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Topic: Whatever happened to....?

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Subject: Whatever happened to....?
Date Posted: 3/1/2009 9:03 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
Posts: 1,130
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So I have heard rumors of Marsha Canham getting back in the game....which makes me, and Kim, I'm sure, delirious.

But, I'm wondering who else has dropped off the face of the earth?

Willa, any idea if Kinsale got a contract and is writing again?

Seton, you mentioned Candice Hern is without a contract right now. Is anyone else in that position?

We know Laura London made a conscious decision to quit years ago.

Some authors I am wondering about haven't published a book in at least three years or more. Anyone know what happened to Julie Beard, Eve Byron, Judith Ivory, Jacqueline Navin, Barbara Dawson Smith, to name a few...

Anyone have any news? Who quit for good? Who's on hiatus? Who else are you wondering about?



Last Edited on: 3/1/09 9:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/1/2009 9:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
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Well, i know that LaVyrle Spencer has retired from writing, i'm really going to miss her!

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 10:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
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I had read somewhere - and I totally forget where this was - that Judith Ivory had stopped writng due to illness.  I think the most recent news on her website is the stuff about Angel in a Red Dress, which was released in 2006, and is a re-release of an old book (her first book), Starlit Surrender, anyway.  I thought maybe Jess had mentioned something about what was going on with her at one time, but I can't remember if that's correct or not.  I can't find any recent news on her anywhere.  MC hasn't posted any updates to her announcement that she was working on a sequel to the Dante pirate series in just a little over a year.  I'm sort of tucked in the fetal position and waiting to hear some good news on that one:P  Laura Kinsale has had a goofy piece of artwork pasted on her webpage for I don't know how long.  I just know I'm tired of looking at it & would like some actual news:P  Her message board just has this announcement on it & nothing else:

The revamp of the website is a disaster, but knowing you guys are out there makes me determined to get something here that allows readers to communicate with one another and with me, both positive and negative, because that's been the true enjoyment of having this creaky old site which otherwise I would like to condemn to the lowest levels of spammed and malware'd oblivion. I wanted something for the revamp--I wanted to play with writing again, and communicating with writers and readers, but it's not going so well on the technical side, due (as usual) to my perfectionistic obsession with a certain vision. Perhaps this doesn't make a lot of sense, but thank you for hanging in and reminding me that there's a point to this! For awhile there will be nothing here, until I get this all sorted out. I just seem to be that way--it's either gonna be something I'm passionate about, or it's gonna be nothing. Will keep trying. Meanwhile there is a pretty picture at www.laurakinsale.com. LK

And there's an interesting blog post (I think anyway:P) from her from March of last year here: chekhovsmistress.com/index.php/article/laura_kinsale_on_pay_the_writer/

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2006
Posts: 673
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Judith Ivory - the last word from AAR was that Ivory has lost touch w. her agent. I doubt if she is going to get anything published soon w/o an agent.

Eve Byron - this was actually a writing team. Connie Rinehold was the younger member of that team. She also published under her own name but she has written anything in about 10 yrs. I think that boat has sailed.

Angie -
Date Posted: 3/1/2009 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
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I know we've talked about this lately...but Lisa Valdez? Is that next book EVER going to get published? Sheesh.

And did Judith McNaught retire? Either I missed it, or it has been forever since she came out with a new book.



Last Edited on: 3/1/09 11:40 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/1/2009 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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This is so bizarre, but every author I've ever liked has stopped writing and doesn't even have a website to communicate with them or hear more about them and their lives/career.  It's like I've got this pattern of finding authors who prefer to remain anonymous.   Susan King has stopped writing and her website hasn't been updated in a couple of years.  Haven't heard anything about Maggie Osborne either. 

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
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What I had heard about Maggie Osborne was that she announced sometime after the release of Foxfire Bride (which I just recently read) that she was retiring from writing.  I've never actually seen that announcement, it's just sorta "out there", in the grapevine as it were, whenever you ask about her.  I lament Candice Proctor too.  I'm glad she's still writing as C.H. Harris, but from my POV, I found this great historicals author, she was really unique, and really, really good, and she just up & bit the dust on me:P  How dare these people have lives!

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 9:12 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
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How dare these people have lives!

LOL Kim -- I mean, really?  Don't  they know we need them???

Is Candace Proctor still writing romance as Harris?  If so, why the change?  I know Penelope Williamson switched genres but even she is totally absent from the internet.  I mean, why wouldn't you want to connect with your fans in some way?  I love SEP's website.  And Rachel Gibson has a good one, too. 

