Anne here, bringing up a discussion we wenches had recently, about a hot new trend in publishing that's caught our attention.
It started with a discussion about whether readers were as demanding of hot sex in romance as publishers seem to think they are.
As one wench said: "Maybe, because there's very sexy bestsellers in Romance, editors are tempted to make everything sexy. Maybe readers have come to expect this."
A second (very experienced) wench said: "But of course. How else is it done? (she asks in wide-eyed editor mode.) I do have a teeny bit of sympathy. The concept of one-off successes is very hard for them to take because they, like us, would love to find some logic in this chaotic "business.
"The whole thing is a lottery and books they love wither while ones they think schlock hit the big lists, so they learn quickly to try to tip the odds by following trends. It might help, and more importantly, they have an escape. "But I loved the book" can be translated as having warped judgement, but she'll do better with, "Fishermen romances are so hot now. Don't you remember Heavenly Haddock, Blissful Bream, and Carnal Cod?"
The wenches were well and truly hooked by this remarkable insight. "Heavenly Haddock, Blissful Bream, and Carnal Cod?" we all gasped. "Can this be true?"
Yes, indeed! Turns out hot fishermen are the latest trend in romance, folks. Who'd have thought it? Presumably it's part of the eco-renewal trend, the return to more nature-centric romances — fewer resource-wasteful billionaire heroes and dukes afraid to get their feet wet for fear of ruining their boots, and more of the salt-of-the-earth—or in this case, sea—heroes.
Wench Susan has penned a tale called Hot Highland Herring … When Lady Anna Bass stays at a mysterious Scottish castle for the summer, she encounters the estate's irresistibly handsome fish and gamekeeper, Hugh MacFeshie — who seems determined to lure the beautiful earl's daughter, body and soul, into the depths of the river, where secret treasure – and a dangerous legend — calls to both.
Mary Jo, who is way ahead of us all, having married a pisces and being a crab herself, initially toyed with a tale called The Elegant Eel (dabbling in erotica) but has settled on the more romantic Soul of My Sole.
Nicola's Edwardian-set romances are, of course, ideal to be a leading part of this trend and to that end she's written The Last Hake in London. She also adds that she's a huge fan of that all time classic Lord of Flounders.
As for myself, as usual, I'm still dithering between possible titles, but I'm tempted to go simply for The AngelFish Bride, the latest in my "Brides of the Deep" series, about four young women, all dedicated pescatarians who discover love and romance among the trawlers and the docks.
On April 1, the French stick little paper fish on people, sort of like "kick me" signs. . .
So what about you? What fishy romances would you like to see published? Lord of Flounders? Pikes and Prejudice? Flounders From the Storm? Whiting, My Love? We'll give a prize to the best suggestion.