Saturday, August 08, 2009

Guest Blogger Camy Tang!

Yay! I'm so happy to have Camy here today in this bonus edition of On The Write Path. Be sure to stop by her blog and visit. It's loaded with great information for writers, as well as updates on Camy and Captain Caffeine. Also, today is my mom's birthday (Happy birthday, Mom!) so I'm giving her a copy of Camy's Deadly Intent as a birthday present.

Hi there! This is Camy Tang, and I'm thrilled to be guest blogging on Erica's blog today!

Erica asked me to address the differences in writing category suspense (DEADLY INTENT is a category romantic suspense published by Steeple Hill in their Love Inspired Suspense line) and trade contemporary romance (my Sushi series books—SUSHI FOR ONE, ONLY UNI, and SINGLE SASHIMI—are trade-sized novels published by Zondervan).

I have to admit, switching to category writing was and yet wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

It wasn't hard because I got to read LOTS AND LOTS of Love Inspired Suspense novels to research the line. Oooh, the hardship! I was soooo willing to take one for the team, let me tell you!

At the same time, I had to really pay attention to things I hadn't had to think about when writing trade novels.

1) What characters, careers, plot devices, settings, red herrings, etc. that had already been used in books recently published.

With Zondervan, they didn't have many contemporary romances like my Sushi series, so I didn't really have to worry much about copying a story that had already been published by them.

However, Steeple Hill puts out 12 books a month—soon to be 14 books a month when their Historical line goes to 4 books a month—which translates into a LOT of different characters and plotlines published each year. They don't want any book to be too similar to something recently published, so I had to read a lot of the books and know what had already been used so that I wouldn't make the mistake of using it in my book.

2) The atmosphere of a romantic suspense versus a humorous romance.

I admit, it was hard to remember that the book wasn't a humorous contemporary romance! I kept forgetting that, Helloooo, there were dead bodies, which meant the heroine wasn't going to be thinking about romance very much. I think I have an irreverent mindset, which lends itself well to humorous romances—but to romantic suspense, not so much. So I had to really work to get into a more serious mindset, so I could write more serious characters in more serious situations.

3) Length.

This wasn't as big a challenge for me, personally, because I plot my books extensively. For my suspense, I just didn't have as long a synopsis or as complicated a plot as I would for my humorous romances. I kept to the shorter word count (60,000 words for the suspense, versus 90,000 for a humorous romance) without too many problems.

I also have a tendency to write sparsely—no long-winded pages of verbosity for me—so my book was actually under word count rather than over it. I know, I know, all the writers are hating me. Sorry—it's the curse of the plotter writer.

Anyway, those were the main differences between writing DEADLY INTENT and writing my Sushi series. Thanks for having me here, Erica!



The Grant family’s exclusive Sonoma spa is a place for rest and relaxation—not murder! Then Naomi Grant finds her client Jessica Ortiz bleeding to death in her massage room, and everything falls apart. The salon’s reputation is at stake...and so is Naomi’s freedom when she discovers that she is one of the main suspects! Her only solace is found with the other suspect—Dr. Devon Knightley, the victim’s ex-husband. But Devon is hiding secrets of his own. When they come to light, where can Naomi turn...and whom can she trust?

About Camy:

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. She used to be a biologist, but now she is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads a worship team for Sunday service. She also runs the Story Sensei fiction critique service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every week, and she ponders frivolous things like dumb dogs (namely, hers), coffee-geek husbands (no resemblance to her own...), the writing journey, Asiana, and anything else that comes to mind. Visit her website at for a huge website contest going on right now, giving away fourteen boxes of books and 24 copies of her latest release, DEADLY INTENT.


  1. Thanks for that excellent interview, Erica and Camy!

    I'd be curious to know what lead Camy to switch first from Trade length to category. And then from romantic comedy to suspsense. I thought I read somewhere else that Camy is still writing Trade length and has another contract with Zondervan? Or maybe that was someone else. But I'm wondering if it's growing more common for authors to write category AND trade length?

    I'm just full of questions this morning!! Sorry! One more. I'd also be curious if Camy is finding that her previous readership is buying her new suspense book, or if she's having to start over building a new readership?

    Thanks for a wonderful interview!

  2. Thanks, guys!

    Jody, I'm actually writing both trade size and category romances right now. I like them both, and the difference in genres also helps keep them a bit separate from each other. There are several authors who write both. Writing for Steeple Hill enables me to write romantic suspenses, which I don't know if I'd be able to do with Zondervan since they already have several great suspense authors like Terri Blackstock, Brandilyn Collins, and James Scott Bell.

    I have found that my contemporary romance readership IS buying my suspense book, but I'm not as certain if any new suspense readers will pick up the contemporary romance. I've discovered that in general, suspense readers tend to stick to suspense, while contemporary romance readers tend to like other genres as well.

    Thanks so much for having me here, Erica!


  3. Hi, Erica, Camy and all,
    I for one read the Sushi stories and have now read Deadly Intent. I don't read a lot of suspense, but I'll follow Camy anywhere... :)

    I am writing my second trade length novel, but have several ideas for Love Inspired books, as well. This blog post helped me think through how to proceed. Thanks!

  4. Thanks, Erica, for asking Camy this. It's been really on my mind--this whole thing she's addressed here!

    I so appreciate Camy's voice and seeing how she has done both really does help.

    Great stuff, gals.

  5. great blog. i'm following you now. check out/follow mine. i have all things books...
    nice seeing you.