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 9:24 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
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I know absolutely nothing about the C.S. Harris books (I messed that up before and said C.H.), but I *thought* it was all series stuff, and either mystery or romantic suspense.  Some of the ladies here are reading those, I think, so they would know better than me if she's still writing them.  It seems like she may be having better success writing those than she was with her historicals, and I don't know why.  Not all of the historicals are great, but several are right up there on my best ever list, and I hate it that she's not doing them anymore.  Not that selling books or pleasing publishers are the only reasons why a good writer would switch genres; they may just like what they've switched to better.  That doesn't make it any less of an annoyance for the historicals lovers though:P

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 7:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
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The C. S. Harris are Regency-set mysteries. They aren't light by any means, the underbelly of the Regency era, but with all the historicals under her belt she's doing a great job with the historical background, etc. I read them via the library and am tempted to buy my own copies.

The romance isn't romance as we think of it. The hero, Sebastian St. Cyr, comes from a very good family and gets involved in some wicked goings on and solve the crimes; there's a lot of back story in his life, stuff needing resolution - keeps the reader wanting more and more.

She's also now writing thrillers with her husband under the name C. S. Graham - THE ARCHANGEL PROJECT is the first in what is likely to become a series. I liked it a LOT, fast read, bodies dropping like flies all over the place, government hanky-panky.

She has talent, that's for sure. I can't wait to dig into her historicals (as I unearth them here).

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 11:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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What I like about her and Penelope Williamson both is that their writing is so intelligent.  You don't have that urge to check their research.  They're clearly very well educated ladies, and whether the writing appeals or not, you can appreciate the sheer smarts behind it.  Williamson is almost too wordy for me, but I can't deny that she's good.  I like Candice Proctor's writing better though.  It's cleaner & much lighter on the word count, without being lighter in content - look at Night In Eden, for example.  All of the emotional impact of Williamson's Into the West, and significantly less wordy:P

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
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Oh - and I also meant to say that mourning the loss of great writers doesn't mean that I want them to just write any old thing to pacify their fans, or bow to pressure from their editors & publishers to write something that sells vs. writing what they feel inspired to write.  I remember reading a Marsha Canham interview once, and she was talking about Straight for the Heart, and how it wasn't an inspired work, but something her editor kind of pushed her into doing; she had actually wanted to do another medieval or pirate book at the time.  And it shows.  I mean, it's not a very good book, and certainly isn't a very good reflection of her talent.  I don't hear her voice in it at all.  So while I'd adore having more Ivory, Canham, Kinsale, Proctor, etc. I'd still rather have nothing than something that isn't inspired.  If Candice Proctor isn't inspired to write anymore historicals, then so be it.  It breaks my heart, but I can live with losing her to another set of fans altogether, better than I could bear watching her crank out book after book of so-so fluff.  That would be far worse, IMO.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 12:08 AM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2005
Posts: 356
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I have those CS Harris books in my TBR, looks like I'm going to like them, didn't know she was also co-writing with her husband, will have to check that out.

I think most of these authors changing genres is due to not being able to get contracts for their stories, I know I've seen some authors say that (Mary Reed McCall was one  I think), and it is getting even harder to get a contract now with all the pubs reporting losses.  I know of a couple of other authors I've chatted with who can't get contracts if their previous book didn't get a required amount of sales.  Diane Farr is another I liked who I've seen said can't get a contract for an historical.

Judith Ivory I know had some illness, then that post at AAR about her pub not being able to contact her, sounds like it may be serious then.   I wonder if that, or even a death, is why some fall off the face of the earth.  Another who disappeared, Josie Littion aka Maura Seger, no info on her.  There was a debut author the other year, Jolie Mathis who came out with The Sea King, site all porn now, don't know what happened to her either.

Pam

Date Posted: 3/4/2009 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I loved the 1st 2 Sebastian St Cyr books. I have the next 2 in my TBR.  There's is some romance but it's not like a romance book romance.  He's hopelessly in love with his mistress.  He's not her only protector.  He's the 3rd son and never wanted to be the Earl but both his older brothers died.  So he's like trapped in this life he doesn't want. He'd be perfectly happy to just solve crimes and marry his mistress. But he has survivors guilt and his mistress keeps refusing him on the grounds that his family wouldn't accept her-and they wouldn't. They are very good books. 

Date Posted: 3/4/2009 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
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Pam, Diane Farr was one of my favorites also.  Other favorite writers I have not heard anything about lately are:  Karyn Monk, Sandy Hingston, Emma Jensen, Katherine Kingsley, Deborah Hale, Katherine Sutcliffe, Christina Kingston.  There was a Susan King who wrote medieval romances and I think she might be writing under the names Susan Fraser King and also under the name Sarah Gabriel.  And I've not heard anything about Gaelen Foley lately.  I wonder if she's still writing.

