"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
June 2000 Issue
Holy Thor, Vikings and More!
to continue Parnormal Lines
Barb gets the scoop from editor Judith Palais
Barb S: As a reader I've "discovered" new or new-to-me authors through their contributions to anthologies. How are anthology themes and participants chosen?
Judith P: Sometimes anthology themes and authors are brought to us by agents, but for the most part we come up with our own ideas and select authors we feel would best suit the collection, whether they're in-house authors or authors from other houses whose schedules and contractual obligations allow for participation.
Barb S: Often the anthologies feature one big name author and several debut artists. Is this as a strategy to pull in faithful fans and perhaps get them to read works of lesser-known authors?
Judith P: In some cases, yes, it's a strategy, but the storytelling ability and writing style of all the authors have to suit the theme.
Barb S: Paranormal anthologies tend to be released mainly in the fall even if they don't have Halloween themes. Do you feel that impulse buyer would be more likely to be in the mood for a paranormal collection near Halloween?
Judith P: VEILS OF TIME and TIMESWEPT BRIDES are two examples of paranormal/time travel anthologies we released in the summer, so we don't always feel it's necessary to publish in the fall.
Barb S: Judging from the success of such movie and TV shows like The Blair Witch Project, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, etc. there seems to be a rise in the appetite for paranormal offerings by younger readers. Do you intend on going after younger readers, perhaps by having some of your current paranormal authors do stories for young adults to help "grow" the future audience?
Judith P: We don't have a YA romance program. Some of our regular YA series have paranormal elements, however. One example is REGENERATION.
Barb S: Using the PNR listers as an example, the reader base for paranormals is a pretty loyal bunch who eagerly recommend publisher and authors they enjoy. How do you see the paranormal market in general? Is it steady, growing, fading?
Judith P: We see the market as holding steady.
Barb S: Is there a particular type of paranormal that sell better than others? Time travels ahead of werewolves or angels and ghosts?
Judith P: We've published a wide range of paranormal romances, and in many cases the variations are more from book to book or author to author--rather Than one type of paranormal romance over another--reflecting the quality of the writing and the strength of the romance.
Barb S: I've heard that Laurel K Hamilton is working on something for Berkley/Jove. Are you looking to bring established paranormal authors on board? If so has this had any bearing on the changes in the monthly paranormal lines?
Judith P: Laurel K. Hamilton wrote a novella for an upcoming futuristic romance anthology. She already has a loyal following for her Anita Blake books. This has no bearing on our romance scheduling, and there's no established plan to cull authors from other genres.
Barb S: There have been rumors galore online and some concern regarding the paranormal romance lines at Jove. Can you give us an official update with regards to line closing or publishing frequency?
Judith P: The paranormal lines will continue on a limited basis, rather than on a monthly basis. No number of books per year has been set; if we love a project, it will be published in the appropriate line.
Barb S: Some readers have mentioned that the Jove paranormal lines are not getting good circulation, that they are harder to find than the non line offerings, such as not found in many major chains and not at all in Grocery/drug stores or chains such as KMart or WalMart. Do you think this is a factor in low sales for the lines? Or is it the buyers who don't have faith in the demand for paranormals and they simply don't order them.
Judith P: Our salespeople present every title to their accounts, and buyers make independent decisions. We'll see if publishing some of these books with less frequency will make buyers treat them as special events deserving of higher numbers.
Barb S: One of our listers made the observation that in the last year or so she's seen many debut novels for the Jove lines rather than repeat offerings from the same authors and wondered what is the reason for that?
Judith P: The longer the lines exist, the more new writers familiarize themselves with them and come up with their own ideas. We're always open to mixing newcomers with more established people to offer readers variety. We're also proud to have launched many careers from our lines.
Barb S: Do letter-writing campaigns have any influence over the number of paranormal offerings released by Berkley and other publishers? Would you like to hear from readers in general about what books/authors they've enjoyed?
Judith P: Not really, sales speak louder than letters. Authors appreciate fan mail, though, and can be reached at the address inside our books if authors don't supply one of their own.
Barb S: Finally, can you give us any "sneak previews" of paranormal offerings we can look forward to?
Judith P: There will still be one Magical Love released monthly from May 2000 through December 2000. In Time Passages there's no May title, but one will be released each month from June to December 2000.
5/00 SILVER RAIN
8/00 MAGICAL MEMORIES
9/00 THREE'S A CHARM
THE DREAM SPINNER
11/00 SILVER THREADS, GOLDEN NEEDLES by Paula McKinley
PRINCE OF CHARMING
THEN AND NOW
ONCE A CAVALIER
7/00 EVERYTHING IN ITS TIME by Dee Davis
8/00 A PERFECT LOVE by Sandra Landry
9/00 THE QUEEN'S MAN by Terri Brisbin
10/00 A HITCH IN TIME by Christine Holden
11/00 WHISPERS THROUGH TIME by Sherry Lewis
12/00 LOVE'S LABYRINTH by Anne Kelleher
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