Maggie Robinson

Feb 22

No I’m not talking about Marathon Key, although we did drive through it on the way to Key West. The vacation was in so many ways perfect—the weather, the laughter, the girls dancing in the street outside Sloppy Joe’s, seeing my handsome son for the first time in almost two years. But while we were away, I never checked e-mail or phone messages. Didn’t watch the news or pick up a newspaper. Apparently a lot of stuff happened.

One thing was that my agent requested the first two books in the Courtesan Court trilogy. Paradise has made the rounds. Although it’s still out with three houses, the upshot is that the writing’s good but the subject matter’s too edgy. I knew that it was risky from the get-go (not for nothing do I think of it as “The Bad Book”). But almost everyone who’s passed on it wants to see what else I’ve got. So I spent all day Sunday—over 12 hours—making sure Mistress by Midnight and Mistress by Mistake were all shiny and devoid of those pesky red and green lines in an editing marathon. (If someone knows how to turn off the sentence fragment warning feature, please let me know.)

I’d already done revisions, but wanted to double-check that everything was clean. It was kind of weird. I cried at the sad parts and laughed at the funny parts, as though somebody else had written the books. I don’t know what that means, but I’m hoping it will spur me on to finish the third book, Mistress by Marriage. I did indeed lie under the palm trees in Florida in 2009 and contemplate London in 1820, and I’m raring to go.

So, I’m ready to be in limbo again. Or still. Or always. I’ll keep you posted.

Do you ever write outside your comfort zone? What plot points turn you off?

10 comments to “Marathon”

  1. Elyssa Papa
     · February 23rd, 2009 at 2:53 am · Link

    Maggie, I’m sending you an e-mail with step-by-step instructions about customizing grammar/spelling for Word. I even think what I sent will work.

    And yay on LB requesting the Courtesan Court books. I’ve got everything crossed for you.

    Not much turns me off. Well. Certain things do. Lolita, and that whole plot element. Cousins marrying. Domestic violence. Heroine being raped by hero, or vice versa. Women who are only concerned with having babies because her biological clock is ticking away (that plot just drives me up the wall, especially in contemporary books).

    But, I’ve read books with these plot elements. The one I can not absolutely forgive: domestic violence and rape on either the hero or heroine’s part.

  2. Elyssa Papa
     · February 23rd, 2009 at 2:56 am · Link

    And, um, no I don’t think I color outside the lines in my writing. I just procrastinate a lot and worry, but really what I write is not groundbreaking at all. Even when what I considered to be dark and angsty; apparently it was light and humorous.

  3. Maggie Robinson
     · February 23rd, 2009 at 5:34 am · Link

    Thanks so much, Ely. I’m not quite Stephanie Laurens, but sentence fragments are my friends.

    I’m with you on the cousin thing too, altho most were legal. There were super-strict laws of consanguinity concerning marriage which a lot of people (including me) aren’t aware of. At first I had Eden’s stepfather offering her marriage after her mother died, but they could not have according to law. I must have watched too many soap operas. Doug and Julie on DOOL comes to mind.

  4. terrio
     · February 23rd, 2009 at 10:43 am · Link

    Congrats on the new requests! The good thing is that once you’ve sold this series (which WILL happen), you’ll have less resistance to getting Paradise out there. A good story is a good story, edgy or not. And I think the Historical Romance world can use a little edge right now. Look what it’s done for Anna! LOL!

    The only writing I’ve done outside my comfort zone was those science papers I had to write in the fall. Totally out of my element. 🙂

  5. Maggie Robinson
     · February 23rd, 2009 at 10:56 am · Link

    Oh, Terri, science. It might as well be Martian to me. I am woefully stupid. I do remember a paper I wrote on turning sand into glass. I took Science For Dummies in college. It wasn’t called that, but it was a 2-year survey course. I’ll never forget the physics prof looking at us and mumbling, “Oh, why am I bothering?” I did meet my college boyfriend in the chem lab part of it (a philosophy major), so I guess it was worthwhile, tho he broke my heart.Sniff.

  6. Janga
     · February 23rd, 2009 at 11:20 pm · Link

    Maggie, I refuse to believe that Paradise won’t make it to bookshelves one day. I agree with Terri. Once the Courtesan Court trilogy wows romance readers, Paradise will find a publisher. Congrats on the requests. May Maggie Robinson Squee Day be just a heartbeat away!

    Alas, there are no edges in my writing. I think curving circles of connection are my strength, and my weakness too.

  7. Tiffany Chalmers
     · February 24th, 2009 at 7:09 am · Link

    outside my comfort zone was writing hidden beauty. I didn’t know what the hell I was writing, I just knew the dang character. The story breaks so many romance rules that I’m just glad I’m now writing a story that is more typical in the romance genre 🙂 Not that I don’t love HB, cause I love that book!

    And I say yay on LB wanting the CC books! They are amazing reads!

    Not much turns me off in reading either. How weird is that? I’ve been desensitized to the incest/cousin thing from all the erotic (old erotic, namely Victorian erotic) I’ve read, it’s always uh… kept in the family in those books, LOL.

    Maggie, I love fragments, too! It was something that always came back from contest feedback, use less fragments. I can’t, I’m such a fragment whore! LOL

  8. Maggie Robinson
     · February 24th, 2009 at 8:54 am · Link

    Tiff, I know Paradise was way outside my comfort zone, and I had to cut a ton of horrible stuff that I wrote to make it still-too-horrible, LOL. But like HB, it just swamped me and I couldn’t not write it.

    Janga, I just know your curving circles will encompass all who read them. Am anxiously waiting!

  9. Marnee Jo
     · February 26th, 2009 at 9:51 am · Link

    Congrats on the new requests Mags! I can’t wait to hear you’ve sold. 🙂

  10. Maggie Robinson
     · February 26th, 2009 at 10:01 am · Link

    Marnee, me either, LOL. But like I told Tiff this morning, I feel very zen. If it’s supposed to happen it will—if not, no animals have been harmed in the making of this manuscript.