Thursday, January 28, 2010

UK publishers hail the iBook moment

Publishers have welcomed the launch of Apple's iPad as an "important step" in the transition towards digital books, with one branding it "the most significant development yet". Dan Franklin, digital editor at Canongate, said: "I sat there and thought 'this is what we've been waiting for'." John Makinson, chief executive at Penguin, said the announcement represented "an important step in the development of a digital audience for books".

Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs unveiled the much-anticipated iPad, alongside the iBook and its iBook Store, at a press conference, with the iBook Store launched with the backing of five publishers, Hachette, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and HarperCollins.

The Bookseller, like many publishers, followed the event via live video streams with news of the iBook Store not breaking until about 90 minutes into the press conference which began at 6pm GMT. The Apple chief insisted that the iBook Store would sit alongside its popular iTunes and Apps stores. Jobs said that the company was ready to open "the floodgates" to other publishers, adding that he wanted to "go a bit further" than's Kindle.

Dan Franklin, digital editor at Canongate, told The Bookseller: "It's the most significant development yet. Everyone's been talking about the iPod moment [for e-books] and who else was going to deliver it but Apple!"

The device is 0.5inches thin, weighs 1.5 pounds and has a 9.7inch display. It will not be available internationally until "June/July" at the earliest, shipping in 60 days, with 3G models to follow after 90. It is not yet clear whether international users will be able to buy the device without internet access, or what price it will be sold at outside of the US.

But publishers are already eagerly anticipating the iPad's arrival in the UK, with Franklin pointing out that Amazon's Kindle "hasn't taken root here". He highlighted the $499 price point as "not too expensive" for a multi-purpose device, and said he was "encouraged" by signs that publishers would be able to set their own prices.

Franklin added the iBooks Store, effectively an iTunes for books, was one of the biggest draws, as well as the "slick and sexy as hell" user experience. Makinson agreed: "The iPad and iBook Store will, we believe, appeal to existing Penguin customers and also attract millions of new readers to the world’s best books."

Tim Cooper, director of direct and digital marketing at Mills and Boon, added: "It looks great, fundamentally it's going to make a pretty big difference. It's fantastic news for publishers and the consumers as well, it must have sent a few shivers down the spines of other companies with e-reading devices. At that price point and with those multimedia opportunities, it's great for everyone. I think this will definitely help the e-book market."

Agents spoken to by The Bookseller at the A W Bruna party held at the Groucho last night were also thrilled to learn the news of the launch, with one quipping that Andrew Wylie had already begun offering "iRights" to his authors' books.

28.01.10 The Bookseller Staff

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

They’re teaching a romance novel course at Yale, but it’s not what you think

Romance novels. The term conjures up a paperback with an airbrushed Fabio enclenched with a wild-haired young maiden on the cover. Hardly the stuff of great literature, right?

But, that’s just the image that Yale grad Lauren Willig and, as Willig calls her, “another Yalie-turned-romance-novelist, Andrea DaRif” (pen name, Cara Elliott), are trying to dispel in their “Reading the Historical Romance Novel” course at Yale this spring.

Romance is a rather broad term for a whole genre of books ranging from historical romance fiction, mysteries, family sagas to chick lit. This is purported to be the first such class at an Ivy League school.

And Willig — well, when you read her background, you won’t be surprised — is sandwiching in a book signing, Monday at 6 p.m. at the Yale Bookstore for her sixth novel, “The Betrayal of the Blood Lily.”

The course is part of Yale’s College Seminar Program: classes taught in the residential colleges for full undergraduate credit.

The two best-selling authors submitted their syllabus for review by committees of faculty and students in October, and, after rigorous examination, it was approved in December for the spring semester in Saybrook College.

Willig is not surprised by either the popularity of the course (80 applied for 18 spots) nor the willingness of the university to endorse it. The genre has been embraced by academia for years, early on by Eric Selinger at DePaul and Sarah Frantz at Fayetteville.

“The two of them have been instrumental in the movement to treat romance novels as text in their own right, rather than a sociological construct,” says Willig. “The trend was to treat romance novels only as interesting as to what they told us about the readership. They weren’t being looked at in terms of structure, theme and the usual critical literary apparatus.”

