There’s no better place to get news than in a room packed full of authors (more than 400 of them), readers and fans. After some Atlanta sightseeing, including – I am not making this up – a stop at the Georgia Aquarium, where you can find a dolphin show featuring a singing sea captain in a light-up cape, Lynn Spencer and I hit the literacy signing, where there seemed to be more authors than usual. I didn’t come close to talking to them all (and missed several I would have liked to chat with), but I did catch up with quite a few.
Two overwhelming messages tonight: Everyone, no really, everyone, is writing an enovella that ties into her next book. After hearing about twelve people in a row tell me that, someone (who prefers to remain nameless) shed some light on the subject: It’s a way that traditional publishers can compete on pricepoint with e-first or e-only publishers. And of course, if you like the novella enough maybe you’ll think about buying a full-length book – and perhaps paying a little more for it. The second message: The market for historicals is challenging right now. Unless, perhaps, they are e-novellas. Anyway, here is more specific author news from the women I managed to catch up with:
Jo Beverley’s Seduction in Silk out next month. She is also publishing her Company of Rogues series electronically, as well as several e-novellas, one of which is an award winning sci-fi romance.
Grace Burrowes, whose novel Darius has been a big favorite with AAR reviewers, is working on various spin-offs from that series in both electronic and print format. She also has a Scottish Historical coming in August.
Kristen Callihan has Shadowdance coming out in December (with a connecting e-novella). It’s part of her Darkest London series and both hero and heroine are agents for the SOS.
Pamela Clare and I are having a contest to see whose curly hair can get the biggest in Atlanta. So far I think we’re both winning (or is that losing?). She recently finished Striking Distance, her latest I-team novel which she says was draining to write and took longer than usual. The hero is a navy SEAL and she wanted to get the details right. It also features a heroine who was abducted and held captive by Al Qaeda. The couple’s prequel story is told in - you guessed it – an e-novella. Up next she has Horny Holly’s story, and then another historical in the works.
Tessa Dare had a crowded table; I had to swing back and talk to her later when she was out of books. Her newest series features four women who all inherit castles from their godfather. While the premise connects the books to each other, it’s a looser connection than her Spindle Cove books. The first one, Romancing the Duke, is out in January.
Rachel Gibson has a book out at the end of September. The heroine from Rescue Me has a long lost sister, who at 28 is the youngest heroine Gibson’s written. The hero is ten years older, which definitely causes some conflict. She also has an enovella coming out at the beginning of September with a marine hero who inherits some property in Louisiana – and finds himself drawn to the girl next door, whose family has a history of feuding with the hero’s family.
Elizabeth Essex has a new book out next April – After the Scandal - as well as an e-novella coming out as part of a Christmas promotion. (She also has a just about to be published book that we’re working on reading and reviewing from the AAR end).
Megan Frampton has a lighter historical coming out in October - What Not to Bare. She also had as good a theory as any I’ve heard on the challenging historical market, which was that the Fifty Shades of Grey readers have come into the romance circle, but don’t identify themselves as romance readers and prefer the more accessible world of a contemporary romance to that of an historical or paranormal. Megan’s also working on a Megan Caldwell contemporary about a heroine who was the bass player in a “one hit wonder” band.
Susanna Fraser has a Christmas novella coming up in 2014. She’s also working on a sequel to Dream Defiant, set after the Battle of New Orleans.
Colleen Gleason has a new Steampunk YA series featuring Sherlock Holmes’ niece and Bram Stoker’s sister. The first book is The Clockwork Scarab. She also has a new Gardella novel set in the 1920s.
Juliana Gray is just coming off back to back releases (one under her Juliana Gray name and the other as Beatriz Williams). Her new series (under the Gray name) will continue with How to master Your Marquis and How to School Your Scoundrel.
Laura Lee Guhrke has a new series starting out in October - American Heiresses in London. It’s set during the Victorian Era and features American heroines and British heroes. The first book is When the Marquess Met His Match (which has a very nice cover).
Elizabeth Hoyt is writing a contemporary that will be out next summer under her Julia Harper name – something she hasn’t done for some time. Historical fans need not despair; Duke of Midnight, her latest Maiden Lane book, is out in October.
Julie James has her next book out in March - It Happened One Wedding. It’s the latest in her FBI/US Attorney series. She’ll also be working on a novella, which for her will prove a challenge; her characters take some time to like each other – and they’ll have less time!
Julia Justiss just had two books out this spring - The Rake to Ruin Her and The Rake to Redeem Her. They’re part of a series about four cousins, and she’s working on the third and fourth books now.
Ruthie Knox will have her first New Adult novel published by Random House in January, under the name Robin York. Called Deeper, it features a heroine who deals with the aftermath when an ex boyfriend posts sex pictures on the internet. She’ll still continue writing contemporaries as Ruthie Knox as well.
Jeannie Lin has her first single title coming out with HQN in September - The Lotus Palace. She’ll continue writing Harlequin Historicals as well, which she intends to make more action/adventure romances. Her single titles will be more social, and The Lotus Palace includes a murder mystery.
Julie Anne Long has a new book out now - It Happened One Midnight. The hero was a bit of a lightweight in previous books, and we get to see him grow up a bit. Next up is Between the Devil and Ian Eversea, out next April.
Courtney Milan is loving self-publishing (and thrilled that RWA just changed the guidelines to allow self-pubbed authors to nominate their books for a RITA. She’s working on the third book in her series, The Countess Conspiracy.
Sarah Morgan (who is from across the pond) was impressed with the scope of our Atlanta thunderstorm – you could hear it raging outside as the authors signed. She has her first single title coming out in October - Sleigh Bells in the Snow.
Molly O’Keefe also starts a new series in October (it might be just me, but it really seems like October is shaping up to be bigger than usual this year). It’s called The Bad Boys of Bishop and starts with Wild Child.
Lindsey Piper (aka Carrie Lofty) is enjoying the brave new world of paranormals – and the transition from research to world building. She also co-writes as Katie Porter and will have her first New Adult novel, Blue Notes, out this spring.
As usual, it sounds like readers have a lot to look forward to. Stay tuned for more RWA coverage and news. Lynn and I will be live tweeting from publisher spotlights over the next two days; you can find us on twitter as @blytheaar and @LynnAAR.
– Blythe Barnhill