What's it like to be a romance writer? If you're curious about that, or our chapter, this is the place to be. We're continuing with our series "getting to know you", which introduces our RWAC members. We talk about our writing strengths, our personal writing challenges, and how we keep going. We're kicking off this week with Kelly Boyce.
What genre(s) do you write and what attracts you to that genre?
I write mostly historical but also contemporary, but if I had to pick one, it would go to historical. I’ve always been a history buff and I like meshing romance with the different time periods. It’s as close as I can get to a time machine so far. I haven’t given up on the actual time machine yet, but I skipped Physics in high school so I’m a bit behind the learning curve on that one.
What’s your writing strength? What do you think separates you from other authors?
Wow. Strength….does perseverance count? I imagine different readers would pick out different things. For me, I find dialogue comes fairly easy, whether male or female. I also like writing humor into the story while still maintaining the emotional element of the romance. I’ve been told I have a strong voice, although whether that pertains to my writing or because I was yelling at the time is hard to say.
What’s your writing kryptonite? What is always tough for you to tackle?
Probably setting description. I struggle with that one. You want to paint a picture without it sounding like a paint by number and sometimes coming up with a fresh description that doesn’t make me sound like an idiot is a Herculean feat. When I read a passage by another author that makes the setting come alive with nothing more than a turn of the phrase, I weep with envy. True story.
Do you work with critique partners?
The awesome Pam Callow and I have been critique partners for years now. We started off meeting every two weeks to review our manuscripts as they were being written then after we both published it evolved to where we hit up the other one if we’re struggling with something or need a fresh pair of eyes, etc. Then if deadlines permit, we’ll do a read through of the full manuscript before it gets sent to an editor. It’s a fluid thing and we change it up as we need to depending on what’s going on in our careers at the time.
Where are your favourite places to find inspiration for new ideas?
This is where I justify my Pinterest addiction. Between the historical costumes, pictures of faraway places, photos, paintings, characters – it’s a cornucopia of ideas. I’m very visual, so seeing a picture of setting or a character is enough to get my brain running down the ‘what if’ track. I also get inspiration from movies or books, sometimes news articles. Something will catch me and my imagination will take it in another direction and once again I’m muttering to myself, “I wonder what would happen if…” I talk to myself a lot.
What piece of advice has stuck with you most since joining RWAC?
Treat your writing like a job. Show up every day and put in the time. The book isn’t going to write itself. Even when it’s hard, keep at it. That’s where the learning happens. Don’t give up. Learn and hone your craft. Write every day. Someone also said, “Suck it up.” Actually that might have been me.
Can you tell us what you’re working on now?
I’m currently writing A SCANDALOUS PASSION which is Book 2 in the SINS & SCANDALS SERIES. This book picks up about six month after AN INVITATION TO SCANDAL (Book 1) ends and is Spencer’s story. It’s set for a May 2014 release. After that, it’s onto Book 3, A SINFUL TEMPTATION and then what I hope will be a Christmas novella starring one of the secondary characters from An Invitation to Scandal. Somewhere in there I’ll be doing galleys for my two 2014 Harlequin Historical releases and the first of those, SALVATION IN THE RANCHER’S ARMS, will be released in August 2014.