Short Stuff

Cat_243_dover by Mary Jo

The Wench summer holiday scramble continues, with Jo swapping with me so that she can take flight for Australia.  Is that cool or what???  Australia_kangaroo

As for the short stuff—no, that is not a reference to those of us Wenches who are below the average height, or as we prefer, “vertically challenged.”  <g>  Instead, I’m talking about short stories.

Specifically, I’m talking about ENCHANTMENT PLACE, a new DAW fantasy anthology that I’m in.  http://tinyurl.com/6jleqx   DAW publishes a number of such anthologies, often packaged by TeknoBooks and edited by Denise Little, one of my all-time fave editors. Here’s Denise’s recent ninc.com blog on how packaging works.   httEnchantment_placep://tinyurl.com/5laa53 

I did my first story for Denise several years ago in CONSTELLATION OF CATS.  It involved cats and astrology, and since we frequently swap cat stories, she thought I might be interested.  I’d never written a short story, I’d never written fantasy, and as Denise pointed out, the money generated would maybe buy a nice dinner for two if you went light on the wine.  How could I resist?

I Constellation_of_catsdecided to dedicate an afternoon to seeing if I could whack my silly idea into shape.  Four hours later, I had a draft of “The Stargazer’s Familiar,” and my career in fantasy was born.  (I loved that anthology’s cover!  So much fun.)

Last year, when I returned to writing classical historicals, I knew I’d miss fantasy, so I e-mailed Denise and asked if she had any upcoming anthologies where I might fit?  She responded with ENCHANTMENT PLACE, which is a Chicago mall where the magical do their shopping. 

Sixflagsmall11 In a charming intro to EC, Denise explained how she was shopping with her sister, a Texas mall queen, and speculating on where vampires and werewolves and unicorns bought what they needed.  Her sister said off-handedly, “Let them get their own mall!”  Thus are great ideas born. <g>

My particular story, “Shining On,” has a thoroughly human protagonist in Roy Blake, combat veteran and shoe shiner, and it ended up being the first in the anthology because it’s a pretty good intro to the mall.  Not that I intended that—I was just having fun.  And being a romance writer, my story ended up having Shoe_shine_stand romance in it, too. 

I just received my copy, and the stories I’ve read so far have been a hoot.  There’s something about a magical mall that induces a light touch.  Those of you who know the work of Esther Friesner, fantasy auteur and lover of hamsters, will not be surprised to learn that the key familiar in the shop that sells Hamster familiars is a hamster.  <g>   The ever hilarious funny Laura Resnick’s slacker heroine makes the mistake of reorganizing the mall deli and ends up the feds and vampire mafia chasing her.  So if any of you are looking for some fun short stories (17 in this particular anthology), get a copy of ENCHANTMENT PLACE.  It should be good for quite a few chuckles. 

By the way, did you know that a ‘collection’ is all work by one author while an anthology is many different authors?  I didn’t until recently—the terms are often used interchangeably.  But I digress.

Besides flogging ENCHANTMENT PLACE, I thought this would be a good time to ruminate on the value of writing shorter works.  Some authors have a gift for writing short, others naturally write long.  But even for people like me who write long, it’s delightful to occasionally do something different.  A short story Sorbet can be like a bite of sorbet to clear the palate between courses in an upscale restaurant. 

Purely by coincidence, as I was thinking that, my friend Laura Resnick e-mailed: 

“…I just read “Shining On.” ….What was really interesting to me is how different it is from your romance or novelist voice. Pretty much any MJP book I pick up, I’d know within a few pages who wrote it, or I would AT LEAST say, “This sounds like Mary Jo.” Same way with many good authors—you can just tell who’s telling the story. But I really don’t think I could have guessed who wrote this story. Similar style in terms of specific word choice and elegant sentence structure, but that wouldn’t have been nearly enough of a clue. So I can see why the short fic in sf/f would be a fun variation for you, because it’s a chance to experiment with different voices, as well as different styles and themes.”

“I’d have sworn a man wrote it. Not because it was a male POV, but because it read to me like a man’s voice–a male writer’s voice. Even in your male POV in romance, I don’t feel as if we’ve switched to a male voice, just a male POV.  There was also more edge than your romance voice has—say, a touch of sarcasm or cynicism that isn’t part of your romance voice….this had a pragmatic, sturdy tone that’s not as familiar to me.”

I found her comments interesting because it’s hard to hear one’s own voice.  I have found that when I do a short fantasy, I seem to slip into first person/male/humorous and possibly feline.  I don’t think I Ranger could sustain the voice very long, but for something short, my army Ranger, shoe shiner, and highly adaptable guy voice came very naturally. 

