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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Times Changed, A Guest Post and a FREEBIE with Elaine Raco Chase

First, let me say Thank You to Jen for allowing me the opportunity to post on her blog. I deeply appreciate her generosity and knowledge. And for meeting all of you!
Times have changed both in the book publishing industry and in romance writing. As I'm updating my romance novels, written from 1979-1988, I'm learning a lot – and it's thrilling!
My first book, Rules of the Game (1979) was written as a Dell Candlelight Romance (the American version of Harlequin Presents) and broke a lot of rules. It was the first romantic comedy, it was the first with more dialogue than description (I came from writing for TV), it was the first romance with a male POV, and, according to my editor, very sexy for its time.
So here I am updating it for 2012 and wondering how it ever got published in the first place! The story line is there: boy meets girl, attraction, conflict, boy gets girl. And the 'boy' actually talked to the girl – unlike the brooding, silent Harlequin Presents heroes who said nothing for 188 pages and then the reader read: "But you know I've always loved you." Where? Where was that? What page? Oh, the last page: 189!!!
What's changed in writing romances – be they sweet/sensuous/erotic – well for one, the audience. The 1980's were the skyrocketing times for all types of romance novels, magazines, newsletters, reviewers, and conferences. Romance Writers of America was started by my original editor Vivian Stephens; Kathryn Falk created Romantic Times; and Lady Barbara Cartland was still Queen of the Realm when it came to historical's.
Readers and critics knew romance. They knew that "love at first site" or even "love at first bite" – instant attraction was the main plot point. Oddly enough, Prevention Magazine just reported 60% of Americans believe in love at first site; reported 59% of men believe in love at first site; Cosmo reported 1 out of 4 men know on the first date, if the woman is a keeper. And – Prevention also noted that women see brooding men as significantly more sexually attractive than happy fellows!
But what about readers who post those reviews on your eBook site? Calculated Risk, which is still a free download on Amazon, was until Rules my most updated book, especially going from hot to erotic. And I was startled to read some of the reviews – "way too erotic for me"; "erotic? Mrs. Chase doesn't write the stuff"; "Cover was shameful"; "I skimmed over the erotic sex scenes"; "we left romance to concentrate on too graphic erotica"; And then of course all the negative comments about the attraction between the main characters.
I'll admit some days my skin is too thin. Some days I want to scream out…if people aren't attracted to each other at first site, who wants to work that hard at it? Hey…it's fiction!!!
So as I'm putting the final updates, erotica-wise on Rules of the Game, at lot of those negative comments derail me. (I know, I know…thicker skin, honey) The sexual interaction comes from the characters interacting with each other. It can't be forced. It has to be what each needs from the other. Sometimes sweet. Sometimes spicy. Sometimes erotic.
I hope you'll enjoy a free download of Calculated Risk and look for the ad here, when Rules of the Game gets posted. I asked my husband, who after 42 years is still a hottie but hates these questions: "was it love at first site, when you first saw me?" Usually he groans, grabs the newspaper and tries to hide in the bathroom – but this time he said: "No, it was lust at first site. You still have great tits and a perky ass." Gosh..what more could a romance writer ask for!


*Grins* Now I don't know about you all, but I love this post and would like to thank Elaine for sharing with us today. I especially loved her husbands response to her question too. It sounds like she's got herself a

Best wishes,

~Author Jennifer Labelle~


  1. HAHA! Elaine, you crack me up! I LOVE your books! The dialogue is fantastic! I love the updates you're making to the books and especially the nice low price (in this economy!). I'll be watching for Rules of the Game. I've got all the others. Please keep 'em coming!! (Oh, and give your hubby a kiss for that comment.) ;)

  2. I'm so glad this book is coming out! I love Elaine Raco Chase's books, and I can't wait to read this one.

  3. Hi Elaine,
    great interview. although you are a new to me author i am looking forward to reading your books. they sound wonderful and like they are right up my alley.
    love the response you got from your husband, guess he knows how to be a hero doesn't he! :)

    as far as the negative reviews go i never really look at the reviews. i always think that it is just that one persons opinion and it may not have been the book for them but i may love it. that happened with alot of my favorite books. for example i love Iris Johanson, but if i went by some of the reviews when i first found her Eve Duncan series i would have missed out on some wonderful books. i am sure it is the same with your books too. Don't let the negative get you down. :)

    1. Hi Tammy thank you so much for the delightful response, hubby has been blushing all day! I hope you'll download Calculated Risk for free for Kindle...if you don't have a Kindle email me, and I can gift you another ebook style.

      Hope you'll like my style and choose more books!

      Sincerely, Elaine

  4. Great interview and all the best with the books!

  5. Thanks everyone - Double Occupancy just got picked as one of -

    what a fabulous day! And head for Jen's MEANT TO BE for a 5 star read!

  6. Congratulations Elaine, and thanks for mentioning my review *smiles*

  7. Elaine, the changes you make to your novels for today's market are a response to a different audience than the one you had long ago. Keeping your work current is something to be proud of, and if you get negative reactions to those changes, refer the complainer to earlier versions of your book!

  8. Thanks for the book! I also think that updating your books for today's readers is a smart way to keep things fresh and your older books in front of new readers.

  9. Elaine, you got my day started with a laugh with the comment from your husband! God bless all the husbands of romance authors. They know exactly what to say. Love, love the cover of Rules of the Game! Clicking to get it now and add to my Elaine Raco Chase collection.

    Best wishes,
    Joan Reeves


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