It’s been said in the publishing world that authors have to “think outside of the box.” But what about writing inside the box? Specifically, writing for a box set? (By the way, as a helpful guide for middle-aged folks like me, “box set” is the trendy new name for what used to be called anthologies.)
This topic came up for me recently, when I was asked to join yet another box set. I had already participated in one, SEASON OF LOVE, with a different group of writers. SEASON was released May, 2015. The authors for SEASON had set forth three conditions: (1) the story had to end in either engagement or marriage; and, (2) the heat level had to be no hotter than “moderate,” and; (3) the length had to be short—either a short story or a novella. But being the “pantser” that I am, having limitations was hard. It made me feel boxed in, maybe because I had only written whatever the heck I had wanted to up to that point. I was relieved to have found an upside—I came into that project more focused than usual.
The authors for the new box set I’m in, HOT SEDUCTION—SIX SIZZLING TALES, gave me different parameters. The story for this one had to be: (1) “new adult” (i.e. have a protagonist college age or slightly older); (2) be full-length; and, (3) have a high heat level. When I was approached to join this group, it immediately occurred to me that fulling these requirements would be much easier for me because I had already written this story, years before. The title I had given it was ART AND SEDUCTION.
So why hadn’t I sought to traditionally publish this story? After all, at 72,000-words, ART AND SEDUCTION is long enough to be published as a novel in its own right. The reason is because of yet another box I needed to fit in—author marketing. I currently hold myself out to my loyal reading audience as a traditional contemporary writer. And I love writing this genre. My traditionally published books all have a lot of humor, and either a moderate heat level (LAWFULLY YOURS) or a high level (DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES, along with its Januay, 2016, to-be-released sequel, DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC). So how can ART AND SEDUCTION, my dark tale of a love triangle between a college senior, her professor, and the freshman fraternity brother who longs for her, fit in with the rest of my work? It can’t. Especially since this story has not only some scorching scenes, but a little bit of “kink” as well.
ART AND SEDUCTION is, for me, an anomaly. Maybe because I wrote it before my contemporary work got published I was able to write something out of the box. How ironic that for me to feel comfortable publishing it, I had to think inside the box (set).
What have you done to make you think outside – or inside – the box?
WEBSITE & SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS FOR STACY HOFF:
Twitter: twitter.com/authorStacyHoff Web: http://www.stacyhoff.com
PREORDER LINK FOR HOT SEDUCTION:
AMAZON LINK FOR LAWFULLY YOURS:
AMAZON LINK FOR DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES:
AMAZON LINK FOR SEASON OF LOVE: