For my weekly column Scooped!, I scour the Internet, contact authors and pick my fellow RT editor's brains to make sure no reader question goes unanswered. This week, I share my reading habits, offer some aspiring author advice and get reading suggestions for Regency rogues and chilling anthologies. Still have questions? Send them to me here and you may be featured in an upcoming post.
Question: What is the best book you have read recently? - BB
P.S. Just how many books do you read in a week anyway?
Morgan: Well BB, that depends on the week. I would say that I generally read about a dozen or more books per week — I've got to keep up with what's out there! I try to find a good mix of both print and e-books with paranormal romances being on the top of my TBR pile.
That being said, my favorite recent book is a romantic suspense by Maya Banks. The second in her KGI series, No Place To Run releases in December. The first book in this series, The Darkest Hour, was pretty bleak (the heroine has been kidnapped and abused for over a year while everyone thinks she is dead). While Ethan and Rachel struggle in The Darkest Hour to overcome their pasts, Sam and Sophie in No Place To Run focus on their future - including the unexpected pregnancy that has the hero running in circles.
Question: It's just about Halloween, so naturally my thoughts are on stories that will thrill and chill me. I particularly like anthologies - please tell me you've got some good reads in mind. – K.D.
Morgan: Well, I do know that Whitney's absolute favorite anthology happens to be Halloween themed. It is 1999's Charmed by Jayne Castle, Julie Beard, Lori Foster and Eileen Wilks. (The only anthology that she will admit to liking!) But if you are looking for something more recent, one of my favorite authors, Nalini Singh, was part of Burning Up, an August anthology with Angela Knight, Virginia Kantra and Meljean Brooks. This was a fantastic collection of stories featuring an all-star line up of authors. And to round out the list, you should consider adding this week's Hungry for Your Love, which is edited by Lori Perkins. The anthology features twenty-one zombie stories guaranteed to "thrill and chill" you!
Question: I am desperate to get swept away by a delicious Regency rogue. Any suggestions? – E.O.
Morgan: For this I turn to Whitney, my historical romance guru. She says that her new favorite historical hottie is Earl of Gresham from Tracy Anne Warren’s Wicked Delights of a Bridal Bed. "Adam is charming and funny but it is his complicated history that really makes him stand out. He propels the story’s action in a way that would be maddening if he were alive, but is delightful in fiction." Another of her favorite Regency heroes is Julian Bellamy, the Tessa Dare hero who made an appearance in One Dance With a Duke and Twice Tempted by a Rogue before meeting his own match in Three Nights With a Scoundrel. "It is a joy to finally unwrap the mystery of Mr. Bellamy and Dare did an excellent job of crafting a multi-faceted hero who was both suave and hard working!" And rounding out Whitney's trio is the "endearing" Duke of Parkerton from Elizabeth Boyle’s Mad About the Duke. "After falling in love at first sight, James finds himself in the middle of a case of mistaken identity that he is loath to correct. Boyle’s heroes only get better and this one is a particular treat as he goes to extreme lengths to win the lady who has captured his heart!"
Question: I know that this column is for readers, but I am an aspiring author who has a question. Since you read a lot of the books currently on the market, can you tell me what the publishers are looking for right now? I have been an aspiring author for a while, but I just keep getting rejections saying that my writing is "not right for the market." I think it is because I write really unusual things that don't fall into a specific category. - Francine
Morgan: I hear this a lot. "I have many, many manuscripts and not an offer in sight." In fact, I was just talking with some published authors the other day and they said they have the same problem. The editors read their manuscripts and love them but "don't know what to do with them" which is a marketing problem that will keep the book from getting published. (One author joked that what publishers are looking for is something "uniquely derivative".)
Anyway, there are a few things you can do to sell a book. First, you can sign with an agent because it is their job to discuss potential projects would be most marketable for you. (Although, I have to warn you that it can be almost as difficult to find an editor as it is an agent.) Another resource that you may want to tap into are local writers' organizations like the Romance Writers of America. The RWA is a great source of advice and support.
Another thing you can do is take your manuscripts to smaller publishing houses including e-publishers because oftentimes they are much more likely to take a risk on unusual or untried material.
And finally, you can subscribe to Publishers Marketplace and see what manuscripts are currently selling. This is a great way to gauge the industry and see what publishers are interested in buying.
That's all for this week. Remember, if you have a question about anything that's going on with your favorite authors and books, send me an email at MorgansScoop@gmail.com and I promise to give you the inside scoop on the publishing world!
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