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Saturday, February 9, 2013

My Muse Has A.D.D.

For some years now I've joked about my muse and how she (I know she's a she) can't seem to stick to a single genre. Although my first seven books were romances, and #8 was too, that eighth one began to diverge and became a little bit of something else--what, I'm not exactly sure. The editors at Covenant liked it and it came out with "romance" in the description.
Book Nine took a while, and largely because it's such a huge departure. A SECRET FAMILY RECIPE, due out in June 2013 and also from Covenant, is the story of a family, broken years before by adultery and divorce, now struggling to piece itself back together and forge new connections. The title does not disappoint and there are indeed recipes at the beginning of each chapter, but romance? Maybe some touches here and there, but this is a story about a struggling family. The word "romance" will not appear in the description.
Last month Covenant and I signed contracts on Book Ten, which won't appear for another year or so, and talk about departures! EASTWARD TO ZION is historical. It starts in Sydney, Australia in 1852 and follows James and Eliza as they find one another, fall in love and marry (the romance part), but it continues to follow them as they meet Mormon missionaries, convert and gather to Zion, ending in Deseret in 1860. It's a religious story, an adventure, a tale of connections to friends. Muse and I had a great time working on it.
So where is my muse headed now? Would you believe Young Adult Paranormal Detective stories? I'm working with my agent to place MAGGIE RISING with a large New York house--if I can get the YA elements down correctly.
There are more YA stories floating around in my muse's territory, where she lives in the back of my brain. She has romances back there, too, and another family saga. She and I both enjoyed doing the research for historical fiction; maybe there will be more of that as well.
All I'm certain of is this: Where she goes, I will follow. She makes "branding" difficult, but she hasn't misled me yet.

Susan Aylworth's first eight books are now available in digital editions for Nook, Kindle and other e-reader platforms. Watch for A SECRET FAMILY RECIPE this June.