I started reading romance novels because I watched soaps. I started writing romance novels because I watched soaps.
And now, because of my involvement with the As the World Turns and Guiding Light tie-in novels, as well as Another World Today and Mindy's Twitter, I am exploring ways to take both soap operas and romance novels in a new direction - technically and creatively (and I sincerely hope you join me. In fact, the concept kind of hinges on you!)
I guest blogged about it at: Perfect-Romance.com:
I spent close to ten years working for Procter & Gamble Productions. I wrote three best-selling tie-in novels for them, Oakdale Confidential and The Man From Oakdale for As the World Turns, and Jonathan’s Story (with Julia London) for Guiding Light. I also developed a property called Another World Today, a bi-weekly serial where every episode ended with a question. Fans voted and whatever majority ruled, I wrote.
Now, I am ready to try authoring a romance novel series, Counterpoint, in the same way. Every book will end with a cliffhanger (I do come from the world of soaps, after all!) and a chance for readers to vote on what they’d like to see happen next. I intend to put out a book a month, all reader-directed. There will also be a message board, where those who need to express their ideas and suggestions in more detail can do so. I am very curious to see what the result will be, for a variety of reasons. For one thing, it will answer the question of whether readers want to be involved in the story-telling process, or whether they prefer to be swept away by the action.
For instance, with Another World Today, only about half of the people who visited the site actually voted, and some visitors even posted that they refused to vote because the emotional issues were too complex! (I am going to take that as a compliment. No matter how they meant it.) Another point that came up with AWT was that while some vocal posters on the message board expressed particular fondness for one character, whenever questions about her were put up for a vote, the response was lackluster — and, more often than not, against her!And then there were the split-down-the-middle tallies...
Read the entire piece (and find out more about some of those too close to call votes) at: http://perfect-romance.com/2011/11/02/crowded-house-engaging-readers-as-writers/ and please leave a comment. Mala, who runs the blog, is also an editor at Soap Opera Weekly, so she really listens!