After I sold my first book, my editor left my publishers and I got a new editor. She didn’t get to choose me based on whether she liked my work or not; I was just dumped on her. In all our communications, she always stated she “loved” my writing, yet she never bought a book from me. (Is she still “my editor” if she never bought anything? Inquiring minds want to know!) In our discussions, she kept encouraging me to “revisit old themes” and to this day, I really don’t know what she means.
My first book, BABY BONUS, was basically what they call a “mystery baby” book, the kind I like to read. So did she mean I should write another mystery baby? No, she rejected the idea when I approached her. Was she looking for another tongue-in-cheek like BB? Or another quirky hero? I could never get her to be specific and eventually, my publisher and I parted company. Not exactly what I wanted. Meanwhile, I sold my next two books (which I’d written for the first publisher) elsewhere and struggled with writing my fourth book because I wasn’t sure if what I was doing was saleable.
But her comment kept re-playing in my head. What was revisiting old themes? Is it writing a series of books with basically the same kind of characters such as Sherrilyn Kenyon’s wonderful Dark-Hunter series? Or stories set in the same place like Marilyn Pappano’s Bethlehem series? Maybe it’s writing different stories, but all time-travel or bad boy heroes or heroine suffering the disease of the week. I know when I read certain authors like Jayne Ann Krentz, I don’t care if it’s her contemporaries, historicals, or paranormal. I love all her books for the way her hero/heroine interact with each other. Is that her “theme”? Or is that her voice?
What do you think?