Today's Guest: HelenKay Dimon!

Honestly one of the best parts of being a writer is when I get to know people whose work I admire and they turn into friends. It’s still odd to me sometimes when I chit chat with my friends whose books I totally squee over – but I can’t deny how wonderful they are. One of those friends/writers I love is HelenKay Dimon. She’s one of the authors keeping contemporary romance vibrant and alive and thank goodness for it (selfishly also, I love her books so it’s good to have a consistent supply of them)

It’s the end of the year and that tends to bring about a rush of “Best Of…” lists and gets people thinking about their TBR piles, as well as the books we all want to read and and write. I read a lot this year. Also wrote a lot. I’ve decided there are a few things I want to avoid in 2011. This is the list of topics/tropes/hooks that work in many books, and topics/tropes/hooks I’ve used myself (sometimes better than others), but I’m ready to put them all on hold for 2011:

1. The Evil Ex – I’ve read so many books lately where the ex (wife,husband,boyfriend or girlfriend) is just nasty. If the ex is female, she’s a horrible bitch who is secretly scheming to destroy the hero or win him back through trickery. If the ex is male, he’s abusive. Seems to me, while the world is unfortunately full of these types of folks, there has to be another way for a hero or heroine to have a past love life.

2. Angry For The Sake Of Being Angry – This type of character exhausts me. To be fair, this type of real-life person exhausts me. I’m thinking we should exile the type from romance fiction for a little while.

3. Sex Disguised As Plot – Writing sex is hard. I know that sounds like a punchline of a joke, but really, it’s hard. Sex is based on emotion – anger, love, confusion, need or whatever. Conveying that while creating a compelling and sensual scene takes skill. Some authors excel at it. In fact, I have read some great erotic romance this year. The kind of books that fill me with awe and make me wish I could write half that well. These books are rich and deep. They drag me into the story and remind me that sex is more than physical. On the flipside, I’ve read a few where there’s a lot of action in the bedroom (or shower, or kitchen table…you get my point) but not much going on in terms of plot or emotion. I’m hoping we continue to see less and less of the latter type.

4. They’re Not Dead! – I keep hearing romantic suspense and contemporary romance are in trouble. The whispers say readers aren’t buying them and publishers are turning down those books from authors. This is somewhat upsetting since I write…well, romantic suspense and contemporary romance. Since I know many authors who are actually thriving in these genres, I’m hoping the panic will soon subside. I want to write them and, honestly, I want to read them. So, spread the word these genres aren’t dead. 🙂

5. Knitting – No offense to those who knit. No offense to those who write about those who knit. I’m just thinking we’ve seen enough knitting. Or, maybe I should say I have.

6. Cover Phobia – I frequently buy books by their covers. I love going into a bookstore or looking on author websites and seeing the covers of upcoming books. But there are some covers I hate. Basically, if there’s a porch, a pretty house with an outside scene but nothing else, two beach chairs, or anything similar…my mind turns off. I know small-town Debbie Macomber romances are in but those covers make me roll my eyes. They also make me ignore the books when it comes time to purchase. To combat this, in 2011 I will try not to judge a book by its cover.

I’m sure there are more. I’m sure I’ll also violate most of these by March, but I’ll give it a try. Anyone have a similar list or a suggestion for one I should add to mine?

I’d also be happy give away a copy of my upcoming Intrigue, GUNS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, to someone who comments. Lauren will announce the winner upon her return.

23 comments to “Today's Guest: HelenKay Dimon!”

  1. Laney4
    December 22nd, 2010 at 7:40 am · Link

    I LOL when I read “Writing sex is hard.” Really? So many things I could say here, but I won’t. You get the drift, LOL!

    I’m looking forward to reading Mia and Holden’s story. Sounds like it starts with a bang, so to speak. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Rachel Riddles
    December 22nd, 2010 at 7:58 am · Link

    Wow HelenKay interesting little ditty you wrote there 😀

    You definitely see the same idea in a lot of books, but I know for me I love them. I think your book is going in my TBR pile.

    Have a Merry Christmas.

  3. Stacie
    December 22nd, 2010 at 8:07 am · Link

    Covers that show half naked people with a snow background crack me up. I don’t think I would pick up a book with that kind of cover. LOL

  4. Diane Sadler
    December 22nd, 2010 at 10:22 am · Link

    I don’t have anything to add to your list. All I have to remember is to buy only books I know I will read and not keep buying on impulse.

  5. Judi L
    December 22nd, 2010 at 11:13 am · Link

    Oh gosh I hope the romantic suspense gentre isn’t dead since it’s one of my favorites too. I will admit to buying a book or two due to the cover (bare chested and rock hard abs are hard to resist). I love your books and would love to win this one.

  6. emmad
    December 22nd, 2010 at 11:43 am · Link

    I agree about the bland boring covers and the predictable evil ex’s. For me I will almost always buy something if there is an animal on the cover as well. Triggers some sort of buy me response lol.

