Tuesday, October 7

The New Kid




When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.
--Steve Maraboli

Hi. I’m Nan Reinhardt and I’m the new kid here at Word Wranglers. It’s a scary thing being the new kid, don’t you think? My earliest memory of awkward new kid-ness is starting first grade, where I was older than most of my classmates and thus, taller and bigger. It made me incredibly self-conscious. I confess, that even over 50 years later, I’m still self-conscious about being the new kid, especially among a group of great writers like this one. However, I know I shall find inspiration and fun here, and I hope to contribute some writerly wisdom to the best of my ability.

Perhaps the best way to begin this venture with Word Wranglers is to tell you a little about me as an author. I’m a writer of romantic fiction geared toward women my own age (cough...61...ahem). I'd like to find a fitting label for the demographic toward which I aim my work—are these books written for mature women? Older ladies? Women of a certain age? Baby boomers? Grown-ups? None of them really work do they? I’m perseverating on that and I’m open to suggestions.

For a long time, I struggled with the dilemma of writing the stories that are in my heart versus writing what agents and big publishing editors believe will sell. My problem was I was consistently told that although my stories were great and my writing was tight, my characters were too old. I have this conversation regularly with my awesome editor, Lani Diane Rich, and she always insists that I need to write what I want to write. Create the stories and the characters that are in my head and my heart and then put them out there—on my own. Very scary proposition, but I’m doing it and having a helluva good time.

As an indie author, I can tell my stories in my own way. I’m writing my older heroines and people seem to enjoy them, and are asking for more characters who are mature and strong and experienced. Heroines like Julie, my widow struggling to find meaning after losing the love of her life in Sex and the Widow Miles, and Carrie, my single mom raising a teenaged musical prodigy all alone in Once More From the Top.
 
I hope readers are anxiously awaiting the next Willow Bay books. There’s Sophie’s story, about a 45-year-old shy freelance editor who decides to break out of her shell and have a summer fling with a handsome writer. Instead she finds herself in the middle of 40-year-old mystery that involves sunken treasure and the mother who abandoned her as a baby. And then there’s Sarah, the shopkeeper we met in Sex and the Widow Miles, who comes to Willow Bay from Chicago to get away from the past she thought she’d escaped. And then there is the pile of notes, written on napkins, scraps of paper, post-its, the backs of envelopes, and even the memo app on my phone, that are stories waiting to be written.

So here I am. I’m smiling, I’m grateful, and I’m thrilled to be a part of Word Wranglers. I look forward to talking to you on Tuesdays each week. I love comments and conversations, so talk to me, okay?

14 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you're here. I loved the post and I love thinking of a good name for our particular demographic. I must admit I'm tired of anything having the word "silver" in it. :-)

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  2. Amen to that, baby! Thanks so much for welcoming me to Word Wranglers! I'm already having a great time here!

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  3. *tackle hugs Nan* Welcome, welcome! I'm excited to have you here. And I have no idea what to tag your genre...I heard someone call it Lady Lit once. I like that better than 'Silver____'. :D

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    1. Thanks Kristi! Hugs back and I'm just thrilled to be here! Yeah, this is a tough one, isn't it? Lady Lit? I don't know why but that made me think of underarm razors! ;-)

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  4. Great post, great beginning, Nan! You're right on with your audience, and finding a name will be a big challenge. Really Adults? Truly Adults? Nah...Seasoned, maybe? We certainly are that. Anyway, keep on keeping on; whatever we're called, we're out here and ready to read you!

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    1. Thanks so much for the support Judith! Hope you enjoy the books and we'll keep thinking on it!

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  5. You're doing a fine job as new kid on the block. ; ) I don't think you have to label your style of romance. Love happens at all ages. Besides, the maturity of the heroine is there, in your title, or in the BCC, so the reader knows at a glance that the heroine is a bit older.
    I'm glad you trusted Lani. Her advice is perfect, and your books are great.

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    1. Hey, Roben! So glad you came by! I've missed you! Your point is well-taken and tags will put the books where they need to be as well. Thanks, sweetie!!

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  6. I'm calling my sister now! We're always in search of writers whose characters are in our age group. There are others like us.
    It's great to meet you Nan. Welcome!!!

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    1. Hi, Sandra, thanks so much for stopping by! I love hearing that people are looking for characters our age--what great news! Honestly, that's all I write because I'm just too far away from my twenties to write believable twenty-something characters. Hope you and your sister enjoy the books!!

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  7. Hi Nan, so happy to have you aboard!

    And I agree with Robena, why not just call it Romance. I think I project my age range onto most characters that I read anyway. Which is why when they get pregnant I'm so surprised. What??? Why would you do that at our age???

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  8. Thanks for making me feel so welcome, Margie, and you're probably right about just using "Romance." I can so relate to your comments about always imagining characters our own age. ;-)

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  9. *waving* Hi, Nan! Good luck wrangling those words! Although you're already quite good at it! ;)

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    1. Hey Cheryl! Thanks for stopping by, babes!!

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