At the Feet of the Masters

My first book is to be launched in the USA in July 2009.

I am so jazzed it is hard to keep still.

So. Time for a dose of best seller analysis [ I know, I know, but I am an academic. Goes with the territory.]

Tami Cowden has an excellent article on 12 key elements she has learned from the RITA winning novels: here is a summary which is intimidating enough for mere mortal newbies comme moi:

1. RITA winners have great heroic characters -memorable, believable, true-to-life characters who struggle with important issues, but manage to live their lives as well. RITA winners use well-drawn characters that evoke sympathy

2. Rita books have great characterization. There is a difference between great characters and great characterization. The creation of true-to-life, imaginative sympathetic characters is crucial to a good story, but it is something that writers do behind the scenes, in their plotting, planning, freewriting, character sketching, brainstorming, or whatever, phase. But once those characters are developed, the writer must somehow convey those personalities to the reader. RITA winners show, rather than tell, their characters’ personality.

3. RITA winners hooks their readers. And keep on hooking them.

4. RITA winners use secondary characters to advantage – and these secondary characters are crucial to the story as a whole.

5. RITA winners have and sustain meaningful conflict that impacts the romance relationship.

6. Rita winners invoke a willing suspension of disbelief.

7. RITA winners maintain tension. Use drawn out revelations to keep tension high

8. RITA winners balance dialogue with narrative.

9. RITA winners make you believe the heroine and heroine really will live happily ever life. RITA winners show the steps on the journey to love.

10. Rita winners deliver reader expectation. They keep their promises to the reader.

11. RITA winners surprise their readers – by finding fresh ways of telling their stories.

12. RITA winners are fun reads with a valuable message.


Well, that should keep my busy while I start on my next book!


What’s playing on my YouTube right now? North and South to the song ‘In the Deep’ which has the most stunning lyrics. Classic.

followed in my playlist by Final Fantasy.

well, I do like variety. 🙂