Secrets of the Author

Jo Beverley On The Mallorens and Writing

From traditional Regencies to dark medievals to sensual Georgians, Jo Beverley tells powerful stories that keep longtime fans eager for her next book and compels new fans to eagerly track down her backlist. The latest from Jo, Secrets of the Night, is certain to cement her status as a star of the romance genre while inspiring healthy debate on the controversial theme.

Jo mixes natural storytelling talent with a love of English history (she has a degree in the subject from Keele University in Staffordshire) to unfold her tales of strong women and heroes who are their matches in every way. Her books have won four RITA awards, placed her on the New York Times’s bestseller list, and earned her a spot in the Romance Writers Hall of Fame for Regency Romance.

Read our review of Secrets of the Night

Subversion: How did you get started as a writer? Did you always want write?

Jo Beverley: I did always want to write, yes, and to write historical romance. I have an attempt from when I was in high school. I hadn’t a clue how to get published, however, and thought it was as likely as becoming a Hollywood star or a pop singer. Continue reading

Cowboys, Babies, Brides … Oh My!

Where Has All The Variety Gone?

It sneaks up on me about this time every month. At first, I’m excited. Then, I’m confused. Finally, I’m disheartened. It all starts when I look at the new romance titles for the month. I read a wide variety and happily note titles of interest from the entire genre – until I get to the current category releases. Then my world comes to a screeching halt.

Don’t get me wrong: I love categories. I cut my romance teeth on this subgenre and still enjoy reading a great category. It’s simply that, lately, there seems to be a feeling of sameness to the group. For example, in the past two months alone, there are over twenty-five category titles with story lines revolving around cowboys, babies, or brides – and those are just the ones that I know about.

And please don’t get me started on the poor book that had the misfortune of boasting a cowboy holding a baby on the cover! It was probably a great read. The chances are good that the author gave her readers a fresh spin on an old story. I’ll never know. Between the cover and the synopsis, I feel like I’ve already read this story.

Word on the street is that the cowboy/baby/bride themes are very popular with readers. Based on what I hear from other readers, I’m not the only person out there who is … er … turned off by this trend. While I haven’t done a scientific survey, my stab at the reason for this obvious disconnect is simple: people who buy romance are voracious readers and if category is their thing, category is what they buy. Continue reading

But What She Really Wants To Do Is Write

Mary Wolf Bought Her Publisher and Turned It Into a Huge Success

Mary Z. Wolf had her first book, The Marriage Patent published by Hard Shell Word Factory, a pioneer in the field of electronic publishing. She then turned around and did what every author dreams – she bought her publisher. While some may think that that guaranteed future publication, Hard Shell is growing so rapidly that Mary Z. Wolf, publisher, frequently has to tell Mary Z. Wolf, author, “… shut up and wait, her time will come” – and it will, just as soon as things settle down.

We have some wonderful books that I’m sure print editors practically cried at having to turn down … because they … didn’t fit comfortably enough into that publisher’s line.

The bad news, for Mary-the-author, is that Hard Shell is a bonafide success.

Hard Shell Word Factory was founded in November 1996 by Teri Lea Chandler. According to Wolf, Chandler “had the foresight to see electronic publishing as the wave of the future” and established a haven for quality authors who, for a variety of reasons, weren’t being considered by the New York publishers. Wolf, who had been exploring the prospect of starting her own publishing company, bought Hard Shell from Chandler. Continue reading