Romance novels or “bodice rippers” in a commonly used parlance, are the most widely read genre in the world. This course is meant to discern the difference between those, modern “chick lit, works of great textual quality or even historical significance, including the vampire gothics. It narrows its examination to the sub-genre of the Regency romance novel (think Jane Austen), “because it’s small enough to trace its origins to multitudinous genres,” says Willig.

“It has a distinct time period, from 1811-1820, but what we call long Regency extends from the French Revolution to the 1820s and even well into the reign of Victoria,” Willig says.

“But it encompasses such a broad range of things, which is what we’re talking about in class this year. We’ve had students talk about how they would define a romance novel. That stretches on one side from great harlequin to great sweeping stories.

“My books, for instance, are hard to classify. My publicist calls them historical fiction, and they’re frequently shelved in mystery or chick lit — I’m all over the spectrum, which I think speaks to the variety of the spectrum.”

This is not like signing up for a conservation course to fulfill your science requirement. This is a rigorous, scholarly two-hour class on Mondays, with Willig and Darif, who has a master’s in graphic design, sharing the teaching chores.

When the semester ends in April, the students will, after first getting a foundation by reading critical works of the genre by academic experts, be expected to read a novel a week for a total of 14 books, and “complete three writing assignments: a book review which needs to be analytical rather than emotive (3-4 pp), a short critical essay (5 pp) and the final project (10-15 pp).”

“We were blown away by the response,” says Willig.

Part of the impetus for the course also came from Willig’s membership in Lady Jane’s Salon, a Manhattan group of romance writers and readers which meets monthly for readings “and to hang out and drink. It’s become in a very short time an institution and a way for various people from various parts of the industry to share their love of romance novels,” says Willig.

Any parent would be happy to have their kid’s interest in romance novels turn into Willig’s career.

Willig, Yale class of 1999, has been reading the novels and trying to write them since she was 6. After double-majoring in Renaissance studies and political science, she entered the doctoral program in English History at Harvard, adding on Harvard Law School in her fifth year of grad school, where, oh by the way, she happened to write her first three novels while she was picking up her law degree at Harvard. She even practiced law at a top New York law firm before finally giving her all to her writing career.

Her Pink Carnation series is a staple on best-seller lists, with a faithful fan base eagerly awaiting the next installment of her latest heroine Pamela Devereaux.

“I started the first book in the series when I was doing my Ph.d at Harvard. It was two years of coursework, then orals, then a dissertation. I promised myself I would take the summer off and write fiction. I started writing ‘The Secret History of the Pink Carnation,’ and finished it two years later.”

She talks of her fiction writing as a diversion, juggling law work with book deadlines.

“I ended up leaving law school magna cum laude with three books. It was an incredible experience,” says Willig, and you don’t even hate her.

Contact Donna Doherty at 203-789-5672 or


- Event: Book signing with Lauren Willig, author of “The Betrayal of the Blood Lily”
- When: 7 p.m. Monday
- Where: Yale Bookstore, 77 Broadway, New Haven  - Admission: Free
- Info: 203-777-8440

Lucy Monroe Celebrating Paranormal Release of Moon Craving with a Contest!

Lucy Monroe’s February release, MOON CRAVING — Lucy will be giving away a special gift package in celebration of hwr paranormal release.

Book Description:

If it were up to him, Talorc—laird of the Sinclair clan and leader of his werewolf pack— would never marry. But when the king orders that Talorc wed an Englishwoman, the lone wolf is shocked to find his mate in the strong-willed Abigail. And after an intensely climactic wedding night, the two fiercely independent souls sense an unbreakable bond…

Deaf since childhood, Abigail hopes to keep her affliction from Talorc as long as possible. And for his part, he has no intention of telling her about being a werewolf. But when Abigail learns that the husband she’s begun to love has deceived her, it will take all of his warrior’s strength—and his wolf’s cunning—to win his wife back. And Talorc will have to face his biggest challenge yet: the vulnerability of a man in love…

