Message From The Author

Karen Harbaugh

Genre: Paranormal, Historical Romance

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Author's Message



Next month marks some major firsts for the multitalented Karen Harbaugh. Already a force in the Regency world, the author went out on a limb
in 2000 when she asked her agent to send off her first fantasy historical romance, NIGHT FIRES (Dec.'03), to publishers. The novel was considered a tough sell for two reasons: publishers didn't want paranormal romances (especially those with vampires!) and "they most definitely didn't want books set during
the French Revolution," Harbaugh explains.

Although publishers weren't exactly jumping on board with her tough-as-nails vampire heroine, Simone de la Fer, Harbaugh remained convinced that Night Fires was a story readers would enjoy. After posting an excerpt on her website, "word amongst the romance reading community started spreading about it, which gave [me] hope." After facing a slew of publisher rejections, NIGHT FIRES finally landed on editor Wendy McCurdy's desk at Bantam/
Dell. The timing couldn't have been more auspicious; Harbaugh had just made the decision to forgo her fiction-writing career for a job as a full-time technical writer. Instead, she found herself realizing her dream with a
two-book contract from Bantam.

"Watching the romance market is a hobby of mine, even though I don't write to what people think are trends," the author reveals. "My gut feeling was that this book would sell well once it was published. That feeling was backed up by my observations of what readers wanted when I attended the Romantic Times convention in Baton Rouge. I was also keeping an eye on what was selling on the various e-publishing sites, as well as noting the generation themes of the romance-buying demographic."

Looks like she knew what she was talking about: Bantam is counting on a science fiction and fantasy cross-genre readership, and has commissioned a gorgeous cover for NIGHT FIRES and its sequel, Dark Enchantment (Jan. '04). Harbaugh couldn't be more ecstatic. "I absolutely adore it," she raves. "Even the guy on the cover looks the way I imagined the hero, [Michael] Corday, to look."

For more on the British assassin Michael Corday and the mysterious and cursed Simone de la Fer, visit the author's website at: Look for a review of Night Fires in the next issue.

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