Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Decline of Paranormal and My Predicament


I know I said I wouldn't be blogging much this summer, but something has come up that I want to talk to y'all about...

Starting last year, publishers began picking up less paranormal and more contemporary.  Personally, I believe this is because they're trying to battle the massive amount of reasonably priced self-pubished pieces out there (the vast majority of which are contemporaries).  It could also be because there was so much paranormal written in a few short years that it's becoming harder to keep things new and original.  Whatever the reason, paranormal is on a major decline.  

As many of you know, the 2nd and 3rd books in my Sweet Trilogy almost weren't picked-up last year.  Sales for Sweet Evil had only been "okay."  Now, because of you incredibly dedicated readers, sales for Sweet Peril were up 86% in the first five weeks of sales over Sweet Evil's first five weeks.  You. Guys. Freaking. Rock.  Thank you for making HarperTeen's gamble a win for all!!  

That being said, my agent and I recently submitted another story (an urban fantasy romance set in Ireland) and it was rejected.  I'm actually not at all upset or bitter about this, because I knew it was a very different story and it was a long shot.  And while there were things they loved about it, it might be a bit too far out of the norm for comfort.  Also, I was told once again that paranormal/fantasy YA sales are down.  Publishers are a business, and it's not always good to take risks.

So, now my agent and I are stuck with this wee little story on our hands, wondering what to do.  I have a funny feeling that if we submit it to other publishers, we'll get much of the same response.  There's always self-publishing, yes.  But there are things about this novel that I'm unsure of.  There's one aspect of the plot that made both the publisher and my agent nervous.  Naturally I'm second-guessing this element now.  Do I take it out?  Change it?  Leave it?  I don't know...

I have an idea, but I want to test the waters and see if you guys are game.  I'm considering having a contest in which several "winners" would be chosen to be beta-readers of the book.  Said beta-readers would provide feedback that will help me to decide which direction I'll go with the story.  (It feels really arrogant of me to say that "winners" will get to read my possibly sucky story. Like, "Congratulations! You get to help me for free and you might not even like it!"  Lol, wow.  I apologize for using you in this way.)  All of my personal beta-readers have read it, and the overall feedback from them has been incredible.  But it would be beneficial to have the opinion of "regular readers."

Bad idea?  Or would you be game?

Let me tell you a little about the story, and you can comment below with your thoughts.

It's called See Me.  Let me tell you what this story does NOT have:
  • a mysterious bad boy (Sorry! I already gave you one of those, haha)
  • a main character who was adopted or has dubious parentage
  • a main character whose family is mostly absent
  • two or more boys who are in love with the main character
  • a sequel (it's a stand alone! They really can exist!)
Let me tell you what this story DOES have:
  • a handsome, albeit shy love interest
  • the crazy, cute, and funny best friend of the love interest
  • creepy faeries and sweet leprechauns
  • another girl who's after the love interest! *gasp*
  • a sister who's best friends with the main character and tends to stir up trouble
  • kissing  :)

Here are some fun covers made by some of my beta-readers when the story was up on Inkpop:



(This is how I see McKale)


What say you???  Yay or Nae?

(To enter to be a beta reader for this story, visit the next post!)



post signature

97 comments:

  1. Definitely yay!
    Story about leprechauns are rare and i'm quite interested in the settings of the world in this book. Plus, you got me at the 'shy love interest' because to tell the truth, my type is more to the shy n nerdy instead of the mysterious and hot ;;D
    Anyways, the plotline sounded good so far
    And since it's quite different from the weres and vampires story, people might take an interest ;)

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  2. It is VERY different. I can't think of anything like it. I would love to read it (which says a lot because I'm a highly picky reader with my reading disability.) I'm surprise that paranormal is down. It seems like more and more lately are being published that way.

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  3. YAY! This story sounds like something I definitely want to read. I think the Beta contest should happen.

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  4. To be honest, I'm getting a bit tired of all the contemporary romance. I feel as though the same thing is happening with that genre, that the publishers are saying about paranormal.
    I love reading paranormal that's different and doesn't have a sexy vampire, or a sexy werewolf, etc. That's why I loved the Sweet Evil books so much. It wasn't something I had seen before.
    You're new book sounds very interesting and unique. I'm intrigued to find out more about these characters and their world. :)

    ~Zandalee

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  5. I think it sounds really interesting! It sounds unique and fun. Ireland, leprechauns, faeries, and magic? What's not to like? :) I'd love to read it.