Go to Lucy Monroe's Website to enter and the best of luck!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Author Solutions CEO Invites RWA, MWA, SFWA to Discuss Choice and Opportunity in Book Publishing

Kevin Weiss, chief executive officer of Author Solutions (ASI)--the world leader in indie book publishing--released a video statement today calling for three major authors' guilds to join him for a discussion about choice and opportunity in book publishing.   Video here

I'm inviting the three writers guilds who've expressed the greatest objections with the partnerships we've established with traditional publishing to sit down with us and discuss how we can improve the opportunity for their writers and the choice for readers

Not only do I want to discuss the differences they have with our business, as well as the partnership models that we're engaging with traditional publishing, but I also want to discuss the things that we are doing and plan to do to advance the cause of their members on a daily basis

Bloomington, Ind. (PRWEB) January 22, 2010 -- Kevin Weiss, chief executive officer of Author Solutions, Inc (ASI)--the world leader in indie book publishing--released a video statement today calling for three major authors' guilds to join him for a discussion about choice and opportunity in book publishing. Weiss specifically addresses the leadership of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), the Mystery Writers of America (MWA), and Science Fiction Writers Association (SFWA)--all vocal critics of ASI's new partnerships with leading traditional publishers.

"I'm inviting the three writers guilds who've expressed the greatest objections with the partnerships we've established with traditional publishing to sit down with us and discuss how we can improve the opportunity for their writers and the choice for readers," Weiss said in the statement.

In response to ASI's announcements of partnerships with traditional publishers, the three writer's guilds led a campaign to discredit the publishers involved in creating these groundbreaking opportunities, even going so far as to de-list one as a qualified publisher. Weiss believes the guilds may not fully understand the role self-publishing can play in expanding options for writers and consumers while at the same time providing benefits to traditional publishers who are in the midst of tremendous upheaval.

"Not only do I want to discuss the differences they have with our business, as well as the partnership models that we're engaging with traditional publishing, but I also want to discuss the things that we are doing and plan to do to advance the cause of their members on a daily basis," Weiss said.

Weiss invited the groups to engage in a direct conversation with him and other ASI leaders at their convenience.

For more information on Author Solutions and its leadership of the indie book publishing revolution, visit

About Author Solutions, Inc.

Author Solutions, Inc. (ASI), an Inc. 5000 company, is owned by Bertram Capital and is the world leader in indie book publishing--the fastest-growing segment of publishing. ASI's self-publishing brands--AuthorHouse, AuthorHouse UK, iUniverse, Trafford, Xlibris, and Wordclay--have helped more than 85,000 authors self-publish, promote, and bring to market more than 120,000 new titles. Through strategic alliances with leading trade publishers, ASI is making it possible to develop new literary talent efficiently and provide emerging authors a platform for bringing their books to market. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, ASI also operates offices in Indianapolis and Milton Keynes, England. Visit, or call 1-888-519-5121 x5238 for more information.

Love Likely to Last a Lifetime for Brides over Age 25 - Susan Mallery

If you stop in here at Romance Author Buzz you'll see that I'm such a fan of Susan Mallery's.  Her Marcelli series is going to be re-issued this year.  Here's an article I found this am which I find quite interesting.

The National Study of Family Growth (NSFG) reports that brides age 25 and older are about twice as likely to enjoy long marriages than teenage brides. Teen couples who get engaged over Valentine’s Day might want to consider a long engagement to increase their odds of a successful marriage.

 -- Many couples will get engaged on Valentine’s Day. On the whole, people wait longer to get married these days than ever before, and that may be a good thing. Women who get married at age 25 or older are twice as likely to remain married for at least ten years when compared with teenage brides, according to a report based on the National Study of Family Growth.

The Sparkling One by Susan Mallery“The heroines in my books tend to be in their late twenties,” says New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery. Known for her funny and sexy writing style, Mallery writes romance novels, books that focus on the developing love story between a man and a woman. “I believe women at this age have matured enough to know what they want in a husband, and are better at shrugging off the small stuff. Plus, they’ve been dinged up by life a little bit, and we’re all more interesting with scars.”

