Quiet Fiction

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Pat here, rummaging around in Ye Olde Question Box.  I’m still playing with contemporary ideas, researching asthma and Jaguars and other modern terms, so I’m  not in a place to play with historical research blogs.  And unless you want to hear a diatribe about never-ending winter, I thought I’d answer reader questions instead. Given that I’m currently trying new directions, the  question below seemed appropriate.  Nina, I owe you one book!

Nina Paules writesWhat would the WW’s write if they could write
anything they wanted to write?  In other words… if there was no
consumer dictating style and plot direction via their purchasing
habits, how might things be different?

This is a topic near and dear to my heart, and one discussed endlessly in authorial circles. Or authorial squares or mob scenes, depending on setting. 

First off—I am not talking about “writing what’s hot.”  That’s a fool’s journey.  I could write the next greatest vampire story in history and not sell it tomorrow because NYC will have decided the “vampire market is saturated.”  I could invent a whole new brilliant genre untapped by anyone and NYC will decide “it’s too different, we don’t know where to market it.”  So forget the flavor of the month. I’m not going there.

What’s bugging me right now is “high concept,” a film related term that’s been  picked up by publishers.

Yeah, I’m also bugged because so many readers insist on Regency historicals and very few want western historicals and all that jazz, but I’ve found my way around most of those deficiencies.  If I want to write a book, I find a way to do it. I’m creative. I might dabble in first person POV for an idea I’m playing with, but since that idea doesn’t fit any subgenre known to mankind, I’m not foolish enough to market it. I’m writing it for myself.  I suppose, if we discarded all market guidelines, that’s what would happen–a lot of insane writers would run screaming into the streets, joyously trying everything they’ve ever Writersmayhem
wanted to do.  Murder and mayhem would undoubtedly result. And readers would run screaming for the sanity of their televisions.

But I’m not totally blase about market restrictions. Right now, the craze du jour that can’t be escaped is “high concept” books, especially in the contemporary market.  I cannot begin to understand how one writes a high concept historical unless it’s something of the order of “Prince of Wales kidnaps Arab Sheik’s Daughter.”  Essentially, everything in history has already been done, so we’ve got to stretch ourselves pretty danged far to make a historical romance into high concept.

I suppose if one considers Eloisa James’ historical Duke and Duchess series high concept, then maybe it can be done, Eloisa
and I can handle it some of the time.

That’s just it.  I can respect and read and enjoy many high concept books.  “Daily Reporter Takes Down Superhero”—KARMA GIRL by Jennifer Estep; “Psychic Weather Forecaster Gets TV Show”—FORECAST by Jane Tara. Go ahead, name some more.  Seems like every contemporary out now stretches for an even wilder and more improbable premise.  And I’m okay with that—up to a point. Karmagirl

But what I really, really want to see and write right now is what some of us have been calling “quiet fiction.”  We want REAL people.  We want real life situations. We’re tired of Soccer Mom Kills Demons (no offense—I like Julie’s books, but her concept was original when she first wrote it. Let’s not keep Kenner
asking the rest of us to repeat it).  Why can’t we write about women who worry about their weight and women who lose their jobs and women who get the job they’ve always wanted and hate it?  Why shouldn’t we write about women who save trees or cities by doing something normal like writing petitions and protesting or even running for office?  Normal people. Normal situations. Not out-there-on-a-limb-so-far-its-gonna-break high concepts.  If anyone has any recommendations along the “quiet fiction” line, let me know! I know about the long-time bestsellers such as Siddons and Binchy. I want to hear about new authors making waves in this market.  Anyone?

Patillo
Fortunately or unfortunately, the only quiet fiction I’m finding right now is in inspirational, and I fear most of those go a little too far in the opposite direction.  Not all.  Beth Patillo is a name that comes to mind as a great writer of “quiet fiction” about normal people, some of whom just happen to be ministers. 

But as of this moment, most romance editors seem to be after Navy Seals, Werewolves meet Frankenstein, Billionaire Buys Waitress (or better yet, Waitress Rejects Billionaire, but then it wouldn’t be romance <G>), complete with over-the-top sex and violence. 

Whatever happened to Neighbor Falls in Love with Neighbor?  Sure, it sounds boring, but given the right conflict and a good writer, any topic can reduce a reader to tears and laughter.  The problem is that publishers have to SELL quiet books, and it’s not easy without a great hook shouting pickup lines to readers.  Currently, to sell books, we have to pimp the cover with smoke and mirrors and hunks, and whisper come hither promises in the back copy, before a book even lands on a bookstore shelf.  Once it’s on the shelf, it has to make another big leap into the customer’s hands.  What are the chances of MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON leaping into anyone’s hands when DANGEROUS DECEPTIONS is sitting next to it?  (and my apologies to anyone with that title—I count six recent ones on Amazon—I mean no offense. It’s a great title, which makes my point.)  We can’t even sell quiet titles anymore.

So I’m throwing this rant over to our readers—prove me wrong. Name some great quiet fiction you’ve read recently.  Give me quiet titles and artwork that work for some good books.

Or tell me why you’d rather read monsters and serial killers and superheroes and royalty than about the boy next door. I really want to know.

200 thoughts on “Quiet Fiction”

  1. I love quiet fiction. Jane Austen wrote quiet fiction! Elizabeth Berg springs to mind as a current success in that field. The thing about it is, you have to have REALLY GREAT CHARACTERS to make it work, and how many people can write really great characters? I’m talking world class, here; Natasha in War and Peace (a quiet novel!) or Frankie in Member of the Wedding (another one). Characters so wonderful you want to adopt them, name them in your will, kidnap them for long conversations about everything.

    Reply
  2. I love quiet fiction. Jane Austen wrote quiet fiction! Elizabeth Berg springs to mind as a current success in that field. The thing about it is, you have to have REALLY GREAT CHARACTERS to make it work, and how many people can write really great characters? I’m talking world class, here; Natasha in War and Peace (a quiet novel!) or Frankie in Member of the Wedding (another one). Characters so wonderful you want to adopt them, name them in your will, kidnap them for long conversations about everything.

    Reply
  3. I love quiet fiction. Jane Austen wrote quiet fiction! Elizabeth Berg springs to mind as a current success in that field. The thing about it is, you have to have REALLY GREAT CHARACTERS to make it work, and how many people can write really great characters? I’m talking world class, here; Natasha in War and Peace (a quiet novel!) or Frankie in Member of the Wedding (another one). Characters so wonderful you want to adopt them, name them in your will, kidnap them for long conversations about everything.

    Reply
  4. I love quiet fiction. Jane Austen wrote quiet fiction! Elizabeth Berg springs to mind as a current success in that field. The thing about it is, you have to have REALLY GREAT CHARACTERS to make it work, and how many people can write really great characters? I’m talking world class, here; Natasha in War and Peace (a quiet novel!) or Frankie in Member of the Wedding (another one). Characters so wonderful you want to adopt them, name them in your will, kidnap them for long conversations about everything.

    Reply
  5. I love quiet fiction. Jane Austen wrote quiet fiction! Elizabeth Berg springs to mind as a current success in that field. The thing about it is, you have to have REALLY GREAT CHARACTERS to make it work, and how many people can write really great characters? I’m talking world class, here; Natasha in War and Peace (a quiet novel!) or Frankie in Member of the Wedding (another one). Characters so wonderful you want to adopt them, name them in your will, kidnap them for long conversations about everything.

    Reply
  6. I’ve always felt that it’s easier to create tension with a vampire than it is with the best friend, but I prefer the best friend tension. The story is more satisfying with a character driven plot.
    I don’t think I’ve read any quiet romances lately. Although, I just finished “The Kiss” by Sophia Nash, that was pretty good and I’m looking forward to “Private Arrangements” by debut author Sherry Thomas, about a marriage gone bad.
    I’m one of those readers who only read historical, so, I’m a little limited in what I can say. Having said that, I prefer my heroes to be rich, not necessarily aristocrats, but have enough money or property so that we know money will not be an issue when they have their HEA. I am a little tired of the romantic conflict being outside the romance: spies, vampires, were-wolfs, etc. Although, if that is all a favorite author is writing, that is what I’ll read.
    Tension can be created in other ways; one of my favorite plots is when the couple grew up together and one of them never realizes that they love the other. Or, when the woman has married the hero’s best friend and there isn’t anything evil about any of them. And, she likes having sex with her husband. Of course, the husband must die leaving room for the friend who has always loved her to step in.
    I’d like to see more historical books on the subject of the brides that were shipped to early settlements (not just the United States.) One of my favorite paintings is “Arrival of the Royal Women at Quebec in 1667” by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale. (A bit saccharin but I love pre-Raphaelite paintings.) The filles du roi, or King’s Daughters, were women who were sent to New France by King Louis XIV of France between 1663 and 1673. There were over 750 of them and they were made up of country girls, village girls and orphans. The painting shows them to be a tad bit spiffier than they probably were, but oh well.
    You know when you type this in word, it looks smaller. Finally …snow, please go away.

    Reply
  7. I’ve always felt that it’s easier to create tension with a vampire than it is with the best friend, but I prefer the best friend tension. The story is more satisfying with a character driven plot.
    I don’t think I’ve read any quiet romances lately. Although, I just finished “The Kiss” by Sophia Nash, that was pretty good and I’m looking forward to “Private Arrangements” by debut author Sherry Thomas, about a marriage gone bad.
    I’m one of those readers who only read historical, so, I’m a little limited in what I can say. Having said that, I prefer my heroes to be rich, not necessarily aristocrats, but have enough money or property so that we know money will not be an issue when they have their HEA. I am a little tired of the romantic conflict being outside the romance: spies, vampires, were-wolfs, etc. Although, if that is all a favorite author is writing, that is what I’ll read.
    Tension can be created in other ways; one of my favorite plots is when the couple grew up together and one of them never realizes that they love the other. Or, when the woman has married the hero’s best friend and there isn’t anything evil about any of them. And, she likes having sex with her husband. Of course, the husband must die leaving room for the friend who has always loved her to step in.
    I’d like to see more historical books on the subject of the brides that were shipped to early settlements (not just the United States.) One of my favorite paintings is “Arrival of the Royal Women at Quebec in 1667” by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale. (A bit saccharin but I love pre-Raphaelite paintings.) The filles du roi, or King’s Daughters, were women who were sent to New France by King Louis XIV of France between 1663 and 1673. There were over 750 of them and they were made up of country girls, village girls and orphans. The painting shows them to be a tad bit spiffier than they probably were, but oh well.
    You know when you type this in word, it looks smaller. Finally …snow, please go away.

    Reply
  8. I’ve always felt that it’s easier to create tension with a vampire than it is with the best friend, but I prefer the best friend tension. The story is more satisfying with a character driven plot.
    I don’t think I’ve read any quiet romances lately. Although, I just finished “The Kiss” by Sophia Nash, that was pretty good and I’m looking forward to “Private Arrangements” by debut author Sherry Thomas, about a marriage gone bad.
    I’m one of those readers who only read historical, so, I’m a little limited in what I can say. Having said that, I prefer my heroes to be rich, not necessarily aristocrats, but have enough money or property so that we know money will not be an issue when they have their HEA. I am a little tired of the romantic conflict being outside the romance: spies, vampires, were-wolfs, etc. Although, if that is all a favorite author is writing, that is what I’ll read.
    Tension can be created in other ways; one of my favorite plots is when the couple grew up together and one of them never realizes that they love the other. Or, when the woman has married the hero’s best friend and there isn’t anything evil about any of them. And, she likes having sex with her husband. Of course, the husband must die leaving room for the friend who has always loved her to step in.
    I’d like to see more historical books on the subject of the brides that were shipped to early settlements (not just the United States.) One of my favorite paintings is “Arrival of the Royal Women at Quebec in 1667” by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale. (A bit saccharin but I love pre-Raphaelite paintings.) The filles du roi, or King’s Daughters, were women who were sent to New France by King Louis XIV of France between 1663 and 1673. There were over 750 of them and they were made up of country girls, village girls and orphans. The painting shows them to be a tad bit spiffier than they probably were, but oh well.
    You know when you type this in word, it looks smaller. Finally …snow, please go away.

    Reply
  9. I’ve always felt that it’s easier to create tension with a vampire than it is with the best friend, but I prefer the best friend tension. The story is more satisfying with a character driven plot.
    I don’t think I’ve read any quiet romances lately. Although, I just finished “The Kiss” by Sophia Nash, that was pretty good and I’m looking forward to “Private Arrangements” by debut author Sherry Thomas, about a marriage gone bad.
    I’m one of those readers who only read historical, so, I’m a little limited in what I can say. Having said that, I prefer my heroes to be rich, not necessarily aristocrats, but have enough money or property so that we know money will not be an issue when they have their HEA. I am a little tired of the romantic conflict being outside the romance: spies, vampires, were-wolfs, etc. Although, if that is all a favorite author is writing, that is what I’ll read.
    Tension can be created in other ways; one of my favorite plots is when the couple grew up together and one of them never realizes that they love the other. Or, when the woman has married the hero’s best friend and there isn’t anything evil about any of them. And, she likes having sex with her husband. Of course, the husband must die leaving room for the friend who has always loved her to step in.
    I’d like to see more historical books on the subject of the brides that were shipped to early settlements (not just the United States.) One of my favorite paintings is “Arrival of the Royal Women at Quebec in 1667” by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale. (A bit saccharin but I love pre-Raphaelite paintings.) The filles du roi, or King’s Daughters, were women who were sent to New France by King Louis XIV of France between 1663 and 1673. There were over 750 of them and they were made up of country girls, village girls and orphans. The painting shows them to be a tad bit spiffier than they probably were, but oh well.
    You know when you type this in word, it looks smaller. Finally …snow, please go away.

    Reply
  10. I’ve always felt that it’s easier to create tension with a vampire than it is with the best friend, but I prefer the best friend tension. The story is more satisfying with a character driven plot.
    I don’t think I’ve read any quiet romances lately. Although, I just finished “The Kiss” by Sophia Nash, that was pretty good and I’m looking forward to “Private Arrangements” by debut author Sherry Thomas, about a marriage gone bad.
    I’m one of those readers who only read historical, so, I’m a little limited in what I can say. Having said that, I prefer my heroes to be rich, not necessarily aristocrats, but have enough money or property so that we know money will not be an issue when they have their HEA. I am a little tired of the romantic conflict being outside the romance: spies, vampires, were-wolfs, etc. Although, if that is all a favorite author is writing, that is what I’ll read.
    Tension can be created in other ways; one of my favorite plots is when the couple grew up together and one of them never realizes that they love the other. Or, when the woman has married the hero’s best friend and there isn’t anything evil about any of them. And, she likes having sex with her husband. Of course, the husband must die leaving room for the friend who has always loved her to step in.
    I’d like to see more historical books on the subject of the brides that were shipped to early settlements (not just the United States.) One of my favorite paintings is “Arrival of the Royal Women at Quebec in 1667” by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale. (A bit saccharin but I love pre-Raphaelite paintings.) The filles du roi, or King’s Daughters, were women who were sent to New France by King Louis XIV of France between 1663 and 1673. There were over 750 of them and they were made up of country girls, village girls and orphans. The painting shows them to be a tad bit spiffier than they probably were, but oh well.
    You know when you type this in word, it looks smaller. Finally …snow, please go away.

    Reply
  11. It is interesting that you posed this question today, Pat, since I was trying to figure out yesterday how to tell my friends to stop pushing their “quiet” books at me. These are friends who do not read genre fiction, so it is a little different, but similar in idea, I guess.
    I used to love those best friend love stories and I haven’t come across many in recent years. I agree that it takes good writing to make those stories happen, and I haven’t seen as many of them lately.
    As for why people love this high concept? I myself has gone crazy for urban fantasy and lots of mysteries in recent years, and I think for me, the reason is that the more removed from reality, the more I enjoy the book. In a historical, the past automatically moves us to a different place, but in a contemporary we need some extra help.
    The state of the world in recent years has been rather dark in the minds of a lot of Americans. I think you are seeing a post 9-11 mindset in people’s escapist material. We want to see people getting the bad guys, but we don’t want it to be *too* real. We want the poor single Mom to get her prince, but since we don’t really believe in that, we choose to read a story about a *real* prince.
    This happened in movies during the 1930’s as well, I believe. The darker the times, the more glamorous and outrageous the movies people went to see. I think you see this trend in other aspects of society as well. Clothing for instance. During the more prosperous 90’s, everybody wanted to dress like a hobo. Now people are wearing either very romantic looking clothing, or something reminiscent of the innocence of the 1950’s. We pretty much want what we can’t have.
    Anyway, that’s my perspective. As long as I turn on the news and have to see one more depressing, scary, school-shooting, or Iraq bombing, bring on the Vampires and the Werewolves where women kick-ass and take on the testosterone-poisoned men.
    All that being said, my own WIP is a character driven, deep POV historical–so go figure!

