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Topic: Historical Writers We've Lost to Other Genres/Subgenres

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Subject: Historical Writers We've Lost to Other Genres/Subgenres
Date Posted: 3/1/2009 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
Posts: 1,130
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Related to the other thread I just posted, "Whatever happened to..." I thought we could start a discussion about writers who've moved on to other things and whether or not we like their new efforts.

I'm primarily a historical reader myself. I just don't get the same satisfaction out of contemporary or most other subgenres. I have mourned over the years the passing of several historical writers into contemporaries, romantic suspense, paranormal, chick lit, women's fiction, etc. I would say 90% of the time, I don't like and don't follow them into their new genres.

For example, Catherine Coulter moved into romantic suspense several years ago. I was not a huge fan of her historical work, but definitely read her avidly in my early, cutting my teeth years. I definitely haven't kept up with her.

Shana Abe also used to write pure medieval/historicals but has now combined with the Drakon series. I've only read the first book, but I liked it. However, I wonder if this move is permanent...

Jennifer Ashley had moved into paranormal and erotic, but I am pleased to hear she is coming back with a new historical series in May.

Jill Barnett started writing contemporary women's fiction after only a handful of historicals. Rexanne Becnel also started writing contemporaries about six years ago. Pamela Britton is making a name for herself with her HQN Nascar books, that I'll never read, but I did enjoy a couple of her historicals awhile back.

Anyone know if Kresley Cole will be writing a pure historical ever again or if she's strictly paranormal now? I don't mind, her paranormals are good.....but just curious.

Geralyn Dawson has moved into contemporary romantic suspense?

Patricia Gaffney no longer writes romance.

Of course, we lost Julie Garwood years ago also to romantic suspense, although I thought I remembered a rumor awhile back that she was working on a new historical. Anyone know anything current about that?

Karen Hawkins also moved from pure historical to historical with a bit of woo-woo, that in my opinion, did not work. Now it looks like she's moved into contemporaries. Sigh, I probably won't even try her anymore, after being burned by the MacLean books.

Even Elizabeth Hoyt is doing a contemporary or two now, with dogs?

Iris Johansen is another I read in my early days, but changed over to suspense. Ditto on Elizabeth Lowell and Judith McNaught.

Lisa Kleypas was successful with her subgenre shift, although I haven't read either one of her contemporaries. I'm glad she's still writing historicals, though. Same with Julia London.

Candice Proctor now writes mysteries and thrillers under the name C.S. Harris. Looks like she won't be coming back to historicals.

Katherine Sutcliffe, too, maybe?

Susan Wiggs has moved onto contemporary women's fiction. Anyone know if she's writing any more historicals, ever?

Penelope Williamson now writes mysteries and thrillers.

What do you think fellow historical lovers? Do you like their genre changes? What would you recommend I try? Who else have you mourned their loss from historicals?

 

Edtied to add a couple more.

 



Last Edited on: 3/1/09 9:41 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/1/2009 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
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Sandra Brown used to write great historical romances and has moved on to romantic suspense. I  no longer read her because it's just not my genre.

 

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 9:45 AM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
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Candace Proctor is still doing historicals in a way - the C. S. Harris mysteries have a real feel for the Regency period, even if it is the underbelly of the era. I actually came to reading Proctor via the Harris series so I still have a lot of her historicals to discover.

I never followed Coulter and Johansen to their new genres - tried their thrillers and couldn't get into them. Enoch is doing contemporaries, too, now, though I haven't tried them (it? don't know exactly how many there are). I did follow Wiggs, Lowell, and Brown to their new genres. Lowell and Brown didn't do as many historicals as, say, Wiggs and Williamson, but I like their new stuff for a change of pace.

I used to be a 90% historical reader but find I'm reading more contemporaries and rom/susp these days - I've found some of the current crop of hist/rom authors aren't all that satisfying to me.

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 9:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
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To me it seems like just about everyone is going Paranormal which is my least favorite sub genre. I'm glad I'm new to romances because now I have decades worth of non-paranormals to catch up on, but still.., Everyone is going paranormal. 

