Tuesday, 16 March 2010

The "unsellable" novel by Deb Kinnard

Deb Kinnard, author of the upcoming novel, "Damages" (releasing 1 APR 2010) pops into the blog today. Enjoy! Steph. And now, here's Deb

Markets can be fickle brats (so can Muses, but that's another post). I seem to have become very good at writing Books That Won't Sell. I've written a spousal abuse book, a time travel romance, and a love story set in 973 Wales.

Why can't I just get with the program and write bonnet books? I don't really know for sure...

A couple of years ago, when I came to agreement with my wonderful agent, Tamela Murray, we talked about what finished projects I had and where they might be pitched. I mentioned a book dear to my heart, called DAMAGES. "Oh," said she, "I don't think that's gonna fly."

"Why not?"

"It centers around an ungodly marriage."

Now granted that the Christian fiction market has its own quirks. We talked about the core of the book and I explained that the story tells how Brian and Cassidy change their marriage into everything that's right and beautiful and God-honoring.

Let's just say Tamela still wasn't feeling the love. With regret I shelved the book. It was only a couple of years later that I floated the idea again. Hey, maybe the market had changed a little?

"Tell you what. Let's check if Desert Breeze might be interested," she said.

And lo! The book the market didn't want has found a home. I'm tickled to pieces.

Read more about Brian and Cassidy's journey from a very strange agreement to a lovely marriage in DAMAGES, releasing April 1.

Do I still write out of the box? Probably. Will I ever get with the Christian fiction mainstream program? Probably not.


Thanks, Deb for stopping by.


  1. Deb,

    I so know the feeling of wondering whether you'll ever write a story that sells. I have my historicals, my contemporary, and a sci-fi as well.

    I had an agent for five years and while my agent tried some to get my stories out, it felt like we didn't really see eye to eye on my stories. We parted in business but remain friends.

    I tried to get some historicals out and it seemed like that market had closed. Well to me anyway. I was told the houses already had writers like myself. OR they didn't feel a new writer like me would hand such in depth or hard story matters.
    There were times I was ready to give up. But like you I'm glad I didn't. It's nice to finally get a story picked up.

    I'm glad for you and your new book. Hopefully it will be the start of many more contracts to come.

  2. Deb, I love your post! I have a confession. The first few books of Christian fiction I stumbled upon left me in utter discouragement. I guess I felt that they didn't really explore anything beyond surface matters, and I could relate to no one in the book -- which made me wonder if something was wrong with me. I actually remember thinking that if that's what Christian Fiction is supposed to be, I don't want to write or read it. Later, a friend introduced me to Francine Rivers and suddenly I had hope. God bless you, Deb, for daring not to conform and write what was on your heart, as uncoventional as it may be. I know there's a market for bonnet books, but I'm pretty sure they have plenty to choose from already. The rest of us would like some variety.

  3. Deb, you've really peaked my curiosity and I can't wait for your book to come out.


  4. Steph, thanks for letting me vent! And for those of you who are writing "to your heart" rather than "to the market", let my experience encourage you. Sometimes there really IS a market regardless of what those in the know say.

  5. I suppose I'm more open to the 'unpublishable' stories because I've been told myself that a book I wrote wasn't publishable. In my case, it was because my hero was deaf - handicapped - and thus unappealing to a female audience who wouldn't accept a hero that was less than physically perfect.

    I couldn't get the book published traditionally, but when I published it in ebook format, readers loved my Benjamin. So, imagine that.

  6. I know about that. I have never been lucky enough to capture an agent and recently, I've titled myself the "Hard to Place Author." That's okay because I stand behind my work and love every minute of writing it.

    But, the market seems to only want one or two things and until the reading public shifts into freshness, I can do nothing but write what I'm interested in.

    I can only hope that one of these days, someone in the Big Sea of Writing Fate will take notice LOL

    Best wishes!

  7. Love this, Deb. The same thing happened to me but Tamela loved my book even though it is about adultery, because the message is powerful. It's a story with intense sexual situations (big surprise with me, eh?... NOT!) but it has a strong Christian focus. It's just not a category romance but more women's fiction, so even our beloved DB wouldn't take it. The ABA wanted me to take the Christian part out. So then I'd get a big check but the story would flop. SO I found a publisher (very small press) and it is releasing in July 2010 with the title Never Without Hope. Wouldn't it be neat if it did well and your Damages title did so well we'd blow their socks to the moon? :)