Carina Press/An Idea

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barbarairvin

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I am thinking of trying the Romance market, and I've heard a lot of great things about Carina Press. I have an idea for a story, which I'd like to detail here. The main character assumes a power position, is happily married, but ends up having a fling when things get stressful. Is such a thing typical or even acceptable in a romance? Would Carina Press consider such an idea? Or would this plot point fall into another genre? Thanks.

Barbara
 

ElaineA

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You haven't really given enough detail about the plot so I can't tell if this is about a couple or a multiple pairing, but affairs during the story are generally not acceptable in Romance. If that's what you mean by "fling," it would be suspect. Anything is possible, I guess, since every story is different, but for the most part, Romance readers want to watch the evolution of a primary couple (or multiple partnership) falling in love (or falling back in love after something that happens before the story) and finding their HEA. One of them having an affair in-story is kind of a dealbreaker for most readers, and thus, for most publishers. Romancelandia does NOT like their Main Characters to cheat.

It could probably work as Mainstream, or maybe even WF, if the plot is primarily about a woman's individual growth.
 

LJD

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How does the book end? Who does the MC end up with?

But as Elaine says...affairs during the story are a tough sell in romance.
 
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Sonya Heaney

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It seems more like women's fiction to me.

To write for the romance genre you have to know who your heroine(s) and hero(es) are. They have to end up alive and together at the end, with the promise of either "Happy For Now" or "Happy Ever After". So, in this case, we have the heroine. Who is the hero in the story?

There have been some romances with cheating that have been published (probably more in the past than recently). Before Amazon closed their discussion forums there was a very long thread listing books with cheating as a theme - I'm not sure it exists anywhere anymore.

Carina will look at romance and mystery/crime. There's more information HERE.
 

barbarairvin

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Yes, I guess it does sound more like Women's Fiction than Romance. My character would go back to her husband. She wouldn't actually leave him, but the pressures of running a business would certainly lead to such a thing happening. The career move part would be an important plot point as well.

Thanks for helping me figure out which genre this would fit into.

Barbara
 

cool pop

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I'm just curious. What's the reason you're trying the Romance market? Have you read a lot of romance novels?

That's what I was wondering. Every time someone says they are "trying" out romance I get the feeling it's because they think there's easy money in it. If you really want to write romance seriously and show respect to the genre, you need to read romance and learn the ins and outs of it.

As for will Carina accept your work, you are putting the cart WAY before the horse, OP. You haven't even written the book yet. Focus on learning the genre, becoming familiar with audience expectations and writing the book first.
 
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Marian Perera

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That's what I was wondering. Every time someone says they are "trying" out romance I get the feeling it's because they think there's easy money in it.

Every time someone posts in here asking if their story is a romance, I ask what romances they've read. The answer is usually none.

I wonder if people see romance as a sort of broad, catch-all category, where, if there's a character who has some sort of romantic or sexual relationship at some point in their life, the story could be considered a romance. It's really not, any more than setting a story in 2015 makes it a historical novel.
 

BenPanced

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I wonder if it's another case of "writing to market": they saw something somewhere online that romance novels are the #1 bestselling ever in the history of everything ever published ever and have decided to jump on the bandwagon? (See also: vampires, "chosen one" dystopian/wizards/dystopian wizards, etc.)
 

Sonya Heaney

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Eh, seeing how much my life has changed since 2015, I vote for books set then being called "historical romance". :D

I've given up on being offended by how many people disrespect the romance genre. We do fine without them.
 

mccardey

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I've given up on being offended by how many people disrespect the romance genre. We do fine without them.
My first book (back in the 1990s) was for kids. When it came out, everyone and their rabbit who planned to write a book one day used to tell me that they were going to knock out a few kids' books and then 'move up'.

I've never written memoir (except for the fact that everything I've ever written is a thinly-disguised revenge-memoir :evil ) but a few years ago an (o/w/m) neighbour decided to write a book as well, and thought that he'd begin by starting a writers' group. He put an ad for his group in the local paper that said, at the end, 'No time-wasters. No self-publishers. NO MEMOIRS.'

I'd love to tell you how that worked out for him, but alas I'm a terrible time-waster, so I couldn't join up.

People are funny things. :D
 
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Helix

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Oh, goodness, yes. Same for crime fiction. It's not real literature and is a thing that people write because it's easy and lucrative and requires absolutely no understanding of the genre. (Don't make me hunt out the sarcasm emoji.)
 

