All the Babes have been or are romance writers. Between us we have dozens of romances published, some of us going all the way back to 1993. Gee, I feel old when I say that!
I love romance, always have. My personal favorite is romantic suspense. It wasn't so much as I walked away from being Kelsey Roberts so much as I simply had ideas for stories that wouldn't work in romance. And I didn't walk. At best, I crawled. I was afraid to leave my romance roots for fear of failure, for fear of disappointing fans, and mostly because I was afraid I couldn't do it.
Contrary to what people think, romance is one of the most difficult things to write. It is definitely not where you go to 'get your start.' Romance is 54% of the market and there are scads of talented established romance writers out there ready, willing and able to meet the demand.
The Finley books just spoke to me and after two years of working myself up to the task, I finally wrote one. I don't see them as too far away from my romance roots. Finley has men in her life. Sometimes she has some sex. Mostly she's looking for love and by definition, which is a major romance element. The fact that she has yet to find it is what makes it not a romance in the traditional sense.
But have no fear . . . After the next Finley book I'll be returning to my romance roots with a dark romantic suspense. No, it won't be Kelsey Roberts-ish, but it will embrace the values of a romance novel more closely than Finley has.
Wish me luck!