    Reply
  12. It is interesting that you posed this question today, Pat, since I was trying to figure out yesterday how to tell my friends to stop pushing their “quiet” books at me. These are friends who do not read genre fiction, so it is a little different, but similar in idea, I guess.
    I used to love those best friend love stories and I haven’t come across many in recent years. I agree that it takes good writing to make those stories happen, and I haven’t seen as many of them lately.
    As for why people love this high concept? I myself has gone crazy for urban fantasy and lots of mysteries in recent years, and I think for me, the reason is that the more removed from reality, the more I enjoy the book. In a historical, the past automatically moves us to a different place, but in a contemporary we need some extra help.
    The state of the world in recent years has been rather dark in the minds of a lot of Americans. I think you are seeing a post 9-11 mindset in people’s escapist material. We want to see people getting the bad guys, but we don’t want it to be *too* real. We want the poor single Mom to get her prince, but since we don’t really believe in that, we choose to read a story about a *real* prince.
    This happened in movies during the 1930’s as well, I believe. The darker the times, the more glamorous and outrageous the movies people went to see. I think you see this trend in other aspects of society as well. Clothing for instance. During the more prosperous 90’s, everybody wanted to dress like a hobo. Now people are wearing either very romantic looking clothing, or something reminiscent of the innocence of the 1950’s. We pretty much want what we can’t have.
    Anyway, that’s my perspective. As long as I turn on the news and have to see one more depressing, scary, school-shooting, or Iraq bombing, bring on the Vampires and the Werewolves where women kick-ass and take on the testosterone-poisoned men.
    All that being said, my own WIP is a character driven, deep POV historical–so go figure!

    Reply
  13. It is interesting that you posed this question today, Pat, since I was trying to figure out yesterday how to tell my friends to stop pushing their “quiet” books at me. These are friends who do not read genre fiction, so it is a little different, but similar in idea, I guess.
    I used to love those best friend love stories and I haven’t come across many in recent years. I agree that it takes good writing to make those stories happen, and I haven’t seen as many of them lately.
    As for why people love this high concept? I myself has gone crazy for urban fantasy and lots of mysteries in recent years, and I think for me, the reason is that the more removed from reality, the more I enjoy the book. In a historical, the past automatically moves us to a different place, but in a contemporary we need some extra help.
    The state of the world in recent years has been rather dark in the minds of a lot of Americans. I think you are seeing a post 9-11 mindset in people’s escapist material. We want to see people getting the bad guys, but we don’t want it to be *too* real. We want the poor single Mom to get her prince, but since we don’t really believe in that, we choose to read a story about a *real* prince.
    This happened in movies during the 1930’s as well, I believe. The darker the times, the more glamorous and outrageous the movies people went to see. I think you see this trend in other aspects of society as well. Clothing for instance. During the more prosperous 90’s, everybody wanted to dress like a hobo. Now people are wearing either very romantic looking clothing, or something reminiscent of the innocence of the 1950’s. We pretty much want what we can’t have.
    Anyway, that’s my perspective. As long as I turn on the news and have to see one more depressing, scary, school-shooting, or Iraq bombing, bring on the Vampires and the Werewolves where women kick-ass and take on the testosterone-poisoned men.
    All that being said, my own WIP is a character driven, deep POV historical–so go figure!

    Reply
  14. It is interesting that you posed this question today, Pat, since I was trying to figure out yesterday how to tell my friends to stop pushing their “quiet” books at me. These are friends who do not read genre fiction, so it is a little different, but similar in idea, I guess.
    I used to love those best friend love stories and I haven’t come across many in recent years. I agree that it takes good writing to make those stories happen, and I haven’t seen as many of them lately.
    As for why people love this high concept? I myself has gone crazy for urban fantasy and lots of mysteries in recent years, and I think for me, the reason is that the more removed from reality, the more I enjoy the book. In a historical, the past automatically moves us to a different place, but in a contemporary we need some extra help.
    The state of the world in recent years has been rather dark in the minds of a lot of Americans. I think you are seeing a post 9-11 mindset in people’s escapist material. We want to see people getting the bad guys, but we don’t want it to be *too* real. We want the poor single Mom to get her prince, but since we don’t really believe in that, we choose to read a story about a *real* prince.
    This happened in movies during the 1930’s as well, I believe. The darker the times, the more glamorous and outrageous the movies people went to see. I think you see this trend in other aspects of society as well. Clothing for instance. During the more prosperous 90’s, everybody wanted to dress like a hobo. Now people are wearing either very romantic looking clothing, or something reminiscent of the innocence of the 1950’s. We pretty much want what we can’t have.
    Anyway, that’s my perspective. As long as I turn on the news and have to see one more depressing, scary, school-shooting, or Iraq bombing, bring on the Vampires and the Werewolves where women kick-ass and take on the testosterone-poisoned men.
    All that being said, my own WIP is a character driven, deep POV historical–so go figure!

    Reply
  15. It is interesting that you posed this question today, Pat, since I was trying to figure out yesterday how to tell my friends to stop pushing their “quiet” books at me. These are friends who do not read genre fiction, so it is a little different, but similar in idea, I guess.
    I used to love those best friend love stories and I haven’t come across many in recent years. I agree that it takes good writing to make those stories happen, and I haven’t seen as many of them lately.
    As for why people love this high concept? I myself has gone crazy for urban fantasy and lots of mysteries in recent years, and I think for me, the reason is that the more removed from reality, the more I enjoy the book. In a historical, the past automatically moves us to a different place, but in a contemporary we need some extra help.
    The state of the world in recent years has been rather dark in the minds of a lot of Americans. I think you are seeing a post 9-11 mindset in people’s escapist material. We want to see people getting the bad guys, but we don’t want it to be *too* real. We want the poor single Mom to get her prince, but since we don’t really believe in that, we choose to read a story about a *real* prince.
    This happened in movies during the 1930’s as well, I believe. The darker the times, the more glamorous and outrageous the movies people went to see. I think you see this trend in other aspects of society as well. Clothing for instance. During the more prosperous 90’s, everybody wanted to dress like a hobo. Now people are wearing either very romantic looking clothing, or something reminiscent of the innocence of the 1950’s. We pretty much want what we can’t have.
    Anyway, that’s my perspective. As long as I turn on the news and have to see one more depressing, scary, school-shooting, or Iraq bombing, bring on the Vampires and the Werewolves where women kick-ass and take on the testosterone-poisoned men.
    All that being said, my own WIP is a character driven, deep POV historical–so go figure!

    Reply
  16. The fantasy/magic/supernatural element has the advantage of explaining otherwise anachronistic details in historicals- I’m sure some authors go outside reality for that reason. But I really love the ordinary heroine who makes life work within the constraints of her society- the woman who knows how to work the system- Carla Kelly’s books are great examples. Jane Eyre is one of my favorites- and I love Sense and Sensibility. Kay’s remark about brides that were shipped to new settlements reminded me of an old TV show called “Here Come the Brides”, about New England girls who went to the new settlement of Seattle-I loved that show! And one of the only Western romance plots that ever appealed to me was the “mail order bride” scenario. Good suggestion, Kay! Maybe one of the wenches will take it from here and we’ll get a great new book next year!

    Reply
  17. The fantasy/magic/supernatural element has the advantage of explaining otherwise anachronistic details in historicals- I’m sure some authors go outside reality for that reason. But I really love the ordinary heroine who makes life work within the constraints of her society- the woman who knows how to work the system- Carla Kelly’s books are great examples. Jane Eyre is one of my favorites- and I love Sense and Sensibility. Kay’s remark about brides that were shipped to new settlements reminded me of an old TV show called “Here Come the Brides”, about New England girls who went to the new settlement of Seattle-I loved that show! And one of the only Western romance plots that ever appealed to me was the “mail order bride” scenario. Good suggestion, Kay! Maybe one of the wenches will take it from here and we’ll get a great new book next year!

    Reply
  18. The fantasy/magic/supernatural element has the advantage of explaining otherwise anachronistic details in historicals- I’m sure some authors go outside reality for that reason. But I really love the ordinary heroine who makes life work within the constraints of her society- the woman who knows how to work the system- Carla Kelly’s books are great examples. Jane Eyre is one of my favorites- and I love Sense and Sensibility. Kay’s remark about brides that were shipped to new settlements reminded me of an old TV show called “Here Come the Brides”, about New England girls who went to the new settlement of Seattle-I loved that show! And one of the only Western romance plots that ever appealed to me was the “mail order bride” scenario. Good suggestion, Kay! Maybe one of the wenches will take it from here and we’ll get a great new book next year!

    Reply
  19. The fantasy/magic/supernatural element has the advantage of explaining otherwise anachronistic details in historicals- I’m sure some authors go outside reality for that reason. But I really love the ordinary heroine who makes life work within the constraints of her society- the woman who knows how to work the system- Carla Kelly’s books are great examples. Jane Eyre is one of my favorites- and I love Sense and Sensibility. Kay’s remark about brides that were shipped to new settlements reminded me of an old TV show called “Here Come the Brides”, about New England girls who went to the new settlement of Seattle-I loved that show! And one of the only Western romance plots that ever appealed to me was the “mail order bride” scenario. Good suggestion, Kay! Maybe one of the wenches will take it from here and we’ll get a great new book next year!

    Reply
  20. The fantasy/magic/supernatural element has the advantage of explaining otherwise anachronistic details in historicals- I’m sure some authors go outside reality for that reason. But I really love the ordinary heroine who makes life work within the constraints of her society- the woman who knows how to work the system- Carla Kelly’s books are great examples. Jane Eyre is one of my favorites- and I love Sense and Sensibility. Kay’s remark about brides that were shipped to new settlements reminded me of an old TV show called “Here Come the Brides”, about New England girls who went to the new settlement of Seattle-I loved that show! And one of the only Western romance plots that ever appealed to me was the “mail order bride” scenario. Good suggestion, Kay! Maybe one of the wenches will take it from here and we’ll get a great new book next year!

    Reply
  21. I’m with you on the quiet fiction… to a point. Yes, I get tired of the extremes out there… and the contemporaries that are nothing more than a soap opera written out. (No offense to soap opera fans, that’s just not my type of drama.) The whole “high concept” idea really irks me, too. And I, also, am a big fan of the “I’ve loved you for years” stories.
    That said… I also agree with jrox, saying that reading is an escape, and we don’t want it to mirror our reality TOO closely. I think that’s why I like historical, and I like the fatasy that’s not too dark, but I don’t care for contemporary unless there’s a time-travel element. But even there, I like a quieter story, where the whole world isn’t at stake.
    Perhaps this is why I’m having trouble putting enough “at stake” in my own story! (At least according to critiquers. Should I listen? Hmmm…)
    Side note: Debbie MacComber comes to mind as a best-selling author writing quiet stories.

    Reply
  22. I’m with you on the quiet fiction… to a point. Yes, I get tired of the extremes out there… and the contemporaries that are nothing more than a soap opera written out. (No offense to soap opera fans, that’s just not my type of drama.) The whole “high concept” idea really irks me, too. And I, also, am a big fan of the “I’ve loved you for years” stories.
    That said… I also agree with jrox, saying that reading is an escape, and we don’t want it to mirror our reality TOO closely. I think that’s why I like historical, and I like the fatasy that’s not too dark, but I don’t care for contemporary unless there’s a time-travel element. But even there, I like a quieter story, where the whole world isn’t at stake.
    Perhaps this is why I’m having trouble putting enough “at stake” in my own story! (At least according to critiquers. Should I listen? Hmmm…)
    Side note: Debbie MacComber comes to mind as a best-selling author writing quiet stories.

    Reply
  23. I’m with you on the quiet fiction… to a point. Yes, I get tired of the extremes out there… and the contemporaries that are nothing more than a soap opera written out. (No offense to soap opera fans, that’s just not my type of drama.) The whole “high concept” idea really irks me, too. And I, also, am a big fan of the “I’ve loved you for years” stories.
    That said… I also agree with jrox, saying that reading is an escape, and we don’t want it to mirror our reality TOO closely. I think that’s why I like historical, and I like the fatasy that’s not too dark, but I don’t care for contemporary unless there’s a time-travel element. But even there, I like a quieter story, where the whole world isn’t at stake.
    Perhaps this is why I’m having trouble putting enough “at stake” in my own story! (At least according to critiquers. Should I listen? Hmmm…)
    Side note: Debbie MacComber comes to mind as a best-selling author writing quiet stories.

    Reply
  24. I’m with you on the quiet fiction… to a point. Yes, I get tired of the extremes out there… and the contemporaries that are nothing more than a soap opera written out. (No offense to soap opera fans, that’s just not my type of drama.) The whole “high concept” idea really irks me, too. And I, also, am a big fan of the “I’ve loved you for years” stories.
    That said… I also agree with jrox, saying that reading is an escape, and we don’t want it to mirror our reality TOO closely. I think that’s why I like historical, and I like the fatasy that’s not too dark, but I don’t care for contemporary unless there’s a time-travel element. But even there, I like a quieter story, where the whole world isn’t at stake.
    Perhaps this is why I’m having trouble putting enough “at stake” in my own story! (At least according to critiquers. Should I listen? Hmmm…)
    Side note: Debbie MacComber comes to mind as a best-selling author writing quiet stories.

    Reply
  25. I’m with you on the quiet fiction… to a point. Yes, I get tired of the extremes out there… and the contemporaries that are nothing more than a soap opera written out. (No offense to soap opera fans, that’s just not my type of drama.) The whole “high concept” idea really irks me, too. And I, also, am a big fan of the “I’ve loved you for years” stories.
    That said… I also agree with jrox, saying that reading is an escape, and we don’t want it to mirror our reality TOO closely. I think that’s why I like historical, and I like the fatasy that’s not too dark, but I don’t care for contemporary unless there’s a time-travel element. But even there, I like a quieter story, where the whole world isn’t at stake.
    Perhaps this is why I’m having trouble putting enough “at stake” in my own story! (At least according to critiquers. Should I listen? Hmmm…)
    Side note: Debbie MacComber comes to mind as a best-selling author writing quiet stories.

    Reply
  26. Thoughtful post, and a good question. I’m not sure whether its indicative of anything or not, but the only recently read title I could come up with that fits your question parameters was ‘I Capture the Castle’ – which was written and set in early 20th century. Fab book, but a ‘quiet’ storyline by current standards, in the sense it lacks any type of physical encounter description, paranormal element, aggressive interaction, or intrigue. Would it have made it past today’s editors?

    Reply
  27. Thoughtful post, and a good question. I’m not sure whether its indicative of anything or not, but the only recently read title I could come up with that fits your question parameters was ‘I Capture the Castle’ – which was written and set in early 20th century. Fab book, but a ‘quiet’ storyline by current standards, in the sense it lacks any type of physical encounter description, paranormal element, aggressive interaction, or intrigue. Would it have made it past today’s editors?

    Reply
  28. Thoughtful post, and a good question. I’m not sure whether its indicative of anything or not, but the only recently read title I could come up with that fits your question parameters was ‘I Capture the Castle’ – which was written and set in early 20th century. Fab book, but a ‘quiet’ storyline by current standards, in the sense it lacks any type of physical encounter description, paranormal element, aggressive interaction, or intrigue. Would it have made it past today’s editors?

    Reply
  29. Thoughtful post, and a good question. I’m not sure whether its indicative of anything or not, but the only recently read title I could come up with that fits your question parameters was ‘I Capture the Castle’ – which was written and set in early 20th century. Fab book, but a ‘quiet’ storyline by current standards, in the sense it lacks any type of physical encounter description, paranormal element, aggressive interaction, or intrigue. Would it have made it past today’s editors?

    Reply
  30. Thoughtful post, and a good question. I’m not sure whether its indicative of anything or not, but the only recently read title I could come up with that fits your question parameters was ‘I Capture the Castle’ – which was written and set in early 20th century. Fab book, but a ‘quiet’ storyline by current standards, in the sense it lacks any type of physical encounter description, paranormal element, aggressive interaction, or intrigue. Would it have made it past today’s editors?