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  6. I would totally read this. Its different then what we're used to from you and I like that. I like when an author can write about very different things and still Rock at being an author. Please try to get the published! I would love to read it! :)

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  7. Yay!
    So, what I'm thinking here is that this story is different, and some of us really need something different to read about. I am thrilled with the "a handsome, albeit shy love interest" It could be a very awesome read!
    Creepy faeries and sweet leprechauns? Yes, yes please!!

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  8. Absolutely 100% yes!
    It sounds incredible and I don't think different is a bad thing! It's a great thing to be different. I still adore paranormal and I think it's only a matter of time before they are back on the rise.

    I beta for a few authors and love it! I would love to beta yours :D

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  9. I have to agree with Zandamarie, so much contemporary is getting old and I miss the days of mystical characters and a story line that always kept you guessing (as happens most time in paranormal). I personally love faeries and this sounds amazing so I would definitely read it. If your feeling unsure about your story, having a couple of random people beta-read it is a great idea because it can give you a better perspective of how it will fare in the market and what people like and don't like about your story. Hope I get to read it some day and best of luck!

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  11. Thanks for the feedback!!! You guys are amazing, as always.

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  12. I say yay! I don't know what publishers are saying, Paranormal can never get old! :D I would of course love to beta-read if I could. The story looks fun and original, I actually don't think I've read anything with leprechauns in it before... As much as I love contemporary, I adore paranormal more. I again would love to beta-read it!

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  13. I say yes. I think it sounds like something I'd love - a love triangle where the GUY is at the center?! Love that!

    So, yes please! (and I hope I win a chance to be a beta reader!)

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  14. Yes! It an unusual story-line but it still sounds really good! Its very rare that faries and leprechaun are put together in the same story and turn out ok....but I have faith in you! I can't wait to see what comes out of it! I would love to be a part of the beta-read and kinda step out of my normal read for this...leprechauns are new for me! :-) but I think the beta-read would be amazing, even if I am not one of the winners. :-):-)<3<3<3

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  15. I am still am all about the paranormal / fantasy - I am not as big of a contemp reader. I think See Me sounds AWESOME.

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  16. It sounds interesting, I would definitely read it because its different. You should do the giveaway.

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  17. I think the storyline sounds really good! It's original and you should definitely find a way to publish it :)

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  18. Love the 'fight for your man' element, very interested to read your take on Fairies. I've read a lot of YA, NA para and comtemp and haven't read a Fairie- based paranormal blurb that has tempted me yet, but this certainly sounds intriguing. I think it's a great idea to get some honest feedback from your everyday readers, a good cross-section. And anyway, what is paranormal without a unique take and bit of risk? :)

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  19. I agree with everyone else! Go for it :-)

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  20. Oh my GOD! I love the blurb!!!This story sounds very interesting. I'd say to give it a shot, because first of all your stories do not disappoint readers and second of all I do believe that you have loyal readers who will make your book popular if you decide to self-publish it. Good luck!:)

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  21. This story sounds awesome! I say, do it!! :D

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  22. You definitely need to pursue this, Wendy! But then, you know how much I love this story!

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  23. It's unusual, but you're a great writer and if you pull this off, it would be awesome!
    And please please please have the contest!!! I love faeries so much!!!
    And personally if I have to choose between contemporary and paranormal, I'd go for paranormal EVERY TIME!!!
    Take the risk, otherwise you would regret it.

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  24. I think this sounds awesome!! I still love paranormal, but it seems like there isn't enough lately that really stands apart, especially as a stand alone. I definitely think you should go for it! I would read it for sure!!

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  25. This sounds fantastic! = ) I think it's even better that it's a stand alone! I say go for it! Sounds like a great combination of elements!!

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  26. I definitely say Yay! I understand that publishing is a business, but those of us who read are also looking for different plots and as much as I love contemporary, there's only so many ways to go before it gets repetitive. I read mostly paranormal and would love to have a chance to enter a contest. Go for it!

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  27. Definitely YAY Wendy! I like different and unusual and personally, I'm sick of of all the contemporary stuff that is flooding the YA world right now. I'm not a big fan of contemporary to begin with so it saddens me to hear that the decline of paranormal/fantasy in YA is a real issue that publishers are choosing to create.

