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Jade Lee | TORTURED PRO NEEDS HELP. A lot of help…


Some book are written from inspiration. Some books are written because there is a contract. And then there are books that simply won't shut up!!!!!

I write historical romance. That is the core of my career. Historicals set in the Regency era. Historicals set in China. Historicals set wherever my muse and the market wander. And then, because it's fun, I'll write contemporary sexy (as with my Blaze books) or paranormal (as with Crimson City or These Boots were Made for Stomping!). But those are just fun books and come along when someone offers the possibility to me, not because I go out searching for them. Don't get me wrong, they're good books, but they are written because the opportunity found me, not the other way around.

As you may imagine, the above keeps me very busy. So the last thing I needed was a fantasy romance series. Sure, I grew up reading Tolkien like everybody else, loved the Thomas Covenant chronicles (talk about an anti-hero!), and wrote my undergraduate thesis on Narnia. I have adored fantasy for years and mourned the absence of a decent love story in all those coming-of-age-with-magic books.

But...and I'm going to put this in bold here...I am a professional writer. Here's what professional writer means to me: I get up every morning, I drink my coffee, and I write to my core audience. It is my job, and as such, it needs to have a clear career focus and goal. No other worker would decide to be a welder one day, a plumber the next, and then a month down the line say, hey, how about carpentry? That's not a professional, that's a hobbyist or a kid looking for a career path. Well, I've got a hobby (racquetball) and I'm well past the kid stage. I am! (she says stomping her foot.)


So what the frick was I doing writing a Fantasy Romance???? Dragonborn was this cool idea I played with in my spare time. It started when I was a kid. I thought of a girl (my age–whatever age that was) who carried a dragon egg in her belly, bound mind to mind with the unborn dragon, and eventually hatched the egg and deposed the evil baddy. Woo hoo! Coming of age at its finest (but notice the girl-centered plot). Then one day–as an adult–I realized that she had a boyfriend. Not just a boyfriend, but a dragon killer boyfriend who was using her to find the egg. They fall in love, but then he discovers that she's got the egg. Oops! What a tortured love story!

Dragonbound Wow, did I love that! So...eventually, I wrote Dragonborn. Why? Because it was such a cool idea and I didn't have a contract at the time. Why not? I wrote it...hmmmm...five years ago? Yes, it took that long for Dorchester to finally read it, buy it, and publish it. Great. It was a fun lark, but it's over. Good book. They've deposed the evil baddy, fallen in love, and are going to live happily ever after...probably. Because it's always “probably” in fantasy.

Then I realized that I had a problem. (A) I had fans who wanted more. (B) Sabina was...intriguing. She was a successful businesswoman without love and with a darkness inside her I didn't understand. Whatever. She's a secondary character of no importance because Dragonborn was done, published, finito. But you know, having written my childhood fantasy book, what was I going to play with now? Sabina would not shut up!!!! I didn't understand why she was tortured, certainly didn't have a man who fit her, and really...I am a professional. I needed to write historical romance.

Okay, so this blog is getting long, so let me sum it up. I dreamed Sabina. I wandered around with Sabina whenever I went driving. I even rollerbladed to Sabina's voice. She would not leave me alone. And eventually, Sabina's story appeared. And let me tell you, it was neither easy to understand her nor a smooth process. But eventually, her past and future unfolded in my head. She became intertwined with an equally dark and dangerous hero, Cordain, who is neither dragon nor man, but somewhere lost in between. And since she's neither fully feminine nor fully masculine (ah, the angst of the career woman), they could meet each other halfway and...well, torture each other, and save each other, and have all sorts of wild, wonderful sex along the way!

So it's done. Dragonbound is out, published, finito. I can go back to being a professional who writes historical romance. Ragona is a great world that I adore, but I have historical fans who want another regency-era romance. I do! And I will!

Of course, Pentold is very, very sad about being dead. And really, in a world of magic, he doesn't have to be dead... Ah HELL! I am going to have to go rollerblading and get this world OUT OF MY HEAD! Unless of course Sara Reyes is right. She said just last weekend that a pro is about writing with passion, not career path. That is NOT what my MBA husband says. Or most business professionals. But it's a thought. Passion? Drive? A core love of a world that comes through in the writing. Could that be more important?

UGH! Do I go back to Ragona? Or Regency? HELP!!!! PLEASE give me career advice! And one lucky commentor will win a free book from me–historical or fantasy, your choice!

Jade Lee

Dragonbound April 09
The Concubine (Blaze historical) Feb 09
Winter Heat (anthology) Jan 09
The Dragon Earl Sept 08




27 comments posted.

Re: Jade Lee | TORTURED PRO NEEDS HELP. A lot of help…

I think you have to follow your muse - whatever your brain is telling you. That way you'll produce a fantastic book no matter what genre you write.
(Lisa Freeman 11:21am April 6, 2009)

I agree with Lisa. You should follow your muse. Write whatever will make you the happiest or whatever you feel inspired to write.
(Lori Patterson 12:33pm April 6, 2009)

I love historical but devoted fans will read what ever you right. I is always better if you write what inspires you.
(Annetta Stolpmann 12:58pm April 6, 2009)

Can you move back and forth? I prefer the regency novels, but I'd hate to see your new fans be without.
(LuAnn Morgan 1:23pm April 6, 2009)

I think that it must be nearly impossible to ignore an idea that keeps intruding into your brain. You should definitely grab the idea and run with it.

