Message From The Author

Author's Message

How would one of Mary Baloghs proper Regency ladies react if they met heavy-metal musician Ozzy Osbourne? They wouldnt know what to make of him. Hes just beyond imagination. Mary, whose son is a personal assistant and guitar technician on tour with Osbourne and his group Black Sabbath, met the legendary bat-biting musician earlier this year. I guess that just goes to show the duality of a writers life, she chuckles.

While the great Oz may be beyond imagination for the Regency period, luckily, Marys active imagination is still working overtime dreaming up plots for her new publishing house. ONE NIGHT FOR LOVE, a historical Regency, will be Marys first lead title for Dell. Long renowned for her traditional Regencies, Mary signed with Dell so she could continue writing historicals but they insisted on exclusivity, so she could not continue writing her shorter-length Signet Regencies. But readers neednt worry, as Mary says her beloved Regencies will still be around, just in a brand-new package.

Its always exciting to be with a new publisher, Mary says, adding that she
was happily surprised when her new
editor requested she write the same kind of stories as her traditional Signet Regencies. Someone gave her some of my Signets to read and then she called me and said, This is what I want you to write for us. So, even though it wont look like a Regency, thats what youll get.

Like many authors, Mary found that the smaller distribution of Regency books has endangered the Regency genre in the romance marketplace. A number of authors are making the switch to the more widely distributed historical genre. Mary says shes unsure of the future for traditional Regencies.

Regencies have a very strong, loyal
following. The people that read them are very passionate about their books. Its hard to believe theyd let it go. But then again, the readers arent necessarily the ones with the power. Its a very small market and these days,
everybody wants things bigger.

Speaking of bigger, readers may be hard pressed to find a hero and heroine with a bigger difference in background than those of Marys new novel.

I enjoyed the challenge of taking the Cinderella tale and imagining what would happen afterwards. Its a wonderful story but as a realist, its hard to think it could ever work, since theyre from such entirely different backgrounds.

As the book opens, Neville Wyatt, Earl of Kilbourne is about to be married to his childhood friend and intended bride Lauren. However, he still pines for Lily Doyle, the sergeants daughter he married years before in Portugal during the wars against Napoleon. Lily was killed in a French ambush the day after their
wedding night, leaving him with just the memory of their one night for love. Little does he know, the very-much-alive Lily escaped captivity and is racing to the church to stop the wedding in time. But in his world, can their love survive?

This woman is the illiterate daughter of an army sergeant whos never lived in
a proper home in her life. When she arrives at this grand house and therere all these elegantly dressed people awaiting a wedding, shes totally out of her depth, Mary explains. These days, it may be difficult for people to understand why it was a problem, but the Regency period had very rigid class structure and social mores.

Marys second Dell book is being
readied for release in June 2000. The Rakes Mistress, a partly humorous, very passionate tale, opens with an intriguing duel gone wrong. Shes now hard at work on her third book for Dell,a spinoff from ONE NIGHT, about Laurens love.The poor girl was left at the altar. Of course, she had to have her own Prince Charming.

Mary is also busy preparing to play master of ceremonies for the Regency Master Class at the Toronto convention. It sounded absolutely mad and I thought to myself about a half-hour after I agreed to do it, What are you getting yourself into? Itll be a wonderful time, despite the enormous amount of work it will entail.

Following a day and a half of lectures on writing, period dance classes and card games, the final banquet will be conducted almost like a dinner theatre, with lots of skits and re-enactments and period-era food. Or perhaps a better comparison is to one of the famed dinners at Almacks, an exclusive London club in the Regency period ruled by seven women who held invitation-only balls for the tons elite.

But the master class is sure to be more enjoyable than an Almacks ball, Mary says. Nobody enjoyed them apparently. They were very insipid, but everyone went because it meant you had reached the pinnacle of high society.

Hmmwonder if Ozzy would have been invited?

You can contact Mary Balogh via e-mail at mary.balogh@sk.sympatico.ca or visit her website and read an excerpt from One Night For Love at www.marybalogh.com.

Marys Master Class is part of the pre-convention program for Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Toronto, and will be held September 15 and 16, 1999. To sign up, call

Romantic Times at 1-800-989-8816.


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