Labels, Fluff, and Other Things I Don’t Understand

I’ve never done this before, but here it goes.  Steph Campbell makes me want to be mouthy too.

I don’t write traditional romances.  I place the contemporary romance/new adult label on the book because Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. request that you label your book before publishing.  I don’t think my books are romantic or a romance or even necessarily a love story.  I’ve never pretended like they were.

I know TONS of readers really like the contemporary romance genre as it currently stands and I’m happy to be included in it!  But I just feel like the labels don’t apply in the same way to every book.  I like that my books make you angry and uncomfortable.  I don’t write them for all the readers to escape the real world, because sometimes it’s nice to see the real world from a different point of view.  My point of view might be a bit (a lot) angsty and you might want to pull your hair out, throw your kindle across the room, and reach into the book and throttle someone.  I LIKE that!!!  Those are the absolute best responses to my books, because if you feel that…you got it.

Since releasing my first three books, I’ve realized I can’t write the books any other way.  I don’t see my books as situations that can be neatly tied up with a bow.  I think there should be loose ends and sometimes there isn’t always a happy ending.  I love you doesn’t mean everything has been fixed, it just means that you’re giving yourself a chance to feel it and go from there.

I love you.  Yes, you.

I feel like Jenn Sterling might have prompted part of this discussion as well, because like her I’ve never done this for the money…ever.  I started writing for fun on Fictionpress starting in 2004 and never stopped. (Admittedly, I was writing before that, but it’s when I first put it up so others could read it.)  I never intended to publish AC and AR and in fact, gave them away for FREE for nearly 3 years.  Your enthusiasm and trust in my stories even way back then put me here today.  And I can’t change it now.  I know that probably makes me stubborn, but someone is probably going to like it….maybe?

Either way, thank you for reading and appreciating my books.  Thank you for supporting indie and traditionally published authors who try something different.  You’re the ones allowing us to follow our dreams.  And while sometimes I think I just really want to write a happy and fluffy and care free book (because let’s be honest they’re great, and sometimes you really need one), my heart is never in it, and I’d never give you something I haven’t put a piece of my soul into.  (It’s like a reverse horcrux.)

You guys rock!  End rant!


  1. And that is why I loved your books. (Besides the fact that they were well written and a fabulous storyline). I hate when every book always ends with happy ever after.

  2. I really loved your books….I don't think I ever wanted to throw my kindle more…but I loved that…couldn't put it down… Couldn't wait to see what happens next. Great to hear from your perspective and thoughts….don't change a thing!

  3. I loved the books because I NEVER knew the ending…you kept me guessing the entire way through and then…they always ended perfectly…can't wait for the third book!

  4. My favorite books are the ones that leave my brain fried after I'm done with it. The ones who make me take time to sit back and try to figure out what the hell just happened! I LOVE that feeling. It's so much better than saying "aww, wasn't that a sweet story…NEXT" I want to be blown away and you have definitely done that for me. THANK YOU!

  5. Look…I'm glad I was one of the people to bully you into publishing your angsty LOVE stories. LOL To me, Lexi and Ramsey have a great love story. But really, it doesn't matter to me what you categorize your books as, I love your writing and I love the story you've given us. Let the reader interpret them as they will. Love ya! Mwah

  6. I think you write contemporary fiction. It's got a romance element to it, but it's not the whole story. There's angst, hatred, some mystery and lots of cute guys. Throw in a couple of assholes, and you've got contemporary fiction!

  7. I love that I felt like maybe throwing something when I finished Avoiding Commitment (and I also love the notion of a reverse horcrux)! It may not be a traditional romance, but let's be honest….sometimes it's extremely nice to veer off the "They lived happily ever after".

  8. I love that I have found you independent authors and you aren't the same "happily ever after" ending every single time! I have enjoyed you and Jenn Sterling (and several others) so very much! I love how you all support each other and encourage others to dream big! I have wanted to write a children's book for a long time and after reading your books and following both of your blogs, I have started the process. So THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!!! Keep on keeping on! (and I have lost my password or this would NOT be anonymous!)

  9. Gosh you're such a great writer! So inspiring! Your books are just so amazing/heart wrenching/absolutely wonderful – every book I've tried to read since has just paled in comparison. Can't wait for the next one! Thank you for writing such great books!

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