Monday, October 17, 2005

Series Contemporary or Single Title?

I'm thinking of sending off the first seven pages of my Cowboy contemporary to a contest. (Yes, I know, I was just grousing about contests!) But I seem to be a contest junkie! I need to at least try and be a finalist - it is kind of like my need to keep sending off manuscripts and hoping a publisher will like it enough to publish. I'm never going to get published if I don't keep trying and who knows, if I final the final judge may fall in love with what I sent and ask for more which could mean a contract! So how can I not send to a contest when I could become published if that is one of my goals in writing? My main goal for writing is to have people read what I write. No one can read it if it's sitting on my computer- so I have to send it to contests for them to even see my brillance! LOL

Anyway, I digress! How does one decided if something is series contemporary or single title? Is it the length of the book, the tone, the content? Or all of the above? I'm trying to determine which category (at the moment titled) Perfectly Good Nanny, falls under for a contest.

It is set in Boondocks, Oregon on a lonely out-of-the-way cattle ranch. A woman who is running from an ex-boyfriend who has threatened her life has taken a job as a nanny with a man with two children. Only the man didn't hire her - his daughter did. They can't afford a nanny. They are barely keeping the ranch going and he needs every one of the calves about to be born to stay alive to pay off a large loan he has at the bank because of all the medical bills accrued by his late first wife. Only the nanny doesn't want to leave feeling this is the perfect place to hide until her ex is behind bars. Mother nature is on her side when a rain storm washes out the bridge to town and she has to remain on the ranch a while longer. The hero sees she is good for the kids and can't resist the sexual pull he feels toward her. She experiences the hardships of a rancher and sees his determination and love of his kids. Also feeling a strong sexual pull towards the man.

Only as the two become closer she decides to learn to ride a horse - something the hero has asked her not to do, because his first wife, a talented horsewoman, died while on a horse ride. When he discovers she has gone against his wishes endangering herself and possibly the children, he becomes angry and plans her return to town. She learns her ex has discovered her, and takes out across the barren sage covered country on a horse, believing if she is away from the family they will not come to harm if he shows up.

The hero has discovered her secret and takes out after her. He finds her at the same time as her crazed ex-boyfriend.

Okay- is this series or single title??

1 comment:

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Gosh, I'm just no help at all. I've read one (count 'em - one) cat book in my life - and it was written by the uber-talented Alice Sharpe. :) So...unfortunately, I am unqualified to answer this question for you.

What does your gut tell you? I would guess overall length (above 70K words) and number of subplots would kick a book from cat to ST, but I'm really not sure. My own work would never fall under category because I write 100K+, have intricate subplots, lots of secondary characters, and deal with issues and themes (I'm told)that wouldn't fly in category.

I know you said you always have trouble reaching the 100K mark, and in the last book you were scrambling to add subplots to kick it up. So maybe try writing it as a cat - pick a line and target it for that. See what happens? Worse case scenario, when you start writing you'll realize it fits somewhere else.