You know, it's not about the money, right? Because if it was, no one would write. There's never any guarantee that you'll sell a book, and even if it's sold it doesn't mean they'll actually publish it (I had that happen once -- it ended up that I got to sell it a second time). If it gets published it doesn't mean it'll show up in very many stores, and if it shows up in stores it doesn't mean anyone will buy it.
So you'd better write what you want, preferably for who you want. I made that mistake once -- I decided I could take the money and run. I was wrong.
But that comes later. For now I want to talk about the Maggie Bennetts. I'd just been dealing with a publishing company who was still buying only finished mss., but they would give approval first. I wrote one of my all time favorite books, having gotten approval, and they suddenly decided they didn't want to go to contract after all. Mind you, this was a romantic suspense line where they decided women couldn't use guns (men could) and all sorts of arcane rules. Publishers were big on rules in the eighties and nineties.
My agent at the time, knowing how distressed I was (keep in mind I loved this book) got an editor friend to promise to read it over the weekend. She did, and immediately bought it. So a month or two later, when they wanted to do a bunch a kick-ass adventure romance novels (with a female protagonist) they asked me. I immediately said yes, even though I took a 25% pay cut (at that point I was getting $10,000 a book and they wanted to pay me $7,500. But not only did I want to write it, I wanted to work with that lovely editor again. And I like challenges. I like being given a framework (not to strict) and then being wildly creative within that framework. That's why I write genre fiction.
This is the first of the Maggie Bennetts. It's kind of what was known at the time as Rambo romance. The hero and heroine running through South American jungles (among other places -- I think they end up on most continents). I slaved over that book.
And I have to admit (though I will give you no details) that the dynamic between the hero and heroine was based on a soap opera I was currently watching. No, I'm not going to tell you. If you guess, I'll tell the truth though.
Anyway, for today only we have the first Maggie Bennett, ESCAPE OUT OF DARKNESS, free at Amazon. Tomorrow I'll tell you the terrible thing I did.