People who have never married have a higher risk of death at every age. Not a bad reason to get engaged this Valentine’s Day.

Is divorce inevitable for younger couples?

One of Mallery’s most popular series of books centers around the Marcellis, a family of California vintners. The first book, The Sparkling One, features a young couple whose engagement announcement sets the hero and heroine of the story at odds with each other. The sister of the bride-to-be is all for it, and even offers to plan the wedding. The father of the groom is adamantly opposed. So will the teenagers go through with the wedding, and will the marriage last?

“I don’t want to ruin the surprise,” says Mallery with a laugh. “I will tell you, though, that I positively believe that young marriages can last. That study says 40% of women who marry when they’re 18 or 19 years old divorce within the first ten years of marriage. That means that 60% don’t. That’s a lot of happy couples who are laughing with each other, loving each other, and finding a way to grow old together.”

In fact, they may grow older than their unmarried peers. A study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that people who have never married have a higher risk of death at every age. Not a bad reason to get engaged this Valentine's Day. The Sparkling One is being reissued this month, with the next two books in the series – The Sassy One and The Seductive One – coming in March and April.
(PRWEB) January 23, Napa, CA

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pink Heart Society Interview with Border's Sue Grimshaw

For those of you who are not members of The Pink Heart Society, this interview with Sue Grimshaw from Borders was posted on the PHS blog yesterday and a very interesting one that I wanted to share.  Hopefully you'll also stop by the PHS blog and the review site.  It's contemporary romance at it's best with international readers and authors participating. 

A huge Pink Heart Society welcome to our special Industry Insider guest today, Sue Grimshaw! Sue is the Romance buyer for Borders and well known in the industry as being a marvelous ambassador for the genre. Thanks Sue for taking the time to answer a few of our questions today!

We'd like to know a bit about how things work at Borders in respect to the Romance genre. How does Borders view category - is it best left on the endcap for 3 weeks to do its thing, or is there more to it?

Borders has always viewed category romance as part of the romance business overall. Harlequin works very closely with us to determine our assortment and; merchandising presentation, as well as, promotional opportunities that we can offer the customer. It has been a stable business for us & one that we will continue to offer as long as our customers continue to buy, & that should be for a very long time.

Is there are particular order the books are put in their end cap?

Romance maintains two end-caps in most stores. Title selection for those fixtures is determined by the publishing schedule and volume of the buy. The theme for the endcaps can vary between Best Sellers, New Releases, author themed, sub-genre themed, etc. We do leave some placement up to store discretion as well so they can merchandise the right books to their customers.

Which are the most popular lines at Borders? Does it vary from region to region?

Book trends vary from region to region, store to store, even vary month to month :-) . Much is determined by what is being published so when we review trends we try to take into account a broad enough period of time. Right now, paranormal romances continue to top the charts as far as sales trends above last year; contemporary romances are also very strong.

Do the lines carried vary much store by store?

Title selection varies from store to store but the sub categories within romance are available in all stores.

Do category romances ever catch your eye?

Oh sure – much like the customer I end up reading many of the best selling authors that continue to write category books. Certain titles seem to sell better than others so I review those books as well to see what triggered the customer’s interest.

What trends in romance are you noticing? Are the trends the same in category?

The nostalgic, small town contemporaries continue to sell well. Paranormal romances also appeal to our readers & sexier stories no matter what the sub-genre, sell very well. Desire & Presents are the top selling lines in category & those are predominantly contemporary stories.

What do you think category romance offers that is unique?

Category is a great way for readers to find new authors without much time or financial investment. For busy moms, it is a quick read but fulfilling story, & they’re great to take on vacation – the smaller size is easier to pack.

And a few more personal type fun questions:  What is the very best part of your job?

Reading the books of course! I really enjoy all aspects of the job but being able to read all the different books within the genre is great fun to me. I enjoy meeting romance readers too, just like them, I love to discuss the books with others that have the same interest. Getting to meet romance readers is one of the reasons why I’m looking forward to ROMCON, as I can’t wait to chat with everyone ( I also enjoy meeting with readers on our blog, Borders True Romance (

What is the worst part?

