I Want to Be Like Her

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Once again, our topic is one I suggested: “If a prospective publisher asked you to compare your work to that of one or two well-known authors, whom would you choose? Why?” I was asked this question when I applied to have my books accepted by our local library system. I suppose it was so that they’d have a better idea of how to categorize them. I’ve also heard that readers who enjoy books by a certain author will be more likely to see your books if you’ve used that author’s name as a tag.

When I started reading romance, I discovered I enjoyed books by Debbie Macomber, and when I began writing, I tried to emulate the things I liked about her books. Many of her stories are in the sweet/clean category, although she does have spicy scenes in some. But I love her focus on families and friends that shines through in all of her works. She writes about people I feel I know: the cranky old neighbor next door, the busybody, the friendly clerk, and so on.

I’m not sure I can think of a big-name author who writes sweet/clean historical romance stories that aren’t labeled inspirational, and my books don’t fit in that category. I love Julia Quinn’s regency romances, but they can be somewhat steamy. Quinn’s stories are also full of large families (such as the Bridgertons), and like Macomber, she’s written series romances in which each story features a sibling, or various generations of a family.

Another thing that I admire about both authors and try to emulate is the way their characters are so relatable. Whether the stories take place in a present day small town or in Regency England, and whether the cast of characters are wealthy and famous or working folks, we are introduced to people we can understand and with whom we can identify. 

Of course, there are major differences between my stories and those of these two venerated authors, other than the obvious fact that several of them have been made into movies and television shows. My stories tend to be much shorter. My settings aren’t as diverse as Debbie’s, and my characters aren’t as elegant as Julia’s (I’ve discovered that even though I like to read about nobles, I don’t like to write about them). Still, I feel that if I were to be asked to compare my writing to that of well-known authors, I might say something like this:

“In the manner of Debbie Macomber and Julia Quinn, Patricia Kiyono’s stories feature characters much like people we all know who find themselves in extraordinary situations and deal with their challenges with strength and dignity. In each story, love provides the foundation through which the protagonists are able to overcome adversity and find enduring happiness.”


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Kiyono/e/B0067PSM5C/
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9 Responses to I Want to Be Like Her

  1. Diane Burton says:

    Having read your books, Patty, I would say they are a lot like Debbie Macomber’s, for the reasons you list. I try to emulate Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum for my Alex O’Hara–the humor, klutziness, and danger.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It is a shame, how do you categorize your stories when they are unique? I had no trouble with non-fiction, but it is rough to compare your work to others. It would be nice one day for someone to use yours to compare to theirs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Having someone use my name as a tag would be the ultimate compliment! Yes, it’s tough to put my stories in a category – but I guess readers who are looking for certain types of books need some way to sort through all the books available.


  3. Jeff Salter says:

    I love the way you phrased that summary statement: “In the manner of AAAAA and BBBBB, Patricia’s stories…”
    I think I’ll use that phrasing when I get around to Hound Day this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elaine Cantrell says:

    After reading your books, I’d have to say that it doesn’t matter to me whose style you resemble. I just like your work.

    Liked by 1 person

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