Guest blogger: Anna Campbell
I think it’s a truism of romance publishing that readers love series.
As a romance reader, I love them too—most of the time. Sometimes I want to pick up a book and finish it and put it down, and that’s the end of my commitment to those characters. Yeah, call me a romance novel flirt—sometimes I’m not into the long haul. Quick and fast and delicious does the deed! A lot of my old favourites are stand-alones. Most of the Laura Kinsales. Most of the Georgette Heyers. Most of the Anne Stuarts.
But having said that, stand-alone novels are becoming an endangered species in romancelandia. My six books with Avon are stand-alones. The characters from Claiming the Courtesan turn up briefly in Tempt the Devil and the house in Tempt the Devil is where Diana and Tarquin rendezvous in My Reckless Surrender. But those tenuous links do not a series make.
As many of you know, this year I’ve changed publishers and moved to Grand Central in America (I’m still with Avon HarperCollins here). So lots of new and exciting things are happening for me, including the launch of my first series.
When I submitted the proposal for Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed, my new book out on 1 October in Australia and New Zealand, it was another stand-alone (much like the reclusive hero, Jonas Merrick). But the publisher felt that there were legs in the idea to create a series.
Eeek! A series! I don’t write series!
Turns out I do!
Jonas Merrick is a bastard (in all meanings of the word when the story starts, although he learns the error of his ways). So I gave him two school friends who had also suffered because of the scandal surrounding their birth.
The surprise is I’m really enjoying the series aspect. I love dropping hints about future stories and playing off my three heroes against each other—they’re all very different men despite their friendship. I’m really enjoying toying with themes that are subsidiary in one book and major in the next one. I’ve loved returning to this particular world when I finished Rogue and moved on to the sequel.
Who would have thought? Clearly writers love series as well as readers!
I’ve just handed in book two of the Sons of Sin series, A Rake’s Midnight Kiss. That should be out in the second half of next year, with a linked novella to come first. I’m not quite at Stephanie Laurens’s level with her Cynsters, but in my small way, I’ve definitely got serious about series!
So do you have a favourite historical series? Why do you think you love that particular set of characters?
Queenslander Anna Campbell has written six historical romances for Avon HarperCollins and her work is published internationally, including in the United States, Germany, Russia, Turkey and Japan. Anna has won numerous awards for her sweeping, emotional stories set in the first quarter of the 19th century. The Australian Romance Readers Association voted Anna their favourite Australian romance author of 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2012, Anna launches an exciting new publishing venture with her first series ‘Sons of Sin’, beginning with Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed in October 2012.
Desperate to save her sister’s life, Sidonie Forsythe has agreed to submit herself to a terrible fate: Beyond the foreboding walls of Castle Craven, a notorious, hideously scarred scoundrel will take her virtue over the course of seven sinful nights. Yet instead of a monster, she encounters a man like no other. And during this week, she comes to care for Jonas Merrick in ways that defy all logic-even as a dark secret she carries threatens them both.
… Spark a lifetime of passionate surrender?
Ruthless loner Jonas knows exactly who he is. Should he forget, even for a moment, the curse he bears, a mere glance in the mirror serves as an agonizing reminder. So when the lovely Sidonie turns up on his doorstep, her seduction is an even more delicious prospect than he originally planned. But the hardened outcast is soon moved by her innocent beauty, sharp wit, and surprising courage. Now as dangerous enemies gather at the gate to destroy them, can their new, fragile love survive?