  7. HelenKay Dimon
    December 22nd, 2010 at 12:29 pm · Link

    Laney4 – So many jokes come to mind, don’t they? I chuckled at that, too.

    Rachel – Thank you! Have a great holiday.

    Stacie – See, I’d read that just to see if the hero is really tough enough to go without clothes in snow. 😉

    Diane – That should be my New Year’s Resolution! I buy so many…

    Judi – Thank you! And I find those abs covers pretty tough to ignore!

    Emmad – I totally understand. Jill Shalvis has one coming out in 2011, ANIMAL MAGNETISM, that has a bare chested guy & a dog – win!

  8. Ilona
    December 22nd, 2010 at 12:29 pm · Link

    I have a similar problem with cartoony romance covers – turn me right off from buying them.

  9. Jane
    December 22nd, 2010 at 1:26 pm · Link

    I think it’ll be quite refreshing to read about an ex who isn’t vindictive or just plain evil.

  10. Estella
    December 22nd, 2010 at 2:11 pm · Link

    I buy by author and don’t pay much attention to the covers, unless someone points it out to me.

  11. HelenKay Dimon
    December 22nd, 2010 at 2:53 pm · Link

    Ilona – I used to see cartoon covers all the time. Don’t as much now but some I do see are…not good. It’s a shame because there used to be some good ones.

    Jane – I thought so too!

    Estella – I have to admit I buy by covers all the time. Well, that’s not quite true. Covers make me look at a book. I see the cover and then read the back blurb. But, yeah, covers totally grab my attention (and sometimes turn me off).

  12. Meaghan
    December 22nd, 2010 at 3:03 pm · Link

    Your comment about knitting made me laugh. How about some books on crocheting instead? Just kidding!

  13. Cindy McCune
    December 22nd, 2010 at 4:35 pm · Link

    I love a good cover, but I ALWAYS read the back and look at the front to see if there is an excerpt. I have my FAVE authors & they are autobuys. But a good cover can entice me and show me other authors I NEED to follow :mrgreen:

  14. HelenKay Dimon
    December 22nd, 2010 at 5:07 pm · Link

    Meaghan – All crafts!! No, really, I didn’t want to come off as anti-kntting books. I’m actually in awe of what Debbie Macomber has done with her career and how other authors have such huge fab groups thanks to knitting. I just think there are A LOT of knitting romance tie-ins out there right now.

  15. Susan C.
    December 22nd, 2010 at 6:14 pm · Link

    A good cover and draw me to a book, catch my eye, but it never convinces me to buy it. The kind of cover you are talking about never catches my eye or draws my interest, so I’d probably never pick it up unless I knew and loved the author, or someone recommended it. Maybe that’s why I haven’t read any books with knitting in it recently LOL.

  16. HelenKay Dimon
    December 22nd, 2010 at 7:48 pm · Link

    Cindy – I’m the same way with covers. I have a friend who will only buy if she can read an excerpt first. I rarely read excerpts but do read the back covers since there are certain plots that usually don’t work for me. Of course, for my auto-buy authors I buy no matter what the cover or blurb look like!

    Susan – I have the same reaction to those covers. They don’t entice me. I have a few fav authors who now have those covers and I grit my teeth as I buy the books.

  17. Collette
    December 22nd, 2010 at 7:48 pm · Link

    Yeah, well, I knit AND…I don’t want to read about it either! (Did you think I was gonna be mad for the sake of being mad? ;-D)

    Great list–and I really like the book name.

  18. Mary G
    December 22nd, 2010 at 8:25 pm · Link

    Hi HelenKay
    You’re right about the angry exes, angry people although that won’t stop me from reading those stories. I don’t mind bland covers. I prefer them to books with covers I can’t take out in public LOL. I have books I read at work & books that I read at home. Nothing to do with the genre, just the cover.

  19. HelenKay Dimon
    December 22nd, 2010 at 9:15 pm · Link

    Collette – 😆

    Mary – I hear the cover-in-public issue a lot. They do make those fabric covers to help with that. I saw some at Pike Place in Seattle a month ago. Me, well, I save those really steamy covers for the Kindle where only I can see them!

  20. Dawn
    December 22nd, 2010 at 9:58 pm · Link

    I buy by author but when looking for new author I definitely go by cover. Sometimes it’s a big mistake though lol

  21. HelenKay Dimon
    December 23rd, 2010 at 11:38 am · Link

    Dawn – Yeah, I think we’ve all been lured in by a good cover. 😉

  22. GladysMP
    December 23rd, 2010 at 7:36 pm · Link

    What I hate on a cover or even in a blog are “hunks” showing off their muscles. They appear so egotistical and that turns me off! They would have to spend so much time toning their muscles that they couldn’t possibly have time for much else.

  23. Lori
    December 23rd, 2010 at 9:56 pm · Link

    Found myself nodding all the way through your list.