    Reply
  31. Great post, Pat. Food for thought for several days, at least. My problem is, the older I get, the more my analytical brain starts chasing its own tail.
    High concept has always given me fits. I tend to write about normal people who are forced to step outside their comfort zone to overcome something extraordinary life has thrown at them. Nothing paranormal or superhero-like, just boy meets girl and then must save the ranch kind of stuff. No high concept there, and it’s historical to boot. The characters and the way they react to each other make the story unique, but that doesn’t sell in NY. There are a thousand boy meets girl and saves the ranch stories out there.
    From my limited perspective, what I see happening in the historical genre market is the books getting hotter in order to try and stay competitive. This gives me even more fits because I don’t want to sacrifice plot and characterization to make room for more, and unnecessary, “love” scenes. But if I’m to have even a shot at selling right now, this is the choice I must make. Either that, or write the next GWTW. After a reading hiatus of two years, I’ve been sampling books within my genre from the pubs I would target, and it’s been a real eye-opening experience.
    Sorry if I strayed from the central issue of your post. As I said, brain = mush = chasing tail these days when trying to figure out the market. I am one of those who longs for the return of normal people who behave in a way I can relate to in romance fiction. I also long for the return of “good” writing. From what I’m seeing, if a person can write hot enough, quality can be overlooked for the greater issue of marketability.

    Reply
  32. Great post, Pat. Food for thought for several days, at least. My problem is, the older I get, the more my analytical brain starts chasing its own tail.
    High concept has always given me fits. I tend to write about normal people who are forced to step outside their comfort zone to overcome something extraordinary life has thrown at them. Nothing paranormal or superhero-like, just boy meets girl and then must save the ranch kind of stuff. No high concept there, and it’s historical to boot. The characters and the way they react to each other make the story unique, but that doesn’t sell in NY. There are a thousand boy meets girl and saves the ranch stories out there.
    From my limited perspective, what I see happening in the historical genre market is the books getting hotter in order to try and stay competitive. This gives me even more fits because I don’t want to sacrifice plot and characterization to make room for more, and unnecessary, “love” scenes. But if I’m to have even a shot at selling right now, this is the choice I must make. Either that, or write the next GWTW. After a reading hiatus of two years, I’ve been sampling books within my genre from the pubs I would target, and it’s been a real eye-opening experience.
    Sorry if I strayed from the central issue of your post. As I said, brain = mush = chasing tail these days when trying to figure out the market. I am one of those who longs for the return of normal people who behave in a way I can relate to in romance fiction. I also long for the return of “good” writing. From what I’m seeing, if a person can write hot enough, quality can be overlooked for the greater issue of marketability.

    Reply
  33. Great post, Pat. Food for thought for several days, at least. My problem is, the older I get, the more my analytical brain starts chasing its own tail.
    High concept has always given me fits. I tend to write about normal people who are forced to step outside their comfort zone to overcome something extraordinary life has thrown at them. Nothing paranormal or superhero-like, just boy meets girl and then must save the ranch kind of stuff. No high concept there, and it’s historical to boot. The characters and the way they react to each other make the story unique, but that doesn’t sell in NY. There are a thousand boy meets girl and saves the ranch stories out there.
    From my limited perspective, what I see happening in the historical genre market is the books getting hotter in order to try and stay competitive. This gives me even more fits because I don’t want to sacrifice plot and characterization to make room for more, and unnecessary, “love” scenes. But if I’m to have even a shot at selling right now, this is the choice I must make. Either that, or write the next GWTW. After a reading hiatus of two years, I’ve been sampling books within my genre from the pubs I would target, and it’s been a real eye-opening experience.
    Sorry if I strayed from the central issue of your post. As I said, brain = mush = chasing tail these days when trying to figure out the market. I am one of those who longs for the return of normal people who behave in a way I can relate to in romance fiction. I also long for the return of “good” writing. From what I’m seeing, if a person can write hot enough, quality can be overlooked for the greater issue of marketability.

    Reply
  34. Great post, Pat. Food for thought for several days, at least. My problem is, the older I get, the more my analytical brain starts chasing its own tail.
    High concept has always given me fits. I tend to write about normal people who are forced to step outside their comfort zone to overcome something extraordinary life has thrown at them. Nothing paranormal or superhero-like, just boy meets girl and then must save the ranch kind of stuff. No high concept there, and it’s historical to boot. The characters and the way they react to each other make the story unique, but that doesn’t sell in NY. There are a thousand boy meets girl and saves the ranch stories out there.
    From my limited perspective, what I see happening in the historical genre market is the books getting hotter in order to try and stay competitive. This gives me even more fits because I don’t want to sacrifice plot and characterization to make room for more, and unnecessary, “love” scenes. But if I’m to have even a shot at selling right now, this is the choice I must make. Either that, or write the next GWTW. After a reading hiatus of two years, I’ve been sampling books within my genre from the pubs I would target, and it’s been a real eye-opening experience.
    Sorry if I strayed from the central issue of your post. As I said, brain = mush = chasing tail these days when trying to figure out the market. I am one of those who longs for the return of normal people who behave in a way I can relate to in romance fiction. I also long for the return of “good” writing. From what I’m seeing, if a person can write hot enough, quality can be overlooked for the greater issue of marketability.

    Reply
  35. Great post, Pat. Food for thought for several days, at least. My problem is, the older I get, the more my analytical brain starts chasing its own tail.
    High concept has always given me fits. I tend to write about normal people who are forced to step outside their comfort zone to overcome something extraordinary life has thrown at them. Nothing paranormal or superhero-like, just boy meets girl and then must save the ranch kind of stuff. No high concept there, and it’s historical to boot. The characters and the way they react to each other make the story unique, but that doesn’t sell in NY. There are a thousand boy meets girl and saves the ranch stories out there.
    From my limited perspective, what I see happening in the historical genre market is the books getting hotter in order to try and stay competitive. This gives me even more fits because I don’t want to sacrifice plot and characterization to make room for more, and unnecessary, “love” scenes. But if I’m to have even a shot at selling right now, this is the choice I must make. Either that, or write the next GWTW. After a reading hiatus of two years, I’ve been sampling books within my genre from the pubs I would target, and it’s been a real eye-opening experience.
    Sorry if I strayed from the central issue of your post. As I said, brain = mush = chasing tail these days when trying to figure out the market. I am one of those who longs for the return of normal people who behave in a way I can relate to in romance fiction. I also long for the return of “good” writing. From what I’m seeing, if a person can write hot enough, quality can be overlooked for the greater issue of marketability.

    Reply
  36. I love historicals for they automatically provide enough “high concept” for me. As for contemporaries, the timing of the column is perfect, because there was a review in yesterday’s Washington Post of “The Opposite of Love” by Sarah Courteau. One of the points the reviewer made was that this book was a more realistic version of Sex and the City; in fact, the review was subtitled “Carrie Bradshaw’s smarter sister”. The reviewer liked it very much in large part because the author could take supposedly ordinary situations and people and make them fresh and appealing. I also recently read Dan Graziano’s “The Ultimatum”, about a man whose girlfriend presents him with exactly that. It’s funny and real and not a bit boring. Now I wonder how either of those two books got published.

    Reply
  37. I love historicals for they automatically provide enough “high concept” for me. As for contemporaries, the timing of the column is perfect, because there was a review in yesterday’s Washington Post of “The Opposite of Love” by Sarah Courteau. One of the points the reviewer made was that this book was a more realistic version of Sex and the City; in fact, the review was subtitled “Carrie Bradshaw’s smarter sister”. The reviewer liked it very much in large part because the author could take supposedly ordinary situations and people and make them fresh and appealing. I also recently read Dan Graziano’s “The Ultimatum”, about a man whose girlfriend presents him with exactly that. It’s funny and real and not a bit boring. Now I wonder how either of those two books got published.

    Reply
  38. I love historicals for they automatically provide enough “high concept” for me. As for contemporaries, the timing of the column is perfect, because there was a review in yesterday’s Washington Post of “The Opposite of Love” by Sarah Courteau. One of the points the reviewer made was that this book was a more realistic version of Sex and the City; in fact, the review was subtitled “Carrie Bradshaw’s smarter sister”. The reviewer liked it very much in large part because the author could take supposedly ordinary situations and people and make them fresh and appealing. I also recently read Dan Graziano’s “The Ultimatum”, about a man whose girlfriend presents him with exactly that. It’s funny and real and not a bit boring. Now I wonder how either of those two books got published.

    Reply
  39. I love historicals for they automatically provide enough “high concept” for me. As for contemporaries, the timing of the column is perfect, because there was a review in yesterday’s Washington Post of “The Opposite of Love” by Sarah Courteau. One of the points the reviewer made was that this book was a more realistic version of Sex and the City; in fact, the review was subtitled “Carrie Bradshaw’s smarter sister”. The reviewer liked it very much in large part because the author could take supposedly ordinary situations and people and make them fresh and appealing. I also recently read Dan Graziano’s “The Ultimatum”, about a man whose girlfriend presents him with exactly that. It’s funny and real and not a bit boring. Now I wonder how either of those two books got published.

    Reply
  40. I love historicals for they automatically provide enough “high concept” for me. As for contemporaries, the timing of the column is perfect, because there was a review in yesterday’s Washington Post of “The Opposite of Love” by Sarah Courteau. One of the points the reviewer made was that this book was a more realistic version of Sex and the City; in fact, the review was subtitled “Carrie Bradshaw’s smarter sister”. The reviewer liked it very much in large part because the author could take supposedly ordinary situations and people and make them fresh and appealing. I also recently read Dan Graziano’s “The Ultimatum”, about a man whose girlfriend presents him with exactly that. It’s funny and real and not a bit boring. Now I wonder how either of those two books got published.

    Reply
  41. I knew I could count on our readers to provide fresh perspective, thank you! Like Devon, I get to muddling around inside my own brain until the subject turns to mush.
    I enjoy a great deal of the urban fantasy I’ve read, but I haven’t decided if that’s a result of 9/11 or not. I thought right after that everyone wanted humorous and light. Chicklit rampaged through the stores. The rapid switch from light and humorous to dark and dangerous has left me staggering.
    But you’re totally and completely right that characterization, not plot, drives quiet fiction. And characterization can be really tricky if you’re trying to stick with a “real” world.
    I’m making a list of suggested titles to take to the store and library, so keep ’em coming, please!
    (and yeah, I love the brides idea just as much as the train orphans–reality fascinates me far more than vampires–which is obviously a problem, sigh)

    Reply
  42. I knew I could count on our readers to provide fresh perspective, thank you! Like Devon, I get to muddling around inside my own brain until the subject turns to mush.
    I enjoy a great deal of the urban fantasy I’ve read, but I haven’t decided if that’s a result of 9/11 or not. I thought right after that everyone wanted humorous and light. Chicklit rampaged through the stores. The rapid switch from light and humorous to dark and dangerous has left me staggering.
    But you’re totally and completely right that characterization, not plot, drives quiet fiction. And characterization can be really tricky if you’re trying to stick with a “real” world.
    I’m making a list of suggested titles to take to the store and library, so keep ’em coming, please!
    (and yeah, I love the brides idea just as much as the train orphans–reality fascinates me far more than vampires–which is obviously a problem, sigh)

    Reply
  43. I knew I could count on our readers to provide fresh perspective, thank you! Like Devon, I get to muddling around inside my own brain until the subject turns to mush.
    I enjoy a great deal of the urban fantasy I’ve read, but I haven’t decided if that’s a result of 9/11 or not. I thought right after that everyone wanted humorous and light. Chicklit rampaged through the stores. The rapid switch from light and humorous to dark and dangerous has left me staggering.
    But you’re totally and completely right that characterization, not plot, drives quiet fiction. And characterization can be really tricky if you’re trying to stick with a “real” world.
    I’m making a list of suggested titles to take to the store and library, so keep ’em coming, please!
    (and yeah, I love the brides idea just as much as the train orphans–reality fascinates me far more than vampires–which is obviously a problem, sigh)

    Reply
  44. I knew I could count on our readers to provide fresh perspective, thank you! Like Devon, I get to muddling around inside my own brain until the subject turns to mush.
    I enjoy a great deal of the urban fantasy I’ve read, but I haven’t decided if that’s a result of 9/11 or not. I thought right after that everyone wanted humorous and light. Chicklit rampaged through the stores. The rapid switch from light and humorous to dark and dangerous has left me staggering.
    But you’re totally and completely right that characterization, not plot, drives quiet fiction. And characterization can be really tricky if you’re trying to stick with a “real” world.
    I’m making a list of suggested titles to take to the store and library, so keep ’em coming, please!
    (and yeah, I love the brides idea just as much as the train orphans–reality fascinates me far more than vampires–which is obviously a problem, sigh)

    Reply
  45. I knew I could count on our readers to provide fresh perspective, thank you! Like Devon, I get to muddling around inside my own brain until the subject turns to mush.
    I enjoy a great deal of the urban fantasy I’ve read, but I haven’t decided if that’s a result of 9/11 or not. I thought right after that everyone wanted humorous and light. Chicklit rampaged through the stores. The rapid switch from light and humorous to dark and dangerous has left me staggering.
    But you’re totally and completely right that characterization, not plot, drives quiet fiction. And characterization can be really tricky if you’re trying to stick with a “real” world.
    I’m making a list of suggested titles to take to the store and library, so keep ’em coming, please!
    (and yeah, I love the brides idea just as much as the train orphans–reality fascinates me far more than vampires–which is obviously a problem, sigh)

    Reply
  46. I’ll enjoy a romance no matter what it’s about or where it’s set, as long as it’s a good story, the H/H are likeable, and the writing is top notch. Unfortunately, it’s often hard to find all 3 in the same book. :-/

    Reply
  47. I’ll enjoy a romance no matter what it’s about or where it’s set, as long as it’s a good story, the H/H are likeable, and the writing is top notch. Unfortunately, it’s often hard to find all 3 in the same book. :-/

    Reply
  48. I’ll enjoy a romance no matter what it’s about or where it’s set, as long as it’s a good story, the H/H are likeable, and the writing is top notch. Unfortunately, it’s often hard to find all 3 in the same book. :-/

    Reply
  49. I’ll enjoy a romance no matter what it’s about or where it’s set, as long as it’s a good story, the H/H are likeable, and the writing is top notch. Unfortunately, it’s often hard to find all 3 in the same book. :-/

    Reply
  50. I’ll enjoy a romance no matter what it’s about or where it’s set, as long as it’s a good story, the H/H are likeable, and the writing is top notch. Unfortunately, it’s often hard to find all 3 in the same book. :-/

    Reply
  51. I, too, thought of Debbie Macomber as writing “quiet” stories. Pamela Morsi has written a coulpe of these recently, too. There’s also Susan Wiggs. One of my favorites in the last couple of years was “Once upon a Wedding” by Kathleen Eagle. I get tired of the far-out things so prevalent now. I won’t read vampire stories and I’ve stopped werewolves and shape-shifters for the most part. As you said, Pat, I’d rather have real people and real situations.
    BTW, on the subject of Western romance, one author of these that is still popular with patrons of the library where I work is Jodi Thomas. So it is still being read (and published) though maybe not in huge quantities.

    Reply
  52. I, too, thought of Debbie Macomber as writing “quiet” stories. Pamela Morsi has written a coulpe of these recently, too. There’s also Susan Wiggs. One of my favorites in the last couple of years was “Once upon a Wedding” by Kathleen Eagle. I get tired of the far-out things so prevalent now. I won’t read vampire stories and I’ve stopped werewolves and shape-shifters for the most part. As you said, Pat, I’d rather have real people and real situations.
    BTW, on the subject of Western romance, one author of these that is still popular with patrons of the library where I work is Jodi Thomas. So it is still being read (and published) though maybe not in huge quantities.

    Reply
  53. I, too, thought of Debbie Macomber as writing “quiet” stories. Pamela Morsi has written a coulpe of these recently, too. There’s also Susan Wiggs. One of my favorites in the last couple of years was “Once upon a Wedding” by Kathleen Eagle. I get tired of the far-out things so prevalent now. I won’t read vampire stories and I’ve stopped werewolves and shape-shifters for the most part. As you said, Pat, I’d rather have real people and real situations.
    BTW, on the subject of Western romance, one author of these that is still popular with patrons of the library where I work is Jodi Thomas. So it is still being read (and published) though maybe not in huge quantities.

    Reply
  54. I, too, thought of Debbie Macomber as writing “quiet” stories. Pamela Morsi has written a coulpe of these recently, too. There’s also Susan Wiggs. One of my favorites in the last couple of years was “Once upon a Wedding” by Kathleen Eagle. I get tired of the far-out things so prevalent now. I won’t read vampire stories and I’ve stopped werewolves and shape-shifters for the most part. As you said, Pat, I’d rather have real people and real situations.
    BTW, on the subject of Western romance, one author of these that is still popular with patrons of the library where I work is Jodi Thomas. So it is still being read (and published) though maybe not in huge quantities.

    Reply
  55. I, too, thought of Debbie Macomber as writing “quiet” stories. Pamela Morsi has written a coulpe of these recently, too. There’s also Susan Wiggs. One of my favorites in the last couple of years was “Once upon a Wedding” by Kathleen Eagle. I get tired of the far-out things so prevalent now. I won’t read vampire stories and I’ve stopped werewolves and shape-shifters for the most part. As you said, Pat, I’d rather have real people and real situations.
    BTW, on the subject of Western romance, one author of these that is still popular with patrons of the library where I work is Jodi Thomas. So it is still being read (and published) though maybe not in huge quantities.

