Christine, has written a piece, posted below on how her writing style has changed, which I believe is honest and open, and also holds insight into the development and progression of most writers.
Please welcome Christine and send her your thoughts and well wishes!
Author: Christine Rains
Genre: paranormal romance
Release date: October 13th, 2013
Six supernatural tenants
Living in a haunted apartment building
On a floor that doesn't exist.
Six novellas telling their tales.
A retired demon acquires a price on his head.
A werewolf is hunted by her pack.
A modern day dragonslayer misses his target.
A harpy challenges Zeus for the soul of the man she loves.
A vampire is obsessed with a young woman he can't find.
A banshee falls in love with someone who's death she has seen in a vision.
And a sweet ghost must battle a primal monster to save them all.
All the stories take place at the same time intertwining their lives together on the 13th Floor.
HOW MY WRITING STYLE HAS GROWN
Once upon a time, I was the Mistress of Horror. Okay, maybe not mistress, but an apprentice. A really bad apprentice. My stories were full of terribly written YA and NA angst and gore. I wanted to be the next Stephen King.
The first horror story I submitted was immediately rejected. My fragile writer's ego shattered. For over ten years, I wrote in secret. Yes, I did continue writing. Yet I hid the stories in the dark, burying them in a box under my bed.
During those years, I crept away from strict horror. I experimented with fantasy and science-fiction, and my biggest dirty secret, romance. My style was long-winded. Drawn out prose, overly done descriptions, and dragging backstories. One of the tales I wrote during that time was an epic fantasy of nearly 200,000 words. I dared to share this one with a few friends, and they loved it. With their support, I hesitantly started seeking publication again.
The next phase was all about practice, practice, practice. I joined online play-by-post RPGs and dabbled with fanfiction. These taught me to be flexible, how to improvise, and that not everyone is going to like you. The latter is the hardest lesson. I attended writing conventions where I eagerly drank in every tidbit shared. I worked on short stories which I always considered something I could not do. I lost my long-windedness and learned every word matters.
I wrote a couple of science-fiction dystopian novels. They were concise and unusual, but I tried too hard to be quirky, to force a style that wasn't me. My next project featured a witch I'd played in a few RPGs. She was tough, smart, and sexy. I finished the manuscript and it shined. This was the one. I had a couple of short stories published at this point. I was feeling brave.
The rejections came pouring in. There was some interest, but once the agent or publisher read the manuscript, they passed. Why? I'd found my style. I was passionate about it.
The problem: I had no idea how to market myself. I didn't even realize what I was writing was paranormal romance. I'd queried one story, and the agents and publishers read something different. Learning the business side to writing is even more nerve-wracking than learning about the craft. Yet through my education, my writing style shifted. Knowing about the business of writing helps a lot with your actual writing.
I've found a style that works for me: fast-paced, witty, and sexy paranormal romance. And while that's what I write right now, I'm always taking opportunities to learn and grow as a writer. I experiment with various styles and genres in short stories. I'm excited to see where my imagination takes me next.
How has your writing style changed over the years?
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not writing or reading, she having adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. The 13th Floor series is her first self-published series. She has eight novellas and twenty-one short stories published.