Saturday, September 9, 2017

THE NEXT ADVENTURE by Brenda Whiteside

At the beginning of summer, I posted about my upcoming promotion efforts. I spent three months on a writing break, and I put my time into an organized promo timetable. I'm not ready to report the results. Since I am published with a small publisher, it takes six months to get any real numbers on sales.


Now, it's back to the creative side of being an author, and I'm happy to report that I am juiced about my next product. The question is...will readers be as excited.

Whenever I start a new book, it's an adventure. Jerome, Arizona is the next setting for what I hope will be a series. I've got one and the beginning of two ideas for stories. I'd like to have three stories as a minimum before I take the plunge. With the richness of the setting, more idea are sure to come. This time around, I'm going to use the town and it's history more accurately than I have used other settings.

View from the road in
If you've never been to Jerome, it's a must visit when in Arizona. It exists on the side of a hill and was a mining town. For a time a ghost town, artists and authors found a unique home decades ago. My stories will be fiction, but will use the artist community and perhaps some of the occult. The genre will still be romantic suspense, but a thread of paranormal will be touched.

I normally set my stories in the here and now. It would be possible to that with these books, but I think I'd rather go back to simpler times, to times when the art community was still experimenting and at its peak.

My question to you all is this: would stories set in the early 70s appeal to you? Do you check the time
period when you pick up a book to read and then are you interested or put off by that?

In the meantime, my Love and Murder Series is one book from complete. The third book in the series was an EPIC finalist and the fourth book is a RONE finalist. AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

14 comments:

Rolynn Anderson said...

Brenda, I'm not sure the Roses are the right group to ask about the 70's. On House Hunters, 25-35 year olds turn up their noses at anything that 'looks 70's'...even 80's. We may not be far enough away from the 70's for it to be cool retro like they call the 50's, for instance. But books are for all time, all times (think To Kill A Mockingbird or Little Women or The Scarlet Letter). You pick the time that inspires you to write the best story, ever, and people will be reading your books in the year 3000!

Leah St. James said...

I was thinking the same thing as Rolynn!! I grew up in the '60s and '70s, and I'm not sure I want to revisit either decade! :-) On the other hand, if the writing is good and the story engaging, I don't care what the time period is. I agree, write what you're inspired to write. And have fun!

Jannine Gallant said...

The 70's are sort of an in-between land. Not really a period to appeal to historical readers, and not a current thriller. Honestly, I think you'd be limiting your audience. On the other hand, if you're writing to please yourself and tell the best story you can, it might be the right choice for you. I'd say if you're shopping to bigger pubs, don't even think about it. All I heard about my Salem witch trial book was that, while they loved the story, they didn't know what to do with it since it wasn't a popular time period. I ended up self-pubbing it. I feel the 70's would fall into that category. But, if you're going with TWRP, who knows and loves you, they would probably be willing to think outside the box. Have fun with it, whichever way you go. Creating a new series concept is an exciting part of the process!

Diane Burton said...

The 60s & 70s are not my fav time period. But as the others said if this time period is a must for your story and you feel strongly about it, go for it. The last time we were in AZ, we thought about going to Jerome but never made it. Best intentions, you know. I'm sure whatever you write will be entertaining.

Margo Hoornstra said...

As others have noted, the 70s was kind of a bland decade. You really might limit your readers. I have to be brutally honest here to answer your question - would stories set in the 70s appeal to you? Um - No. Not really sure why, they just wouldn't. (The daughter of an English teacher in me thanks you for not using the apostrophe ie 70's - which makes it possessive and totally NOT in the context you intended - but I digress) How about using the paranormal angle if you MUST use the unfortunate decade. OR - INSPIRATION HERE! - have a secondary character who 'arrived' in the seventies, loved the period, for whatever reason, and now in present day, just can't let it go.

Mary Anne Landers said...

Thanks, Brenda. That's fine by me! The 1970s haven't been done to death, like a certain other period I can cite.

This time frame holds plenty of interesting possibilities. It was getting close to what we now have culturally, but remained quite different technologically.

And there were profound changes going on. A writer can deal with issues that mattered then, but don't so much nowadays, if at all.

When I pick my leisure reading, I go by the main theme, premise, and plot. Not when and where it takes place.

So I say go for it!

Alison Henderson said...

Interesting concept, Brenda. I graduated from high school and college in the 70s, so you'd think I'd have fond memories of the period, but I can't say I really do. I remember it as a turbulent time, which might lend itself well to your stories. Also, one of my friends writes a detective series set in 1980 in order to avoid the pitfalls and complications of modern technology. You and your readers might enjoy that aspect.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Okay, y'all, so far a mixed bag of things to consider. I graduated high school in 67. Late sixties and early seventies were vivid times for me. Anything but bland, Margo, if you consider the politics and intellectual strides. I was a wanna-be hippie, had real hippie friends, traveled for three months in a VW bus and did a number of other things I won't discuss here. :) Jerome had a heyday of movement and the art culture taking over the once ghost town. Sounded interesting to me. BUT...if what Rolynn and Leah say about not caring to revisit, or if Janinne has the pulse on the publishing industry, then I should steer clear. Only Mary Anne seems to lean in my direction. I do appreciate the input. I don't intend on submitting to TWRP. Not going to self-pub either. I'm not writing it for my own fun and satisfaction. Where does that leave me? Not sure. I'm going to Jerome next week for two days. I'll see if my ideas can fit into a contemporary time frame. I really do appreciate the input!

Andrea Downing said...

Barb, have just finished a novel (now in rewrites) that takes place in the 70s, hopefully of interest at the moment or so it seems, a conflicting view to above. Obviously, I'd tell you to go for it! Lots of research. I'll be writing a post shortly on my website about what I discovered, not only the background to Watergate and the Viet Nam war but things like the cars available and their cost, what was on TV, the Haight Ashbury scene and so on. It doesn';t have to be the main attraction, so to speak, it's just background. Go for it, and good luck.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Andrea, would love to hear what you learned. Yeah, I didn't intend on making it the center of the story as far as the big picture of the early 70s. Not writing about the 70s but just setting the romantic suspense in a colorful time period for Jerome, plus dipping in on the past of the city. I'll still consider it.

Andrea Downing said...

Brenda, I also think with films out such as Jackie and now Ken Burns' Viet Nam war series, the 70s is being re-assessed., not to mention certain comparisons taking place between our current government and that of the 70s. Just a thought.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Good thought, Andrea. It's always a gamble to try to guess the market, but by the time I get the first two books written, it could be ripe for the time period. I want to make it a series and I want to have the first two books written before I submit to a new publisher...that is if I go for a new one. At any rate, it will be around a year. And worse case scenario, if the time period is a no-sale, I can rewrite for the present I suppose.

Alicia Dean said...

I'm surprised how many people said they wouldn't want to read something set in the 70s. I was thinking when I read your post that I wouldn't, but I figured I'd be the only one. I don't really know why I wouldn't, except that I'm not all that interested in stories that deal with the war, any war, and I am not interested in the artistic community or hippie culture. I had a lot of great times in the 60s and 70s and I love the memories, but I don't feel fiction in that time would appeal to me. However, you never know what's going to strike and if it's pulling at you, I say go for it!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks for the input, Alicia. The war may not even be mentioned. It's not really about the 70s. It's just that Jerome in the 70s would be a great backdrop. I'm still stewing on it.