23pm July 6, 2013)
I prefer full-length books, though a "long" novella can work just as well! I look forward to reading What the Bride Wore.
(Janie McGaugh 6:34pm July 6, 2013)
Novellas are fine, but if you would rather write a whole book,
I will gladly read that, too! The new series sounds really
(Sharlene Wegner 9:34pm July 6, 2013)
I love long stories! I am sure people will like that, "Winning A Bride"
is longer than a typical novella but shorter than an actual novel.
(Lazydrag0n Puff 10:56pm July 6, 2013)
I think writing a short novella is an art not everyone can do. I would much
prefer to read a longer novella that tells a good story rather than a short
novella that seems to be unnaturally short in order to fit a word count.
Those novellas are just not worth the time to read. It is so obvious the
author wants to write a longer story but has to leave out the "meat" to keep
(Chris Coulson 8:00am July 7, 2013)
To everyone who just said -- write the story and let it end
where it will end--I say thank you! And thank God for e-
books. Publishers don't care nearly as much about the size of
an e-book as they do a print book. Paper is expensive! So
yeah for all of us who read in e!
(Jade Lee 11:38am July 7, 2013)
Love a long story with lots of complications!
(Nancy Ludvik 12:25pm July 7, 2013)
Enjoy reading Novella, WTG on your writing skills, too.
(Dayle Butler 1:36pm July 7, 2013)
I'm so glad you doubled the size. I usually prefer a longer story than in a normal novella.
(Anna Speed 1:48pm July 7, 2013)
In truth, I am not a huge fan of the novella. I like more, I want more. I have enjoyed some released mid-series to re-visit characters. In many instances they feel rushed and like something is missing. I am a huge Jade Lee fan so I have faith that her magic will prevail and the story will feel full and complete. Looking forward to reading Winning A Bride. I can remember back when I was in school and adjusting the text size to increase the number of pages...when it comes to word count, can you skip spaces to give more content? Ahhh, probably not.
Good luck and happy writing!
(Tracie Travis 2:02pm July 7, 2013)
I am so glad you went with it. Novellas can be good, but sometimes the full book feeds the need as you read.
(Carla Carlson 3:21pm July 7, 2013)
Novellas can be TOO short sometimes. So a longer novella can be a great
thing. If it is an e-book it doesn't really matter how long it is. I just want to be
able to start reading right away!
(Laura Gullickson 7:17pm July 7, 2013)
Novellas can be great when you only have a wee bit of time especially if they lead you into an interesting new series! I prefer the full books but do enjoy a quick read and snippet of what's to come sometimes.
(Darci Paice 8:27pm July 7, 2013)
I don't mind a longer novella, it's just more to enjoy! :D
(Barbara Elness 10:16pm July 7, 2013)
Staring to write is an adventure, it would be very boring to know exactly how it was going to turn out!
(Clare O'Beara 1:03pm July 8, 2013)
both winning a bride and what the bride wore look great, i can't wait to get them and get reading :) I have no problem with you not being able to keep it short lol, the worst part of a book is the end!
(Jennifer Drake 2:24am July 11, 2013)
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