Sunday May 13, Ian McKercher will be signing his novel, The Underling, at Britton’s, 846 Bank St., from 1 to 4 p.m.
We don’t get as many books at the office as we use to. Publishers realize that Sun Media, like other media companies, share resources. So if your main book reviewer is in Toronto, why send books to the guy in Ottawa? Well, in case there are any publishers out there reading this, here are two reasons.
1. I blog about the books I get even if I don’t have time to review them.
2. Sometimes I do reviews or interview authors and we put them online and in the blog.
Today, seven books came in from Vintage Canada. Interestingly enough, two copies of PD James Death Comes to Pemberley were delivered in the same box. I’ll really be in trouble if I bring home both copies.
The timing is great. I finished reading Ian Rankin’s The Black Book on Sunday and didn’t really start anything yesterday. I looked at a few things and I’m down to my last three or four books, a far cry from the 30 I had at Christmas. And earlier today, I was checking the prices of Elizabeth George novels. So these books arrived just in time. I think I’ll tackle The Black Tower by James first.
A few weeks ago, I blogged about how Apple is being asked questions about their pricing methods on books. There’s been a lot of chatter about how e-book prices have gone up. I’ve beens seeing the same trend. But interestingly enough, I was at Amazon today and in the first 36 titles under mysteries and thrillers, there were only about five books that were more than $6. Everything else was $6 or less. I’m not saying they’re good books, but you can’t argue with the price.
With the popularity of erotic fiction (or at least more buzz about it), I took an opportunity to interview Sylvia Day, who has written a lot more than just erotica. Day’s latest novel is called Bared to You. Library Journal has described her as one “of the more noted authors of erotic romance.” Booklist has called her writing “wickedly entertaining”
She has quite a few titles out (18) and you can check them out at her website. She has been honoured with the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Readers’ Crown, and multiple finalist nominations for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award of Excellence.
Q. We’ve always had erotic fiction. Why is there so much attention being paid to it now?
A. I think the idea of women reading erotic novels is surprising to some and so the press is covering that astonishment heavily. Who knew such sexy, deeply moving books were out there? Well, the hundreds of thousands of readers who’ve been putting us erotic authors on the national bestseller lists for years did, but now everyone else has been let it on the “secret.”
Q. What makes a good erotic novel?
A. Complex characterization and emotional conflict. Yes, the sex is an inherent part because often the characters feel as if they can communicate physically in ways they can’t verbally, but it’s the emotional arc that drives the story forward.
Q. How does a former Russian linguist get into writing? And the genres you’ve tackled are quite interesting. What were some of your motivations?
A. I was 12 when I wrote an essay in junior high about my dream of being a romance author. Everything I’ve done between then and now was a colorful detour that helps me write my books. As for the diversity in my backlist, I’ve been very fortunate to be published by so many publishers in so many genres. Some writers are cautioned to find one genre and stick with it, but for me the setting and time period are mutable depending on the story I want to tell.
Q. As a writer, do you have to battle the stereotypes that writers or erotica or romance are somehow not in the same category as “literary” writers? (I know that some mystery writers also battle the perception that you don’t need as much talent to write a mystery).
A. The stigma is there, certainly, and I find it amusing. Romance fiction sales were estimated at $1.358 billion in 2010, which is far and away above literary fiction which had sales of $455 million. (Source: Romance Writers of America) Whatever may be said about romance fiction, the revenue speaks louder than words.
Q. What has e-books done for those genres that were not considered mainstream fiction?
A. The digital format and inexpensive e-readers have opened a lot of doors-indie authors can release works that don’t fit traditional designations, readers can find unusual hybrids at prices that encourage buying, and the convenience of anonymous purchases with instantaneous delivery is very attractive. There are no covers to hide and no need to justify one’s reading choices. Erotic fiction has thrived in the digital marketplace. I’ve been publishing erotic fiction digitally (and lucratively) since 2005. My latest release, BARED TO YOU, is available in both trade paperback and digital format, but the digital version is outselling the print version by a massive margin. It’s currently one of the Top 100 bestselling ebooks on Amazon.com.
David Mulholland, author of McNab and DUEL, will give his talk, How Historical Fiction Complements the Historical Record, to the monthly meeting of the Torbolton Township Historical Society to be held in St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall, 1118 Thomas Dolan Parkway, Dunrobin, Tuesday, May 15th at 7:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.