Timing. What an important word.
Timing is evasive and tormenting -- similar to luck, because we have very little control over it.
Timing has been against me from the beginning of my career.
In the mid-eighties, I wrote a romantic adventure. The hero, or anti-hero, had a viewpoint and said weird things. He was immature, selfish and rude. He was like a real person. At that time, these things simply weren’t done in romance novels. Most male characters didn’t even have viewpoints, let alone much personality. This risky book finally sold to Pocket and had a print run of 7,000 copies. Thrown away, was how an editor from another house described the fiasco. The book developed a cult following. Editors were reading and talking about it. Writers were reading and talking about it. A lot of people tried to emulate it. Janet Evanovich recently stated in an interview that she’d read it and tried to write something similar. Today someone would probably pick it up and wonder what the fuss was about. But at that time the book was seminal and groundbreaking in a quiet way. It was also my first book and first commercial failure.
In the early nineties, I told my editor Beth de Guzman at Bantam that I really wanted to write straight suspense. She told me that was impossible; they already had A female writer – Tami Hoag -- writing suspense. Swear to God, those were her exact words. That’s really all I have to say about that; it’s pretty self-explanatory.