I want to take a moment to say thank you.
When GHOST PLANET released last October, it was categorized as science fiction. This was a tough call on the part of my publisher, Tor. The story is split fairly evenly down the middle between speculative fiction and romance ('cuz that's the way I roll). I'm a proud member of both Romance Writers of America and Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.
My editor/agent team had originally thought to position the book as romance (paranormal/futuristic), partly because the manuscript had done well in romance contests (including two RWA Golden Heart finals) and partly because romance sells better.
But then came the GHOST PLANET cover with all of its awesomeness. The designers came up with a wonderful concept, my editor and I worked with them on some final tweaks, and when it was finished we knew we had something special. But the sales team was worried the cover was too sci-fi for the romance shelves. We had to make a tough choice: Start over with the cover, or shelve the book in SF/F. We decided to stick with the cover.
I am incredibly grateful to my editor at Tor for involving me so much in this decision. I have heard plenty of stories of authors losing control of the marketing of their books once they sign a contract, but at every step of Tor's process, my opinion was sought and considered.
I still feel that given our options we did the right thing for the book. The downside of that decision was we made it a little tough for romance readers to find it. But never underestimate a romance reader -- we are tenacious, and we have no problem crossing genre lines to find what we like. Some of the most heart-warming feedback I've received has come from romance readers who stumbled upon the book by accident and were pleasantly surprised. I can't tell you how many time's I've read the words, "I don't usually read sci-fi, but ..."
In all honesty, what got me thinking about this topic was the SFWA "lady writers" kerfuffle, and a recent blog post about how sci-fi romance stories differ from traditional sci-fi (and the kerfuffle that followed that). I don't want to get into all that here (for a summary you can visit yesterday's Dear Author post), except to say I have rarely felt anything but respect from the romance fans who've read my book, even those who haven't liked it.
Romance readers who also enjoy sci-fi may be a rare breed (for now!), but I don't believe I've ever heard any of them say sci-fi and romance don't belong together, or propose that a sci-fi author is any less qualified to write romance. On the contrary, what I have typically encountered is unbridled enthusiasm for discovering romantic plots in unlikely places. Heck, the first-round of 2013 RWA RITA judging resulted in a "Best First Book" nomination for GHOST PLANET.
So thank you, romance readers. Thank you for being open-minded. For loving the stories you love for themselves, and not their marketing labels. For taking chances, and in some cases, for venturing outside your comfort zone. And thank you to Romance Writers of America and RT Book Reviews for embracing all flavors of the genre!