Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Guest Blogger: Georgie Lee- The Short and Shorter of it

Today I'm pleased to welcome yet another person who writes differently than I do! Here with us today is friend and fellow RWASD member, Georgie Lee. She's sort of the anti-me when it comes to book length and she's here to tell you why short is GREAT!

Welcome Georgie!

The Short and Shorter of It.

The Guardian newspaper in Britain recently ran an article questioning why long novels are now in vogue. The author pointed to a number of classic novels from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (one of my favorites) and how each one only tips the scales at under 200 pages. The thrust of the article was aimed at literary fiction, but the author encouraged readers to actively look for shorter stories to read. When I read this, I jumped out of my chair and pumped my fist with excitement yelling “I WRITE SHORT!”

Now, please understand that I have nothing against long novels. The Stand (1000+ pages) and Watership Down (400 pages), are two of my favorite novels and I’ve read them both many times. However, when I sit down to write, my word count stays stubbornly stuck at under 60,000, and that’s on a good day. My brevity can probably be blamed on my writing background. For many years I wrote poetry and screenplays. These are not high word count genres and old habits are proving hard to overcome. My most recent release, Mask of the Gladiator, despite being chocked full of intrigue, passion and the assassination of Caligula, is only 17,000 words. My longest contracted novel to date is my upcoming fall release, Studio Relations, which clocks in at 60,000 words. War and Peace they are not, and at this stage in my life, that is fine with me.

About ten month before my contemporary novel, Labor Relations, was scheduled to release in February 2011, I had a small crisis. Here I was ready to debut a contemporary and the only novel in my backlist was a Regency romance. I needed some back list titles and I needed them fast. However, life at the time was very busy and I didn’t have a lot of time to write (who does?). More and more e-publishers were asking for novellas and that’s when the idea hit me. I write short, so why not go with what I know and write to my strength.

I had a number of rejected Womens World short stories that could be expanded into novellas and I set about stretching the stories and the word count. Within three months I had my first short contemporary novella, Rock ‘n’ Roll Reunion ready for submission, and within a month it was contracted by Ellora’s Cave Blush for a January 2011 release. Once that novella was accepted, I started working on another which became A Little Legal Luck which was released by the Wild Rose Press in September 2011. Once it was off my plate, I finished polishing up Mask of the Gladiator and sold it to Carina Press. Within a short amount of time, I went from having one published novel to a small backlist with a couple of short stories published in magazines to boot. I felt good and accomplished and you can too.

So, while I try and writer longer, I challenge you to give short a try. There is a lot you can pack into a little story.


A dedicated history and film buff, Georgie Lee loves combining her passion for Hollywood, history and storytelling through romantic fiction. She began writing professionally at a small TV station in San Diego before moving to Los Angeles to work in the interesting but strange world of the entertainment industry.

Her traditional Regency, Lady’s Wager and her contemporary novella Rock ‘n’ Roll Reunion are both available from Ellora’s Cave Blush. Labor Relations, a contemporary romance of Hollywood is currently available from Avalon Books. Mask of the Gladiator, a novella of ancient Rome is now available from Carina Press. Look for her novel of love in the golden age of Hollywood from Avalon Books in 2012.

When not writing, Georgie enjoys reading non-fiction history and watching any movie with a costume and an accent. Please visit
Twitter: @GeorgieLeeBooks

Interested in some of Georgie's books?

Mask of the Gladiator -

Lady’s Wager –

Rock ‘n’ Roll Reunion -

A Little Legal Luck -


  1. Hi Marie,
    I am trying a short right now and finding it a new skill to learn. A lot harder than it looks.

  2. I didn't realize the origin of your novellas, Georgie. That's so interesting. As a person who struggles to write under 60,000, and has a comfort zone of 90-95,000 words, I greatly admire your skills!

  3. Hi, Georgie! Great post! It seemed to me that writing shorter should be easier--until I tried it. Telling a complete and compelling story in under 30K words is no easy task. As a matter of fact, I plan to study your "Mask of The Gladiator" to get some ideas on structure. "Mask" has been getting great reviews!

  4. Thanks everyone for stopping by and for Marie for getting up at 4am to publish this!

  5. Wow! Way to build up that backlist Georgie!!!

    You rock!

    Congratulations on all the releases!

    Lisa :)

  6. Thanks for the great blog Georgie :)