first published by the Brisbane Courier-Mail 20 May 2007
While the recent Romantic Times convention may have been a disappointment, scheduling-wise, meeting the authors of some of my favourite books definitely was not. From the divine Charlaine Harris—who cemented my undying adoration by signing my copy of Dead Until Dark : to my favourite Aussie—to the very funny, very lovely, somewhat scruffy Jim Butcher, the authors were gracious, available, and sincerely happy to meet readers – and drop some hints about up and coming works.
The surprisingly tall Shana Abé, author of the beautiful The Smoke Thief, told me that she’s almost finished the as-yet untitled third book in the Drakon series. The heroine is Mari, who appears as an important secondary character in book two, The Dream Thief.
Over lunch one day, Melburnian author Keri Arthur, who flew over just for the conference, revealed that she was suffering from jetlag, but that her sleepless night had lead to new story ideas. Selfishly, I was okay with that. She then dropped cryptic hints about plot developments in books 5 and 6 of her Riley Jensen series. She wouldn’t, however, commit to giving me any firm details. Embraced by Darkness is out in July.
At a party in her suite, MaryJanice Davidson announced that she wanted to call her new novel—now titled Sleeping with the Fishes— ‘Bitch out of Water’, but her publishers wouldn’t let her. She then gave away signed t-shirts with the assurance that she’d be thrilled if they showed up on e-bay.
Elizabeth Hoyt told me she’s stepping away from England for her next books, which will feature men returning from the France and Indian war. The Hearts series and starts with Iron Heart. I also won an ARC for The Serpent Prince, so watch for a review. If it’s anything like her first two novels, I’m sure I’ll love it.
In conversation with Elizabeth Hoyt and 3 other historical writers, Brenda Joyce announced that, much as she hated the fact, historicals were dying. Obviously the other authors disagreed, and I sincerely hope she’s wrong.
Finally, I also had the pleasure if meeting some very exciting up-and-comers that I’m sure will be making their own mark on the romance genre in the years to come.
Both Jackie Kessler and Richelle Mead’s debut novels feature succubi as heroines, which lends to some very intriguing plot lines. Jackie’s book is titled Hell’s Belles, and Richelle’s Succubus Blues. To round out the list of new paranormal authors getting major buzz even before the book fair, try Jenna Black’s new Guardian of the Night series. It starts with Watchers in the Night, and introduces a vampire society dedicated to protecting humans from their more murderous brethren.