Taking Risks

This morning I'm pleased to shine the spotlight on my guest star Cynthia Wicklund, a fabulous author and a good friend.

You may have read The Garden Series, her popular Regency Romance novels. I know they are some of my favorite books. She has such a way with characters who are just different from the usual heroes and heroines.

What you may not know is that Cindy loves paranormal novels. Her captivating romance, Lord of Always, has a paranormal premise.

Writing Lord of Always led her to writing another paranormal--one that's dark, edgy, and full of passion, but I'll let her tell you about Thief of Souls, the book with the evocative cover shown above. After which, she's going to talk about how much courage it takes to write and publish a novel in a different genre. It takes guts to go from Bestselling Regency Romance author to Contemporary Paranormal, with the hope and prayers that paranormal readers will embrace you too.

Thief of Souls: The Blurb

Nicholas Anthony's spirit has been corrupted. A moment of spite four hundred years in the past turned him into an immortal monster. Now he is obsessed by an unnatural hunger, feasting on the good in others while seeking the good in himself. But unlike the vampire of myth, it's not the taste of blood that draws him but the very essence of his victims. The soul. Fortunately for Nicholas, the evil that dwells within him has not destroyed his conscience, his ability to care, because that in the end will be his salvation.

That and Regina Miles.

The appearance of “Nick” in Regina's life comes at a time when she is vulnerable. As a young intern in a teaching hospital, she's overworked and exhausted most of the time. Her vulnerability is the very weakness Nick intends to exploit. However, he does not reckon with Regina's strength of character or her sensitivity to what he is, despite her pragmatic nature. Most important, Nick does not recognize his own growing dependence on her, emotions so raw, so new to him that are emerging unexpectedly, emotions that can end his purgatory.

Taking Risks
by Cynthia Wicklund

I’m about to embark on a brave new adventure. No, it’s not becoming an Indie Author. I already did that almost exactly one year ago.

On September 20, 2010, I pushed the button to upload my first independent novel, a Historical Romance entitled In the Garden of Temptation onto Smashwords. The only emotion I clearly remember feeling at that moment was a rising sense of panic. What had I gotten myself into?

Had I known what the next twelve months had to offer, I would have been more excited and more confident. I’ve sold books, thousands of them. I’ve got readers. Imagine! I’ve even made a little money. So I should be thrilled about my latest release. Shouldn’t I?

I uploaded Thief of Souls, my newest novel, yesterday. Today, it's live on Kindle, and I’m as nervous as I was with that first book.

A Twist Within A Twist

Thief of Souls is a twist on a modern vampire romance, with an additional twist on the “Beauty and the Beast” theme as well, since the beast's ugliness resides within rather than on the outside. His hope for redemption comes not from being loved by another but from discovering his own ability to love. Needless to say, it’s just a tad different from my other published novels.

So the question becomes: how do I make the transition from one genre to the next, especially when my new story is so unlike anything I’ve published before? My readers are used to my Historicals, and I worry about disappointing those who have kindly supported me over the last year.

To Pseudonym Or Not

The most obvious approach is to use a pseudonym. Then I wouldn’t have to be concerned about confusing my readers. I’ve given that option serious consideration. And it is the path a lot of writers take. However, I believe many readers are like me; they shift from genre to genre, reading all kinds of books, and they’re more likely to try an author they already know, even if it’s not the author’s usual fare. And romance readers are especially eclectic in their tastes.

Risk, Rationalization, Reality
It’s a risk whichever path I take. I know firsthand the difficulty of being found by readers when a book is tossed onto the market by a complete unknown. There is a huge amount of material out there, many, many choices. Without excellent promotion, the right book cover, etc., not to mention a whole lot of luck, the book may never be discovered.

Thus I’ve decided to use my name, hoping that it will bring me some notice through my published novels. I’m also hoping that those who have read and enjoyed my other stories will give me a chance with this new direction my writing has taken. To be clear, I’m not giving up my Historicals; I love them too much. I simply want to write in other genres as well, especially urban fantasy and supernatural.

So, here’s to taking risks. After all, where would I be today if I hadn’t pushed that first button on September 20, 2010?

Still just dreaming. . . .

Takeaway Truth

Cynthia, thank you for sharing your journey and your fear. I'd like to add that if you hadn't acted in spite of your fear last year, you'd still be dreaming--instead of being on the Kindle Regency Historical Romance bestseller lists.


  1. Thank you, Joan, for hosting me today! It's always a pleasure.

    Cynthia Wicklund

  2. Cynthia Wicklund ... Good morning, again! I just bought Thief of Souls. Can't wait to dive into it.

    Best wishes,
    Joan Reeves

  3. Best of luck, Cyndi. I think you did the right thing keeping your name. I'm sure many of your fans will follow you.

  4. Thanks, Cheryl, for stopping by! And thanks for the encouragement.

    Cynthia Wicklund