Oh, probably some of the mundane stuff I have to do from day to day --- but, even that I don’t mind – every job has that, right?

What are you reading right now?

Nick’s story in Stephanie Tyler’s new romantic suspense series, TOO HOT TO HOLD – yummy! OOps done with that (& loved it!), now reading ECSTASY UNVEILED by Larissa Ione -- what a voice!

What’s your absolute favourite subgenre to read? What’s your reading weakness?

Favorite sub-genre is historical – not sure why really but even with all of the new sub-genre’s romance has acquired over the years, historical books are my favorites. I'm all about the characters & the emotional relationship, so if an author can serve that up I'm all over it!

Thanks PHS for having me and Borders on your blog – I’d like to encourage your readers to stop on by BTRB, Border’s True Romance Blog ( to visit & comment on some of our author, editor & blogger posts – we always manage to have a fun time & you never know when there is a giveaway!  All the best in the New Year,   Sue

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Perfect Pitch Contest! - Donna Alward

Harlequin author Donna Alward is holding a pitch contest for unpublished authors at eharlequin this week. Five winning pitches will be chosen and invited to send a first chapter, and one winner will get Donna as a critique partner and
mentor for the rest of the year.

All the details can be found at eharlequin:

This year I'm holding another Perfect Pitch contest and I'm doing it right here on eharlequin!

If you are unpublished, you have all this week to put together a pitch and send it to me at . I will pick five winning pitches and those authors will send me a first chapter. I'll pick a winning chapter and the winner gets me as a critique partner and mentor for the rest of the year.

The whole idea is for you to exercise your pitching muscles on me, and then have me nag at you for months to whip your work into shape and get it in front of an editor. :-) I had a blast working with last year's winner.

And if you are hesitant about the whole pitching thing, check out last week's workshop by Winnie Griggs. She'll show you step by step how to craft a winning pitch.

The rest of the deets are on my pitch thread, which is where you can ask any questions you might have. And I'll also be posting the winning pitches there.

Good luck!

ONE DANCE WITH THE COWBOY, Romance, January 2010
HER LONE COWBOY, Romance, March 2010
Donna's website:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kiwi Novel a US Hit - Natalie Anderson, Presents Author

Congratulations to Natalie Anderson and her ranking on USA Today. 

A New Zealander's romance novel was among the top 150 books sold in the United States in the week over New Year.

Ruthless Boss, Royal Mistress, by Timaru's Natalie Anderson, was ranked 108th, based on sales in the week to January 3, in the list published by USA Today newspaper.

The book, in which "a billionaire businessman teaches a spoiled heiress a lesson", has just gone on sale in the US.
"It's really exciting for me ... I'm thrilled," said Anderson, who is writing her 14th romance novel
An additional article from Stuff a NZ publication.  More press for Natalie.....from Voxy also a NZ pub.


Princess Lissa Karedes, renowned posh party girl, has been packed off to Australia to learn the meaning of hard work! But billionaire James Black, her wickedly sexy boss, has different ideas.

He won't be treating her any differently just because she's royal. But he is tempted to break his golden rule and bed his assistant! Lissa is dreadful at business and when she nearly costs him his reputation, he issues her an ultimatum: she's banned from the boardroom, but welcome to take a promotion…to his bedroom!

Cooking Up a Good Romance

Saw this posted on Facebook this am.  Lori Foster is an amazing author and such a wonderful woman as she does so many things for causes and can't begin to mention.  Foster children, our Troops, Women's Shelters and on and on.  I think you'll find this video interesting.

Video Link:

Romance writers Diane Castell, Rosemary Laurey, Lori Foster, and LuAnn McClain lead an entertaining and energetic panel discussion at the 2007 Books by the Banks Festival.

What is your life like when you are a busy author? What lessons have they learned that they can share with aspiring writers? Where do they get ideas for characters? How did they get started? The authors also share information about the collaborations they do as fund raisers for causes dear to them.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Top 7 Steps to Regain Your Optimism - Susan Mallery

I found this article written by New York Times Best Selling author Susan Mallery on Top 7  It's on Steps to Regain Your Optimism and a very inteeresting one.

