Do They Really Not Understand Life's Fake-Out Choices?

In my research, I found this article. I wondered if my love of CYOA prepared me to be a better friend. Meh. I think I had that in me. Reading comprehension probably helped, as did my scientific ability to understand cause/effect. I've worked with kids who can't "read" an angry face and deduce their behavior has made a friend mad. I've worked with kids who need "social stories" to comprehend classroom behavior. I've even had friends who are addicted to Drama. So I guess I shouldn't feel patronizing toward the poor slobs in this psych trial... but I do! If you cut down your fellow students, you're probably heading for the dark side, and if you scream at your sweetie, he won't want to be your sweetie.


Glutton for Punishment

One of my main girls asked me why I'm so into writing these interactive romances, especially after I've been rejected. She said I basically had to write 12 short stories, braid them all, and sell them as one. I nodded. Yup. I dunno why I like them. Plotting them is a blast, and writing them is easy because there's not nearly as much organic discovery. I've banged out all of them in a month (of actual writing time), edited in a few weeks, beta read them favorably.

Since I'm having so much fun, I'll keep trotting this Old Gray Mare until she keels over. I've got an editor, a cover artist, and a formatter. I'll sink a little $ into this trio, and see what self publishing to Kindle and Nook is like. If it's Not Good, I foresee a large plot bunny family for the free reads on my website!

But there are some days I'm thinking I'm obsessed by these stories. I'm investing my own author mad-money back into something the professionals have told me isn't right for the industry, and I'm neglecting other projects for which I have confirmed readers. Am I lost in the woods or just following a harmless folly?


Happily Ever After

I shared in an earlier post about the rejections I've had on Becca and Lauren. One of the reasons was the unhappy endings. I have skewed all my books to be just slightly-more-than-half happy. One beta reader told me that reading too many unhappy endings in a row makes the book feel like a Perils of Pauline, which if you're not familiar with that term, refers to a damsel continuously in distress. So I also make sure that most of the story stems lead to a mix.

But in my books, there is only ONE (1) Fairy Tale Happy Ending. That's it. My books have 16, 12, and 11 endings respectively. I'm not egotistic enough to think that every reader is going to have a spiral bound notebook and track their choices to be a Completist. I'm toying with putting the existence of a single Fairy Tale Ending into my Author's Intro at the start of each book, because I want readers to know, after they've tried 3-4 endings, that it's out there. I'm not sure. Do you think romance-people need the promise? Or should I just let it be a pleasant surprise for those who stumble upon it?

Another issue is that some of my beta readers who scored the fairy tale early in their reading felt dissatisfaction with reading the other stories, because they'd already "won." Me? I'd keep reading to discover all the endings, which while they might not be as  happy should at least be entertaining. Would you read on after finding a happy ending early?



Hmmm. Do I sell my stuff as a puzzle/game or a book? Do I sell it as an adventure or a romance? Do I sell it as a worthy story or as a light throwaway experience?

How about... yes.

This is the current disclaimer I've crafted:
Warning: You are NOT buying a traditional erotic romance. This book features eleven adventures, ranging from romantic to sexy to deadly. The fun of this book is in changing your mind.


Sulkathon #sk11 in honor of Romantic Times #rt11

Thanks to Stacia Kane for starting the sulkathon. RT was my first conference as an author and it left a heck of an experience for all other conferences to live up to. No one parties like RT, and I can only imagine the glam LA romance readers are capable of. So here's my own little addition. Leave a comment here or @runemima on twitter about your favorite scifi trope. I'm going to totally pilfer the list and compare it to the offerings I've blended into Becca, Reporting for Duty. I mean, 18 endings... and I was committed to making them all unique. Let's see which lucky commenter wins their choice of my backlist. If I was playing, I'd have to say my favorite scifi tropes are aliens, exploding spaceships, or the light saber.