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
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I'm with Mary here.  And to me, a good paranormal is not an easy book to write.  I think a lot of authors who are trying to write paranormals who are historically other genre's (like Lori Foster) are going to fail at this.

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
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Everything old is new again - paranormals (and futuristics) were hot back in the 90s, now paranormals are very hot again. I'm not buying many paranormals these days, only a very, very few authors

That gives the trad Regency fans some hope that they, too, will rise again.  .

Tina St. John used to write excellent Medieval hist/roms, now she's doing the Lara Adrian books but I haven't started them yet so don't know if she's as good in that genre as she was with the Medievals. I guess the authors have to go with what's selling, and maybe not with they're more comfortable with. I wish all the authors who slide into a new genre all the luck - in today's economy it can't be easy all the way around.

 

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2009
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One of Julie Garwood's new SHADOW series is an historical, I believe it's called Shadow Music.  It seems to be a prequel to the contemporary stuff.

I have followed Garwood into her contemporary genre, but not Kleypas or any of the others.  I am working on expanding my NTM list and am reading Elizabeth Lowell.  I am very interested as to what everyone else thinks.

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
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well I'm lucky in that I've read less than a dozen historicals since the bodice ripper college days so if they don't write many any more I'll still have half the romance section of the ubs to catch up on!

I don't like when a favorite author in any genre switches..esp if they stop writing what I'm  used to reading. paranormal I used to hate but now I like some but not the amount they're publishing now..a lot is just plain crap imo..3-4 good paranormal series and I'm good to go. I still like contemporary best I think unless it's light/funny paranormal. I just 'discovered' Sarah McCarty for historical western erotic romanc(ok make that about 2 dozen historicals instead of a dozen  forgot her and jodi t homas!) anyways, and now she's writing paranormal..think she still writes that one series Hell's Eight but only has 2 books out..now her paranormal may be good(moved up in the tbr pile) but I loved her Promises series, esp the first one.just so good. I'm used to Jill Barnett writing historical and Medeiros as historical..My first jodi thomas was a contemporary but was good so no complaints there I don't guess though the 2 historicals of hers I read I enjoyed a lot.

I wonder how much is the author wanting to write in these new genres to them or if it's the publisher pushing them?

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 10:56 AM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2006
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I wouldnt consider Sandra brown and Johansen losses since they started out in contemp. The author giveth and the author taketh.

Sutcliffe has retired. Period.

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
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Johansen and Brown started in categories which is somewhat different from  contemporaries, or the rom/susp or thrillers they've moved on to. Sandra Brown only did a couple of hist/roms so I wouldn't consider that she switched from historicals to another genre  and Johansen did a couple of historicals that I thought were terrible. Speed bumps in their careers - I'd actually consider them switchers if they'd done a lot of historicals and then moved on.

But not all authors are created equal. Coulter did categories, then went on to those historicals and how she's doing her thing now - none of her books grabbed me, in any genre. Don't like her voice at all.  Anne Stuart did some really great historicals (with dark heroes, which I usually love) but her new books (rom/susp? thrillers? I don't know what to call them) are just too dark for me. Some of her Americans were quite funny, some dealt with serious issues (spousal abuse) but they were all enjoyable; but she's gone in a directiion I can't take. It works for her, she seems to be doing well but sometimes I just can't follow an author.

Angie -
Date Posted: 3/1/2009 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
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To me it seems like just about everyone is going Paranormal which is my least favorite sub genre. I'm glad I'm new to romances because now I have decades worth of non-paranormals to catch up on, but still.., Everyone is going paranormal. 

Ditto this. I don't mind different time periods, I can do that change, I like historicals and contemporaries pretty much equally. But when there's time travel and other crazy stuff involved, I just can't deal with that.

I know I'm not in the majority on this, but I LOVED Lisa Kleypas' contemporaries, more than her historicals even.

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2006
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Brown and Johansen did series romances which I consider contemp.

Coulter started with traditional regencies for Signet.

