Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year -- Regency style!

For two years now, I’ve inhabited this space on the 31st day of those months that have such a date. Actually, I think I messed up a couple of times and intruded into the 30th, but it wasn’t intentional, really.

I’ve really enjoyed doing this, and hope to continue for a while, yet, as long as Tina lets me do it. I decided early on to write about Regency era novels and novellas, as it’s the genre that’s closest to my heart.

In 1988 when I wrote my first Regency novel, there were 10 publishers in New York City, who between them issued about 25 Regency novels each month.  Of course, it’s such a selective genre, it could never pull in the sales figures of the more mainstream works, and it was only to be expected that the bean-counters, on their way to running the world their way, would arbitrarily decide that Regencies were a dying breed, so ‘get rid of them!’

Except they were wrong. Regencies are not dead. They’re rather a long ways from it, in my opinion. The bean-counters didn’t reckon on Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, who has practically single-handedly revived the genre. Sourcebooks has an entire division/imprint devoted to books about Mr. Darcy, in every imaginable fashion! Not just him, but his sister, and his wife, and his wife’s sisters, and their cousins, and well, you get the picture. Some of them are sort of a stretch, but I, for one, am not complaining.

The more of these books there are out there, the more readers will eventually find them, and an entire new generation of Regency lovers will spring up – and all these readers need books to read!

Aren’t we lucky? Personally, I’m thankful that Ellora’s Cave keeps the Cotillion line going. They would publish more full-length novels if there were more acceptable submissions. But, even so, there will still be another Christmas collection in 2014. If, that is, enough Regency-set Christmas novellas are forthcoming. The theme this year is A Christmas Feast. With all the possible goodies for the occasion, let’s hope for enough really good stories to expand to THREE print anthologies, in addition to all the individual e-books!

I’m sure going to try – how about you? Here are the guidelines for Cotillion Christmas Feasts - 2014

Sweet (kisses only) Christmas-theme traditional Regency romances for our Blush imprint. Regency
Christmas feasts (such as food, holiday meals or gatherings, special holiday meal customs) must be a
theme in all stories
~ Length: 12K – 25K words
~ Deadline for both internal/external submissions: May 15, 2014 (earlier is preferred)
~ Particular dedication to historical accuracy
~ Cotillion guidelines: 1 flame; set in Regency-era England; focus on the social setting/mores of the time
~ Stories release in October and November 2014.

See you next month! And have a great 2014. I’m surely going to try! 

Hetty St. James  
A Regency Christmas Collection - now available in regular or large print


Susana Ellis said...

From your lips to God's ears, Hetty! I'm planning to submit in 2014 too.

Happy New Year!

Tina Donahue said...

It's a delight to have you here, Hetty! You're always welcome to be a Diva. :)

I love regencies. I don't think they'll ever die out.

jean hart stewart said...

Have always LOVED regencies and have published several. That world is so enchanting, and as for Darcy...he's got to be everyone's dream man.