    Reply
  56. I like quiet books, too, but as I page back through my blog/reading journal, I’m not finding too many. Which just goes to show how hard they are to find.
    A few books I’ve enjoyed in the past year or so that might qualify:
    Janet Mullany’s THE RULES OF GENTILITY. It’s marketed as Regency chick-lit, but to me it read like a playful take on old-school Regency romance.
    THE BOYS NEXT DOOR and MAJOR CRUSH, both by Jennifer Echols. Realistic and often funny YA romance.
    Not sure this quite meets the criteria, but I’m loving Donis Casey’s amateur sleuth mystery series featuring a farmer’s wife in early 20th century Oklahoma who solves mysteries that so far have conveniently tied in to her older daughters’ marriage prospects. They have lots of lovely details of bygone rural life. First book is THE OLD BUZZARD HAD IT COMING.
    Of course, a lot of my favorites are neither quiet nor high concept. E.g. I’m on an extended Bernard Cornwell glom, and his books are too violent, adventurous, and sweeping to be quiet, but they don’t have the over-the-top hooks of a high concept book.
    And I do enjoy books that somehow manage to get the best of both worlds–a high concept hook with a strong character-driven story. As it happens, I see that a lot in YA lately–I’m thinking of Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries and Caridad Ferrer’s Rita-winning Adios to My Old Life, which is about a teen girl who finds herself a reality show star. I’d also class Naomi Novik’s books as character-driven high concept.

    Reply
  57. I like quiet books, too, but as I page back through my blog/reading journal, I’m not finding too many. Which just goes to show how hard they are to find.
    A few books I’ve enjoyed in the past year or so that might qualify:
    Janet Mullany’s THE RULES OF GENTILITY. It’s marketed as Regency chick-lit, but to me it read like a playful take on old-school Regency romance.
    THE BOYS NEXT DOOR and MAJOR CRUSH, both by Jennifer Echols. Realistic and often funny YA romance.
    Not sure this quite meets the criteria, but I’m loving Donis Casey’s amateur sleuth mystery series featuring a farmer’s wife in early 20th century Oklahoma who solves mysteries that so far have conveniently tied in to her older daughters’ marriage prospects. They have lots of lovely details of bygone rural life. First book is THE OLD BUZZARD HAD IT COMING.
    Of course, a lot of my favorites are neither quiet nor high concept. E.g. I’m on an extended Bernard Cornwell glom, and his books are too violent, adventurous, and sweeping to be quiet, but they don’t have the over-the-top hooks of a high concept book.
    And I do enjoy books that somehow manage to get the best of both worlds–a high concept hook with a strong character-driven story. As it happens, I see that a lot in YA lately–I’m thinking of Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries and Caridad Ferrer’s Rita-winning Adios to My Old Life, which is about a teen girl who finds herself a reality show star. I’d also class Naomi Novik’s books as character-driven high concept.

    Reply
  58. I like quiet books, too, but as I page back through my blog/reading journal, I’m not finding too many. Which just goes to show how hard they are to find.
    A few books I’ve enjoyed in the past year or so that might qualify:
    Janet Mullany’s THE RULES OF GENTILITY. It’s marketed as Regency chick-lit, but to me it read like a playful take on old-school Regency romance.
    THE BOYS NEXT DOOR and MAJOR CRUSH, both by Jennifer Echols. Realistic and often funny YA romance.
    Not sure this quite meets the criteria, but I’m loving Donis Casey’s amateur sleuth mystery series featuring a farmer’s wife in early 20th century Oklahoma who solves mysteries that so far have conveniently tied in to her older daughters’ marriage prospects. They have lots of lovely details of bygone rural life. First book is THE OLD BUZZARD HAD IT COMING.
    Of course, a lot of my favorites are neither quiet nor high concept. E.g. I’m on an extended Bernard Cornwell glom, and his books are too violent, adventurous, and sweeping to be quiet, but they don’t have the over-the-top hooks of a high concept book.
    And I do enjoy books that somehow manage to get the best of both worlds–a high concept hook with a strong character-driven story. As it happens, I see that a lot in YA lately–I’m thinking of Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries and Caridad Ferrer’s Rita-winning Adios to My Old Life, which is about a teen girl who finds herself a reality show star. I’d also class Naomi Novik’s books as character-driven high concept.

    Reply
  59. I like quiet books, too, but as I page back through my blog/reading journal, I’m not finding too many. Which just goes to show how hard they are to find.
    A few books I’ve enjoyed in the past year or so that might qualify:
    Janet Mullany’s THE RULES OF GENTILITY. It’s marketed as Regency chick-lit, but to me it read like a playful take on old-school Regency romance.
    THE BOYS NEXT DOOR and MAJOR CRUSH, both by Jennifer Echols. Realistic and often funny YA romance.
    Not sure this quite meets the criteria, but I’m loving Donis Casey’s amateur sleuth mystery series featuring a farmer’s wife in early 20th century Oklahoma who solves mysteries that so far have conveniently tied in to her older daughters’ marriage prospects. They have lots of lovely details of bygone rural life. First book is THE OLD BUZZARD HAD IT COMING.
    Of course, a lot of my favorites are neither quiet nor high concept. E.g. I’m on an extended Bernard Cornwell glom, and his books are too violent, adventurous, and sweeping to be quiet, but they don’t have the over-the-top hooks of a high concept book.
    And I do enjoy books that somehow manage to get the best of both worlds–a high concept hook with a strong character-driven story. As it happens, I see that a lot in YA lately–I’m thinking of Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries and Caridad Ferrer’s Rita-winning Adios to My Old Life, which is about a teen girl who finds herself a reality show star. I’d also class Naomi Novik’s books as character-driven high concept.

    Reply
  60. I like quiet books, too, but as I page back through my blog/reading journal, I’m not finding too many. Which just goes to show how hard they are to find.
    A few books I’ve enjoyed in the past year or so that might qualify:
    Janet Mullany’s THE RULES OF GENTILITY. It’s marketed as Regency chick-lit, but to me it read like a playful take on old-school Regency romance.
    THE BOYS NEXT DOOR and MAJOR CRUSH, both by Jennifer Echols. Realistic and often funny YA romance.
    Not sure this quite meets the criteria, but I’m loving Donis Casey’s amateur sleuth mystery series featuring a farmer’s wife in early 20th century Oklahoma who solves mysteries that so far have conveniently tied in to her older daughters’ marriage prospects. They have lots of lovely details of bygone rural life. First book is THE OLD BUZZARD HAD IT COMING.
    Of course, a lot of my favorites are neither quiet nor high concept. E.g. I’m on an extended Bernard Cornwell glom, and his books are too violent, adventurous, and sweeping to be quiet, but they don’t have the over-the-top hooks of a high concept book.
    And I do enjoy books that somehow manage to get the best of both worlds–a high concept hook with a strong character-driven story. As it happens, I see that a lot in YA lately–I’m thinking of Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries and Caridad Ferrer’s Rita-winning Adios to My Old Life, which is about a teen girl who finds herself a reality show star. I’d also class Naomi Novik’s books as character-driven high concept.

    Reply
  61. The one book I am about to finish readibg is Souvenier by Therese Fowler and is a lovely story of lost and found love. I think I am going to have to get the tissues out when I finally finish it. These kinds of books are good for once in a while but I like alot more drama in my books I usually read

    Reply
  62. The one book I am about to finish readibg is Souvenier by Therese Fowler and is a lovely story of lost and found love. I think I am going to have to get the tissues out when I finally finish it. These kinds of books are good for once in a while but I like alot more drama in my books I usually read

    Reply
  63. The one book I am about to finish readibg is Souvenier by Therese Fowler and is a lovely story of lost and found love. I think I am going to have to get the tissues out when I finally finish it. These kinds of books are good for once in a while but I like alot more drama in my books I usually read

    Reply
  64. The one book I am about to finish readibg is Souvenier by Therese Fowler and is a lovely story of lost and found love. I think I am going to have to get the tissues out when I finally finish it. These kinds of books are good for once in a while but I like alot more drama in my books I usually read

    Reply
  65. The one book I am about to finish readibg is Souvenier by Therese Fowler and is a lovely story of lost and found love. I think I am going to have to get the tissues out when I finally finish it. These kinds of books are good for once in a while but I like alot more drama in my books I usually read

    Reply
  66. Eagle and Morsi are on my autobuy list. Macomber has reached the level of bestseller along with Binchy, et al, so I didn’t mention her. The Mullany book is in my TBR stack. And you’re totally right about YA allowing a far wider spectrum of tastes and concepts and fantastic characters. I need to find out more about that market.
    And I’m also thrilled to hear that readers LIKE quiet fiction, if properly done, of course. So I’m not totally outdated and out of step. That’s reassuring to hear.

    Reply
  67. Eagle and Morsi are on my autobuy list. Macomber has reached the level of bestseller along with Binchy, et al, so I didn’t mention her. The Mullany book is in my TBR stack. And you’re totally right about YA allowing a far wider spectrum of tastes and concepts and fantastic characters. I need to find out more about that market.
    And I’m also thrilled to hear that readers LIKE quiet fiction, if properly done, of course. So I’m not totally outdated and out of step. That’s reassuring to hear.

    Reply
  68. Eagle and Morsi are on my autobuy list. Macomber has reached the level of bestseller along with Binchy, et al, so I didn’t mention her. The Mullany book is in my TBR stack. And you’re totally right about YA allowing a far wider spectrum of tastes and concepts and fantastic characters. I need to find out more about that market.
    And I’m also thrilled to hear that readers LIKE quiet fiction, if properly done, of course. So I’m not totally outdated and out of step. That’s reassuring to hear.

    Reply
  69. Eagle and Morsi are on my autobuy list. Macomber has reached the level of bestseller along with Binchy, et al, so I didn’t mention her. The Mullany book is in my TBR stack. And you’re totally right about YA allowing a far wider spectrum of tastes and concepts and fantastic characters. I need to find out more about that market.
    And I’m also thrilled to hear that readers LIKE quiet fiction, if properly done, of course. So I’m not totally outdated and out of step. That’s reassuring to hear.

    Reply
  70. Eagle and Morsi are on my autobuy list. Macomber has reached the level of bestseller along with Binchy, et al, so I didn’t mention her. The Mullany book is in my TBR stack. And you’re totally right about YA allowing a far wider spectrum of tastes and concepts and fantastic characters. I need to find out more about that market.
    And I’m also thrilled to hear that readers LIKE quiet fiction, if properly done, of course. So I’m not totally outdated and out of step. That’s reassuring to hear.

    Reply
  71. I like quiet fiction better than high concept stuff; quiet fiction I can reread (among other things this stretches my entertainment dollar further) but high concept stuff I can only skim. So much HC seems like 46 minutes of bad TV and is remembered just about as long. I wouldn’t have any problem with the glut of it though, if I didn’t suspect it was squeezing other kinds of books out.
    I don’t think anybody has yet mentioned your very own Barbara Samuel — I loved Home, Heaven, Mirabou, Kitchen and Las Vegas, and I wish she’d hurry up with the next book.

    Reply
  72. I like quiet fiction better than high concept stuff; quiet fiction I can reread (among other things this stretches my entertainment dollar further) but high concept stuff I can only skim. So much HC seems like 46 minutes of bad TV and is remembered just about as long. I wouldn’t have any problem with the glut of it though, if I didn’t suspect it was squeezing other kinds of books out.
    I don’t think anybody has yet mentioned your very own Barbara Samuel — I loved Home, Heaven, Mirabou, Kitchen and Las Vegas, and I wish she’d hurry up with the next book.

    Reply
  73. I like quiet fiction better than high concept stuff; quiet fiction I can reread (among other things this stretches my entertainment dollar further) but high concept stuff I can only skim. So much HC seems like 46 minutes of bad TV and is remembered just about as long. I wouldn’t have any problem with the glut of it though, if I didn’t suspect it was squeezing other kinds of books out.
    I don’t think anybody has yet mentioned your very own Barbara Samuel — I loved Home, Heaven, Mirabou, Kitchen and Las Vegas, and I wish she’d hurry up with the next book.

    Reply
  74. I like quiet fiction better than high concept stuff; quiet fiction I can reread (among other things this stretches my entertainment dollar further) but high concept stuff I can only skim. So much HC seems like 46 minutes of bad TV and is remembered just about as long. I wouldn’t have any problem with the glut of it though, if I didn’t suspect it was squeezing other kinds of books out.
    I don’t think anybody has yet mentioned your very own Barbara Samuel — I loved Home, Heaven, Mirabou, Kitchen and Las Vegas, and I wish she’d hurry up with the next book.

    Reply
  75. I like quiet fiction better than high concept stuff; quiet fiction I can reread (among other things this stretches my entertainment dollar further) but high concept stuff I can only skim. So much HC seems like 46 minutes of bad TV and is remembered just about as long. I wouldn’t have any problem with the glut of it though, if I didn’t suspect it was squeezing other kinds of books out.
    I don’t think anybody has yet mentioned your very own Barbara Samuel — I loved Home, Heaven, Mirabou, Kitchen and Las Vegas, and I wish she’d hurry up with the next book.

    Reply
  76. I think HC is really hard to pull off in historicals. I pitched my second books as “What if Madam X had lived during the 18th century?” which is as HC as I could get. LOL!
    But then I’m a “quiet book” girl, too. I think that might be why I’m drawn to historicals. I don’t need (or want) demons and vampires and reality television stars. I want STORIES.

    Reply
  77. I think HC is really hard to pull off in historicals. I pitched my second books as “What if Madam X had lived during the 18th century?” which is as HC as I could get. LOL!
    But then I’m a “quiet book” girl, too. I think that might be why I’m drawn to historicals. I don’t need (or want) demons and vampires and reality television stars. I want STORIES.

    Reply
  78. I think HC is really hard to pull off in historicals. I pitched my second books as “What if Madam X had lived during the 18th century?” which is as HC as I could get. LOL!
    But then I’m a “quiet book” girl, too. I think that might be why I’m drawn to historicals. I don’t need (or want) demons and vampires and reality television stars. I want STORIES.

    Reply
  79. I think HC is really hard to pull off in historicals. I pitched my second books as “What if Madam X had lived during the 18th century?” which is as HC as I could get. LOL!
    But then I’m a “quiet book” girl, too. I think that might be why I’m drawn to historicals. I don’t need (or want) demons and vampires and reality television stars. I want STORIES.

    Reply
  80. I think HC is really hard to pull off in historicals. I pitched my second books as “What if Madam X had lived during the 18th century?” which is as HC as I could get. LOL!
    But then I’m a “quiet book” girl, too. I think that might be why I’m drawn to historicals. I don’t need (or want) demons and vampires and reality television stars. I want STORIES.

    Reply
  81. Well, my WIP is an alternate history, which is pretty much high concept by definition. But my goal is to hook ’em with my high concept “what-if” and keep them with strong writing and compelling characters.

    Reply
  82. Well, my WIP is an alternate history, which is pretty much high concept by definition. But my goal is to hook ’em with my high concept “what-if” and keep them with strong writing and compelling characters.

    Reply
  83. Well, my WIP is an alternate history, which is pretty much high concept by definition. But my goal is to hook ’em with my high concept “what-if” and keep them with strong writing and compelling characters.

    Reply
  84. Well, my WIP is an alternate history, which is pretty much high concept by definition. But my goal is to hook ’em with my high concept “what-if” and keep them with strong writing and compelling characters.

    Reply
  85. Well, my WIP is an alternate history, which is pretty much high concept by definition. But my goal is to hook ’em with my high concept “what-if” and keep them with strong writing and compelling characters.

