Wednesday, September 26, 2012

To brand or not to brand…

A brand.

That’s what every author needs.

At least that’s what we’re told as authors almost from the moment we first tap out a word on a keyboard. From some perspectives, people take it to mean you need a tagline. A pithy phrase that defines you to readers and publishers. Others say it means identifying those elements that are consistent in every book you write. The general experience a reader can expect anytime they pick up one of your books.

That sounds good. Really good. So where did I go wrong?

I write in two primary genres: World War Two home-front romance and romantic suspense. On the surface, there isn’t much pulling those two genres together. Let’s face it: one occurred decades before I was born and my life doesn’t exactly read like those of my heroines who are trying to stay a step ahead of the shadows chasing them.

But I love both. And as I’ve spent the last month praying about who I am as a writer, I’ve found some common strains. For example, the heroines all have a core of strength – sometimes a trait they can’t identify in themselves – that sees them through their challenges. These are women who could be broken by their experiences, but somehow they come through the experiences with resilience and a stronger faith on the other side.

The setting also tends to play a strong role. If you’re reading one of my romantic suspense, there is no doubt they are located in Lincoln, Nebraska. From the major university to some of the restaurants highlighted, you’ll only find those things in Lincoln.

And there’s a strong thread about God’s faithfulness whether we can sense it.

And after fourteen novels, I’m still young. I’ve got a lot to do, a lot to explore. But maybe, just maybe, I’m identifing my core identity as a writer.


Casey said...

Keep plugging away at it! I will continue to cheer you from the sidelines!

Edna said...

keep writting for all of us that can't write but can read.

May God bless


Cynthia Herron said...

Cara, I think "joy" when I see your name. I believe "brand" can be something as simple as your sweet spirit that resonates with folks and something as complex as what it is that your stories are tied to.

Thank you for your encouraging spirit at ACFW... :)

Cara Putman said...

Cynthia, thank you so much for your comment. What a special phrase to see. May I always be a source of joy -- truly, that is my heart cry.

Thanks, Edna and Casey. It's certainly a process.


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