Guest Post: Playing to the Room

Hi everyone, today Lisa M. Campbell is our featured guest and she's giving away a signed paperback copy of SUPERSTITION'S DESIRE to one lucky commenter!! Welcome to the blog, Lisa!

Playing to the Room
By Lisa M. Campbell

Those of us who write undoubtedly have a passion for it. Why else would we put ourselves through the difficulties of creating a cast of characters with seemingly insurmountable problems?

As an author of historical romance, I have noticed the high volume of paranormal books lining the shelves of our local bookstores. Publishers and readers alike clamor for these stories and though the saturation level is high, there doesn't seem to be any sign the genre is tapering off. Moreover, it's not just bricks and mortar stores packing them in. E-book sites all over the internet display page after page of paranormal titles and what once thought a fad is now a cornerstone of the billion-dollar a year romance industry.

No doubt, it sounds as if I'm opposed to such books. However, I write erotic paranormal under the pen name Marie March and have four titles due out this year. As well, I eagerly await the next Sookie Stackhouse adventure from Charlaine Harris, and the last installment in Karen Marie Moning's Fever series. What I enjoy about these authors is their ability to create stories in which I'm able to suspend my disbelief and immerse myself in an all too real fantasy-world.

This brings up the question of writing strictly for profit of playing to the room. Should an author who stands out in his or her own category write to a specific market? From what I have read and heard, most Editors view this as a no-no. Yet, how many publishers out there, big and small, have calls out for paranormal manuscripts above anything else? With werewolf, vampire and shifter stories in demand the conclusion may be any submission will have a better than average acceptance rate. Such logic will set anyone up for disappointment and failure.

As a romance writer, you have to enjoy reading what you set out to write. With a paranormal, you have to believe in the unbelievable yourself otherwise the rudiments of your story just won't work. Therefore, I believe success in any form of writing depends on the blend of two essential elements…your talents and interests.

How many times does this happen to you? The back cover blurb sounds great, the title is intriguing and the cover art is visually appealing, but once you get into the story you're disappointed. Is this the exception? Or the rule?

Lisa is giving away a signed paperback of SUPERSTITION'S DESIRE to one commenter!

Please visit Lisa's websites:
Where romance begins
sin~sational romance


Anita Clenney said...

I believe a writer should write the story that she or he loves. I write Paranormal Romance, a series about warriors and demons and a quirky historian, but I didn't write it with the intention of hitting a particular market. I wrote it because it was in my head. Actually, it started in a dream.

Honestly, I didn't even think of it as Paranormal at first, because it isn't very dark. I assumed the book would appeal to romance and mystery lovers and even people who don't like stories about demons. It was after I had it written that I realized it really was a Paranormal.

But while I would never write a story I didn't love in order to be published, I think if a writer can take that story she loves and add an element or a twist to suit a market, that isn't such a bad thing. I think the bad thing is if you're writing something you don't even like because you think it will sell.

As to back cover blurbs. I hate it when they don't match the cover or what's inside. I will sometimes buy a book for the cover. There is usually an element there that captures me or doesn't. It's very disappointing when that doesn't fit the story inside.

Happy Easter all!

Sherry said...

I've bought a few books that don't live up to the blurb although I love the covers most of them don't match up to the story. I've been reading books that talk about the hero have dark hair and tattoos then look at the cover and it been a blond man that looks like he wouldn't know what a tattoo was. It makes me mad when I get a book and the blurb is so great and I can't get into the story for nothing usually I will try to read it again later and if that doesn't work I'll give the book to a friend.

Lisa M. Campbell said...

Happy Easter Anita!

It's always amazing to me when a writer of Paranormal Romance brings a new twist to an old myth or legend.

On an unrelated note, my mom and sister are both named Anita!

Thanks for dropping by, and have a wonderful day!

Happy Easter Sherry,

You're exactly right about the covers out there nowadays. Usually the author has little or no say in what the cover art will look like. Also, I've noticed the same male model is used to portray the "warrior" types in historical romances. I find this disconcerting---which is why, when I found I had a bit of say in my cover, I went with the horse and misty forest for my e-book, and the castle ruins for the print. My paranormal cover was a bit different in that I had a sneak peek, but didn't have final approval on it.

Thanks for stopping in, and enjoy your day!

Carly Carson said...

I like the castle cover you have. I don't buy books with half-naked men, though I don't know why. I think it's because I like to imagine the hero myself. I wouldn't be happy if the blurb and contents don't match, but I don't find that happens very often. Is this a new release? Good luck with it!

Deanie Roman said...

Happy Easter to you Carly!

Thank you, I like the cover too. :)

SUPERSTITION'S DESIRE is my debut book and was released in Jun 2009, and I'm currently working on a story for a secondary character from SD.

SAVAGE CRAVINGS is my debut paranormal erotica novella, I have four others being released from May through to Jan 2011. My web site is

Thanks for taking the time to comment, and have a great day~

J K Maze said...


I very rarely find that if I am intrigued by the blurg on the back cover, that I am unable to get interested in the book. It has happened so seldom, I can't recall the last time.

I love the paranormal and, in fact, it sneaks into my own books unbidden. I can't say I don't believe in the paranormal because I've had several strange experiences, well, dreams, that have come true. I don't like it in reality, but love it in fiction.

Your book description has caught my interest. I want to read it - definitely.


Pat McDermott said...

Hey Lisa, good luck with your upcoming releases! I think lots of agents and editors want to be the one to discover a new writer who'll wow the world, hence they continue to solicit what's selling, and they market it to sell. The result can be blurbs that don't match the contents, but for the most part, I've found the blurbs to be fairly accurate. How great to write what you love and have it be what the editors are looking for! All the best, Pat

Lisa M. Campbell said...

Happy Easter Joan!

In speaking to other paranormal genre writers, I've found most are open-minded in regards to the supernatural, and I'm no exception.

A few months before I began writing SD I was living in England and had visited Belvoir Castle---if you go to my website the castle in on the home page---I had rounded a corner on the second floor of the keep and made a conscious effort to let the tour group outstrip me, I wanted to get the feel for the place without all the noise. Once the sounds faded I poked my head into a room which was off limits and there, at the window, I noticed a young woman in period dress. I assumed she was a re-enactor since the castle had put on jousting events for the crowds earlier in the day, and I thought to approach her and pick her brain on some historical aspects of the time period. So, I ducked under the velvet rope and when I straightened back up---she was gone and the only way out of the room was through the door I had passed through. Was she a ghost? You tell me, and though SD isn't a paranormal, the physical attributes of Lady Arabella Wyndmere was born from that encounter.

Thanks for stopping in, and have a wonderful evening~

Lisa M. Campbell said...

Happy Easter Pat!

You've brought up a very good point, and with the explosion of e-book sales rising over 200% this past year, the demand to fill the online "bookshelves" puts a lot of pressure on editors to discover the next Sherrilyn Kenyon, or Charlaine Harris.

Have a great evening~

Lisa M. Campbell said...

Thanks so much for having me on the blog today, Nicole. I'm a fan of Fierce Romance, and enjoyed meeting and chatting with everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderfully relaxing, Easter Sunday.

~Lisa :D

Nicole North said...

Thanks so much for being here today, Lisa! I've enjoyed reading your post and everyone's comments! I loved reading about your ghostly encounter too. The first ghost I saw (or thought I saw) was in an old hotel in Scotland. So it brought back interesting memories. :) Thanks also to everyone who commented! Happy Easter!

Nicole North said...

Hi, everyone,
The winner of Lisa's book is Anita Clenney! Congratulations, Anita! And thanks again, Lisa, for being our special guest!