    Reply
  86. If you’re looking for real people, I just discovered a new mystery series that has romantic undercurrents (I’m only on the second book, so I can’t tell you how it goes yet!).
    The author is Julia Spencer-Fleming, and she writes mysteries set in the Adirondacks in New York. The main characters are Clare Fergusson, an Episcopal priest, and Russ Van Alstyne, the chief of police. And the priest is an actual, real, three-dimensional person, which matters a lot to me since my mom is a priest and I’m heartily sick of all the platitude popper priests (no offense!).
    Jessica

    Reply
  87. If you’re looking for real people, I just discovered a new mystery series that has romantic undercurrents (I’m only on the second book, so I can’t tell you how it goes yet!).
    The author is Julia Spencer-Fleming, and she writes mysteries set in the Adirondacks in New York. The main characters are Clare Fergusson, an Episcopal priest, and Russ Van Alstyne, the chief of police. And the priest is an actual, real, three-dimensional person, which matters a lot to me since my mom is a priest and I’m heartily sick of all the platitude popper priests (no offense!).
    Jessica

    Reply
  88. If you’re looking for real people, I just discovered a new mystery series that has romantic undercurrents (I’m only on the second book, so I can’t tell you how it goes yet!).
    The author is Julia Spencer-Fleming, and she writes mysteries set in the Adirondacks in New York. The main characters are Clare Fergusson, an Episcopal priest, and Russ Van Alstyne, the chief of police. And the priest is an actual, real, three-dimensional person, which matters a lot to me since my mom is a priest and I’m heartily sick of all the platitude popper priests (no offense!).
    Jessica

    Reply
  89. If you’re looking for real people, I just discovered a new mystery series that has romantic undercurrents (I’m only on the second book, so I can’t tell you how it goes yet!).
    The author is Julia Spencer-Fleming, and she writes mysteries set in the Adirondacks in New York. The main characters are Clare Fergusson, an Episcopal priest, and Russ Van Alstyne, the chief of police. And the priest is an actual, real, three-dimensional person, which matters a lot to me since my mom is a priest and I’m heartily sick of all the platitude popper priests (no offense!).
    Jessica

    Reply
  90. If you’re looking for real people, I just discovered a new mystery series that has romantic undercurrents (I’m only on the second book, so I can’t tell you how it goes yet!).
    The author is Julia Spencer-Fleming, and she writes mysteries set in the Adirondacks in New York. The main characters are Clare Fergusson, an Episcopal priest, and Russ Van Alstyne, the chief of police. And the priest is an actual, real, three-dimensional person, which matters a lot to me since my mom is a priest and I’m heartily sick of all the platitude popper priests (no offense!).
    Jessica

    Reply
  91. How could I have forgotten Barbara Samuels?! Slap my wrist. She is my ideal. I adore her stuff.
    And I agree, Janice. In most cases–not all–HC is a great fast read that I forget the minute I put it down. As much as I love candy, I crave meat and veggies occasionally.
    And I forgot to mention earlier that I’ve been reading more and more mysteries because I can find more of the people and stories I enjoy there, so thanks for the recommendations!
    Jessica, have you read Emily Richards mystery series where the heroine is a minister’s wife? Since she’s one in real life, she has a fresh, honest take on it.

    Reply
  92. How could I have forgotten Barbara Samuels?! Slap my wrist. She is my ideal. I adore her stuff.
    And I agree, Janice. In most cases–not all–HC is a great fast read that I forget the minute I put it down. As much as I love candy, I crave meat and veggies occasionally.
    And I forgot to mention earlier that I’ve been reading more and more mysteries because I can find more of the people and stories I enjoy there, so thanks for the recommendations!
    Jessica, have you read Emily Richards mystery series where the heroine is a minister’s wife? Since she’s one in real life, she has a fresh, honest take on it.

    Reply
  93. How could I have forgotten Barbara Samuels?! Slap my wrist. She is my ideal. I adore her stuff.
    And I agree, Janice. In most cases–not all–HC is a great fast read that I forget the minute I put it down. As much as I love candy, I crave meat and veggies occasionally.
    And I forgot to mention earlier that I’ve been reading more and more mysteries because I can find more of the people and stories I enjoy there, so thanks for the recommendations!
    Jessica, have you read Emily Richards mystery series where the heroine is a minister’s wife? Since she’s one in real life, she has a fresh, honest take on it.

    Reply
  94. How could I have forgotten Barbara Samuels?! Slap my wrist. She is my ideal. I adore her stuff.
    And I agree, Janice. In most cases–not all–HC is a great fast read that I forget the minute I put it down. As much as I love candy, I crave meat and veggies occasionally.
    And I forgot to mention earlier that I’ve been reading more and more mysteries because I can find more of the people and stories I enjoy there, so thanks for the recommendations!
    Jessica, have you read Emily Richards mystery series where the heroine is a minister’s wife? Since she’s one in real life, she has a fresh, honest take on it.

    Reply
  95. How could I have forgotten Barbara Samuels?! Slap my wrist. She is my ideal. I adore her stuff.
    And I agree, Janice. In most cases–not all–HC is a great fast read that I forget the minute I put it down. As much as I love candy, I crave meat and veggies occasionally.
    And I forgot to mention earlier that I’ve been reading more and more mysteries because I can find more of the people and stories I enjoy there, so thanks for the recommendations!
    Jessica, have you read Emily Richards mystery series where the heroine is a minister’s wife? Since she’s one in real life, she has a fresh, honest take on it.

    Reply
  96. If they’re well done, I enjoy both “high-concept” and “quiet fiction.”
    A debut book on the the quieter side, even though it has a magical apple tree, is Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells. It’s very good, but I did long for even more depth in the characters (it’s a good thing when a book feels too short!) I like Alice Hoffman and Anne Tyler, so my demands of more commercial fiction may be unrealistic.
    Barbara Samuels’ stuff is wonderful. I took her workshop at RWA National in 2007. Very good.

    Reply
  97. If they’re well done, I enjoy both “high-concept” and “quiet fiction.”
    A debut book on the the quieter side, even though it has a magical apple tree, is Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells. It’s very good, but I did long for even more depth in the characters (it’s a good thing when a book feels too short!) I like Alice Hoffman and Anne Tyler, so my demands of more commercial fiction may be unrealistic.
    Barbara Samuels’ stuff is wonderful. I took her workshop at RWA National in 2007. Very good.

    Reply
  98. If they’re well done, I enjoy both “high-concept” and “quiet fiction.”
    A debut book on the the quieter side, even though it has a magical apple tree, is Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells. It’s very good, but I did long for even more depth in the characters (it’s a good thing when a book feels too short!) I like Alice Hoffman and Anne Tyler, so my demands of more commercial fiction may be unrealistic.
    Barbara Samuels’ stuff is wonderful. I took her workshop at RWA National in 2007. Very good.

    Reply
  99. If they’re well done, I enjoy both “high-concept” and “quiet fiction.”
    A debut book on the the quieter side, even though it has a magical apple tree, is Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells. It’s very good, but I did long for even more depth in the characters (it’s a good thing when a book feels too short!) I like Alice Hoffman and Anne Tyler, so my demands of more commercial fiction may be unrealistic.
    Barbara Samuels’ stuff is wonderful. I took her workshop at RWA National in 2007. Very good.

    Reply
  100. If they’re well done, I enjoy both “high-concept” and “quiet fiction.”
    A debut book on the the quieter side, even though it has a magical apple tree, is Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells. It’s very good, but I did long for even more depth in the characters (it’s a good thing when a book feels too short!) I like Alice Hoffman and Anne Tyler, so my demands of more commercial fiction may be unrealistic.
    Barbara Samuels’ stuff is wonderful. I took her workshop at RWA National in 2007. Very good.

    Reply
  101. I read for character growth and humor. And— then values that embody a critique of some aspect of society– and how society has treated women. I’m not quite sure what “high concept” means, but I suspect I don’t like it if it’s about vampires, or saving the world. I like the quiet books, but in Regency settings— does it have to be contemporary to be “quiet?” (To be honest- what I really want to read is more Jane Austen, and whatever can be written now that comes close.)
    Merry

    Reply
  102. I read for character growth and humor. And— then values that embody a critique of some aspect of society– and how society has treated women. I’m not quite sure what “high concept” means, but I suspect I don’t like it if it’s about vampires, or saving the world. I like the quiet books, but in Regency settings— does it have to be contemporary to be “quiet?” (To be honest- what I really want to read is more Jane Austen, and whatever can be written now that comes close.)
    Merry

    Reply
  103. I read for character growth and humor. And— then values that embody a critique of some aspect of society– and how society has treated women. I’m not quite sure what “high concept” means, but I suspect I don’t like it if it’s about vampires, or saving the world. I like the quiet books, but in Regency settings— does it have to be contemporary to be “quiet?” (To be honest- what I really want to read is more Jane Austen, and whatever can be written now that comes close.)
    Merry

    Reply
  104. I read for character growth and humor. And— then values that embody a critique of some aspect of society– and how society has treated women. I’m not quite sure what “high concept” means, but I suspect I don’t like it if it’s about vampires, or saving the world. I like the quiet books, but in Regency settings— does it have to be contemporary to be “quiet?” (To be honest- what I really want to read is more Jane Austen, and whatever can be written now that comes close.)
    Merry

    Reply
  105. I read for character growth and humor. And— then values that embody a critique of some aspect of society– and how society has treated women. I’m not quite sure what “high concept” means, but I suspect I don’t like it if it’s about vampires, or saving the world. I like the quiet books, but in Regency settings— does it have to be contemporary to be “quiet?” (To be honest- what I really want to read is more Jane Austen, and whatever can be written now that comes close.)
    Merry

    Reply
  106. I can read Hoffman and Tyler occasionally, but genre fiction with happy endings are my preference. I’ve read good things about Allen, though, so I’ll take a look.
    Sad as it is to say, my bet is that if I turned in a book like Austen’s, I’d be laughed out of NY. Or it would be edited down to dialogue with the request for more sex. Not that I’m cynical or anything!
    High concept does not mean vampires, but saving the world comes close if it can be stated in a simple punchy sentence that automatically creates interest. Jane Austen saves America would do it.

    Reply
  107. I can read Hoffman and Tyler occasionally, but genre fiction with happy endings are my preference. I’ve read good things about Allen, though, so I’ll take a look.
    Sad as it is to say, my bet is that if I turned in a book like Austen’s, I’d be laughed out of NY. Or it would be edited down to dialogue with the request for more sex. Not that I’m cynical or anything!
    High concept does not mean vampires, but saving the world comes close if it can be stated in a simple punchy sentence that automatically creates interest. Jane Austen saves America would do it.

    Reply
  108. I can read Hoffman and Tyler occasionally, but genre fiction with happy endings are my preference. I’ve read good things about Allen, though, so I’ll take a look.
    Sad as it is to say, my bet is that if I turned in a book like Austen’s, I’d be laughed out of NY. Or it would be edited down to dialogue with the request for more sex. Not that I’m cynical or anything!
    High concept does not mean vampires, but saving the world comes close if it can be stated in a simple punchy sentence that automatically creates interest. Jane Austen saves America would do it.

    Reply
  109. I can read Hoffman and Tyler occasionally, but genre fiction with happy endings are my preference. I’ve read good things about Allen, though, so I’ll take a look.
    Sad as it is to say, my bet is that if I turned in a book like Austen’s, I’d be laughed out of NY. Or it would be edited down to dialogue with the request for more sex. Not that I’m cynical or anything!
    High concept does not mean vampires, but saving the world comes close if it can be stated in a simple punchy sentence that automatically creates interest. Jane Austen saves America would do it.

    Reply
  110. I can read Hoffman and Tyler occasionally, but genre fiction with happy endings are my preference. I’ve read good things about Allen, though, so I’ll take a look.
    Sad as it is to say, my bet is that if I turned in a book like Austen’s, I’d be laughed out of NY. Or it would be edited down to dialogue with the request for more sex. Not that I’m cynical or anything!
    High concept does not mean vampires, but saving the world comes close if it can be stated in a simple punchy sentence that automatically creates interest. Jane Austen saves America would do it.

    Reply
  111. “Jane Austen saves America” LOL!!!
    But speaking of Jane Austen and books that have been published recently… have any of you read Pamela Aiden’s “Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman” trilogy?
    It’s the only Jane Austen spin-off that I’ve actually read… the rest (that I’ve checked out, at least) scared me away with either the premise or their excerpt. But this trilogy is really good! _An Assembly Such As This_ chronicles the first half of P&P, _Duty and Desire_ tells the “hidden” story of what Darcy went through during the period between them leaving Netherfield and Elizabeth’s re-entrance to his life at Rosings Park, and _These Three Remain_ starts at Rosings Park and finishes the story.
    Her writing style isn’t perfect. (But then, whose is?) I think the story would have been stronger if it had been condensed a little more, with a little less of Darcy’s ponderings and descriptions of the wine or tea he was drinking. Many people also think that she went over-the-top a little, in _Duty and Desire_, with the additional plot line she introduced for it. Perhaps she did, but it fits the purposes of what that book had to be, based on Darcy’s confession to Elizabeth of months of trying to overcome his attraction to her. I don’t mind it, and I love the way she portrayed Darcy’s emotional struggle during this time.
    I also think there are a number of scenes that she did as flashbacks, that would have been a little stronger if she’d just played it out…
    HOWEVER, she did a number of things VERY well, and these are what I love the books for.
    1) I felt she conveyed the spirit and the era of the time as Jane Austen portrayed it very well.
    2) The whole thing is written from Darcy’s POV, and it flows seamlessly with P&P (and I have P&P just about memorized).
    3) She did an EXCELLENT job portraying Darcy’s emotions, from the initial attraction, the trying to overcome it, etc. The Elizabeth in these books is definitely the Elizabeth from P&P, except here we meet her and fall in love with her, purely through what Darcy saw of her. It was so easy to see why he fell in love with her, as well as why he fought it for so long.
    4) His feelings and animosity toward Wickham are really done well. In this book, his feelings toward him are an antagonistic entity of their own that he must overcome.
    5) Her new characters fit the story extremely well, come across as being very realistic, and are written so well that you love them, too. Georgiana Darcy comes to life in a wonderful way, as does Mr. Bingley, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Anne de Bough, Darcy’s valet (introduced), and Darcy’s best friend (introduced here also).
    6) She also brings more of the time period into the books, including the Napoleanic wars, the struggle with the Colonies, and the social behaviors of the ton. None of this is overdone, however, just included as the setting of the books.
    Okay… this has gotten long enough. But since there are some P&P fans on here, I wanted to know if any of you have read this, and what you think!

    Reply
  112. “Jane Austen saves America” LOL!!!
    But speaking of Jane Austen and books that have been published recently… have any of you read Pamela Aiden’s “Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman” trilogy?
    It’s the only Jane Austen spin-off that I’ve actually read… the rest (that I’ve checked out, at least) scared me away with either the premise or their excerpt. But this trilogy is really good! _An Assembly Such As This_ chronicles the first half of P&P, _Duty and Desire_ tells the “hidden” story of what Darcy went through during the period between them leaving Netherfield and Elizabeth’s re-entrance to his life at Rosings Park, and _These Three Remain_ starts at Rosings Park and finishes the story.
    Her writing style isn’t perfect. (But then, whose is?) I think the story would have been stronger if it had been condensed a little more, with a little less of Darcy’s ponderings and descriptions of the wine or tea he was drinking. Many people also think that she went over-the-top a little, in _Duty and Desire_, with the additional plot line she introduced for it. Perhaps she did, but it fits the purposes of what that book had to be, based on Darcy’s confession to Elizabeth of months of trying to overcome his attraction to her. I don’t mind it, and I love the way she portrayed Darcy’s emotional struggle during this time.
    I also think there are a number of scenes that she did as flashbacks, that would have been a little stronger if she’d just played it out…
    HOWEVER, she did a number of things VERY well, and these are what I love the books for.
    1) I felt she conveyed the spirit and the era of the time as Jane Austen portrayed it very well.
    2) The whole thing is written from Darcy’s POV, and it flows seamlessly with P&P (and I have P&P just about memorized).
    3) She did an EXCELLENT job portraying Darcy’s emotions, from the initial attraction, the trying to overcome it, etc. The Elizabeth in these books is definitely the Elizabeth from P&P, except here we meet her and fall in love with her, purely through what Darcy saw of her. It was so easy to see why he fell in love with her, as well as why he fought it for so long.
    4) His feelings and animosity toward Wickham are really done well. In this book, his feelings toward him are an antagonistic entity of their own that he must overcome.
    5) Her new characters fit the story extremely well, come across as being very realistic, and are written so well that you love them, too. Georgiana Darcy comes to life in a wonderful way, as does Mr. Bingley, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Anne de Bough, Darcy’s valet (introduced), and Darcy’s best friend (introduced here also).
    6) She also brings more of the time period into the books, including the Napoleanic wars, the struggle with the Colonies, and the social behaviors of the ton. None of this is overdone, however, just included as the setting of the books.
    Okay… this has gotten long enough. But since there are some P&P fans on here, I wanted to know if any of you have read this, and what you think!