Happiness is a choice, but it’s hard to choose happiness when the world around you is down in the dumps. The economy has affected our national mood, which affects each of us individually. Rather than decide to “be happy,” a goal so ambitious that it can feel impossible to achieve, make a resolution to take specific steps toward happiness. You need to retrain your brain to focus on the positive. By employing these seven strategies for just one month, you can regain your optimism.

1.   Read books with a satisfying ending.

Books are nourishment for your soul. So why would you feed your soul with books that poison your outlook on life? Find books that promise to have a satisfying ending, one that will have you turning that last page with a feeling of pleasure, rather than a twinge of anxiety on the characters’ behalf. Romance novels and cozy mysteries are excellent for this. By the end of the story, you know the good guy will triumph, whether romantically or otherwise. When you read books that you know will end well, you’re sending a message to your psyche that the world is a just place. And just because you know the story will end well, doesn’t mean it will be predictable. Every story’s road to the happy ending is unique, so there are plenty of surprises to be had.

I particularly recommend romance novels with a strong dose of humor. They’re just plain fun. The characters in my books face a lot of very serious issues, but they do it with a wry sense of humor that readers respond to. When a character finds humor in tragedy, she encourages us to do the same.

2.   Watch lighthearted TV shows and movies. Stay away from anything dark.

Remember when you were a child and your parents wouldn’t let you watch a certain TV show because it would give you nightmares? Well, you’re just as impressionable today, even if you don’t admit it. Everything you put into your brain impacts the way you view the world. If you must, record your favorite dark and depressing dramas, but don’t watch them during this month of cleansing.

3.   Refocus your attention onto positive stories when watching and reading the news.

If you can, avoid the news and the stock market reports. If your job requires that you stay current on what’s happening in the world, then of course you must. In that case, make a concerted effort to skim one upbeat and entertaining story after you’ve finished with all the stories that make you feel down. Read about the coolest inventions of the year, or the latest trends in bath remodeling, or which celebrity had plastic surgery. Anything that will perk you up and keep you from worrying about the state of the world.

4.   Rediscover something you loved as a child.

If you used to love making noodle necklaces, chances are good you’d enjoy beading today. If you thrived in gym class, you’d probably get a charge out of joining a local intramural sports league. Think back to what you loved in school. Were you fascinated in history class? Then make it a point to find out as much as you can about one moment in time. Play is a vital part of life, one that adults too often neglect. Think hard. Remember what you loved when you were a kid, and find a way to bring that into your life today.

5.   purpose, visit a new place.

There is something invigorating about going somewhere new and different. I’m not talking necessarily about traveling somewhere exotic, although I’m all for that, too. This can be as simple as taking a walk along a path you’ve never seen, or going to a restaurant across town instead of your usual haunt. Try to go somewhere new at least once a week, and really pay attention to your surroundings.

6.   Connect with friends

Life is busy, and it’s easy to allow months to go by without spending any quality time with your friends. Connect in a meaningful way with the friends who make you feel happy. (At least for this month, stay away from those friends who drain your energy.) At least once a week, make a date with a friend to have lunch together, or even a cup of coffee at your breakfast table.

7.Spend time each day listerning to music you love.  Dance    

If you’ve ever watched the Ellen DeGeneres show, you know that dancing has the ability to make people happy. Even bad dancing. Maybe especially bad dancing. For an instant boost of endorphins, crank up your favorite upbeat music and dance in your kitchen for five minutes. Do this for at least five minutes every day, and I guarantee you’ll have at least four minutes of happiness. (Sometimes it takes a minute for the endorphins to kick in.)

Mallery's Bio
Susan Mallery is the New York Times bestselling author of over one hundred romances and she has yet to run out of ideas!! She has written series romances, as well as single titles, historicals, contemporaries and even a lone time travel. Always reader favorites, her books have appeared on the Waldens bestseller list, along with the USA Today bestseller list and, of course, the New York Times list. She has won awards for everything from best single title contemporary, to best Special Edition of the year and recently took home the prestigious National Reader's Choice Award. As her degree in Accounting wasn't very helpful in the writing department, Susan earned a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction.

