Monday, April 16, 2007

Party Post Number 4
Creative Cross-Training

Jamie Sobrato writes for Harlequin Blaze and lives in Northern California with her two small kids and too many books to count. Her twelfth novel, Sex As a Second Language, is out this month.

After writing eleven books in a row that were all basically the same kinds of stories—light, fun, breezy, choc-full-o-sex—I got the urge to use some different creative muscles (while keeping the sex, of course). I was in luck, because Blaze started wanting to buy a greater variety of stories. This year I have three books out, one set in Italy, one with a witch as a heroine, and one that revolves around a secret organization of assassins.

Using atrophied muscles was a great reminder of the years before I sold my first book, when I had the freedom to write anything I pleased. A book set on a fictional planet full of scantily clad gorgeous people who have sex a lot and are on the verge of revolution? Sure, why not. In an industry where we’re told we need to brand (AKA pigeonhole) ourselves, we shouldn’t forget that our creativity can suffer if we don’t exercise it properly. We can’t be afraid to change it up every once in a while, do a little creativity cross-training so that our muses don’t develop stress-related injuries. Stretch yourself, try different things, and you just might find yourself being more productive all around.

So what different things have you tried lately? Jamie is giving away a copy of whichever backlist book the winner would like. Check out some sizzling reads www.jamiesobrato.com

Tessa says: I own most of them and they're all fabulous!



Blogger jdpicraux said...

I'm doing the eHarlequin book challenge this year. And I have never done something like that before nor have I ever blog on the internet. So both are new & exciting. Because of the book challenge I trying to branch out in what I read with trying new lines and new authors.

6:23 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Hi Jamie and Tessa!
Different things lately?? Hmmmm....probably cooking. I posted on the previous thread that my fam and I moved to Minnesota, where we have experienced our first ever cold/snow season. So we had to find things to do when it was too cold(sub-zero) to go outside. One dish I made that we totally loved was a 4 garlic head soup, in beef broth. Served with a crusty bread, perfect for in front of the fire!!

6:26 AM  
Blogger Rachael said...

Hey to Tessa and Jamie - only found this blog-party today, so came in too late for the choc discussion, although I'm hanging out to read your mouth-watering book Tessa.

But on the new things I've tried - well, sadly unglamourous, that'd have to be "quiet time" for my toddler, while my baby arvo-naps, so that I still have some writing time, now I have another babe-in-arms.

I won't bore you with how it's going... but let's just say a whining two year old, lying on the floor asking "is quiet time up yet?" does not for good writing make.


6:38 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

I've decided to get more exercise. Now I'm out walking almost every day! That's a big change for me! lol

6:41 AM  
Blogger tlnrwcs said...

Not much but I will say I love the way so many cleaning products are coming in wipe form these days, I actually have clean windows in my house for the first time in forever.

6:43 AM  
Blogger Shuck Ying said...

I love the Harlequin Blaze line.

8:16 AM  
Blogger LISA WILLIAMS said...

Your new books sounds like a winner.

8:19 AM  
Blogger robynl said...

I have retired and dh is retiring in app. 5 weeks. We have taken up Quadding. He drives and I ride. It's fun!!! We've never had a Quad before.

8:48 AM  
Blogger CrystalG said...

I am trying new authors that I haven't read before.

8:52 AM  
Blogger Deborah Chan said...

I'll have to this book to my list.
I tried to a new diet but it's not working.

9:04 AM  
Blogger misty wright said...

I love a good book and yours sounds GREAT! :) I totally agree we need to just go for it and that is what this year is about for me, as a writer and mother. :)


9:23 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Hi everyone, it's great to "meet" you all here on Tessa's blog. :-) I have to say, I first read Tessa's writing years before she sold when we were in a critique group for a short time together, and her work was already really good then, so I can't wait to read her published stuff.

Anyway, I also wanted to say I've sometimes found writing in a completely different format to be good for the muse. Like, instead of novels, every once in a while I'll try writing a poem or maybe a song or a short story. What non-novel writing do you do that inspires you?

10:21 AM  
Blogger catslady said...

I have to say trying different genres. I've read my first time travel and paranormal but still have to try one of these vampire books everyone is talking about. I'm beginning to like a variety now.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

I have been walking on the treadmill most mornings since September.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Ashlyn Chase said...

Congratulations Tessa. I'll look for your title in my local bookstores.

And Jamie, I know what you mean by stretching your creative wings. I write erotic comedy for Ellora's Cave, often with a paranormal twist and absolutely love it but am trying something new right now. It's a contemporary with very little sex for their Lotus Circle line. I'm a little out of my comfort zone but, I'll keep going with it and see what happens.


10:59 AM  
Blogger Stacy S said...

I have been trying new authors this year and blogging. Your book sounds great.

11:31 AM  
Blogger WendyK said...

Something different, I'm trying to actually finish a story and not stop after getting a few chapters in because I think it's no good. So I'm "hoping" to finish it, even if it sucks.LOL

I'm also trying to be a better housekeeper. I hate cleaning the house.


11:32 AM  
Blogger Minna said...

One new thing I'm doing now is renovating.

12:24 PM  
Blogger shelley said...

Oh, I love different. I like to read different genres of books to keep my "reading muse" happy. I read according to my mood. Sometimes I like a fun contemporary while at other times only a dark historical or paranormal will do. I'm lucky enough to write for a publisher where I can try out all my ideas and dabble in different genres as well.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Lois said...

Oh geez, what new things. . . uh. . . I had a different type of stuffing today for lunch. That's about it. LOL :)


2:03 PM  
Blogger Nalini Singh said...

Hey Jamie! Don't enter me in the contest. I'm just swinging by to say great post - I really agreed with what you said about stretching those muscles. :)

2:07 PM  
Blogger Cherie J said...

I have been trying some new recipes out. I love experimenting.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Robyn Grady said...

Hey Jamie. Love your books. Great to see you here!

Around senior school exam time, I usually stretch my writing wings by helping my 16 yo with her history assignments. Almost makes me want to go back to school...NOT. =)


4:08 PM  
Blogger Robyn Grady said...

Lois, am loving your GB pic, btw =)

4:08 PM  
Blogger principessa said...

new authors and new books. Always love a change and novelty.

5:52 PM  
Blogger cas2ajs said...

I never thought I'd enjoy vampire books. But my daughter recently was a reader judge for a young adult category and one of the books she got was Stake That by Mari Mancusi. I actually grabbed that first while she
was reading another book and I just flew through the pages. What great writing! And I would have missed it if I had stuck to my prejudice about vampires. So I have to agree that it is good to try something new once in a while.


5:53 PM  
Blogger KimW said...

I'm trying all those things I disliked eating as a kid. Amazingly, some of them are good. lol Oh, and I'm trying to be more active and walking more.

3:57 AM  
Blogger tetewa said...

I'm trying to expand my range on reading genres and trying to read new authors.

6:45 AM  
Blogger Tessa Radley said...

Hi everyone...lovely to see you all. Jamie, you make me blush *g*. But you know how much I love your stories. I like reading poetry but haven't written much beyond limericks and haiku.

Rachael and Ashlyn, thanks!

I'm with everyone on the reading authors that are new to me and walking more!

5:17 PM  

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