Nadinarte

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I would worry about writing the book first. (・-・)
It is true that if you want to fit this idea in the "Women's romance" corner, where the heroine ultimately is united with her lover, maybe it wouldn't work.
Truthfully, though, first thing you should worry about is to write it and if it doesn't fit that corner it shouldn't matter: if it's good staff, someone will want to represent it and readers will want to buy it. ೕ(•̀ㅂ•́ )
 

Sonya Heaney

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Trying to pigeonhole a non-romance book into the romance genre is never going to work, and I see people attempting it all the time. Just as crime/mystery etc. has genre "rules", so does romance.

My first book (back in the 1990s) was for kids. When it came out, everyone and their rabbit who planned to write a book one day used to tell me that they were going to knock out a few kids' books and then 'move up'.

I've never written memoir (except for the fact that everything I've ever written is a thinly-disguised revenge-memoir :evil ) but a few years ago an (o/w/m) neighbour decided to write a book as well, and thought that he'd begin by starting a writers' group. He put an ad for his group in the local paper that said, at the end, 'No time-wasters. No self-publishers. NO MEMOIRS.'

I'd love to tell you how that worked out for him, but alas I'm a terrible time-waster, so I couldn't join up.

People are funny things. :D

Ugh, I'm helping a Vietnam veteran write a memoir at the moment, and it's possibly the most difficult thing I've ever done (and talking all things army with a Military Cross-winning career soldier when I don't have a clue what I'm going on about... :Huh:). I can't stand people who think some genres are so much better than others. And the idea of moving "up"? So many people plan to start with "easy" romance and then write "real" books when they're established.

While there are some self-published romance authors making really good money on Kindle Unlimited, it's such a competitive area to write in. I've just been speaking to some people who took two decades to sell a book. Because romance is that easy...

Edit: I just remembered it's Children's Book Week in Australia, and I've just read a few kids' books because of it. I don't think there are many other genres where each word has to count for so much. Not exactly an easy job!
 
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Rocket

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Goodreads has some pretty long lists of romance books with cheating in them.

I recently heard about Gypsy by Carole Mortimer a well-known Harlequin author.

Lightning by Danielle Steel might be worth reading
 
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veinglory

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Both of those books are over 20 years old and one is not genre romance. If you want to write genre romance, cheating narrows your publishing options dramatically, and the role cheating plays in the story can makes those options close to nil. I say that as someone who wrote more than one romance with a cheating element. The cheating romance that was popular in the late eighties and nineties was focused mainly on the grovelling scenes. That was the emotional button being pushed.
 

Rocket

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Hmm, the OP did say she was writing for a specific publisher. I was not focusing on that when I was thinking and writing.

Writing more of what is selling best right now is a different concept than writing a book that might stand out, but be accepted or even praised.
 

Carrie in PA

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My first book (back in the 1990s) was for kids. When it came out, everyone and their rabbit who planned to write a book one day used to tell me that they were going to knock out a few kids' books and then 'move up'.

LOL People are ridiculous. I had an idea for a children's book series, and while I still think the idea was pretty darn good, and I do still read kids' books so I think it's even marketable... it turns out I'd rather write novels because they're easier.

I have a friend who decided to write a YA novel because it's "easier" without having read a single YA novel and having not interacted with an actual YA in quite some time... To that, I believe I said something like: "HAHAHAHAHAHAHA."

People are funny things. :D

^^Truth for the ages.

Writing books is hard, I don't care if they're picture books or a Dostoevsky reprise.
 

Earthling

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There's some kind of 'Carina Promise' (can't remember the actual name) that assures readers none of their books will include cheating by the hero or heroine. Most romance presses--I'd go so far as to say ALL good romance presses--will have the same policy, whether they state it outright or not. Romance readers get really angry about cheating.
 

Marian Perera

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Most romance presses--I'd go so far as to say ALL good romance presses--will have the same policy, whether they state it outright or not. Romance readers get really angry about cheating.

I wrote a romance that includes cheating (I queried it as "a husband and wife fall back into love after an Indecent Proposal in Victorian England", and currently have a full out with an agent). I agree that there are some presses, like Entangled, which don't accept any romance that has cheating, even if that occurs off-page and in the past, but if there are no good presses which accept cheating in romance, Mary Balogh's Dancing with Clara and The Secret Pearl would not have been published.

I also agree that a lot of romance readers don't want cheating, but from reading comments on All About Romance, I think there are also romance readers who don't feel this is a dealbreaker, or who feel whether the cheating is forgivable depends on the context, and so on.
 
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