    I would absolutely LOVE to read this story. Please, please do go ahead with the beta readers idea. I would be honored to be one but even I'm not chosen, I hope to someday see this story published in some way, whether it's self- or otherwise! I agree with what others have said - the risk is worth it. Take a chance so that you don't end up years from now wondering what might have happened.

    Best of luck!

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  28. I say yes :-)
    It sounds interesting and it would be fun as a fan to get a chance to read it before everyone else!

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  29. Yay! There aren't many leprechaun stories out there,and it could really spice things up!

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  30. Yes! It sounds really good, it will be fun watching two girls fighting over one guy, I can't wait to read it. =D

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  31. I'm game for ANYTHING that involves fantastical elements. :) It's my favorite genre, and I was surprised to learn that sales in that genre and paranormal are down. I've read so many of them this year, it's a shock to learn that. And I'm so very curious about the element that made both your publisher and agent nervous. :)

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  32. So, it's sad to me that different suddenly means scary to the publishing world. You know, you can only read the same thing so many times.

    I think having a few of your readers read it is a great idea, as long as they know you want honest feedback.

    Off of what you put here, I'd totally read this. There are already things I love about it just because it's different. There aren't two guys fighting over a girl. People can have adventures and problems even if their parents are around. A love interest that isn't a cocky badass (although I love that, too). Plus, I haven't come across anything that has paired faeries and leprechauns. Also love the idea that the faeries are creepy but the leprechauns are sweet.

    A lot of my favorites are self-published or as I like to say Indie. That includes Wait for You by J. Lynn and we all know where that lead :)

    I'd do it. I may actually do it in the future. Let some people read it and indie publish. As for what to do with the element in question, I'd ask my crit partner..is it important to the story or characters? If yes, you gotta leave it. If the story is the same or better without it, maybe it can be removed.

    Sorry, this turned out a bit long :)

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  33. This definitely seems like I would buy for the concept alone. Because it's UNIQUE. And you don't find that alot in YA, you know?

    I think it's a great idea to have some readers take a look at it. =) Readers (and especially bloggers) definitely know what's good in the market, and many (such as yours truly! <3) have had some experience with betaing. So it would be a good idea, IMHO.

    Good luck with this Wendy!!

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

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  34. Oh my gosh you should totally go for it. The plot of the story sounds different and very good. You should definitely do the contest. I love the idea of the shy quiet guy I mean I like the whole bad, mysterious guy, but shy and quiet sounds very interesting. So definitely go for it.

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  35. It sounds great! I love that sort of thing! It is very original and the world could always use more fabulous stand alones!I say go for it and I wish you the best of luck!

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  36. I say yes for sure. I think the story sounds different and interesting. It makes me sad that paranormal and fantasy are declining those are my favorite genres. I think getting a honest opinion from others is a great idea. To be honest I would read anything u write so I think you should go for it.

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  37. I say "Yay" ! As many of your fans say, it seems different and unique definitely worth a try. Good Luck! :)

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  38. um, yes please! I like the things it doesn't have as much as the things it does. Please, I'm in desperate need of some originality on my Kindle! :D I'd love to read this!

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  39. It's a gorgeous stories. I remember a time where contempories couldn't get published, everyone wanted paranormal.

    Confession: I've read See Me and I love it - just the way it is. The only thing that I could see that would possibly make it more attractive to publishers in the current market it is to make it historical urban fantasy, like Elizabeth May's The Falconer.

    But personally I wouldn't change it. There are lots of publishers out there and I wouldn't give up after just one rejection.

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  40. Definately yes. It is always nice to read a book that is a little different and from what you have said so far it seems like I would love it.

    I love mysterious bad boys but a shy and sweet love interest can be just as good if not better. Main characters who are adopted or who have absent families - so overdone! Give me an average family in a book for once :P

    I am bored of the typical love triangle, 2 girls and 1 guy in a love triangle is the way forward!

    Bring back the standalone! I am in the middle of WAY too many series's at the moment. I don't think I can start any more until they all finish :P

    And who doesn't love kissing?!

    I think the book sounds awesome and you definately need to get it released somehow (or just send me a copy to read :P)

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  41. Paranormal is declining! NOOOOOOOOOO!!! I love paranormal!

