Today I’m happy to introduce to you my newest Guest Blogger, Abby Gaines. You can read her bio here.

How short is too short?

The books I write tend to be looong—at least, long for series romances. Recently though, I’ve tried writing in two shorter formats. My first novella, The Natural, comes out this month in the Harlequin NASCAR anthology, A NASCAR Holiday 2. Writing a novella was a lot of fun—it was so straightforward, having room for only one story thread. And the Christmas theme meant I had to write an upbeat story, which just happens to be what I write anyway!

But the challenge with writing shorter is that it’s harder to pack in the emotion that we all want from a romance.

I thought that was hard to do in a novella, but just recently I wrote my first short story and, man, that was really difficult! It took me forever…. I consulted a writer I know who’s a short story ace, and she informed me the story had to have a twist at the end. Well, I can tell you, it’s pretty difficult to sit there and think up a twist to order. When you’re writing a full-length book, you have weeks or months to work out what your twists will be. In a short story, you have to do it now!

I got there in the end, and have just posted the story on my website for readers—it has a Thanksgiving theme, so I’m hoping it’s timely.

As a reader, I do enjoy short stories and novellas, but I think my heart will always belong to novels. What do you think?

Abby Gaines writes for Harlequin NASCAR and Harlequin Superromance. Visit her at

Thanks, Abby!