    Reply
  113. “Jane Austen saves America” LOL!!!
    But speaking of Jane Austen and books that have been published recently… have any of you read Pamela Aiden’s “Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman” trilogy?
    It’s the only Jane Austen spin-off that I’ve actually read… the rest (that I’ve checked out, at least) scared me away with either the premise or their excerpt. But this trilogy is really good! _An Assembly Such As This_ chronicles the first half of P&P, _Duty and Desire_ tells the “hidden” story of what Darcy went through during the period between them leaving Netherfield and Elizabeth’s re-entrance to his life at Rosings Park, and _These Three Remain_ starts at Rosings Park and finishes the story.
    Her writing style isn’t perfect. (But then, whose is?) I think the story would have been stronger if it had been condensed a little more, with a little less of Darcy’s ponderings and descriptions of the wine or tea he was drinking. Many people also think that she went over-the-top a little, in _Duty and Desire_, with the additional plot line she introduced for it. Perhaps she did, but it fits the purposes of what that book had to be, based on Darcy’s confession to Elizabeth of months of trying to overcome his attraction to her. I don’t mind it, and I love the way she portrayed Darcy’s emotional struggle during this time.
    I also think there are a number of scenes that she did as flashbacks, that would have been a little stronger if she’d just played it out…
    HOWEVER, she did a number of things VERY well, and these are what I love the books for.
    1) I felt she conveyed the spirit and the era of the time as Jane Austen portrayed it very well.
    2) The whole thing is written from Darcy’s POV, and it flows seamlessly with P&P (and I have P&P just about memorized).
    3) She did an EXCELLENT job portraying Darcy’s emotions, from the initial attraction, the trying to overcome it, etc. The Elizabeth in these books is definitely the Elizabeth from P&P, except here we meet her and fall in love with her, purely through what Darcy saw of her. It was so easy to see why he fell in love with her, as well as why he fought it for so long.
    4) His feelings and animosity toward Wickham are really done well. In this book, his feelings toward him are an antagonistic entity of their own that he must overcome.
    5) Her new characters fit the story extremely well, come across as being very realistic, and are written so well that you love them, too. Georgiana Darcy comes to life in a wonderful way, as does Mr. Bingley, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Anne de Bough, Darcy’s valet (introduced), and Darcy’s best friend (introduced here also).
    6) She also brings more of the time period into the books, including the Napoleanic wars, the struggle with the Colonies, and the social behaviors of the ton. None of this is overdone, however, just included as the setting of the books.
    Okay… this has gotten long enough. But since there are some P&P fans on here, I wanted to know if any of you have read this, and what you think!

    Reply
  114. “Jane Austen saves America” LOL!!!
    But speaking of Jane Austen and books that have been published recently… have any of you read Pamela Aiden’s “Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman” trilogy?
    It’s the only Jane Austen spin-off that I’ve actually read… the rest (that I’ve checked out, at least) scared me away with either the premise or their excerpt. But this trilogy is really good! _An Assembly Such As This_ chronicles the first half of P&P, _Duty and Desire_ tells the “hidden” story of what Darcy went through during the period between them leaving Netherfield and Elizabeth’s re-entrance to his life at Rosings Park, and _These Three Remain_ starts at Rosings Park and finishes the story.
    Her writing style isn’t perfect. (But then, whose is?) I think the story would have been stronger if it had been condensed a little more, with a little less of Darcy’s ponderings and descriptions of the wine or tea he was drinking. Many people also think that she went over-the-top a little, in _Duty and Desire_, with the additional plot line she introduced for it. Perhaps she did, but it fits the purposes of what that book had to be, based on Darcy’s confession to Elizabeth of months of trying to overcome his attraction to her. I don’t mind it, and I love the way she portrayed Darcy’s emotional struggle during this time.
    I also think there are a number of scenes that she did as flashbacks, that would have been a little stronger if she’d just played it out…
    HOWEVER, she did a number of things VERY well, and these are what I love the books for.
    1) I felt she conveyed the spirit and the era of the time as Jane Austen portrayed it very well.
    2) The whole thing is written from Darcy’s POV, and it flows seamlessly with P&P (and I have P&P just about memorized).
    3) She did an EXCELLENT job portraying Darcy’s emotions, from the initial attraction, the trying to overcome it, etc. The Elizabeth in these books is definitely the Elizabeth from P&P, except here we meet her and fall in love with her, purely through what Darcy saw of her. It was so easy to see why he fell in love with her, as well as why he fought it for so long.
    4) His feelings and animosity toward Wickham are really done well. In this book, his feelings toward him are an antagonistic entity of their own that he must overcome.
    5) Her new characters fit the story extremely well, come across as being very realistic, and are written so well that you love them, too. Georgiana Darcy comes to life in a wonderful way, as does Mr. Bingley, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Anne de Bough, Darcy’s valet (introduced), and Darcy’s best friend (introduced here also).
    6) She also brings more of the time period into the books, including the Napoleanic wars, the struggle with the Colonies, and the social behaviors of the ton. None of this is overdone, however, just included as the setting of the books.
    Okay… this has gotten long enough. But since there are some P&P fans on here, I wanted to know if any of you have read this, and what you think!

    Reply
  115. “Jane Austen saves America” LOL!!!
    But speaking of Jane Austen and books that have been published recently… have any of you read Pamela Aiden’s “Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman” trilogy?
    It’s the only Jane Austen spin-off that I’ve actually read… the rest (that I’ve checked out, at least) scared me away with either the premise or their excerpt. But this trilogy is really good! _An Assembly Such As This_ chronicles the first half of P&P, _Duty and Desire_ tells the “hidden” story of what Darcy went through during the period between them leaving Netherfield and Elizabeth’s re-entrance to his life at Rosings Park, and _These Three Remain_ starts at Rosings Park and finishes the story.
    Her writing style isn’t perfect. (But then, whose is?) I think the story would have been stronger if it had been condensed a little more, with a little less of Darcy’s ponderings and descriptions of the wine or tea he was drinking. Many people also think that she went over-the-top a little, in _Duty and Desire_, with the additional plot line she introduced for it. Perhaps she did, but it fits the purposes of what that book had to be, based on Darcy’s confession to Elizabeth of months of trying to overcome his attraction to her. I don’t mind it, and I love the way she portrayed Darcy’s emotional struggle during this time.
    I also think there are a number of scenes that she did as flashbacks, that would have been a little stronger if she’d just played it out…
    HOWEVER, she did a number of things VERY well, and these are what I love the books for.
    1) I felt she conveyed the spirit and the era of the time as Jane Austen portrayed it very well.
    2) The whole thing is written from Darcy’s POV, and it flows seamlessly with P&P (and I have P&P just about memorized).
    3) She did an EXCELLENT job portraying Darcy’s emotions, from the initial attraction, the trying to overcome it, etc. The Elizabeth in these books is definitely the Elizabeth from P&P, except here we meet her and fall in love with her, purely through what Darcy saw of her. It was so easy to see why he fell in love with her, as well as why he fought it for so long.
    4) His feelings and animosity toward Wickham are really done well. In this book, his feelings toward him are an antagonistic entity of their own that he must overcome.
    5) Her new characters fit the story extremely well, come across as being very realistic, and are written so well that you love them, too. Georgiana Darcy comes to life in a wonderful way, as does Mr. Bingley, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Anne de Bough, Darcy’s valet (introduced), and Darcy’s best friend (introduced here also).
    6) She also brings more of the time period into the books, including the Napoleanic wars, the struggle with the Colonies, and the social behaviors of the ton. None of this is overdone, however, just included as the setting of the books.
    Okay… this has gotten long enough. But since there are some P&P fans on here, I wanted to know if any of you have read this, and what you think!

    Reply
  116. Oh yes, more Quiet Fiction PLEASE! I think I would have been more interested in “high concept” fiction when I was younger, but now I just want more of what I refer to as “social comedy,” the ideal being the divine Georgette’s witty The Grand Sophy and Cotillion. A previous poster is correct: Carla Kelly is truly special.
    For contemporary fiction I love the underappreciated English writers Katie Fforde and Marcia Willett.
    For “high concept” done right: the inimitable Laura Kinsale, and for the truly erotic, as opposed to hot – surprise – Georgette’s These Old Shades.

    Reply
  117. Oh yes, more Quiet Fiction PLEASE! I think I would have been more interested in “high concept” fiction when I was younger, but now I just want more of what I refer to as “social comedy,” the ideal being the divine Georgette’s witty The Grand Sophy and Cotillion. A previous poster is correct: Carla Kelly is truly special.
    For contemporary fiction I love the underappreciated English writers Katie Fforde and Marcia Willett.
    For “high concept” done right: the inimitable Laura Kinsale, and for the truly erotic, as opposed to hot – surprise – Georgette’s These Old Shades.

    Reply
  118. Oh yes, more Quiet Fiction PLEASE! I think I would have been more interested in “high concept” fiction when I was younger, but now I just want more of what I refer to as “social comedy,” the ideal being the divine Georgette’s witty The Grand Sophy and Cotillion. A previous poster is correct: Carla Kelly is truly special.
    For contemporary fiction I love the underappreciated English writers Katie Fforde and Marcia Willett.
    For “high concept” done right: the inimitable Laura Kinsale, and for the truly erotic, as opposed to hot – surprise – Georgette’s These Old Shades.

    Reply
  119. Oh yes, more Quiet Fiction PLEASE! I think I would have been more interested in “high concept” fiction when I was younger, but now I just want more of what I refer to as “social comedy,” the ideal being the divine Georgette’s witty The Grand Sophy and Cotillion. A previous poster is correct: Carla Kelly is truly special.
    For contemporary fiction I love the underappreciated English writers Katie Fforde and Marcia Willett.
    For “high concept” done right: the inimitable Laura Kinsale, and for the truly erotic, as opposed to hot – surprise – Georgette’s These Old Shades.

    Reply
  120. Oh yes, more Quiet Fiction PLEASE! I think I would have been more interested in “high concept” fiction when I was younger, but now I just want more of what I refer to as “social comedy,” the ideal being the divine Georgette’s witty The Grand Sophy and Cotillion. A previous poster is correct: Carla Kelly is truly special.
    For contemporary fiction I love the underappreciated English writers Katie Fforde and Marcia Willett.
    For “high concept” done right: the inimitable Laura Kinsale, and for the truly erotic, as opposed to hot – surprise – Georgette’s These Old Shades.

    Reply
  121. Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series is “quiet fiction,” and it was one of the genre’s success stories in 2007. Everyone I know who read the three books loved them, and Carr is extending the series.
    Deborah Smith is one of my favorite writers. Her latest, A Gentle Rain, also qualifies, as do most of her books.
    I second the rec of Julia Spencer Fleming. I think most of the mysteries I read can be categorized as “quiet fiction”: Margaret Maron’s Deborak Knott series, Dorothy Cannell’s Ellie Haskell books, Nancy Atherton’s Aunt Dimity series(despite Aunt Dimity’s ghostly presence), Carolyn Hart’s Death on Demand and Henrie O. books.
    I’ll stop listing and add one hopeful note. Nora Roberts recently announced that her next connected books will be about a quartet of women who are wedding planners. That sounds like “quiet fiction” to me, much more like the Nora of the Quinn and Concannon books than the NR who gave us the recent paranormal stuff. And where Nora Roberts goes, others are likely to follow.

    Reply
  122. Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series is “quiet fiction,” and it was one of the genre’s success stories in 2007. Everyone I know who read the three books loved them, and Carr is extending the series.
    Deborah Smith is one of my favorite writers. Her latest, A Gentle Rain, also qualifies, as do most of her books.
    I second the rec of Julia Spencer Fleming. I think most of the mysteries I read can be categorized as “quiet fiction”: Margaret Maron’s Deborak Knott series, Dorothy Cannell’s Ellie Haskell books, Nancy Atherton’s Aunt Dimity series(despite Aunt Dimity’s ghostly presence), Carolyn Hart’s Death on Demand and Henrie O. books.
    I’ll stop listing and add one hopeful note. Nora Roberts recently announced that her next connected books will be about a quartet of women who are wedding planners. That sounds like “quiet fiction” to me, much more like the Nora of the Quinn and Concannon books than the NR who gave us the recent paranormal stuff. And where Nora Roberts goes, others are likely to follow.

    Reply
  123. Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series is “quiet fiction,” and it was one of the genre’s success stories in 2007. Everyone I know who read the three books loved them, and Carr is extending the series.
    Deborah Smith is one of my favorite writers. Her latest, A Gentle Rain, also qualifies, as do most of her books.
    I second the rec of Julia Spencer Fleming. I think most of the mysteries I read can be categorized as “quiet fiction”: Margaret Maron’s Deborak Knott series, Dorothy Cannell’s Ellie Haskell books, Nancy Atherton’s Aunt Dimity series(despite Aunt Dimity’s ghostly presence), Carolyn Hart’s Death on Demand and Henrie O. books.
    I’ll stop listing and add one hopeful note. Nora Roberts recently announced that her next connected books will be about a quartet of women who are wedding planners. That sounds like “quiet fiction” to me, much more like the Nora of the Quinn and Concannon books than the NR who gave us the recent paranormal stuff. And where Nora Roberts goes, others are likely to follow.

    Reply
  124. Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series is “quiet fiction,” and it was one of the genre’s success stories in 2007. Everyone I know who read the three books loved them, and Carr is extending the series.
    Deborah Smith is one of my favorite writers. Her latest, A Gentle Rain, also qualifies, as do most of her books.
    I second the rec of Julia Spencer Fleming. I think most of the mysteries I read can be categorized as “quiet fiction”: Margaret Maron’s Deborak Knott series, Dorothy Cannell’s Ellie Haskell books, Nancy Atherton’s Aunt Dimity series(despite Aunt Dimity’s ghostly presence), Carolyn Hart’s Death on Demand and Henrie O. books.
    I’ll stop listing and add one hopeful note. Nora Roberts recently announced that her next connected books will be about a quartet of women who are wedding planners. That sounds like “quiet fiction” to me, much more like the Nora of the Quinn and Concannon books than the NR who gave us the recent paranormal stuff. And where Nora Roberts goes, others are likely to follow.

    Reply
  125. Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series is “quiet fiction,” and it was one of the genre’s success stories in 2007. Everyone I know who read the three books loved them, and Carr is extending the series.
    Deborah Smith is one of my favorite writers. Her latest, A Gentle Rain, also qualifies, as do most of her books.
    I second the rec of Julia Spencer Fleming. I think most of the mysteries I read can be categorized as “quiet fiction”: Margaret Maron’s Deborak Knott series, Dorothy Cannell’s Ellie Haskell books, Nancy Atherton’s Aunt Dimity series(despite Aunt Dimity’s ghostly presence), Carolyn Hart’s Death on Demand and Henrie O. books.
    I’ll stop listing and add one hopeful note. Nora Roberts recently announced that her next connected books will be about a quartet of women who are wedding planners. That sounds like “quiet fiction” to me, much more like the Nora of the Quinn and Concannon books than the NR who gave us the recent paranormal stuff. And where Nora Roberts goes, others are likely to follow.

    Reply
  126. Some of Mary Balogh’s novels and also LaVyrle Spencer would qualify as quiet fiction.
    Thanks for the excellent blog.
    Louise

    Reply
  127. Some of Mary Balogh’s novels and also LaVyrle Spencer would qualify as quiet fiction.
    Thanks for the excellent blog.
    Louise

    Reply
  128. Some of Mary Balogh’s novels and also LaVyrle Spencer would qualify as quiet fiction.
    Thanks for the excellent blog.
    Louise

    Reply
  129. Some of Mary Balogh’s novels and also LaVyrle Spencer would qualify as quiet fiction.
    Thanks for the excellent blog.
    Louise

    Reply
  130. Some of Mary Balogh’s novels and also LaVyrle Spencer would qualify as quiet fiction.
    Thanks for the excellent blog.
    Louise

    Reply
  131. I’m still taking notes. P&P from D’arcy’s point of view is a compelling concept in itself. I’ll have to take a look.
    I absolutely adore the quiet Brit books. Don’t think I’ve tried Willett, so that’s going on the list.
    And I agree about Carr. I love her stuff, but I think they’re Mira, and they give their authors more leeway than most publishers. As does Smith’s publisher, since she owns part of it. “G” I just wish Deb wrote faster!
    I’m glad Nora is going back to her quieter books. Those are the ones I read, but what Nora does is not quickly translated into the marketplace. She transcends the market.
    But I’ve already worked my way through most of this list, checking excerpts, and I’m quite excited by all of them. Our readers have fabulous taste! My credit card is going to complain shortly. Thank all of you! It’s reassuring to know that there is lots of good stuff out there if I hunt. It just seems a shame that we have to hunt.

    Reply
  132. I’m still taking notes. P&P from D’arcy’s point of view is a compelling concept in itself. I’ll have to take a look.
    I absolutely adore the quiet Brit books. Don’t think I’ve tried Willett, so that’s going on the list.
    And I agree about Carr. I love her stuff, but I think they’re Mira, and they give their authors more leeway than most publishers. As does Smith’s publisher, since she owns part of it. “G” I just wish Deb wrote faster!
    I’m glad Nora is going back to her quieter books. Those are the ones I read, but what Nora does is not quickly translated into the marketplace. She transcends the market.
    But I’ve already worked my way through most of this list, checking excerpts, and I’m quite excited by all of them. Our readers have fabulous taste! My credit card is going to complain shortly. Thank all of you! It’s reassuring to know that there is lots of good stuff out there if I hunt. It just seems a shame that we have to hunt.

