Short is Sweet…what’s behind the new romance novella surge?
I’ll never forget how excited I was when I found out about the new Silhouette Nocturne Bites line. I was so excited that I sat down immediately and wrote “Wilderness”, a story that ended up being the first Bites the editors at Silhouette bought from a new author. To this day, I have to smile when I think about how that 12,000 words energized my career.
Short fiction has to be vital and intense. It has to deliver GMC and Scene/Sequel and all the saving the cat stuff in less time than Margaret Mitchell would have used to describe one ball. I’ve always known short fiction packs a punch. From O. Henry to Ray Bradbury, I’ve read some spectacular short fiction that has stayed with me years after I forgot exactly what shade of mauve Scarlet’s shoes were in Chapter Fifty-Five. So you can imagine my joy as a writer and a reader when romance publishers began taking interest in the under fifty thousand word format!
My mother, bless her heart, never had to drive one child to chess, another to baseball and still another to chemistry camp…while practising spanish with a CD and tweeting with her husband because she hadn’t actually spoken to him in three days. My mother never had to surreptitiously check her son’s Ipod for songs with vulgar lyrics while cleverly pretending she was bored with her own playlist and looking for something new. My mother was addicted to an hour long Phil Donahue. I’m addicted to five minutes of facebook, twelve times a day. These days, it’s hard to find time to stop and pee much less sit down with a chunky 800 page saga.
Tada! Bring on the novella. I can read a Bites(or two) while I wait for son number one at the dentist while sons number three and four take whatever lessons are scheduled for that hour of that day of that week. I can even grab one at lunch or in line at Dunkin’ Donuts. (Well, okay, that’s a stretch. While in line at Starbucks.)
My point is: No matter how crazy life gets, I can get to the happily ever after I crave sooner rather than later when I need to. It doesn’t mean I don’t take something chunky to the beach or shut myself away with my favorite full-length series when the newest one comes out. Having novellas available just means I don’t have to give up on my heroes when I’m on the go!
So, what do you think about short stories and novellas? Have you tried one? (Be careful. They’re kind of like chocolate. Ever tried to eat just one M&M??)
Today, in honor of my new obsession with short fiction, I’m giving away a copy of MIDNIGHT CRAVINGS, a Silhouette Nocturne Bites Anthology. Join our yahoogroup and be automatically entered in the drawing. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/embrace_the_shadows/ And don’t forget to look for “Wilderness” in AWAKENING THE BEAST, a Silhouette Nocturne Bites Anthology due out this fall.