This baffles me so much that I wanted to write a blog about it. I just scored a major find at a local book thrift deal. I wouldn’t exactly call it a store, since its run out of a warehouse, but anyway. For the bargain price of a buck, I got my hands on Karen Marie Moning’s Into the Dreaming, which is a collection containing the short story “Into the Dreaming” and some fun bonus material. I already own and have read the story. I have the original anthology it was published in, which is apparently hard to find.
Apparently, in 1998 no one wanted to read paranormal romance. Urban fantasy did not exist yet. Publishers wanted straight up romances, historical with a focus on regency. Moning had trouble finding her voice because she had to attempt to bend to what the market wanted, what her publishers were willing to take a chance on. I think Sherrilyn Kenyon had similar problems with her Greek flavored vampire series, the Dark-Hunters.
Traditional publishers are incredibly short sighted. Both of these women are incredibly successful now and it is because they put a unique spin on old ideas and they are fantastic writers, so they can pull it off. I have a hard time understanding how publishers could be so timid that they wouldn’t touch their work.
In 1998, highlanders were too “primitive” to sell. With all the highlander romances on the shelves now, that blows my mind. Horny women like primitive. Female readers looking for some hot material generally want dominance. I’ll take that over a simpering lord any day, personally.
It occurs to me how much the publishing landscape has changed in the last fifteen years. What was once too much of a risk is the hottest thing on the shelves and it’s becoming more mainstream by the day. And if publishers are still too timid, there’s self-publishing. Readers shape the landscape, writers give them the tools.
Getting my hands on this book, and having everything Moning has published, makes me remember that I’ve been reading her for close to ten years. And what a ride it’s been. I devoured her Highlander novels quickly, picking up The Immortal Highlander in 2004 and having read all the others by the time Spell of the Highlander came out in 2005. I was 14 at the time and incredibly embarrassed buying that book with my parents around, but I did it anyway. When Darkfever hit the scene, I wasn’t interested and didn’t pick it up until my freshman year of college. I devoured it and waited impatiently for Shadowfever, the fifth book in the Fever series, to hit shelves. And now we move forward with Iced and Burned, due out sometime next year.
Through the anthology “Into the Dreaming” was in, I discovered Sherrilyn Kenyon. From one of her anthologies, I discovered J. R. Ward. It’s a vicious cycle and as a reader, I love it. Lady powerhouses of the genre I hope to join one day and I know at least that Karen Marie Moning and J. R. Ward have mad respect for each other, which makes the fangirl in me completely lose her mind.
It’s a good day to be a reader. It’s a good day to be a writer. Peace out from the Kelswitch, I hope everyone has a good weekend!