    The book sounds great! All the things you listed that the book DOES NOT have are things I dislike about books anyway! It sounds like a unique take on paranormal with leprechauns. I would totally love to read it!

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  42. It is really sad that paranormal and fantasy is declining because that is all I read. Anything else just doesn't catch my attention or draw me in.
    Your book sounds amazing, and I love that you put two different lists of what it doesn't and does have. I have never thought of a story having leprechauns before, and it makes me really curious to how you have portrayed them in your story. I would definitely love to read it. :D

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  43. Yay! I would LOVE to beta read this!!! It sounds like a wonderful story-definitely a plot that has not been overdone. I love paranormal and will continue to read it (as well as anything you write.=)

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  44. Yes, I think if you get a different range of beta testers the better for you to receive well rounded feedback.

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  45. I say yes I would read it. I don't follow the best seller list or anything like that but I don't get that paranormal is in a decline. Look at how many paranormal pages are screaming for more books. I help run a FB page with over 16,000 fans and they are always asking for different books to read because their favorite genre is paranormal.

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  46. I'm definitely for paranormal/fantasy fiction. I don't read much contemporary fiction at the best of times and it's quite upsetting that publishers are going to take less of that (your) kind of fiction on. It's going to limit the amount of books I buy.

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  47. Definitely YAY.

    Seriously, it sounds pretty awesome, and I love the fact that love interest is shy. Bad boys are great, but I have a certain place in my heart for those awkward boys who seem to shuffle around and hide from girls. xD My MC, Avery, is a little shy and avoids girls as much as he can. He gets tongue-tied a lot.

    A standalone is great. I feel like I'm waiting on too many trilogies to end (most of them don't even need to be a trilogy) and I don't think my brain can take anymore anticipation.

    The decline in YA fantasy and paranormal is scary. That's pretty much all I write, with some science-fiction. Is there a reason it's declining? Or is it because dystopian/sci-fi is on the rise?

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  48. YES!! I would so read this book Wendy. Please do the contest and I so hope the publishers will publish this.

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  49. Yes! Yes and yes! I'm already in love with the idea and such a big fan of your writing! I believe whatever you put out there would be amazing and fantastic! I hope you do it! If you need a reads sign me up! I understand how nerve wracking it can be but sometimes you just have to trust yourselves and that of your following! No matter what I think we can all agree you should do it and count on us to 'make it rain!' :)

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  50. Sounds interesting. :) and keep in mind, the author's customer is the reader. The publisher is largely looking at what will sell in vlume to distributors and they need to see a clear market. Just because they can't see a clear market doesn't mean the book isn't good.

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  51. OH man, I think this sounds incredible and just the sort of story I love to read! And I love the idea of giving a few readers a chance to weigh-in too. Good luck figuring it out!

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  52. I say yay! Who wouldn't want to read a book with all these cool elements, AND the setting is the Emerald Isle! Count me in and sign me up! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ€

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  53. That sounds like a really fun read. I'd love to read it and give my thoughts. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  54. And this was rejected? It sounds awesome...I.want..ohhh I so.want!

    Even if I dont get pick. I wish you success. You are so talented and I love your writing! Thank you for Sweet Evil and Sweet Peril...definitely a favorite of mine.

    Suerte!

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  55. I love the sound of the book and I LOVE how different it is! (not to mention my heritage is mostly Irish...) I would love to see where this story goes and if I were lucky enough to beta woo hoo!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Tobi <3

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  56. See Me sounds cool. I would love to read it and give my thoughts and opinions.
    Count me in and sign me up:)

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  57. It sounds right up my alley, actually. I'd love to read it and give it a Beta opinion. :)

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  58. I would love to read it :) I have noticed the decline in popularity of the paranormal genre but it is so much fun to write! It will always be my favourite genre to read and write! if what i have read by the way of comments here and your beta readers already, sounds like the general feeling is good so i say give it a shot.

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  59. I think this story line would really go some where, I am so darn tired of reading the same story lines with the same kind of characters from different authors. this is what we need something fresh and still in the magical realm. You write it, I'll buy it. Sounds really good to me.