Personally, I hope that you also feel inspired to do another Regency book. Those are my favorites.
(Cheryl Castings 1:26pm April 6, 2009)

I believe that if a book is meant to be written that it will direct you as to the era, plot and characters. According to the saying "what ever will be, will be".
(Rosemary Krejsa 1:35pm April 6, 2009)

Ah, Jade, I love whatever you write!! Seduced by Crimson, Shards of Crimson and Tempted Tigress are all favorites. Let the muse take you and I'll love it!
(Dee Dailey 1:51pm April 6, 2009)

You gals are all great!!! And to be honest...between writing this blog and today...I had the muse hit me upside the head. I've just sent out a regency-era romance. Straight historical. No paranormal, no fantasy, just really good historical romance. I love it! And so far, a few editors have too!

But never fear...I hear Pentold's story talking to me mroe and more. So devoted fans of fantasy...fear not. Pentold isn't REALLY dead!

(Jade Lee 1:56pm April 6, 2009)

I think whatever you write, you bill be sucessful! But I do prefer the fantasy...
(Susan Galley 2:15pm April 6, 2009)

I believe you write because you have to get the stories out that have been sweeping around in your brain. You dust off a corner and find new grit to spiffy up.
(Alyson Widen 3:41pm April 6, 2009)

I'm soo glad you are going back to straight historical romance since I'm not a reader of p/n or fantasy. Can't wait to have you back!! Thank you, thank you, thank you...
(Betty Cox 4:02pm April 6, 2009)

I am glad to hear that you are doing a straight historical romance. I like some paranormal and fantasy, but historical romance is my favorite. Can you give us any hints about this new book?
(Cheryl Castings 4:09pm April 6, 2009)

oooh...hints...well, there's this actress who isn't really an actress and a fiance who isn't really a fiance...

no, no, I'm teasing. Truthfully, it's a set-up you've seen before. Hero goes to seduce the heroine because idiot younger cousin is about to propose to an inappropriate woman. Except, the inappropriate woman is actually really hot, and really amazing, and hmmmm... wait...

you get the idea. it will have my signature HOT, SEXY scenes, but it'll also be deeper characterization, good world building, and really fun characters. I've learned something from my fantasy work, so I'm taking that world building skill into the Regency.

Enough of a teaser? Oh...current working title is Surrender to Me. I know, someone else has used it, but titles are hard to do!
(Jade Lee 4:17pm April 6, 2009)

I read and loved Dragonborn and I'm looking forward to the next one. My favorites are fantasy and the paranormal.
(Teresa Warner 4:53pm April 6, 2009)

I think you have to do what your heart tells you to do! I am big into historicals myself but read a little of everything.
(Gail Hurt 5:37pm April 6, 2009)

Since you feel so passionate about Ragona right now, maybe you should go with that. Heck, maybe doing that would get it out of your system and then there'll be room for lots and lots of new historical story ideas...or it could leave room for more fantasy story ideas. :D Either way, the characters are probably not going to leave you alone till you write their story.
(Jacqueline Lam 6:25pm April 6, 2009)

So everyone is saying going with my passion. Well...okay. Right now my passion is to eat chocolate and watch tv. Probably not what you meant! Anyway...for the moment, historical regency. Then I'll probably just have to come back to Ragona. Pentold doesn't want to stay dead!
(Jade Lee 8:06pm April 6, 2009)

When a story finds you, write it. There
is no reason you can't keep a pen in
both worlds. If you are working on a
story and another intrudes, make
notes (mental or otherwise) on the
second that is pestering you. You do
a wonderful job with both your
historicals and fantasy, why not keep
them both. A trip back to Ragona is
something your fans will enjoy looking
forward to and it will be worth the
wait. Consider it your Regency Career
bonus - you get a trip to Fantasyland.
(Patricia Barraclough 9:34pm April 6, 2009)

I am looking forward to the historical Regency and your return trip to Ragona. I think what the majority of your fans are thinking is that if you write it we will read it! Thanks for visiting with us today.
(Cheryl Castings 9:40pm April 6, 2009)

either a paranormal or a fantasy would be great.
(Pam Kinsey 11:23pm April 6, 2009)

I'm a huge paranormal and fantasy buff
(Bridget Hopper 5:26pm April 7, 2009)

Do not know how to help you for over 20 years all a read was sci fi books and loved them and now i read all romance books and love them so its a hard desishen i love both. have not read your book yet but i know i will love it when i do.
(Stacey Smith 10:46pm April 7, 2009)

You've got to tell the story that is in you.
(Shannon Scott 11:58am April 8, 2009)

I love the historical - but if your heart isn't in it - it might be too hard! Write what feels Right!
(Kristi Herbrand 1:49pm April 9, 2009)

fantasy romance please!
(Tina Werner 4:01pm April 9, 2009)

I love both Jade!!! Its hard to pick just one. If so, then Fantasy!
(Cathie Morton 12:57pm April 10, 2009)

I'm late to the discussion, and new to this author (hi, Jade!) but when has tardiness ever stopped me? Personally, I adore unusual settings and fantasy, so my vote is - Chineses dragons!
(Maya Missani 10:25pm April 20, 2009)

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