Susan makes her home in the Pacific Northwest where, rumor has it, all that rain helps with creativity. Susan is married to a fabulous hero-like husband and has a six pound toy poodle...who is possibly the cutest dog on the planet.

Jayne Ann Krentz to Host Writing Workshop on Facebook

I just saw on Facebook a post that on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan 12th and 13th Jayne Ann Krentz will be hosting a writing workshop.

Author Christina Dodd will also be stopping by so it should be a great experience.

Friday, January 08, 2010

January Featured Author - Rachel Bailey

Silhouette Desire Author Rachel Bailey...Please give her a warm welcome!

As a teenager, I was a voracious reader of science fiction, until one day when I was 16, I saw Pride and Prejudice on television. The old version with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson. I adored it. I’d seen it in the TV guide and, since I had a crush on Laurence Olivier after seeing him in Henry V, I’d taped it.

I watched that tape so often I can still recite most of the dialogue by heart. I sought out the book, devoured it, then found every other Jane Austen book and read and reread them frequently. I only discovered romance as a genre about four years ago. Imagine my delight when I first read modern versions of Jane Austen!

Now I read most subgenres of romance, from category to historical to romantic comedy. Such a banquet!

I live with my own personal hero and four dogs on the east coast of Australia. Our house is on my dream property – 10 acres of native trees on the side of a hill, within driving distance to the beach.

At school, I wasn’t particularly interested in writing or English. Science was my favourite subject and I took chemistry, physics and biology. My mother still teases me that I’d take my science textbooks away on holidays with us.

After school, I enrolled in a science degree (of course) but impulsively changed to an arts degree on the first day. I double majored in psychology and went on to do a second degree, this time in social work.

I loved practicing social work, but now have the perfect job – I spend my days in the peace and quiet of my trees, surrounded by my dogs, making up stories for a living.

I would like to welcome To Romance Author Buzz, debut author Rachel Bailey who writes for Harlequin Silhouette Desire. January 2010 Rachel’s Claiming His Bought Bride will debut in North America. Rachel can you tell us about the book?

Rachel:  Thanks for having me, Marilyn!

Claiming His Bought Bride is a reunion story – which is always one of my favourite types to read. Damon and Lily have tried the relationship thing, but it didn’t work for Lily when Damon kept prioritizing work over her, so she left. What she didn’t realize at the time was that she was pregnant. When she finds Damon to tell him, he has some news of his own, and they strike a deal for a marriage of convenience.

Tell us about your Call story.

Rachel:   My husband saw the ‘call’ email—from my agent, Jenn Schober—when he booted up the computer in the morning (because I’m in Australia, the email had come in overnight). He came racing up to the bedroom to wake me up and dragged me down, still groggy, to see the offer. I woke up pretty quickly.  I emailed my critique partners and friends and we opened a bottle of champagne that night.

One of the best parts was the timing – the Romance Writers of Australia conference was only a couple of weeks away so I was able to celebrate with my writing friends, go to the published author workshops and also the Harlequin dinner. Joy!

What is your writing style like?

Rachel:   I like to think that my stories are emotional, intense and fast paced. But I’m probably not the best person to ask because it’s hard to see the forest for the trees sometimes!

Do you plot your stories or let your characters lead you?

Rachel:  I do plot them, but I know my characters very well before I start writing, so the plot is created with them front and centre in my mind—they don’t have to lead me because I’ve written the plot to suit them.

Describe a day in the life of Rachel Bailey.

Rachel:   I begin my days with a round of dog-tennis—I have four dogs and the excitement level in the house is very high until dog-tennis has been completed for the morning. Then I have breakfast with my husband and get stuck into my writing for the day (aka: spend the day dreaming about heroes and heroines and write all that down.  Then it ends up with another round of dog-tennis before dinner.

What are you currently working on?

Rachel:   A story set in a chocolate company. I had to do a lot of research by eating much chocolate, as you can imagine. It’s tentatively scheduled for late in 2010 and I can’t wait to share it.