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  60. I say YAY!! It sounds really interesting so I would definitely read it :D

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  61. It would be everything I would want in a story. I always like the shy guy. There are always bad boy stories. I love leprechauns. and I have a red headed boy so I am partial there. I always liked the good fairies but this story line easily changed my mind. I am tired of contempories. I am partial to everything paranormal to escape reality and some of its' ugliness. I would love to read it. And no story is really sucky!

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  62. It actually sound like an original story and not a rehashing of the current "popular" novels, it would be refreshing to read.

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  63. I'd definitely be interested; Ireland sounds fantastic! And the lack of a love triangle is wonderful...

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  64. I personally LOVE your work and I think if anyone could do A story like this, it's you. I love the idea or the blurb or whatever it's called.
    So definite YAY.

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  65. I love the idea of this. Trends come and go, but good writing is always welcome. I love your other books, so I can only imagine loving this. Plus, Ireland, fairies, and a betrothed - love it!

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  66. Hi Wendy! I am sad to see the decline of the paranormal. I am not thrilled with this sudden influx of contemporary because right now they all seem to have the same themes and they are overly dramatic. Many of them take the fun out if reading! I think you should go for self pubbing. You have established your name and fan base and you shouldn't have any problems. I would love to beta read for you, and I would be delighted to have you back on my blog if you like. I always live stories Ireland, and leprechauns aren't something we get very often! Yeah for something different!

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  67. Go for it, Wendy!
    Believe in the world that you created.
    You are a talent writer and we'll back you up not matter what :)

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  68. What I'm worried about with this is that he's a leprechaun. Mostly because when you hear leprechaun, you think short green guy at the end of the rain guarding a pot of gold. You don't think "OMG, I sense smooches, MUST SAMPLE!" like with other books.

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  69. But I'm LOVING the fairy princess that's a spoiled brat bit. It's enticing.

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  70. As soon as I read Ireland, I was more than ALL FOR IT! I've always been in love with Ireland, so any story set in Ireland does get my attention!

    And a story with leprechauns as more than just funny little men with their pots of gold are quite uncommon! And I'm all for things that are not in overabundance there!

    I'm not very happy that there's a decline on the paranormal, though I understand there are probably too many books with the same themes out there, and it's hard to find something new and refreshing, but quite clearly, it's absolutely the same thing with contemporary books... all that I see coming out already have very similar themes, and I've never been too drawn towards the contemporary books...

    I'd love to have a chance to read this story, and I really hope you can manage to publish it!

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  71. I'd be game as well. Since there are so many comments, I won't be reading them through to see if our oppinions match, but I will say that you have everything listed under the HAVE category that I hope to find in a book and everything under NOT that I wish people would stop using. I hate that all of the lovely NA reads have become so similar plotwise that often I can't even remember what in the world happened in one book and the other and the characters all melt together for me. However, yours seems totally original and different and that's what I'm all about. I hope you'll get your chance to share this with the world and I can't wait to witness it w my own little eyes:)

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  72. A shy love interest?! FINALLY, yes please!!! :) Personally, I think it's a brilliant idea to test the waters a bit more with beta readers, I would be game for sure! A contest sounds fabulous, too, and I wouldn't feel bad about it at all, lots of bloggers/readers would be honored to read anything you wrote. I bet half of the people on here would enter a contest to read your shopping lists! :D Don't second guess yourself and go for it, you're an amazing, talented person and everyone loves you and your stories! :)

    Wishing you all the best of luck, Wendy!

    Evie @Bookish

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  73. Hi Wendy, I love, love, LOVE your writing style and I think I may have gasped when I just read your 2nd and 3rd books almost weren't picked up!! eek! I know you had mentioned on twitter the other week about the decline of paranormal ~ I mentioned I was sad to see some of my fave authors leaving paranormal behind and writing only contemps and you gave me insight to the possible reasons why....I hadn't thought about all the self pub'd, but anyway, I say keep going with the paranormal!

    Right off the bat I am wondering what the element you and the publisher had concerns over? If I had to guess, it would just be the fact cute Leprechauns could exist. The word itself cannot equal love interest to me....HOWEVER, for me, I would need you to use a different word to describe these beings instead of Leprechauns. For example they are called xxxxx but the character could say "you modern people refer to us as Leprechauns"...that would work because by the time the word Leprechaun is introduced in the story I already have an image in my head and not the other way around. If you use Leprechaun right off the bat I would have the image of a 2 inch guy with green clothes in my head lol.

