Queen of Swords

Into the Wilderness news

Really good news, too.

Next fall Bantam is going to re-release Into the Wilderness in trade paperback format (rather than mass market). There will be new cover art along the lines of the Queen of Swords dust jacket.  I’m going to find out if I can add anything to the author’s notes, which I would dearly love to do.

I’m also going to say right up front that the artist shouldn’t go overboard with the cleavage. I hope they listen to me on this. There are only two things that I don’t like about the Queen of Swords cover: the cleavage, and the fact that the artist seemed to forget that the character he was portraying is Mohawk and not European in appearance. The skin color and bone structure were more Elizabeth than Hannah, but it was supposed to be Hannah.

When I have the cover art, you can be sure I’ll share it.

This is as good a place as any to answer all the questions I’ve been getting about book six. There is a lot of gnashing of teeth and general unhappiness about the idea that this will be the last book in the series. You want me to rethink that.

I’ll state again for the record: it’s not up to me, it’s up to you. If book six doesn’t sell well, there is no way Bantam is going to offer me any more contracts. Which means y’all need to step up and buy a copy when it comes out. Sales alone will make the difference.

Also, let me be clear: I will not necessarily continue along with the Bonner family as I have to this point. I may take one of them and jump way forward. What I will not do is a prequel. Don’t yell. I just cannot do a prequel. None of the characters are willing to participate, and that’s that.

good game

Paperback Writer has a great post up here. It’s one of those rare magical posts that gives you a way to work that actually feels like procrastination.

She’s asked the characters from her next novel (Evermore) to write blurbs for the book. I suppose you have to know the earlier books in the series and all the characters in order to appreciate the humor but believe me: it’s there.

So now I can’t get this out of my head. What quote would Elizabeth or Jennet or Curiosity (or anyone else) give for the cover of Queen of Swords? How about Angie or John or Miss Zula, what would they say about Tied to the Tracks? I can imagine Curiosity saying something like this: Don’t you know a good story when you see one? You look simple, staring that way. Buy the book, I need people to listen to me talk.

romance vs general fiction

I’ve had a couple emails from people to tell me about their experiences looking for Queen of Swords in paperback. Two points keep coming up:

1. They find it in the romance section rather than the general fiction area.

2.  There are only a few copies, and none on the new fiction shelf.

First some good news: Queen of Swords has gone into a second printing, so people are looking for it until they find it.

Now, here’s my official reaction to being shelved in the romance section: I don’t mind. Romance novels are always at the top of the mass market best seller list, because you know what? Women read. So if my stuff has a better chance of being noticed and picked up  in romance, that’s fine with me.

I don’t take offense at the idea of my Wilderness novels as romance. Some of my favorite novels are romances, from Pride and Prejudice to Faking It. Eleanor Roosevelt said: Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. I refuse to participate in the trivialization of fiction that women like, and I wish I could get more attention from the romance crowd. So if you see one of my novels in the romance section, you should know I’m glad it’s there.

The issue of the novel being relegated to dark corners is more complicated. In chain bookstores, publishers pay a premium to have new releases right up front on the new release table. They may have done that this time for certain chains in certain areas. If a small independent bookstore isn’t showing a book you think is good enough for that kind of treatment, you can talk to the manager about it. As long as you are reasonable and polite, you can have a conversation on these issues and maybe make a difference in the positioning in the book. If you’re angry at the way Barnes & Noble (for example) handle a new book, a talk with the manager isn’t going to change much at all. If you feel really strong about this, you can write to the publisher of the house in question. Enough letters and emails will may get some attention for a minute or two.

The only thing you as an individual can do is to recommend the book to friends and acquaintances, and encourage them to get copies of their own.