Message From The Author

Author's Message

SUPERROMANCES FROM BRENDA NOVAK AND DEBRA SALONEN

by Angela Martenez

The best-kept secret in romance looks like a series but packs the punch of a single title—delivering the full flavor of mainstream fiction at low-cal prices, presenting seasoned authors as well as up-and-coming scribes. It's Harlequin's Superromance line, and it may well turn the most devout big-book
readers into a new generation of series fans.

Unlike traditional series books, each Superromance title varies broadly in subject matter and style—even with the same author—from mystery to family drama to romantic comedy and beyond. These books, with a word count just shy of single-title length, can offer the same delicious subplots and intriguing secondary characters that help a story come alive, yet typically can't fit into the standard series novel.

With six Superromance releases a month, Harlequin gives romance fans the chance to discover a range of authors, both emerging and established. Indeed, some readers may find themselves sampling new fare on the romance menu through Superromance, getting so hooked on an author's family drama that they'll try her follow-up romantic suspense. The key lies in the series' mission to publish character-driven stories which explore a range of contemporary themes and relationships, giving writers a unique forum for developing their craft. Two of RT's 2001 nominees for Best Superromance, Brenda Novak and Debra Salonen, spoke about their new Superreleases as well as the passion they share for the line that helped launch their careers…

You've likely read it before: the romance author who never in a
million years imagined she'd ever be a writer and then…well, you know. You've even heard the sad tale of authors who become "orphaned" after signing their first contract because their editor gets sacked. But how many of them start with a single-title and go on to a successful career in series? Yet such is the story of Brenda Novak, who debuted with the Harper single title Of Noble Birth then went on to thrive as a Superromance author. But perhaps this unusual history is fitting for a decidedly unseries-like series line.

SHOOTING THE MOON, Novak's new contemporary, is the sixth release for this mother of five. The novel is a redemption tale whose heroine and hero, once driven apart by history, are brought together by a child—learning that love and time can heal all wounds.

Novak, a self-described "student of human nature," claims a fondness for writing about characters who face difficult decisions and learn to follow their hearts. With Superromance's embrace of character-driven narratives, this California-based author seems to have found a partnership which allows her to flourish creatively as well as professionally. The willingness of Superromance editors to consider all kinds of material has enabled her to avoid being pigeon-holed. "They give you a wider berth," she explains, "which allows you to mature as a writer." The freedom at Harlequin has given Novak the chance to flex her storytelling muscles—and just the home a literary "orphan" could want.

To find out about Brenda's upcoming releases, visit her at www.brendanovak.com.

Debra Salonen's newest Superromance, WONDERS NEVER CEASE, will surely bring readers a deeper appreciation of the old saw, "It's a dog's life." This lighthearted mystery takes an unorthodox twist when the heroine, a journalist investigating nefarious political activity, briefly enters the body of a K-9 cop named Czar, providing an amusing, but crucial fly-on-the-wall perspective that teaches her about the people around her…as well as the challenges of relieving oneself in public.

Such a playful approach illustrates the versatile nature of the Superromance line, one of the incentives Salonen finds in writing for the series. This South Dakota native particularly values the loyal editorial
support she receives, giving her the foundation to take creative risks, as illustrated by her new canine caper.

"I have a great editor who helps me clarify and sharpen my focus. She helps me build my books," she says happily.

While Salonen concurs that she savors the character studies in
her writing for Superromance, she confesses that it was through adversity that she developed this skill. With no real interest in her early attempts at romantic fiction, Salonen became a feature writer at a newspaper. "It made me look deeper into the people behind the story." What she learned in journalism ultimately led to a successful career through Superromance. The result is a fresh take on writing that carries readers into exciting new worlds… whether on two or four legs.

Find out more about Debra at her new website: www.debrasalonen.com.

SHOOTING THE MOON

By Brenda Novak

"Last I checked, it took two to make a baby," Harley said. "But you must be like your father. He never saw it that way, either."

"My father was trying to look out for his daughter," Lauren retorted. "He was trying to get Audra out of the mess you got her into."

This time her barb hit a tender spot. Lauren could tell by the way Harley's eyes narrowed and all traces of the smile he wielded so well disappeared.

"Stick to your books, Lauren. You don't know anything about what happened," he said. "But then someone as tightly wound as you wouldn't. The closest you've probably ever come to love is the definition of it in some encyclopedia."

Lauren felt her back stiffen. Just because he'd never found her attractive didn't mean she hadn't had other boyfriends. Those relationships had never evolved into anything serious, but her inability to commit didn't mean she wasn't capable of love. Anyway, Lauren's love life—or lack thereof—wasn't the point here. Her nephew Brandon was all that mattered. She'd built her life around him, and she wasn't about to lose him now.

"Who do you think has loved Brandon and cared for him all these years, practically raised him?" she asked. Certainly not her sister, who was never quite the same after her affair with Harley.

"Regardless of who's raised him, his mother's dead," he said, "and I'm here now. I've come to collect what's mine."

WONDERS NEVER CEASE

By Debra Salonen

Jill seemed to pick up on the seriousness in Ben's tone because she faced him and said, "I take my writing seriously, Officer Jacobs. If you're worried this will come off as a fluff piece, don't be. I'm glad you and Czar are here. Bullion needs to play catch up with the rest of the state's law enforcement agencies, and I think you two will advance that cause. I plan to write about the who and the why of the K-9 program, but I want potential criminals—there are so many who take the paper, you know—to understand that Czar is a force to be reckoned with. Are we together
on this?"

Ben found himself fascinated by this side of her. She had more colors than a chameleon, and he wasn't sure which was the true Jill Martin. For the first time in a long time, he was feeling interested enough to investigate.

"May I read the story before it's released?"

"Sure—if you tie me down and torture my computer password out of me." She grinned and wiggled her light reddish eyebrows. "I have to warn you, though, I'll never give it up. But it might be interesting to try."


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