    So yes, I say hold that contest!! You have a huge fan base so you should have a huge selection of readers to pick from. Looking forward to hearing more!! :)

    ~Celeste from The Book Hookup

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  74. Hey Wendy! Just by reading the synopsis I am very interested. The idea seems fresh and enticing. Having a unique take on the fey and a gorgeous setting will definitely make this book stand out IMO. I'd say go for it!

    Katlyn

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  75. Very quirky, instantly got my attention... and that's always a winner in my world ;)

    Good luck with this!

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  76. Hells to the yes! Paranormal will always hold my heart, I'm actually over contemporary.

    Good luck! Would love to beta read!

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  77. I'd read that. It sounds like the type of books I read regularly!

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  78. Yay, the synopsis sounds fabulous and setting it in gorgeous Ireland will have endless possibilities! Your writing style and pacing, unique ideas and excellent chemistry between characters keep the fans happy. I know your readers will be honest and helpful during the beta read contest. I applaud you for offering us the opportunity to be a part of your writing process.

    My 18 yr old sister-in-law affectionately calls her best guy friend "leprachaun" and he enjoys the mythical reference so the nickname stuck. I will definitely buy both of them a copy of this book when it gets published : )

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  79. It definitely sounds different with the fairies and leprachauns.

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  80. I say HELL YEAH!! This is absolutely a book I would pick up if I saw it in stores;
    A Standalone?
    Set in Ireland with their unique brand of folk/faerie tales?
    Two GIRLS fighting over the SHY boy?
    And YOU'RE writing it?!
    I completely trust you as author and would reading anything you published :)
    Sign me up!

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  81. I'd say yes! IT sounds cool, so you can definitely see the potential right there, and I haven't really read about leprechauns before.
    Count me in!

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  82. I should say up front that I'm completely new to your books; I found my way to your blog via a link on Kimba's The Caffeinated Reviewer blog. So I'm not speaking as a current fan (though now that we've been "introduced," I will be on the lookout for your books!)

    The blurb definitely catches my attention; it's whimsical and delightful. I really like the things this book doesn't have, as well as what it does. I would love to read this, and being a "beta reader" sounds like fun. I's a great idea, and a good way to test the waters and get feedback before plunging into self-publishing.

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  83. Wendy please count me in on this read. I love Ireland. It is my homeland. I love your books. PLEASE PLEASE pick me for this experience. Anything Ireland is AWESOME! Learning more history of the country would be just my cuppa tea :) I to an in the beginning of writing my first book. Sisterly love and rivalry...sounds fantastic. The blurb is intriguing. I cant wait to read this story. I am so excited to learn more about your writing and of course Ireland. I long to visit and make my dream come true. Of course I am over 18. I have never read nor beta tested before. My name is Lona.

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  84. To be honest, I'm on contemporary burnout so this sounds amazing! it's definitely unique amongst other Paranormal's around and I adore the setting.

    I think it's a wonderful idea to test the waters with beta readers, I would definitely be interested!

    Sharon – Obsession with Books

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  85. I would love to read See Me!I loved the blurb!It makes you want to read more..
    By the way,the covers are so cute!Count me in,Wendy! :)

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  86. OHMIGOD YAY!!!! Just by reading the description I'm already in love!!! I WOULD ABSOUTLY LOVEEE TO READ THIS!!! I can't possibly hate anything you write Wendy! You are soo amazing and anything you write is gold. You're my favorite author and I soo support you on this new story even if it is a standalone. I'd love to be a beta reader!!

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  87. Paranormal is on a decline, pfffft. See Me is a risk, ha! Elvis couldn't sing either.

    I was sucked into Sweet Evil from the first paragraph of the prologue so if you need a beta reader then See Me!

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  88. I'm sorry to say even that you writing is incredible I just don't do the Leprechaun thing there small and freaky and for some strange reason always steal your socks

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  89. i say more!! i really like your books so hopefully this on is as good as the other ones. i really want to become a beta reader for this.

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  90. i say more!! i really like your books so hopefully this on is as good as the other ones. i really want to become a beta reader for this.

    ReplyDelete
  91. It's a great idea! Plus, I think you can write anything :)

    I say Go For It!!

    ReplyDelete