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View Full Version : A story about love, is it considered a romance?



gothicfaery2001
05-21-2006, 02:49 AM
I am currently preparing my ms for submission, but still question the genre of my book. It is about love, but is not what I think of as a "harlequin romance" type of love. Here is a condensed version of my synopsis for this piece. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Instantly drawn together by the mutual experience of having lost a loved one to death, successful author Chelsea Daniels and actress Brookelyn Whitfield knew they were meant to be the moment their glasses united in a toast. Through the losses of parental relationships, and a career they defend one another. In the faces of rape, death, and infidelity they learn what it means to live and die for love. By the time Chelsea questions whether the cost has become too great, the two will have sacrificed everything except their identities for one another. The most frightening lesson of all remains to be learned. Even if you have sacrificed everything you are for what you believe in, are there any gaurantees?

Would this be considered straight up lesbian fiction? Romance? mainstream? I am confused as to the determining factor in this case, and certainly wish to be careful about how I market myself because I don't want to be trapped into one genre ever.

veinglory
05-21-2006, 02:58 AM
I find it hard to tell as this summary doesn't cover what happens in the book. Do you have a synopsis (indicating main plot twists of narrative)? If you don't want to post it you could PM. Your story does seem to be centred on a romantic relationship forming and developing--and have a happy ending? So it may well be romance.

Now there are a number of lesbian fiction markets, some focussing on romance of one sort or another--it would pay to go to a large bookstore or library and look some of them over to see where you fit in the market.

stephblake24
07-07-2006, 07:19 AM
I have a million questions. Sounds like lesbian fiction...romance to me. Interesting...also.

Here is a revision:

Successful author Chelsea Daniels and actress Brookelyn Whitfield knew they were meant to be the moment their glasses united in a toast--instantly drawn together by the mutual experience losing a loved one to death. Through the losses of parental relationships, and a career they defend one another. In the faces of rape, death, and infidelity they learn what it means to live and die for love. By the time Chelsea questions whether the cost has become too great, the two will have sacrificed everything except their identities for one another. Even if you have sacrificed everything you are for what you believe in, are there any guarantees?

JanDarby
07-07-2006, 07:47 PM
There are lots of "love stories" that are not romance. Technically, in fact, Love Story (the old 1970s book and movie) and Gone With The Wind are not romances, because of the sad ending.

A romance, as it's understood by publishers today, generally focuses on the initial development of the relationship, from meeting to commitment, so if the characters fall in love (and admit it to themselves and each other) at the outset of the book, then it's probably not a romance, in the sense of what would be written on the spine of the book and were it would be placed in a bookstore. In a romance, the reader will be asking story question of "will they or won't they fall in love and commit to each other?" If the reader knows for sure -- and the characters know for sure -- that the answer is yes, from the very beginning, the romance story is over.

I don't know much about the lesbian fiction market, but the story sounds very much like women's fiction generally (or perhaps a subcategory of women's fiction with lesbian primary characters), so I'd guess it falls somewhere under the rubric of women's fiction.

JD

Cathy C
07-07-2006, 08:16 PM
The big questions you need to ask here are:

1. Is there an HEA ("Happily Ever After"). In other words, do Chelsea and Brookelyn wind up together happy when you close the book?

2. Is the story about their ROMANCE, and how it progresses through these other events in their life? Or is the story more about the EVENTS, and the romance between them is second fiddle--something to fall back on when their lives disintegrate?

If the story is about the romance, and has an HEA, then it's a romance. A "love story", as JanDarby correctly states, is missing one of these elements. The Notebook, The Bridges of Madison County, Romeo and Juliet and Wuthering Heights are likewise NOT romances, if you need further comparison to your book.

Yell if that doesn't answer your question. Oh, and as to whether there's a market for lesbian romance, I'd say yes, very soon. More and more publishers are looking for solid stories that push the genre. But you might get more answers of "no" than "yes" until you find the right editor who LOVES the characters. :)

Marlys
07-09-2006, 04:12 AM
Actually, there already is an established market for lesbian romance. Bella Books (http://www.bellabooks.com/) and Bold Strokes (http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/) specialize in lesbian fiction, both publish romance. Also try Alyson (http://www.alyson.com/) (a major gay/lesbian publisher) and Kensington (http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/finditem.cfm?itemid=211) (which has gay/lesbian lines). They would all look at it as lesbian fiction, if you don't think it quite qualifies as a romance.

There are other presses out there as well--try browsing your local glbt bookstore, or go online to Lambda Rising (http://lambdarising.com/NASApp/store/IndexJsp) or A Different Light (http://adlbooks.com/) bookstores to find other titles and see who publishes them.

Good luck with it!