Writing Tip - On Novellas by Thea Landen

I'm delighted to welcome Thea Landen to my blog today. She my Decadent pub-buddy and fellow RPG fan (Role Playing Game, not Rocket Propelled Grenade. This shared acronym once caused much confusion between my husband and I). She's got a brand new novella out as part of Madame Eve's 1 Night Stand Series, and it's a contemporary romance featuring a CIA agent. Scroll all the way down to get to the blurb and excerpt.

You may have noticed I struggle to exceed the 50k mark and tend to favor the 15-35k range, which makes me a novella-length writer. I've never really thought about book length from a business perspective. I'm more of pantser, and my stories are as long as my characters want them to be. Therefore, it's nice to have someone else expound on the virtues of this category. 


On Novellas by Thea Landen

Much like Anna, the heroine of Second Skin, I sometimes feel like I’m living two (or more!) lives. I work in the legal system by day, and I transform into my glamorous romance author persona at night. Throw in paying bills, feeding my family, and other mundane tasks, and I’m exhausted by the time I finally crash into bed!

With e-books becoming more and more prevalent, novellas are on the rise. I, for one, couldn’t be happier about the growing popularity of this specific length of story. As someone who’s always on the go and still hasn’t figured out how to cram an eighth day into the week, novellas are perfect, both for reading and writing.

I have a confession to make: I don’t read as much as I should. *blushes* My “to-read” list keeps expanding, but it’s often difficult to squeeze in some time for sitting down and losing myself in a book. Every now and then I do manage to get through a 100K-word epic, but you know what? Word count isn’t everything, and shouldn’t have any bearing on how enjoyable and well-written a story is.

Since the aforementioned e-book explosion, it really is a buyer’s market. Due to all the choices available, readers can afford to be picky when it comes to what they purchase. The “Look Inside!” feature on Amazon and the like is incredibly helpful, but sometimes that little snippet just isn’t enough. With the vast sea of authors out there, a reasonably priced novella can entice readers and allow them to get a taste of a writer’s style without a major time or financial commitment.

Lastly, every idea, every little seed of creativity is different. Some moments of inspiration are destined to fill multiple books, while others make for excellent fast-paced short stories. For me, Second Skin is the perfect length for the story I wanted to tell: Any longer and it would have dragged unnecessarily. Any shorter and we wouldn’t get the chance to learn about the characters and appreciate why they do things they do.

If you’re the type of book lover who likes to flirt with fun, quick reads, grab your wine glass and your best spy gear and check out Second Skin!

Second Skin (A 1 Night Stand Romance)

Anna’s career as a high-level CIA operative is put on involuntary hiatus. When a trusted colleague passes along the information for the 1Night Stand service, Anna decides to take the plunge against her better judgment and seek some intimate company. But her CIA instincts can’t be ignored, and when she contacts Madame Eve, she uses an alias.

Brendan owns a lucrative manufacturing company, but he’s yet to achieve the goal of finding a woman with whom he can share his successes and joys. But beneath his polished, capable exterior hides the painfully shy teenager he’s never been able to escape. When his own efforts in the dating scene fall short, he turns to 1Night Stand.

It would be so easy to fall in love with Brendan, and Anna’s protective mask slides away, piece-by-piece, revealing more of herself than she should dare. Before she can slip away with the sunrise, Brendan shows their encounter in a new light. Will Anna take a chance on their future, or will she choose to return to her undercover, but lonely life? 

Buy LinksAmazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance | Decadent


“It’s beautiful out here, isn’t it?” His breath danced across the tip of her ear.


“Summers in this region are always nice, but they’re nothing compared to the autumn foliage,” he said. “Have you ever been up here during that time of year?”

Anna continued tracing idle lines from his wrist to his elbow. “No, I haven’t.”

His head dipped lower and his lips grazed her skin. “I realize it’s early for us, but I’d love to come back here with you. We could watch the changing colors, cuddle in front of a roaring fire….”

Anguish stabbed at her. The images he described sounded flawless and enticing. Every part of her yearned to agree to whatever he offered, but planning a rendezvous posed too much of a risk. She hadn’t predicted the difficulties of keeping up an ongoing charade with the man she met.

“That sounds lovely.” She swallowed hard and turned toward him. Her cheek rested in the crook of his neck, though its comfort did nothing to assuage her unexpected guilt over the upcoming lie. “Maybe we can work something out.”

About Thea Landen

Thea Landen lives in New York with her husband and a variety of houseplants. A former educator, she strives to encourage creativity and passion in all those around her, and uses writing to help inspire. Though she reads and writes in nearly all genres, she has a special fondness for science fiction, fantasy, and adventure and anything that pushes the imagination beyond its usual limits. When she’s not writing, or thinking about writing, her hands and mind are occupied by either yarn crafts or role-playing games.

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