What suggestions would you have for beginning writers as far as "breaking into the business”?

Rachel:   Write, write and write some more. Read the genre you want to be published in. Network with other writers. Seek feedback on your writing (either from contests or crit partners). And keep writing. 

Who is your favorite author?

Rachel:   A tie between Jenny Crusie and Jane Austen. Both are fun and witty and I can read their books over and over.

What are you reading?

Rachel:   Nikki Logan’s ‘Lights, Camera… Kiss the Boss’. It’s a Harlequin Romance set in the world of television and the heroine is a gardener. It’s fun, witty and surprising. I’m loving it.

What is the best part for you of being an author?

Rachel:   Holding my very own book in my hands. They’re my words in there, filling the pages! And it looks so pretty after all the work the art department did on the cover and the production department did in making it a book. I can’t imagine that feeling ever getting old!

When using a locale in your books which you’ve never visited, how much research to you do?

Rachel:   Claiming His Bought Bride is set in Melbourne, a city I’ve visited and love. And the fabulous Sharon Archer (Mills and Boon Medical author) is one of my critique partners and she knows Melbourne intimately, so she checked the setting for me as she read it.

The Blackmailed Bride’s Secret Child is set in the winery region of New Zealand. I’ve visited the Marlborough region but I also have a critique partner who lives there and she read the manuscript and pointed out any inaccuracies with the setting. That was invaluable.

So far I haven’t had to do that much research because I’ve had knowledgeable crit partners to back up my memories!

Tell us something about yourself that we might not know

Rachel:   I can’t tell my left from my right, and have trouble telling the time. But I always know where north is, and I never get lost. I think I had an internal map installed where most people have the left/right and clock things in their brain.

Rachel, thanks so much for spending time at Romance Author Buzz and giving us a chance to get to know you!

Rachel:   Thanks so much for having me here, Marilyn! That was a really interesting list of questions!!


Kate Walker Celebrating 25 Years

Are you a Kate Walker Fan?

Do you have a favorite Kate Walker Book?

Do you remember the first book you read of hers?

Help the lovely Kate Walker celebrate 25 years as an author.  Here is her most current blog post.  Personally, I've enjoyed my romance reading experience with this author and her books have brought me hours of enjoyment.

The Konstantos Marriage Demand is her next book.  It's out in the UK January and in North America March. 


The Greek's ruthless reunion.

Sadie Carteret and Nikos Konstantos were once blissfully in love. They planned the wedding of the year, and their union would create a powerful dynasty.

But business and pleasure should never be mixed. Nikos was accused of scheming for Sadie's money and title, and was systematically destroyed by her family. The wedding was cancelled, the relationship in tatters.

Now the ruthless billionaire has built himself back up from scratch. He will clear his name and demand what was rightfully his...

Sadie must love, honour and...obey....

2010 Rose City Romance Readers Luncheon (Portland, Oregon)

2010 Rose City Romance Writes Readers Luncheon

2010 Rose City Romance Writers

10th Annual Readers Luncheon

Portland, Oregon

Keynote Speaker: Jane Porter

Saturday, April 17, 2010
9 am - 2 pm
The Governor Hotel
614 SW 11th Avenue, Portland Oregon

Rose City RWA is looking for donations for their event and you can see the details on their website.  I attended this function last year and absolutely enjoyed myself with the host of my table being the lovely and talented Deliah Marvelle.  You can't believe the raffle baskets they have.....incredible.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Romance Reader, Unashamed

I've been meaning to post this but the holidays got in the way.  A very interesting piece.

Any reader of romance novels can tell you the stereotypes of the books and their readers. If you're not a romance reader, there's a good chance you can come up with them anyway: Frumpy housewives engaged in heavy breathing over thoughts of Fabio (as pirate, as viking, in a kilt...) ripping bodices. Rape fantasies for the sexually repressed. Tales of weak women rescued by strong men. Clumsy prose and overheated yet laughably euphemistic sex scenes. Feminists don't read romance novels. Smart, educated people don't read romance novels.

The rest of the article:  Romance Reader, Unashamed


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