I never write first person otherwise—I would have trouble staying that focused, I suspect.  Maybe jumping into first person for these short stories feels natural because it enables one to nail a lot of set-up and characterization very efficiently?

Short stories have a very distinguished literary pedigree.  In rarified literary circles, there are writers who have built entire careers on exquisitely chiseled stories where every word is as carefully chosen as the perfect diamond for an engagement ring.  The story may or may not be actually about anything, but it is beautifully written.

Then there are genre stories, of which there is a long and healthy tradition in mystery and sff.  There are authors whose whole careers have been spent writing sff stories, and they’re well respected in the field.

But of short romance stories—not so much.  What romance has is novella anthologies, and for very good reason.  In mystery or sff, a good story can be spun from an idea.  But romance is all about the characterization.  It takes time—words—to create characters, conflict, and to build a believable relationship.  So romance anthologies usually have three or four stories, not twenty.  And it’s not uncommon to have ‘reunion’ stories where the characters need to sort out an existing relationship, so the work of developing the relationship (and straining it) takes place before the story even starts. 

It’s possible to do a romantic short story—my “Shining On” is romantic—but it not a true romance because it just sketches out the characters and the potential ahead of them. 

580d828fd7a0da602534f010__aa203__l We Wenches are major producers of romance novellas.  We’ve all done them.   Wench Edith and Mary Balogh are the queens of Regency romance novellas, and both have had collections of novellas published.  (Edith’s is the lovely A LOVE FOR ALL SEASONS.)  Romance publishers often use anthologies as marketing tools, pairing a well-known author from their house with several authors who are lower on the list who will benefit by being exposed to a larger audience. 

And authors like doing them because—well, they’re fun.  A chance to do something different.  To give a happy ending to a minor character from a novel.  To use an idea that isn’t big enough for a novel, but which the writer really wants to write. 

So how do you feel about short romances?  Do you like novellas?  Are there some in particular you remember with great fondness?  Or are they just too short to be fun?

Chrismas_revels_mass_market Mary Jo, who has written enough to equal several novels, and who has one collection, CHRISTMAS REVELS.

110 thoughts on “Short Stuff”

  1. I don’t usually read many short stories because if I like the story, I’m always left wanting more and feeling like I’m missing something! Like Jo’s story in Dragon Lovers. I could get so blissfully lost in that world!
    On the other hand, I love the way a short story forces an author to find the essence of what he or she wants to say and say it succinctly as well as beautifully and compellingly. I agree that it can be a very good exercise for an author to force on him or herself to help hone the craft. From a writerly standpoint, short fiction is great, and from a readerly standpoint (boy, I’m just making up words all over the place) I guess it just means changing expectations to fit the genre.
    Good post, MJ! Thanks for pinch-hitting for Jo!

    Reply
  2. I don’t usually read many short stories because if I like the story, I’m always left wanting more and feeling like I’m missing something! Like Jo’s story in Dragon Lovers. I could get so blissfully lost in that world!
    On the other hand, I love the way a short story forces an author to find the essence of what he or she wants to say and say it succinctly as well as beautifully and compellingly. I agree that it can be a very good exercise for an author to force on him or herself to help hone the craft. From a writerly standpoint, short fiction is great, and from a readerly standpoint (boy, I’m just making up words all over the place) I guess it just means changing expectations to fit the genre.
    Good post, MJ! Thanks for pinch-hitting for Jo!

    Reply
  3. I don’t usually read many short stories because if I like the story, I’m always left wanting more and feeling like I’m missing something! Like Jo’s story in Dragon Lovers. I could get so blissfully lost in that world!
    On the other hand, I love the way a short story forces an author to find the essence of what he or she wants to say and say it succinctly as well as beautifully and compellingly. I agree that it can be a very good exercise for an author to force on him or herself to help hone the craft. From a writerly standpoint, short fiction is great, and from a readerly standpoint (boy, I’m just making up words all over the place) I guess it just means changing expectations to fit the genre.
    Good post, MJ! Thanks for pinch-hitting for Jo!

    Reply
  4. I don’t usually read many short stories because if I like the story, I’m always left wanting more and feeling like I’m missing something! Like Jo’s story in Dragon Lovers. I could get so blissfully lost in that world!
    On the other hand, I love the way a short story forces an author to find the essence of what he or she wants to say and say it succinctly as well as beautifully and compellingly. I agree that it can be a very good exercise for an author to force on him or herself to help hone the craft. From a writerly standpoint, short fiction is great, and from a readerly standpoint (boy, I’m just making up words all over the place) I guess it just means changing expectations to fit the genre.
    Good post, MJ! Thanks for pinch-hitting for Jo!

