Tuesday, January 04, 2011
One of the toughest questions for an author to answer is "Of all the books you've written which one is your favorite?" I've been known to go totally blank when asked that, but I'll usually say, "All of them." I don't mean that to sound pat or off hand, it's simply the truth.
If you asked me "Which one of your books did you enjoy writing the most?" two that come instantly to mind are The Patriot and Aftershock. I had more fun writing those books than a person alone in a room with a computer should be allowed to have. I'm glad there are no laws against that.
The bad guy in both stories is a mercenary named Conan. That's not his real name -- no one knows his real name, not even Interpol -- that's just what he's called because he resembles Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was only a movie actor when I wrote the books. Conan makes his first appearance in The Patriot and returns in Aftershock.
Like the Terminator, another of Arnold's iconic characters, thanks to the boom in e-readers like Kindle and Nook, The Patriot and Aftershock are baa-aack -- and so in Conan -- this time as e-books.
Preserving books is the coolest thing about e-publishing. A book never goes out of print; there's no spine to crack and drop pages, and you can't lose it or leave it in the dentist's office.
For authors, especially category romance authors (The Patriot and Aftershock were first published by Harlequin Temptation) this is a huge thrill. Why? Because the average shelf life of a category romance is three weeks. A book that took me 6 to 9 months to write has a sales window of 21 days and then, pffft -- it's gone, outta there, pulled off the shelf to make room for the next month's titles. That's heartbreaking for authors, and frustrating for readers who really wanted the book but somehow missed it. I know because I've been one of those readers.
Bookstores don't return whole copies of mass market paperbacks. They strip the covers and return those to the publisher for credit. The rest of the book is tossed in a dumpster. It boggles the mind when you think how many trees died only to end up in a landfill.
And speaking of covers, whoever said you can't tell a book by its cover must have seen the original covers of The Patriot and Aftershock.
The Patriot had the worst cover ever, my editor even said so. Aftershock wasn't much better, but it was nominated for a RITA award, the Oscar of romance writing. Authors have no control over covers. We get what we get, and we all hold our breath waiting to see what the art department comes up with.
My good friend Judy Johnson, a very talented artist, created the e-book covers for The Patriot and Aftershock that I'm sharing with you here. I love them!
If you like suspense and adventure with your romance then The Patriot and Aftershock are your kind of books. I hope you'll enjoy them, but there's no rush. They'll be waiting for you on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as they say in fairy tales forever and a day.
E-books are a win for authors and a win for readers. Hallelujah! Can I have an amen?