Romance, Pen Names, and a Reminder

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If you’re a regular reader of my Recommended Reading List, you know that I love romance novels. It took me years to screw up my courage to write a romance novel, and then I stumbled into the genre somewhat accidentally. I wrote goofy paranormal romances as Kristine Grayson. I’ve also written a couple of romances that aren’t goofy or paranormal as Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

While I was getting my nerve up, though, I wrote and sold some romance short stories to the handful of magazines that (twenty years ago) actually published romance short stories, such as First For Women. Romance short stories are harder to write than romance novels—you have to suggest an entire relationship in just a few thousand words.

Then the romance short story market died (more or less), leaving only romance novellas which were (for a while) by invitation only. I focused on the longer form romances, and didn’t think about romance short stories again until Denise Little called. She’s one of the more famous romance editors to ever work in the genre. (She also edits sf and fantasy.) She retired from editing for a while, but like most of us who edit, she came back to it.

And she came back with something that captured my heart—a romance short story magazine called Heart’s Kiss. I was in the first issue, and now, I find myself all over the third–both as Rusch and as Grayson. One short story, one essay, and a novelette. The novelette, “Helmie,” has a small fantastic element. The Grayson story is goofy (as promised), and the essay—well, you’ll just have to read it.

The other thrilling thing about this volume, for me, is that I’ve read a number of the stories in it. They come from Fiction River alums. Stephanie Writt’s story is an absolute stunner. Kate Pavelle’s touches the heart, as does Laura Ware’s. And Debbie Mumford managed to get me to read a shifter story, and love it, which is hard to do. Then there’s Dayle Dermatis, who writes some of my favorite romance fiction. There are only two stories in the entire issue that I haven’t read yet. I’d better get cracking.  You can read the entire issue online or get a paper version.

Speaking of getting cracking, you only have ten days or so to get the Moonscapes Storybundle. Ten great books for as little as $15. No romance from me in this bundle, but a novel and a novella from my Retrieval Artist series (in the Fiction River volume). I haven’t read every book in the bundle, but I’ve read the work of every author, and love what they do. So head on over and get your copy now, and add a few bucks for the AbleGamers Organization, to support the great charitable work they do.

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