by Award-Winning Guest Author Christy Barritt
It’s great to be here with you today on Inkwell. I’m Christy Barritt, and I write both romantic-suspense and mystery. I have three novels out with Love Inspired Suspense, and four more novels contracted with them. With this in mind, I thought a good topic today might be “Writing for Love Inspired.”
When I started writing twelve years ago, the first market I targeted was Love Inspired. I wrote book after book, hoping to finally write something to catch their attention. Ten years later, I finally did. My third novel with them, Race Against Time, released in April. I also have another novel, Ricochet, coming out in September, and two in 2013.
In the time since I’ve started writing for the company, I’ve realized several things about writing for the line, things that might have saved me a lot of time, effort and heartache if I’d known them earlier.
So, for anyone’s who’s trying to write for Love Inspired, here’s the best advice I can give you.
1. Read ‘em! I know you’ve heard this one a million times, but it’s so true. If you want to write for Love Inspired (or whatever publisher, for that matter) make sure you read, read, read the books they’re publishing. This will give you a really good feel for what they want. In fact, I still make an effort to read as many Love Inspired books as I can, especially when I’m writing my first draft. Doing this keeps their style in my head.
2. Pay attention to ‘em! As you study Love Inspired books, take note of what you’re reading. The hero and heroine almost always meet on the first couple of pages. Love Inspired wants them to be together as much as possible during the book. They want rising conflict. They want the character’s goal, motivation and conflict to be apparent within the first chapter. We have to understand the market we’re trying to write for.
3. Listen to ‘em! The first proposals I wrote for Love Inspired I received form rejection letters. Eventually, however, I began receiving personalized rejections. Eventually still, they offered to let me revise and resubmit. I hate to admit this, but there were times I didn’t want to listen to their feedback. I thought my story was great just the way it was. The first proposal I sold to them was one that I revised twice before receiving a contract. So, when the editors offers to let you resubmit, don’t take that lightly. Listen to their advice and you just might land a contract.
4. Submit ‘em! Don’t discount writing contests. Editors do pay attention. I was already published with another publisher when I won the 2009 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery. I decided to drive up to the award ceremony since it was only a few hours away from where I live. I met my (now) editor after receiving the Daphne. Editors do pay attention to contest wins. I know of several people who’ve gotten contracts after winning or placing.
5. Persevere ‘em! Sometimes, even when you read the books, listen to revision suggestions, pay attention to the formula and submit to contests, you still get rejected. Do not despair. Instead, keep trying. Sometimes, you may have to try for a couple of years. Sometimes, you may try for a decade. But every time you try, you learn something. And there’s a great chance that you’ll eventually get a contract. So don’t give up!
Thanks for letting me be here today on Inkwell! For more information on my books, visit my website at: www.christybarritt.com!
I’m also giving away a copy of Race Against Time, so if you’d like to win, be sure to comment below! Leave your email address in a safe format. We'll draw a name Thursday night at 10pm. Here’s a description of the book:
Were it not for her cop neighbor, widowed mother Madison Jacobs would be dead. Thankfully, Detective Brody Philips interrupts an attempt on her life in the nick of time. But the would-be killer hasn't given up, and each tick of the clock brings the madman closer to finishing what he started. Brady vows to catch the serial killer plaguing the sleepy Virginia town…especially when he realizes the danger has followed him from the big city. With everyone around him at risk, it'll take everything Brody's got to do his duty and keep Madison and her son safe.
Do you read Love Inspired Novels? Have you ever dreamed of writing one?