Date Posted: 3/4/2009 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2006
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IIRC, Diane Farr writes teenage books now and I think she is suited to that genre.

Katherine Kingsley just kinda lost the juice to write after her divorce.

Sutcliffe is retired and doing interior design, I think.

Foley should have a new book out in a few months, no?

Date Posted: 3/5/2009 12:53 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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What happened to Elizabeth Elliott?  Lisa A. Brown?

I know that some authors fall out of sight when publishers merge or fold.  And while I understand using different pen names when writing different genres, I really resent it when a pen name gets changed because of changing publishers.  Do the publisher's contract hold onto the name?

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 4:39 AM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2005
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Yes I think Foley has a new one out soon, think I read she changed publishers recently, but keeping her name.  Good for Farr on her teenage book, but I still wish she'd had more luck with her historicals when they weren't being picked up much, shame.  Not sure if I'd read last year that Karyn Monk had health issues also, maybe not.  Jan I think you're right about Susan King.  Sandy Hingston, just last week someone on one of my groups who knows her says she gave up writing for now after being discouraged for some reason (maybe due to comments about her books, maybe even from an editor, can't quite remember.)

Elizabeth Elliott is finally contracted for that long-awaited last book in her series, and has posted at her stie now, google her name.

Deborah Hale, don't know what happened.  At one time when they were thinking of shuttting down Harlequin Historicals, several of those authors weren't sure what they'd do.   Then she did a few Lunas, nothing since, or maybe she decided to take a break after all that..  If you like at the HH books now, seems more and more are coming from overseas Mills and Boons.  I know of one ebook author who just got a contract overseas with M&B.  All I know is I was so happy when HH finally picked up Carla Kelly who'd had problems getting contracted, and partly from what she said somewhere because she refused to cave to any pressure to write what they thought she should be writing, she was telling her stories the way she wanted - good for her!

Mary, good to hear about the Harris books.  I'd pulled the first out to read, then got some books to judge for NRCA I'm doing now, and then after that I really want to read Scandal by Caroline Jewel and Mary Balogh's new book, then I'll get back to her.  I'd read quite a few excerpts and think I'm really going to like series.  With books like this, I don't mind if the romance isn't the main focus, a bit is good, but I like the mystery and intrigue for plots like this. 

As far as new pen names, all depends from what various authors say, sometimes it's to brand a particular genre, many who get into more erotic books are told to do it and feel they should to not offend some fans who might snub their nose at their sexier books, lol.   Often, it's evident to give an author not doing well with sales a new start.  Take JR Ward aka Jessica Bird, from what I'd read somewhere once, she wasn't doing that well with the Bird books, and reinvented herself with the Ward's.  At first it wasn't mentioned about her other name, but you know the net, people figured it soon, and it seems to me that fans of her as Ward, then went searching for those Bird books who weren't previously wanting them,  and those seem to be selling more now based on how many comments I've seen around (just my opinion).   On other hand, someone like Mary Balogh or Mary Jo Putney, big name recognition, the pubs would want the same name.   Savvy readers on the net figure it all out anyway, no matter the reason, lol. 

That puts me in mind of promotion buzz about this great new paranormal author, who was well-known for her best-selling historicals, Melina Morel.  Several of us wanted to know who this best-selling historical author was, as we are of the mind if we loved you in one genre, we're likely to try you under that other name in another quicker.  Was hard to find out until that first book came out, trying to find copyright info.  Turned out she was some name no one had ever heard of (you know with lots of historical readers who like varied books in the genre someone is liable to recognize such a best-seller author, lol), I think it was only two books she'd ever written.  And guess what, many of think the books are awful, even DNF, including me and one friend, and that's rare for us, we stick it through and usually find something to like, if not rave about.   If she's on your wishlist, skip her by is my recommendation.

At least we have been finding some new good authors while missing our older favorites.

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 4:56 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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Devour by Melina Morel was pretty horrible.  Definitely not interested in finding her previous books.

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 6:08 AM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2005
Posts: 356
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Emily, I'm debating if I should even bother listing them here, lol.  The second I ended up with free or I wouldn't have that one.

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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Different books work for different folks.  There is a positive review for Prey.  And if nothing else, a would be writer could read it and figure where and why it doesn't work.  I often like reading first novels as you can so clearly see the mistakes and the possibilities.