    Reply
  133. I’m still taking notes. P&P from D’arcy’s point of view is a compelling concept in itself. I’ll have to take a look.
    I absolutely adore the quiet Brit books. Don’t think I’ve tried Willett, so that’s going on the list.
    And I agree about Carr. I love her stuff, but I think they’re Mira, and they give their authors more leeway than most publishers. As does Smith’s publisher, since she owns part of it. “G” I just wish Deb wrote faster!
    I’m glad Nora is going back to her quieter books. Those are the ones I read, but what Nora does is not quickly translated into the marketplace. She transcends the market.
    But I’ve already worked my way through most of this list, checking excerpts, and I’m quite excited by all of them. Our readers have fabulous taste! My credit card is going to complain shortly. Thank all of you! It’s reassuring to know that there is lots of good stuff out there if I hunt. It just seems a shame that we have to hunt.

    Reply
  134. I’m still taking notes. P&P from D’arcy’s point of view is a compelling concept in itself. I’ll have to take a look.
    I absolutely adore the quiet Brit books. Don’t think I’ve tried Willett, so that’s going on the list.
    And I agree about Carr. I love her stuff, but I think they’re Mira, and they give their authors more leeway than most publishers. As does Smith’s publisher, since she owns part of it. “G” I just wish Deb wrote faster!
    I’m glad Nora is going back to her quieter books. Those are the ones I read, but what Nora does is not quickly translated into the marketplace. She transcends the market.
    But I’ve already worked my way through most of this list, checking excerpts, and I’m quite excited by all of them. Our readers have fabulous taste! My credit card is going to complain shortly. Thank all of you! It’s reassuring to know that there is lots of good stuff out there if I hunt. It just seems a shame that we have to hunt.

    Reply
  135. I’m still taking notes. P&P from D’arcy’s point of view is a compelling concept in itself. I’ll have to take a look.
    I absolutely adore the quiet Brit books. Don’t think I’ve tried Willett, so that’s going on the list.
    And I agree about Carr. I love her stuff, but I think they’re Mira, and they give their authors more leeway than most publishers. As does Smith’s publisher, since she owns part of it. “G” I just wish Deb wrote faster!
    I’m glad Nora is going back to her quieter books. Those are the ones I read, but what Nora does is not quickly translated into the marketplace. She transcends the market.
    But I’ve already worked my way through most of this list, checking excerpts, and I’m quite excited by all of them. Our readers have fabulous taste! My credit card is going to complain shortly. Thank all of you! It’s reassuring to know that there is lots of good stuff out there if I hunt. It just seems a shame that we have to hunt.

    Reply
  136. Hi Pat,
    Nope, I haven’t read any of Emily Richards’ mysteries. Another name to add to the To Be Bought list (which is already waaaaay too long).
    Janga — I’ll have to check out some of your recommendations, as I seem to be on a mystery kick lately. I read Carolyn Hart’s early Death on Demand books, but I gave up on them after several as they got too similar. But I’ll definitely check out some of your authors.
    Library here I come!!

    Reply
  137. Hi Pat,
    Nope, I haven’t read any of Emily Richards’ mysteries. Another name to add to the To Be Bought list (which is already waaaaay too long).
    Janga — I’ll have to check out some of your recommendations, as I seem to be on a mystery kick lately. I read Carolyn Hart’s early Death on Demand books, but I gave up on them after several as they got too similar. But I’ll definitely check out some of your authors.
    Library here I come!!

    Reply
  138. Hi Pat,
    Nope, I haven’t read any of Emily Richards’ mysteries. Another name to add to the To Be Bought list (which is already waaaaay too long).
    Janga — I’ll have to check out some of your recommendations, as I seem to be on a mystery kick lately. I read Carolyn Hart’s early Death on Demand books, but I gave up on them after several as they got too similar. But I’ll definitely check out some of your authors.
    Library here I come!!

    Reply
  139. Hi Pat,
    Nope, I haven’t read any of Emily Richards’ mysteries. Another name to add to the To Be Bought list (which is already waaaaay too long).
    Janga — I’ll have to check out some of your recommendations, as I seem to be on a mystery kick lately. I read Carolyn Hart’s early Death on Demand books, but I gave up on them after several as they got too similar. But I’ll definitely check out some of your authors.
    Library here I come!!

    Reply
  140. Hi Pat,
    Nope, I haven’t read any of Emily Richards’ mysteries. Another name to add to the To Be Bought list (which is already waaaaay too long).
    Janga — I’ll have to check out some of your recommendations, as I seem to be on a mystery kick lately. I read Carolyn Hart’s early Death on Demand books, but I gave up on them after several as they got too similar. But I’ll definitely check out some of your authors.
    Library here I come!!

    Reply
  141. I am coming so late to this party, Prof. Pat. So sorry. Been busy with the WIP.
    Thank you for the book. I’ll shoot a separate email off to you.
    And, thank you for answering my question. I finally understand “high concept.”
    My favorite piece of quite fiction is THE RED TENT. That book will stay with me for the rest of my life (but, sadly, I can’t remember the author’s name)

    Reply
  142. I am coming so late to this party, Prof. Pat. So sorry. Been busy with the WIP.
    Thank you for the book. I’ll shoot a separate email off to you.
    And, thank you for answering my question. I finally understand “high concept.”
    My favorite piece of quite fiction is THE RED TENT. That book will stay with me for the rest of my life (but, sadly, I can’t remember the author’s name)

    Reply
  143. I am coming so late to this party, Prof. Pat. So sorry. Been busy with the WIP.
    Thank you for the book. I’ll shoot a separate email off to you.
    And, thank you for answering my question. I finally understand “high concept.”
    My favorite piece of quite fiction is THE RED TENT. That book will stay with me for the rest of my life (but, sadly, I can’t remember the author’s name)

    Reply
  144. I am coming so late to this party, Prof. Pat. So sorry. Been busy with the WIP.
    Thank you for the book. I’ll shoot a separate email off to you.
    And, thank you for answering my question. I finally understand “high concept.”
    My favorite piece of quite fiction is THE RED TENT. That book will stay with me for the rest of my life (but, sadly, I can’t remember the author’s name)

    Reply
  145. I am coming so late to this party, Prof. Pat. So sorry. Been busy with the WIP.
    Thank you for the book. I’ll shoot a separate email off to you.
    And, thank you for answering my question. I finally understand “high concept.”
    My favorite piece of quite fiction is THE RED TENT. That book will stay with me for the rest of my life (but, sadly, I can’t remember the author’s name)

    Reply
  146. Jan Karon’s books are definitely quiet fiction. I was surprised by how I was drawn in to the lives of Father Tim and Cynthia and their small town.
    And if you really want quiet, try Sarah Orne Jewett’s Country of the Pointed Firs. I guess she doesn’t qualify as a modern author, though. 🙂

    Reply
  147. Jan Karon’s books are definitely quiet fiction. I was surprised by how I was drawn in to the lives of Father Tim and Cynthia and their small town.
    And if you really want quiet, try Sarah Orne Jewett’s Country of the Pointed Firs. I guess she doesn’t qualify as a modern author, though. 🙂

    Reply
  148. Jan Karon’s books are definitely quiet fiction. I was surprised by how I was drawn in to the lives of Father Tim and Cynthia and their small town.
    And if you really want quiet, try Sarah Orne Jewett’s Country of the Pointed Firs. I guess she doesn’t qualify as a modern author, though. 🙂

    Reply
  149. Jan Karon’s books are definitely quiet fiction. I was surprised by how I was drawn in to the lives of Father Tim and Cynthia and their small town.
    And if you really want quiet, try Sarah Orne Jewett’s Country of the Pointed Firs. I guess she doesn’t qualify as a modern author, though. 🙂

    Reply
  150. Jan Karon’s books are definitely quiet fiction. I was surprised by how I was drawn in to the lives of Father Tim and Cynthia and their small town.
    And if you really want quiet, try Sarah Orne Jewett’s Country of the Pointed Firs. I guess she doesn’t qualify as a modern author, though. 🙂

    Reply
  151. I love Julia Spencer Fleming’s mysteries, but maybe I’m misunderstanding the term “high-concept.” I would call those books “Liberal, Female, Ex-military Episcopal Priest takes on murder, mayhem, small-town politics and the sexy sheriff.”
    As for “quiet” romances, for years my favorites were some of Mary Balogh’s trad regencies, but even they were angstier than the normal run of regencies. Maybe it is less about the actual story than the marketing of it? I’m not yet acquainted with the whole publishing rat race yet, so this has no basis in reality, but do people have to pitch their stories as an exciting wild ride? Even if the ride is the emotional one of boy meets girl?

    Reply
  152. I love Julia Spencer Fleming’s mysteries, but maybe I’m misunderstanding the term “high-concept.” I would call those books “Liberal, Female, Ex-military Episcopal Priest takes on murder, mayhem, small-town politics and the sexy sheriff.”
    As for “quiet” romances, for years my favorites were some of Mary Balogh’s trad regencies, but even they were angstier than the normal run of regencies. Maybe it is less about the actual story than the marketing of it? I’m not yet acquainted with the whole publishing rat race yet, so this has no basis in reality, but do people have to pitch their stories as an exciting wild ride? Even if the ride is the emotional one of boy meets girl?

    Reply
  153. I love Julia Spencer Fleming’s mysteries, but maybe I’m misunderstanding the term “high-concept.” I would call those books “Liberal, Female, Ex-military Episcopal Priest takes on murder, mayhem, small-town politics and the sexy sheriff.”
    As for “quiet” romances, for years my favorites were some of Mary Balogh’s trad regencies, but even they were angstier than the normal run of regencies. Maybe it is less about the actual story than the marketing of it? I’m not yet acquainted with the whole publishing rat race yet, so this has no basis in reality, but do people have to pitch their stories as an exciting wild ride? Even if the ride is the emotional one of boy meets girl?

    Reply
  154. I love Julia Spencer Fleming’s mysteries, but maybe I’m misunderstanding the term “high-concept.” I would call those books “Liberal, Female, Ex-military Episcopal Priest takes on murder, mayhem, small-town politics and the sexy sheriff.”
    As for “quiet” romances, for years my favorites were some of Mary Balogh’s trad regencies, but even they were angstier than the normal run of regencies. Maybe it is less about the actual story than the marketing of it? I’m not yet acquainted with the whole publishing rat race yet, so this has no basis in reality, but do people have to pitch their stories as an exciting wild ride? Even if the ride is the emotional one of boy meets girl?

    Reply
  155. I love Julia Spencer Fleming’s mysteries, but maybe I’m misunderstanding the term “high-concept.” I would call those books “Liberal, Female, Ex-military Episcopal Priest takes on murder, mayhem, small-town politics and the sexy sheriff.”
    As for “quiet” romances, for years my favorites were some of Mary Balogh’s trad regencies, but even they were angstier than the normal run of regencies. Maybe it is less about the actual story than the marketing of it? I’m not yet acquainted with the whole publishing rat race yet, so this has no basis in reality, but do people have to pitch their stories as an exciting wild ride? Even if the ride is the emotional one of boy meets girl?

    Reply
  156. It’s quite okay, Nina. Better that you’re working your manuscript! RED TENT was more literary than genre, but it packed an impact,no doubt.
    Karon definitely qualifies as quiet, maybe too quiet for me, although they’re very pleasant books.
    As far as I can determine, romance and emotion are no longer sufficient to drive sales, which could be one of the many reasons traditional Regencies died out. We have to add “extras” to catch the interest of readers these days. Russian slave trader meets Hollywood actress would be a pitch that would catch an editor’s eye. It’s not the wild ride so much as the anticipation of conflict and tension.

    Reply
  157. It’s quite okay, Nina. Better that you’re working your manuscript! RED TENT was more literary than genre, but it packed an impact,no doubt.
    Karon definitely qualifies as quiet, maybe too quiet for me, although they’re very pleasant books.
    As far as I can determine, romance and emotion are no longer sufficient to drive sales, which could be one of the many reasons traditional Regencies died out. We have to add “extras” to catch the interest of readers these days. Russian slave trader meets Hollywood actress would be a pitch that would catch an editor’s eye. It’s not the wild ride so much as the anticipation of conflict and tension.

    Reply
  158. It’s quite okay, Nina. Better that you’re working your manuscript! RED TENT was more literary than genre, but it packed an impact,no doubt.
    Karon definitely qualifies as quiet, maybe too quiet for me, although they’re very pleasant books.
    As far as I can determine, romance and emotion are no longer sufficient to drive sales, which could be one of the many reasons traditional Regencies died out. We have to add “extras” to catch the interest of readers these days. Russian slave trader meets Hollywood actress would be a pitch that would catch an editor’s eye. It’s not the wild ride so much as the anticipation of conflict and tension.

    Reply
  159. It’s quite okay, Nina. Better that you’re working your manuscript! RED TENT was more literary than genre, but it packed an impact,no doubt.
    Karon definitely qualifies as quiet, maybe too quiet for me, although they’re very pleasant books.
    As far as I can determine, romance and emotion are no longer sufficient to drive sales, which could be one of the many reasons traditional Regencies died out. We have to add “extras” to catch the interest of readers these days. Russian slave trader meets Hollywood actress would be a pitch that would catch an editor’s eye. It’s not the wild ride so much as the anticipation of conflict and tension.

    Reply
  160. It’s quite okay, Nina. Better that you’re working your manuscript! RED TENT was more literary than genre, but it packed an impact,no doubt.
    Karon definitely qualifies as quiet, maybe too quiet for me, although they’re very pleasant books.
    As far as I can determine, romance and emotion are no longer sufficient to drive sales, which could be one of the many reasons traditional Regencies died out. We have to add “extras” to catch the interest of readers these days. Russian slave trader meets Hollywood actress would be a pitch that would catch an editor’s eye. It’s not the wild ride so much as the anticipation of conflict and tension.

    Reply
  161. May the Mole recommend some golden oldies, mostly discovered at the Marquette, MI, Public Library, which hadn’t thrown away anything since Carnegie founded the place?
    D.E. Stevenson–quiet love stories in English villages or on Scottish sheep farms. I particularly like THE HOUSE ON THE CLIFF, THE HOUSE OF THE DEER, THE BLUE SAPPHIRE, BEL LAMINGTON, and FLETCHER’S END.
    Elizabeth Cadell–Many of the stories are set in Portugal or the Canary Islands, but they are mostly the same sort of village romance. I recommend THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD, THE TIN SWORD, SIX IMPOSSIBLE THINGS, and THE LARK SHALL SING.
    Elizabeth Goudge–not only her delightful juvenile fantasies (THE LITTLE WHITE HORSE, LINNETS AND VALERIANS) but her adult novels. Too many to list.
    And for those who want to back for a century, and wallow in book talk, Christopher Morley’s PARNASSUS ON WHEELS and THE HAUNTED BOOKSHOP.

    Reply
  162. May the Mole recommend some golden oldies, mostly discovered at the Marquette, MI, Public Library, which hadn’t thrown away anything since Carnegie founded the place?
    D.E. Stevenson–quiet love stories in English villages or on Scottish sheep farms. I particularly like THE HOUSE ON THE CLIFF, THE HOUSE OF THE DEER, THE BLUE SAPPHIRE, BEL LAMINGTON, and FLETCHER’S END.
    Elizabeth Cadell–Many of the stories are set in Portugal or the Canary Islands, but they are mostly the same sort of village romance. I recommend THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD, THE TIN SWORD, SIX IMPOSSIBLE THINGS, and THE LARK SHALL SING.
    Elizabeth Goudge–not only her delightful juvenile fantasies (THE LITTLE WHITE HORSE, LINNETS AND VALERIANS) but her adult novels. Too many to list.
    And for those who want to back for a century, and wallow in book talk, Christopher Morley’s PARNASSUS ON WHEELS and THE HAUNTED BOOKSHOP.

    Reply
  163. May the Mole recommend some golden oldies, mostly discovered at the Marquette, MI, Public Library, which hadn’t thrown away anything since Carnegie founded the place?
    D.E. Stevenson–quiet love stories in English villages or on Scottish sheep farms. I particularly like THE HOUSE ON THE CLIFF, THE HOUSE OF THE DEER, THE BLUE SAPPHIRE, BEL LAMINGTON, and FLETCHER’S END.
    Elizabeth Cadell–Many of the stories are set in Portugal or the Canary Islands, but they are mostly the same sort of village romance. I recommend THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD, THE TIN SWORD, SIX IMPOSSIBLE THINGS, and THE LARK SHALL SING.
    Elizabeth Goudge–not only her delightful juvenile fantasies (THE LITTLE WHITE HORSE, LINNETS AND VALERIANS) but her adult novels. Too many to list.
    And for those who want to back for a century, and wallow in book talk, Christopher Morley’s PARNASSUS ON WHEELS and THE HAUNTED BOOKSHOP.

