Authorship, Publishing, Books and More

Switching Genres

Here’s today’s guest blogger Rhonda Gilmour telling us why she switched genres…

Until 2017, I was one of those readers–looking down my nose at romance for the usual stupid reasons: too corny, too predictable, too fluffy. Not that I had any grounds for being a snob since my first three (as yet unpublished) novels were cozy mystery and humorous women’s fiction—hardly Literature with a capital L. I probably hadn’t read a romance novel since junior high, when I swooned over a steamy historical about Hatshepsut, Egypt’s only female pharaoh. Still, romance seemed so—I dunno—frivolous? girly?

Then one day, I read a few online articles about how fun and lucrative writing erotica can be. I thought, what the heck? Let’s try.

I have never had so much fun with a writing project! My first steamy romance, Through the Red Door, nearly wrote itself, though it damned sure didn’t edit itself. When the first draft was finished, I realized I was in trouble, since I didn’t know diddly-squat about what romance readers expect.

To learn more about the genre, I immersed myself in the world of romance, gobbling books like popcorn, filling my ears with romance podcasts, and joining the Romance Writers of America. I devoured online advice from romance writers, as well as craft books like Leigh Michaels’ On Writing Romance, Susie Bright’s How to Write a Dirty Story, Cara Bristol’s Naughty Words for Nice Writers, and Dahlia Evans’ Thinking Like a Romance Writer. After a Twitter pitch competition got me a nibble from a small publisher, an RWA chapter mate in Olympia, Washington nudged me toward The Wild Rose Press, where my Book Nirvana Series found a happy home.

From skeptic to romance mega-fan in two short years, today I’m totally addicted to passionate, heartfelt stories with happy endings. I write steamy contemporary, but I love reading nearly all flavors of romance: historical, contemporary, rom-com, shifters, fantasy, sci-fi, sports romance, kinky stories, sweet stories… Whatever their genre, the greats have a knack for weaving emotion, motivation, and physical attraction, leaving readers sniffling, tingly, and clutching their hearts. Victoria Dahl, Tessa Dare, Alyssa Cole, Damon Suede, Alisha Rai, Lauren Dane, J.T. Geissinger…the romance genre boasts too many amazing authors to count.

After the Book Nirvana series is finished, I do plan to return to my cozy mystery series which—surprise!—contains a strong romance thread. So perhaps this wasn’t such a big genre change after all.

2018 Head Shot Color cropped and shrunk

About Rhonda

Ever since her first kiss, Sadira’s been spinning steamy tales in her head. After leaving her teaching career in Germany, she finally tried her hand at writing one. Now she’s a happy citizen of Romancelandia, penning contemporary romance and cozy mysteries from her home in Washington State. When not writing, which is seldom, she explores the Pacific Northwest with her charming husband, enjoys the local music scene, belly dances, plays guitar badly, and gobbles all the books. Visit Sadira at




Buy Links



Barnes & Noble:


Apple Books:


Google Play Books:




Hi, don't miss anything that happens This Writer's Life. Sign up to become a subscriber and be notified every time a new post gets added.

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

This Writer's Life will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.