Sometimes it might seem as if everything is happening all at once when it’s actually the culmination of many months of hard work. For example, I have been lucky enough to get two deals for new books in just the last month!
I’ve already talked about the YA deal with Harlequin Teen, which I’m super excited about. But today I get to tell you all about the other one.
It has a bit of a back story to it….
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is: “Will there will be more Immortality Bites books?” The five books featuring Sarah Dearly, fledgling vampire, are currently complete as a series. Although it made me a bit sad, I knew from about book #3 that there would only be enough of a romantic arc to last for five books. (I mean, how long can you keep with the “does he love me/Does she love me thing before it starts to get a bit long in the fang? About five books, that’s how long).
Since the books were published as paranormal romance, I wanted to end on a high romantic note, which I feel I did with Tall, Dark & Fangsome. It won the 2009 Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award for Vampire Romance, a perfect bookend to Bitten & Smitten, which won the Holt Medallion for Best First Book back in 2007. I feel it had a very good run and I’m proud of each of the books, which so far have/will be published in five countries other than the U.S.
I always joked that if I wanted to keep writing books about Sarah I’d have to start killing people off so she could solve the mysteries.
“Okay,” Sarah said. “I’m actually fine with that. Let’s do it.”
I tried to ignore her.
However, I’d forgotten that, out of all the characters I’ve ever written, my first born had developed a mind of her own over the years. And she was very, very stubborn when it came to getting the things she wanted.
Time went by. I was writing about other characters, other worlds, and despite missing Sarah, I was happy doing that. I’d kept getting reader emails or comments wondering if there would be more books about her. “Unlikely,” I always said. “But I’m open to the possibility in the future. So you never know.”
And Sarah started tapping her foot, glaring at me. She didn’t think her story was finished. Not by a long shot. And patience has never been one of her virtues.
As I was working up some new proposals earlier this year, she started speaking very loudly in my head. All the time. I told her that it was impossible for more books. She disagreed.
“It wouldn’t be a series continuation per se,” she assured me. “More like a rebirth. A different direction. How about…dare I say it? Mystery!?”
“But, uh, I don’t write mystery.”
“Why the hell not? It would be so much fun!”
My mind immediately began flowing with ideas that were too much fun to resist.
“Okay.” I nodded firmly. “Let’s do this.”
And ninety pages of proposal material poured out of my imagination and onto the page. Like buttah.
This is not Immortality Bites nor will it be promoted as such, BUT it will star Sarah and Thierry as they embark on their eternal lives together, therefore there will definitely still be romantic elements threaded into the mystery plots. I really wouldn’t have it any other way.
This was the deal announcement on Publisher’s Marketplace:
Michelle Rowen’s BLOOD BATH & BEYOND, pitched as True Blood meets Hart to Hart as a fledgling vampire and her master vampire fiance head to Vegas to bust criminals at a child beauty pageant and investigate who’s been draining local humans of their blood, to Cindy Hwang at NAL, in a two-book deal, by Jim McCarthy at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (World English).
I honestly can’t express how excited I am to continue on with these fun characters — but in a different genre and with a different publisher. I’ve been told that this normally just isn’t done. But I’m thrilled for the opportunity and hope that fans of the Immortality Bites books will follow Sarah Dearly to the mystery aisles, and that new readers will enjoy reading about my vampire couple in their fresh series starter. Reading the original books will not be necessary, but will certainly enhance a reader’s experience with the new books to know the back story.
I am very thankful to Cindy Hwang, Leis Pederson, and Penguin/NAL for thinking outside the box and giving me this wonderful opportunity. And huge thanks to my agent, Jim McCarthy, for thinking it was a great idea from the get-go instead of patting me on my head and telling me to forget about it.
And I definitely want to thank my readers too, so very much. If not for the continued interest in more books about these characters, I might have been much more successful in ignoring Sarah.
But I’m very glad I didn’t!
And yes, if it’s not already apparent, I do love vampires very, very much. And I’m finding that it’s not just a passing fancy! That I get to write about them, both light and dark ones, is something I feel very lucky about every time I sit down at my keyboard.
So that’s all the good news.
The bad news…if there is any, really, in this situation, is that these books won’t be out FOR A WHILE. Right now we’re looking at January 2013 for the release date. Yes, two whole years from now!! But I promise it’ll be worth the wait…….
UPDATE: The release date’s been moved up! Looks like we’re looking at Summer 2012. Totally closer! Now that just means I need to write it sooner!!!