In a fit of hilarity, I purchased a Harlequin Romance that was authored by a woman who just happened to have the same name as One. What fun I would have with that!
Figuring I could knock off 180 pages in an hour, I decided to find what skills this woman possessed that would allow her to become a best-selling author. (ie. Four stars on the romance novel scale and sold out in Australia.)
To my horror, I found I needed to scrap all my preconceived notions about novel writing and start over. I now know:
1. The title should have nothing to do with the contents of the book. If it contains big money in the title, it's a sure fire winner: The Ruthless Billionaire's Virgin, The Greek Millionaire's Secret Child, Untamed Billionaire-Undressed Virgin, Billionaire Doctor-Ordinary Nurse, The Millionaire Boss's Reluctant Mistress (Honest, for REAL titles!)
2. Soft/hard core porn sells.
3. The ratio of sex to plot should be 85% in favor of sex.
4. Not leaving the house for an entire week, except for food or condom purchase, is a viable plot device.
5. Always leave them longing for more. Her next book? Something with "accidentally pregnant" in the title.
I know I'm swimming against the tide with a manuscript that actually tells a story and conveys an emotion that can be felt above the belt, but I'm just not sure I could change my title from The Shroud of Mount Revenge to He Mounted Her For Revenge.