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
Posts: 1,130
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I didn't factor in whether or not an author started out in category or series romance. So many of them did. I am just talking about their first forays into bigger books and novels. Iris Johansen wrote a number of historicals before moving to suspense. Unfortunately, they all sort of blur together for me. I can only really recall a few Sandra Brown historicals. She mostly wrote those little contemporaries before going into bigger contemporary suspense.

I'm a fan of paranormal but am getting tired of publisher's shoving it down our throats. I'd like to see some other historical periods that aren't widely written about. And some more western romance love. I saw on Nicole Jordan's website that she wants to write another western to finish out a planned trilogy but her publisher "wants her to wait until the western romance market is stronger." How do they determine what the market wants? I'm a regency fan as much as the next person, but I also like a variety of time periods and settings. If trends do recycle, I hope medievals come back more. I'm also intrigued by more distant settings, like India and the Hindu Kush getting more treatment. Thank you Meredith Duran and Sherry Thomas....



Last Edited on: 3/1/09 12:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/1/2009 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I'd love to see more historicals taking place around WWI and WWII.  They seem to be neglected eras.  Maybe some 1930's.

I'd also love to see more historicals that take place in 19th century America but in say New York, Baltimore or Philadelphia instead of always beign westerns.

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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I forgot all about Coulter's regencies - there are a few authors that have never spoken to me in any way. Thankfully readers and authors can come together in whatever combination that works.

oops..edited to put in 'spoken' in; put in 'been' for some bizarre reason...



Last Edited on: 3/1/09 1:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/1/2009 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
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I just checked and Barbara Samuel also writes contemporary novels now. She used to write historicals under that name and also as Ruth Wind. Linda Ladd is also now writing mysteries and thrillers.

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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Mary - have you tried Eleanora Brownleigh's books? They're older (Zebras I think), set in New York in the late 19th century - it's been a while since I read them and read them out of order, but I think most if not all tie-in, recurring characters.

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
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Mary again - if you read historical mysteries, Victoria Thompson writes mysteries set in NYC in the 1850s or 1860s (can't remember which decade). I haven't started reading them yet - there are a dozen or so so it's a daunting task to find the early ones. They were highly recommended on the Regency list (when we were discussing C. S. Harris's St. Cyr mysteries other listers tossed in authors who did hist/mysts and the Thompsons were favorites).

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
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No I"ll have to check those out. I love historical mysteries.  I've been desperate to read the latest CS Harris book but I keep getting sucked into games and then have to read the books for them.  I should sell all my credits to force myself to not join anymore games. 

Or maybe I'll host a historical mystery swap. That's an idea. 

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
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I loved Jill Barnett's early books, among them WILD, WONDERFUL and WICKED, but can't get into her new contemporaries.

I've been able to follow Julie Garwood and Catherine Coulter into their new venues, but the new Shadow ones didn't do much for me.

Love Lisa Kleypas and have read every one of her books I've been able to get my hands on.  Pat

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2008
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You know who I wish had kept writing historicals? Linda Howard. Sigh...

Jen

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2007
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I seem to be the oddball on this one because the only books I've read by some of these authors have been their 'secondary' genre. I'm a big romantic suspense fan so the only books I've read by Linda Howard, Elizabeth Lowell and Iris Johansen have been in this category. I loved Anne Stuart's Ice series but have never read her other stuff and don't want to.  I read Coulter's historicals but didn't like her contemps and I've read and liked both kinds of Julie Garwood. I've only read Britton's NASCAR series and liked them, and I've loved everything I've read by Kleypas so far--historical and contemp.

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 8:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
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Im with you Shari! I first read Howard, Stuart, and Lowell as contemps..didn't even know they did historicals til this past year!

honestly I'd pretty much settle for them writing good romance in all the genres instead of as someone else said -shoving paranormal(or whatever ) down our throats. I hate to get a series then be bummed about it..there are too many books to be reading to settle for even mediocre  nowadays but it does seem l ike the historical genre is getting edged out a bit percentage-wise.