    Reply
  164. May the Mole recommend some golden oldies, mostly discovered at the Marquette, MI, Public Library, which hadn’t thrown away anything since Carnegie founded the place?
    D.E. Stevenson–quiet love stories in English villages or on Scottish sheep farms. I particularly like THE HOUSE ON THE CLIFF, THE HOUSE OF THE DEER, THE BLUE SAPPHIRE, BEL LAMINGTON, and FLETCHER’S END.
    Elizabeth Cadell–Many of the stories are set in Portugal or the Canary Islands, but they are mostly the same sort of village romance. I recommend THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD, THE TIN SWORD, SIX IMPOSSIBLE THINGS, and THE LARK SHALL SING.
    Elizabeth Goudge–not only her delightful juvenile fantasies (THE LITTLE WHITE HORSE, LINNETS AND VALERIANS) but her adult novels. Too many to list.
    And for those who want to back for a century, and wallow in book talk, Christopher Morley’s PARNASSUS ON WHEELS and THE HAUNTED BOOKSHOP.

    Reply
  165. May the Mole recommend some golden oldies, mostly discovered at the Marquette, MI, Public Library, which hadn’t thrown away anything since Carnegie founded the place?
    D.E. Stevenson–quiet love stories in English villages or on Scottish sheep farms. I particularly like THE HOUSE ON THE CLIFF, THE HOUSE OF THE DEER, THE BLUE SAPPHIRE, BEL LAMINGTON, and FLETCHER’S END.
    Elizabeth Cadell–Many of the stories are set in Portugal or the Canary Islands, but they are mostly the same sort of village romance. I recommend THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD, THE TIN SWORD, SIX IMPOSSIBLE THINGS, and THE LARK SHALL SING.
    Elizabeth Goudge–not only her delightful juvenile fantasies (THE LITTLE WHITE HORSE, LINNETS AND VALERIANS) but her adult novels. Too many to list.
    And for those who want to back for a century, and wallow in book talk, Christopher Morley’s PARNASSUS ON WHEELS and THE HAUNTED BOOKSHOP.

    Reply
  166. Hi, Mole, good to see you here! I don’t believe I’ve tried Stevenson, but I do remember idling lots of lovely time with Cadell and Goudge, and just the titles of Morley’s books sound yummy. Looks like a couple more for my list, thank you!
    and yes, rfp, it does sound as if the “camp” of our youth has become the reality of today. I’m not certain a younger audience gets the irony. “G”

    Reply
  167. Hi, Mole, good to see you here! I don’t believe I’ve tried Stevenson, but I do remember idling lots of lovely time with Cadell and Goudge, and just the titles of Morley’s books sound yummy. Looks like a couple more for my list, thank you!
    and yes, rfp, it does sound as if the “camp” of our youth has become the reality of today. I’m not certain a younger audience gets the irony. “G”

    Reply
  168. Hi, Mole, good to see you here! I don’t believe I’ve tried Stevenson, but I do remember idling lots of lovely time with Cadell and Goudge, and just the titles of Morley’s books sound yummy. Looks like a couple more for my list, thank you!
    and yes, rfp, it does sound as if the “camp” of our youth has become the reality of today. I’m not certain a younger audience gets the irony. “G”

    Reply
  169. Hi, Mole, good to see you here! I don’t believe I’ve tried Stevenson, but I do remember idling lots of lovely time with Cadell and Goudge, and just the titles of Morley’s books sound yummy. Looks like a couple more for my list, thank you!
    and yes, rfp, it does sound as if the “camp” of our youth has become the reality of today. I’m not certain a younger audience gets the irony. “G”

    Reply
  170. Hi, Mole, good to see you here! I don’t believe I’ve tried Stevenson, but I do remember idling lots of lovely time with Cadell and Goudge, and just the titles of Morley’s books sound yummy. Looks like a couple more for my list, thank you!
    and yes, rfp, it does sound as if the “camp” of our youth has become the reality of today. I’m not certain a younger audience gets the irony. “G”

    Reply
  171. A lot of Stevenson was published in paperback in the 60s-70s by Ace. The books available online now are usually just the very expensive large-print versions. I also love MISS BUNCLE’S BOOK and MISS BUNCLE MARRIED. Miss Buncle writes a novel that becomes an overnight success–but all her friends and neighbors think the characters are based on THEM! Some of them get pretty nasty about it.
    If you plan to BUY the Morley books, beware! I thought I’d save money by purchasing the two-in-one edition; but it has so many typos it’s virtually unreadable. Fortunately I do still have my older copies around somewhere.
    I’m pretty sure that PARNASSUS ON WHEELS is the source of my favorite Morley quote: “Talkers never write. They just go on talking.”
    It was my inquiry of a friend who did proofreading for Ace about whether there was any chance of Stevenson being reprinted that led to a discussion (which might make a topic for here) of books written as contemporaries but now old enough to count as historical and therefore falling between two stools and not getting reprinted. (The recent reprints of Mary Stewart are a welcome exception.) We also, along with Sherwood Smith, attempted to found the Genteel Book Club….

    Reply
  172. A lot of Stevenson was published in paperback in the 60s-70s by Ace. The books available online now are usually just the very expensive large-print versions. I also love MISS BUNCLE’S BOOK and MISS BUNCLE MARRIED. Miss Buncle writes a novel that becomes an overnight success–but all her friends and neighbors think the characters are based on THEM! Some of them get pretty nasty about it.
    If you plan to BUY the Morley books, beware! I thought I’d save money by purchasing the two-in-one edition; but it has so many typos it’s virtually unreadable. Fortunately I do still have my older copies around somewhere.
    I’m pretty sure that PARNASSUS ON WHEELS is the source of my favorite Morley quote: “Talkers never write. They just go on talking.”
    It was my inquiry of a friend who did proofreading for Ace about whether there was any chance of Stevenson being reprinted that led to a discussion (which might make a topic for here) of books written as contemporaries but now old enough to count as historical and therefore falling between two stools and not getting reprinted. (The recent reprints of Mary Stewart are a welcome exception.) We also, along with Sherwood Smith, attempted to found the Genteel Book Club….

    Reply
  173. A lot of Stevenson was published in paperback in the 60s-70s by Ace. The books available online now are usually just the very expensive large-print versions. I also love MISS BUNCLE’S BOOK and MISS BUNCLE MARRIED. Miss Buncle writes a novel that becomes an overnight success–but all her friends and neighbors think the characters are based on THEM! Some of them get pretty nasty about it.
    If you plan to BUY the Morley books, beware! I thought I’d save money by purchasing the two-in-one edition; but it has so many typos it’s virtually unreadable. Fortunately I do still have my older copies around somewhere.
    I’m pretty sure that PARNASSUS ON WHEELS is the source of my favorite Morley quote: “Talkers never write. They just go on talking.”
    It was my inquiry of a friend who did proofreading for Ace about whether there was any chance of Stevenson being reprinted that led to a discussion (which might make a topic for here) of books written as contemporaries but now old enough to count as historical and therefore falling between two stools and not getting reprinted. (The recent reprints of Mary Stewart are a welcome exception.) We also, along with Sherwood Smith, attempted to found the Genteel Book Club….

    Reply
  174. A lot of Stevenson was published in paperback in the 60s-70s by Ace. The books available online now are usually just the very expensive large-print versions. I also love MISS BUNCLE’S BOOK and MISS BUNCLE MARRIED. Miss Buncle writes a novel that becomes an overnight success–but all her friends and neighbors think the characters are based on THEM! Some of them get pretty nasty about it.
    If you plan to BUY the Morley books, beware! I thought I’d save money by purchasing the two-in-one edition; but it has so many typos it’s virtually unreadable. Fortunately I do still have my older copies around somewhere.
    I’m pretty sure that PARNASSUS ON WHEELS is the source of my favorite Morley quote: “Talkers never write. They just go on talking.”
    It was my inquiry of a friend who did proofreading for Ace about whether there was any chance of Stevenson being reprinted that led to a discussion (which might make a topic for here) of books written as contemporaries but now old enough to count as historical and therefore falling between two stools and not getting reprinted. (The recent reprints of Mary Stewart are a welcome exception.) We also, along with Sherwood Smith, attempted to found the Genteel Book Club….

    Reply
  175. A lot of Stevenson was published in paperback in the 60s-70s by Ace. The books available online now are usually just the very expensive large-print versions. I also love MISS BUNCLE’S BOOK and MISS BUNCLE MARRIED. Miss Buncle writes a novel that becomes an overnight success–but all her friends and neighbors think the characters are based on THEM! Some of them get pretty nasty about it.
    If you plan to BUY the Morley books, beware! I thought I’d save money by purchasing the two-in-one edition; but it has so many typos it’s virtually unreadable. Fortunately I do still have my older copies around somewhere.
    I’m pretty sure that PARNASSUS ON WHEELS is the source of my favorite Morley quote: “Talkers never write. They just go on talking.”
    It was my inquiry of a friend who did proofreading for Ace about whether there was any chance of Stevenson being reprinted that led to a discussion (which might make a topic for here) of books written as contemporaries but now old enough to count as historical and therefore falling between two stools and not getting reprinted. (The recent reprints of Mary Stewart are a welcome exception.) We also, along with Sherwood Smith, attempted to found the Genteel Book Club….

    Reply
  176. Hi Patricia,
    Thanks so much for the mention here of my book, Forecast. It’s a good blog and I can’t resist making a comment. I absolutely agree with you about quiet fiction, and when I have a “quiet” story to tell, I will embrace and savor the experience of writing it. Maeve Binchy is one of my all-time favorite writers. I love her books. They’re almost medicinal!
    It’s interesting that you mention Forecast as ‘high concept’ as it was actually written as a screenplay first. As you note, high concept is a film term. Forecast started as a romantic comedy, and from that I wrote the novel. The screenplay is currently in development, and fingers crossed it will eventually make it to the big screen. So yes, it is high concept, but I also feel the characters are normal. At least they are to me. I grew up around psychic women, so wrote about what I knew. To many who read the book, it seems far-fetched, but actually… it is simply a slightly exaggerated version of some women I know and love.
    You’ll be seeing more high concept stories from me for a while. As a writer, we have that light go off and the tale we need to tell sits there in our heads, waiting to come to life. I have a backlog of stories, which just happen to be high concept. I’ll leave the quiet tales to authors who do them well, but I’ll definitely continue reading them.
    Happy reading!
    Jane Tara

    Reply
  177. Hi Patricia,
    Thanks so much for the mention here of my book, Forecast. It’s a good blog and I can’t resist making a comment. I absolutely agree with you about quiet fiction, and when I have a “quiet” story to tell, I will embrace and savor the experience of writing it. Maeve Binchy is one of my all-time favorite writers. I love her books. They’re almost medicinal!
    It’s interesting that you mention Forecast as ‘high concept’ as it was actually written as a screenplay first. As you note, high concept is a film term. Forecast started as a romantic comedy, and from that I wrote the novel. The screenplay is currently in development, and fingers crossed it will eventually make it to the big screen. So yes, it is high concept, but I also feel the characters are normal. At least they are to me. I grew up around psychic women, so wrote about what I knew. To many who read the book, it seems far-fetched, but actually… it is simply a slightly exaggerated version of some women I know and love.
    You’ll be seeing more high concept stories from me for a while. As a writer, we have that light go off and the tale we need to tell sits there in our heads, waiting to come to life. I have a backlog of stories, which just happen to be high concept. I’ll leave the quiet tales to authors who do them well, but I’ll definitely continue reading them.
    Happy reading!
    Jane Tara

    Reply
  178. Hi Patricia,
    Thanks so much for the mention here of my book, Forecast. It’s a good blog and I can’t resist making a comment. I absolutely agree with you about quiet fiction, and when I have a “quiet” story to tell, I will embrace and savor the experience of writing it. Maeve Binchy is one of my all-time favorite writers. I love her books. They’re almost medicinal!
    It’s interesting that you mention Forecast as ‘high concept’ as it was actually written as a screenplay first. As you note, high concept is a film term. Forecast started as a romantic comedy, and from that I wrote the novel. The screenplay is currently in development, and fingers crossed it will eventually make it to the big screen. So yes, it is high concept, but I also feel the characters are normal. At least they are to me. I grew up around psychic women, so wrote about what I knew. To many who read the book, it seems far-fetched, but actually… it is simply a slightly exaggerated version of some women I know and love.
    You’ll be seeing more high concept stories from me for a while. As a writer, we have that light go off and the tale we need to tell sits there in our heads, waiting to come to life. I have a backlog of stories, which just happen to be high concept. I’ll leave the quiet tales to authors who do them well, but I’ll definitely continue reading them.
    Happy reading!
    Jane Tara

    Reply
  179. Hi Patricia,
    Thanks so much for the mention here of my book, Forecast. It’s a good blog and I can’t resist making a comment. I absolutely agree with you about quiet fiction, and when I have a “quiet” story to tell, I will embrace and savor the experience of writing it. Maeve Binchy is one of my all-time favorite writers. I love her books. They’re almost medicinal!
    It’s interesting that you mention Forecast as ‘high concept’ as it was actually written as a screenplay first. As you note, high concept is a film term. Forecast started as a romantic comedy, and from that I wrote the novel. The screenplay is currently in development, and fingers crossed it will eventually make it to the big screen. So yes, it is high concept, but I also feel the characters are normal. At least they are to me. I grew up around psychic women, so wrote about what I knew. To many who read the book, it seems far-fetched, but actually… it is simply a slightly exaggerated version of some women I know and love.
    You’ll be seeing more high concept stories from me for a while. As a writer, we have that light go off and the tale we need to tell sits there in our heads, waiting to come to life. I have a backlog of stories, which just happen to be high concept. I’ll leave the quiet tales to authors who do them well, but I’ll definitely continue reading them.
    Happy reading!
    Jane Tara

    Reply
  180. Hi Patricia,
    Thanks so much for the mention here of my book, Forecast. It’s a good blog and I can’t resist making a comment. I absolutely agree with you about quiet fiction, and when I have a “quiet” story to tell, I will embrace and savor the experience of writing it. Maeve Binchy is one of my all-time favorite writers. I love her books. They’re almost medicinal!
    It’s interesting that you mention Forecast as ‘high concept’ as it was actually written as a screenplay first. As you note, high concept is a film term. Forecast started as a romantic comedy, and from that I wrote the novel. The screenplay is currently in development, and fingers crossed it will eventually make it to the big screen. So yes, it is high concept, but I also feel the characters are normal. At least they are to me. I grew up around psychic women, so wrote about what I knew. To many who read the book, it seems far-fetched, but actually… it is simply a slightly exaggerated version of some women I know and love.
    You’ll be seeing more high concept stories from me for a while. As a writer, we have that light go off and the tale we need to tell sits there in our heads, waiting to come to life. I have a backlog of stories, which just happen to be high concept. I’ll leave the quiet tales to authors who do them well, but I’ll definitely continue reading them.
    Happy reading!
    Jane Tara

    Reply
  181. I’m glad you stopped by, Jane, and even happier that you will be doing more high concept books. What I enjoyed most about FORECAST was that everyone in it was beautifully normal, which tends to be unusual in high concept books. Most writers reach way too far for credulity, but your book put together the perfect elements. I’ll be looking forward to the next. I’ll cross fingers about the screenplay too!

    Reply
  182. I’m glad you stopped by, Jane, and even happier that you will be doing more high concept books. What I enjoyed most about FORECAST was that everyone in it was beautifully normal, which tends to be unusual in high concept books. Most writers reach way too far for credulity, but your book put together the perfect elements. I’ll be looking forward to the next. I’ll cross fingers about the screenplay too!

    Reply
  183. I’m glad you stopped by, Jane, and even happier that you will be doing more high concept books. What I enjoyed most about FORECAST was that everyone in it was beautifully normal, which tends to be unusual in high concept books. Most writers reach way too far for credulity, but your book put together the perfect elements. I’ll be looking forward to the next. I’ll cross fingers about the screenplay too!

    Reply
  184. I’m glad you stopped by, Jane, and even happier that you will be doing more high concept books. What I enjoyed most about FORECAST was that everyone in it was beautifully normal, which tends to be unusual in high concept books. Most writers reach way too far for credulity, but your book put together the perfect elements. I’ll be looking forward to the next. I’ll cross fingers about the screenplay too!

    Reply
  185. I’m glad you stopped by, Jane, and even happier that you will be doing more high concept books. What I enjoyed most about FORECAST was that everyone in it was beautifully normal, which tends to be unusual in high concept books. Most writers reach way too far for credulity, but your book put together the perfect elements. I’ll be looking forward to the next. I’ll cross fingers about the screenplay too!

    Reply

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