I think I am sometimes a literary snob. Y'know, I don't try to be, but often when I'm reading I feel sick to my stomach at what makes it into print.
One of my bug-boos is category fiction. Like so many novices before me, I used to think cats were just a shorter length, simpler characters and plot version of ST. I wrote 2 medical cats and, not surprisingly, they were rejected as inappropriate voice, characters and plot for cat. Well der...... All those things I thought I'd improved on the medicals I'd read were the very things that made mine inappropriate. I just didn't get it at the time.
Recently one of my CPs started writing a cat for Nocturn. This is a girl whose ST work I love, whose voice I know well, and yeah, my stomach did the whole quigley thing just thinking about it. I wanted to be a good CP and be honest, but I was scared I would hate it. WELL, I did the crit anyway. It wasn't what I was used to, but you know, I didn't hate it either. I started to notice the differences between cat and ST. There's a whole lot more between them than length. Everything from heavy backstory in the beginning ( a no-no for ST), to simpler sentence construction and humor, less description/character dev/plot complexity, basically, lots of things that damage a good story.
Then, I picked up and read one of Hartlequin's new line, Next. It was serendipity, because likely I would never have bought this book for myself, but wow! It threw all my ideas of what made up cat out the window. I love this line so much that I'm buying several more (I've NEVER done that before. I'm a buy-because-I-love-the-author girl). Next's heroine is older (maybe the 40 something viewpoint appeals now I'm looking at middleage???) but more than that, the story I read was closer to Women's Fiction than to straight romance. The characters were warm and full, deliciously portrayed, with many real-sounding layers I could root for. Yep, I'm hooked. On cat! Who'd have thought it.
So this is an apology to all those cat writers I may have inadvertently offended over the years. I was wrong. I don't hate cat, I just had to find the purrrr-fect line.
Next, please. :-)