I'm delighted to have with us my wonderfully talented chapter mate Joya Fields, sharing her experience with a completely different side to romance publishing. Who knows - it might inspire some of you to tread a new path!
First of all, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Christi Barth and her fellow Word Wranglers for inviting me to visit their blog. Thanks, gals! I really LOVE the name of your blog. I’m thrilled to be here today to chat about my experiences writing short romance stories for the confession market affectionately known as the True’s magazines. True Romance, True Experience, True Story, True Confessions and True Love magazines have been around since 1919. Many readers tell me they remember True’s magazines from their childhood—magazines they usually read in secret and borrowed (without permission, LOL) from their grandmothers. Scandalous! These stories made granny blush, but she couldn’t stop reading. And neither could we. No cuss words, no erotica. Still, our faces heated. Tame by today’s standards for sure. Reading a story in a confessions magazine is like eavesdropping on an interesting conversation at the booth behind you in a diner. You know you shouldn’t listen, but you lean closer, wanting to hear more because it’s so darn interesting. It’s a storytelling technique that, in my opinion, will never get old or go out of style. I got my start writing for the True’s about three years ago when I took an on-line class. I’d heard of the confessions market, but I didn’t know what type of stories they needed. Still, it sounded like fun. Through the class, I learned what the magazines were looking for and the types of stories that the editors were buying. With encouragement from the wonderful teacher (Marilyn Puett), I submitted my first story to True Confessions. Imagine my surprise when two weeks later, I received a contract in the mail for that story. By then I was addicted. Writing these stories was the most fun I’d had in a long time. I bought a copy of each of the magazines and read them from cover to cover. I read every story in all of them and least twice. Now I’m the first to admit that writers must be creative, write from the heart, etc. We also have to do our homework and study our craft. Each magazine was looking for a specific sort of story. In my mind, the only way to get the “gist” of what they were looking for was to take the stories apart, one by one, and analyze them. I scribbled notes about each story and kept a list of what happened, what sort of characters the stories featured and what theme repeated over and over again. Before long (well, it actually took a few weeks), I had a good idea of the type of stories that each different magazine contained. I put my fingers on the keyboard and wrote like crazy. This May, my fifteenth published confessional story “Making New Beginnings from the Ashes of Sorrow” will be featured in True Confessions magazine. Heart wrenching, uplifting and romantic stories with characters we can relate to. That’s what the True’s magazines are all about. True’s magazines can be found at most news stands and online at www.zinio.com . Reading these magazines full of short stories can make you feel like you’re overhearing some good gossip or discussing your inner most secrets with your best friend. Happy reading and writing to you and thanks for taking time to stop by Word Wranglers. Joya Fields www.joyafields.com