Michelle Rowen

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New deal – Paranormal *Mystery*!

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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:

Fiction: Mystery/Crime
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!!!

26 comments to “New deal – Paranormal *Mystery*!”

  1. Anni (annireads)
     · November 11th, 2010 at 4:22 pm · Link

    OMG Michelle! I am so so happy for you! I can’t wait and I will even camp out to get the book… *Looks at the date again* I will leave early in the morning to get to the bookstore…


  2. Franny
     · November 11th, 2010 at 4:33 pm · Link

    I am soooo flipping excited!

  3. Elie
     · November 11th, 2010 at 5:53 pm · Link

    As I fan of the IMmortality series, I can say that I will follow. Sounds like you got a great project ahead of you. Keep us posted!

  4. Michele Bardsley
     · November 11th, 2010 at 5:57 pm · Link

    Woo-hoo! Congrats, Michelle!

  5. Jen
     · November 11th, 2010 at 7:23 pm · Link

    Congrats Michelle!!

  6. Tori
     · November 11th, 2010 at 8:40 pm · Link

    Oh yes, I can’t wait to get my hands on those books! But gasp Michelle, why so long? I’m guessing you won’t be writing them for awhile?

  7. Shanna
     · November 11th, 2010 at 8:48 pm · Link

    So excited Michelle!! Woot Woot!!! I can definitely picture Sarah in a mystery setting! I can’t wait!

  8. Moonsanity/Brenda
     · November 11th, 2010 at 8:59 pm · Link

    This is going to be such a freaking fun series:) Congrats Michelle. I’m so happy for all the good things happening!

  9. Teri C
     · November 11th, 2010 at 9:00 pm · Link

    Yeah I am thrilled! Thank you for more.

  10. ~Linda~
     · November 11th, 2010 at 9:08 pm · Link

    Oooohhh Michelle I am beyond exited!! You know how much I love Thierry and Sara…. I am squeeeeing. Can I b the first to beg to read it ^×^ hugs and congratulations

  11. Michelle Rowen
     · November 11th, 2010 at 9:58 pm · Link

    Thanks everyone!

    And yes, it is a long way off… my deadline isn’t even until January 2012, so I probably won’t really touch this again until next fall. But still, I’m looking forward to it!

  12. Amanda
     · November 12th, 2010 at 9:29 am · Link

    This is very exciting news! I haven’t read your Immortality Bites series yet but I’ve read a bunch of your others and love them to death. Any more books by you is amazing!
    So, is it wrong to ask if it is likely to be any more Demon Princess books? This is by far one of my faves and I’m always hoping to hear anything more about them.
    Congratulations on your good news!

  13. Michelle Rowen
     · November 12th, 2010 at 11:19 am · Link

    Amanda… I want to write more Demon Princess books, as evidenced by how I left book two on a very open end, but it’s not looking like my publisher is going to want more based on sales of the first two. I’m sorry. I wish I could rewrite the ending of the second one to make it more satisfying. HOWEVER, never say never. If this changes I will definitely let everyone know here on the website and on Facebook.

  14. Tori
     · November 12th, 2010 at 11:49 am · Link

    Michelle- What if we all used word of mouth and told everyone we know about the Demon Princess books? Do you think your publisher would rethink their decision if sales improved? I’d hate to see the series end the way it did:(

  15. Michelle Rowen
     · November 12th, 2010 at 11:54 am · Link

    Tori… that could work. Word of mouth is really the only proven method of increasing sales. If my publisher saw a spike in book sales, it’s likely they might want more, although at this point, a new book would be far into the future taking publishing schedules into consideration (see the pub date of the book in this post as an example). Getting everyone to spread the word, however, is not guaranteed. But every little bit helps and I definitely appreciate it.

  16. Tori
     · November 12th, 2010 at 12:46 pm · Link

    Michelle- I know I’m just one person…but I’d like to help a fellow writer any way I can. :) I will tell all my girlfriends about you and heck, maybe buy a few for christmas as gifts, just to see what they do.

    *hugs* Here’s to hoping maybe somehow…things can change.

    But even with that bad news…there is always the fact you’ll be writing more about Sarah:) That makes me very happy.

    Thanks for being such an inspiration! I’m off to get my Nano wordcount for the day. I’m hoping it doesn’t suck too much…sometimes I wonder how you get through revision. It’s SO HARD. Even with all the wonderful articles out there, I just think I’m too new at this to really know what I’m doing. I’m 20 years old, have written three novels and dozens of short stories that have never been revised. I think there is a reason for that:)

  17. Christine
     · November 12th, 2010 at 1:32 pm · Link

    Congrats! This is awesome news!
    Can´t wait for more of your books!

  18. Laura
     · November 12th, 2010 at 2:51 pm · Link

    Congratulations. Love to see you branching out into another genre too.

  19. Ash'o
     · November 12th, 2010 at 5:55 pm · Link

    I haven’t read Demon Princess yet. I thought my nanna (June Whyte) would buy the series for my birthday but she brought “The Demon In Me” Maybe next year she buys “Demon Princess.”

  20. Calliope
     · November 13th, 2010 at 2:35 am · Link

    I’ve a question. Next year you have FIVE releases scheduled and if the new Sarah Dearly series isn’t due until 2013…what have you got planned for 2012?

  21. Michelle Rowen
     · November 13th, 2010 at 10:23 am · Link

    Calliope… I have my two Harlequin Teen books that will likely both come out in 2012.

    And is it really five… uh, well, the novella only counts as a 1/4, really… ;)

  22. RachaelfromNJ
     · November 13th, 2010 at 10:44 pm · Link


  23. Karen sturrock
     · December 4th, 2010 at 12:38 am · Link

    Love love love the books! I can’t wait for the new books!! You’re so very talented!

  24. Larissa {Larissa's Bookish Life}
     · April 17th, 2011 at 10:37 pm · Link

    Im late to the game and I had not seen this… OMG I am so excited! I miss Sarah and Thierry!


  25. Toni LoTempio
     · June 22nd, 2011 at 2:54 pm · Link

    i’m real late to the party, but better late than never! I jsut finished reading ALL FIVE OF the Immortality Bites books in a week! and I love love them. As a mystery lover/writer, I cannot wait for the paranormal mysteries featuring these two.

    Michelle, you are my idol! I wish I could write half as good as you!

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