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by Dee Gentle
Leslie Tramposch: Managing Editor - Sara Reyes: Marketing and Publicity

June 2008 Issue
Really Bad Boys
Spotlight on the Bad Boys of Paranormal Romance
Interviews with:
| Elizabeth Amber | Melissa Lopez | Stella & Audra Price | Gena Showalter | J.R. Ward |
Special Feature:
Publisher Spotlight: Lyrical Press
 Genre Chat
The Haunt at PNR

Where Reality and Fantasy Collide

Lyrical Press, Inc. is owned by the husband and wife team of Frank and Renee Rocco. Their goal is to provide authors with a friendly and safe home for their books and offer readers an eclectic mix of quality titles to chose from.  If you dare to write it, we dare to consider it.

We are talking with Renee Rocco, co-owner of the new ePublisher, Lyrical Press.

Renee R.: Hi Dee. Thank you for having me! Given that I used to write paranormal romance, I’ve always loved your site, so it’s a true pleasure to be here with you.

PNR: Lyrical Press is creating a buzz amongst readers and authors, could you tell us about your vision for the company?

Renee R.: It is? We didn’t know that! Well, Frank and I wanted to open a house that was a perfect balance of business and pleasure. We believe ‘going to work’ should be enjoyable, not a chore and we feel we’ve accomplished that with Lyrical.

Prior to opening Lyrical, Frank and I complied a list of all the things I’d wanted in a publisher and applied it to LPI. We try to always be accessible and friendly with our authors, rather than having a million channels an author must go through to contact us. We’re extremely hands-on and do our best to keep everyone with Lyrical up-to-date on all the goings on with the business. We believe that builds trust between author and publisher, and right now, the industry could use a bit of that.

PNR: Lyrical Press is the result of the combined efforts of your husband, Frank Rocco and yourself; could you tell us why you decided to establish your own ePublishing company?

Renee R.: It was something we’d wanted to do since I signed my first contract and made the move from aspiring writer to published author. I guess it all came down to the fact that there were times as an author I felt completely out of touch and out of control over my own career and the direction my books would take within a publishing house. Frank and I wanted to offer authors a safe house for their books, where they were more in control than I felt I was. We have a ‘Suggestion Box’ for our authors and are completely open to new ideas and new directions an author might want to take with their careers. We make sure each book is a team effort and that the author never forgets that, first and foremost, it’s their work and their career.

PNR: You are a successful, published author writing as Rene Lyons; has being an author yourself added a new dimension or insight in dealing with the authors publishing at Lyrical Press?

Renee R.: Absolutely. As you can see from what I stated above, being an author myself guides our every decision.

PNR: What do you feel Lyrical Press has to offer authors and readers that is not currently available from existing ePublshers?

Renee R.: The most popular small presses are strictly romance-based. That we are a general publisher allows us to offer readers a broad range of reading options. It also allows more authors to submit to us. We have quite a few thrillers and horrors lined up that we are really excited about - not to mention a general fiction book by author Yeva Wiest that we feel is just fantastic, so keep an eye for Practical Purposes.

PNR: Lyrical Press has an impressive lineup of authors to kick off your opening; which talented authors can we expect to see publishing at Lyrical Press?

Renee R.: Although we have many first-time authors that we are extremely proud to have with us, we also have established authors such as AE Rought, Candice Gilmer and Nancy Lindquist. Morgan Q. O’Reilly, Kathleen Brandt, Sutton Fox and Rose Pressey are names to watch for.

PNR: Until recently erotic romance was offered primarily through electronic publishers; how do you feel the decision of the big print publishing companies to offer erotic lines will affect the ePublishing business? What can ePublishing offer an author that print can not?

Renee R.: We believe they finally see that women aren’t afraid of their sexuality and want that racier read. Women want to see their fantasies played out on the page. Nevertheless, we believe many of the larger presses are still afraid to step out of the box when it comes to erotica, and that leaves us small presses the pleasure of publishing the more erotic books.

PNR: In your opinion, how far can you go with erotic content and have it still be considered romance? Is a committed relationship and/or HEA a requirement for Lyrical Press titles?

Renee R.: Although Lyrical is putting out a few of the Outer Limit titles that were orphaned after Dark Eden Press’s closing, we are keeping them to a limited number for the time being. We’re test running these titles to see if they appeal to our readers.

We’re lucky, since as a general publisher, we can explore books without HEAs. However, at LPI, a romance is still defined by committed relationships between the main characters.

PNR: Lyrical Press will be offering a range of genres at varying sensuality levels; can you give us an overview of your rating system?

Renee R.: Given that we’re not solely romance/erotica based, we basically have two levels for romance. Erotica and Romance. Tamer sex scenes and gentler language defines Romance. Erotica are those books with more frequent and racier sex written more bluntly than some readers might be comfortable with.

PNR: What is “hot” right now? Could you give us your insight into why you feel readers can’t get enough?

Renee R.:  Having researched the market, we’d say Urban Fantasy is a hot read right now. Paranormal is always in high demand as well. Books with multiple partners are extremely hot, and in fact, our ménage à trois is our best seller to date.

PNR: The paranormal romance genre is very popular at the moment. What do you feel accounts for the sudden interest in all things paranormal? 

Renee R.: We believe a touch of magic is always needed and where better to find it than in the pages of a paranormal? Where else can a woman fall in love with a vampire or a shifter? Only in a book can a thousand year old warrior be immortalized as a vampire, sweep a woman off her feet and love every inch of her body each time the sun sets.

So long as magic and the supernatural remains trapped within a book, people will seek out the paranormal genre to experience it. 

PNR: Lyrical Press appears to be a “paranormal friendly” publisher, are you planning to offer any paranormal lines?

Renee R.: Actually, we have two paranormal projects right now. One is Pandora’s Box, which s based on the Greek legend of Pandora, the woman who opened the box that contained all of the world’s woes and released them – along with Hope – into the world. And Tales From the Shadows, an ongoing anthology project consisting of good old-fashioned ghost stories.

PNR: Do you have plans to offer your titles in print format in the future?

Renee R.: All of our titles over 70,000 words will have a print release. In fact, we already have our first print book in stock! New Ickford Manor by Anthony Stevens is a time-travel with a healthy does of erotica. Next up for print is Me and My Ghoulfriends by Rose Pressey, a paranormal romantic comedy releasing in print come October.

PNR: What can readers expect to see in the coming months?  What paranormal romance offerings can we look forward to?

Renee R.: A Darker Trinity by Candice Gilmer is the sequel to her shifter romance Unholy Night. Passions and Ty’s Magic Fingers by Jennifer Cole are also two paranormals to look out for. We’re chopping at the bit for some vampires….!

PNR: Thank you, Renee, for taking time out to talk with us about Lyrical Press, where can readers find out more about your upcoming releases?

Renee R.: Thank you, Dee! Readers can find us at: or at Once Upon A Bookstore, where readers receive four different download options with every purchase of an eBook. The download is available to them for the life of their account with us, so no more losing eBooks with no chance of recovery in the event of a computer crash!

Again, thank you, Dee it was pleasure to talk with you.

Featured in this issue:
~Really Bad Boys
~Lyrical Press
Interviews with:
Elizabeth Amber
Melissa Lopez
Stella & Audra Price
Gena Showalter
J.R. Ward

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