    Reply
  5. I don’t usually read many short stories because if I like the story, I’m always left wanting more and feeling like I’m missing something! Like Jo’s story in Dragon Lovers. I could get so blissfully lost in that world!
    On the other hand, I love the way a short story forces an author to find the essence of what he or she wants to say and say it succinctly as well as beautifully and compellingly. I agree that it can be a very good exercise for an author to force on him or herself to help hone the craft. From a writerly standpoint, short fiction is great, and from a readerly standpoint (boy, I’m just making up words all over the place) I guess it just means changing expectations to fit the genre.
    Good post, MJ! Thanks for pinch-hitting for Jo!

    Reply
  6. I miss them – novellas seem harder to find. (And I ate Edith’s up like pop rocks and soda!)
    I don’t like when the authors paired make no sense – I used to love the signet compilations. Recently I bought one with Sharon Shinn and three other authors of totally different style and I was rather bitter. It was like, here’s a cookie and a nice side of broccoli. I want more cookies!!

    Reply
  7. I miss them – novellas seem harder to find. (And I ate Edith’s up like pop rocks and soda!)
    I don’t like when the authors paired make no sense – I used to love the signet compilations. Recently I bought one with Sharon Shinn and three other authors of totally different style and I was rather bitter. It was like, here’s a cookie and a nice side of broccoli. I want more cookies!!

    Reply
  8. I miss them – novellas seem harder to find. (And I ate Edith’s up like pop rocks and soda!)
    I don’t like when the authors paired make no sense – I used to love the signet compilations. Recently I bought one with Sharon Shinn and three other authors of totally different style and I was rather bitter. It was like, here’s a cookie and a nice side of broccoli. I want more cookies!!

    Reply
  9. I miss them – novellas seem harder to find. (And I ate Edith’s up like pop rocks and soda!)
    I don’t like when the authors paired make no sense – I used to love the signet compilations. Recently I bought one with Sharon Shinn and three other authors of totally different style and I was rather bitter. It was like, here’s a cookie and a nice side of broccoli. I want more cookies!!

    Reply
  10. I miss them – novellas seem harder to find. (And I ate Edith’s up like pop rocks and soda!)
    I don’t like when the authors paired make no sense – I used to love the signet compilations. Recently I bought one with Sharon Shinn and three other authors of totally different style and I was rather bitter. It was like, here’s a cookie and a nice side of broccoli. I want more cookies!!

    Reply
  11. I love novellas. They suit my declining attention span perfectly. Seriously, they don’t suffer from draggy middles because they have no middles. You get all the good stuff without having to drag in spies and vengeful ex-mistresses and all that stuff. I will buy any anthology that has a story by even one author I like, and thank her for doing something I can finish before I’m interrupted.

    Reply
  12. I love novellas. They suit my declining attention span perfectly. Seriously, they don’t suffer from draggy middles because they have no middles. You get all the good stuff without having to drag in spies and vengeful ex-mistresses and all that stuff. I will buy any anthology that has a story by even one author I like, and thank her for doing something I can finish before I’m interrupted.

    Reply
  13. I love novellas. They suit my declining attention span perfectly. Seriously, they don’t suffer from draggy middles because they have no middles. You get all the good stuff without having to drag in spies and vengeful ex-mistresses and all that stuff. I will buy any anthology that has a story by even one author I like, and thank her for doing something I can finish before I’m interrupted.

    Reply
  14. I love novellas. They suit my declining attention span perfectly. Seriously, they don’t suffer from draggy middles because they have no middles. You get all the good stuff without having to drag in spies and vengeful ex-mistresses and all that stuff. I will buy any anthology that has a story by even one author I like, and thank her for doing something I can finish before I’m interrupted.

    Reply
  15. I love novellas. They suit my declining attention span perfectly. Seriously, they don’t suffer from draggy middles because they have no middles. You get all the good stuff without having to drag in spies and vengeful ex-mistresses and all that stuff. I will buy any anthology that has a story by even one author I like, and thank her for doing something I can finish before I’m interrupted.

    Reply
  16. I’ve had short stories in two anthologies: Andre Norton’s CATFANTASTIC IV (an alchemist’s cat)
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/n/andre-norton/catfantastic-iv.htm
    and OLYMPUS, edited by my friend and neighbor Bruce Arthurs, modern stories about the ancient gods (the House of Atreus appears on a trashy talk show about dysfunctional families).
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/g/martin-h-greenberg/olympus.htm
    I’m trying to get Bruce energized about a project I suggested a long time ago–REGENCY FANTASTIC. All Wenches will be invited to contribute if we ever get it off the ground.
    And a good friend of mine wrote a very funny novel about a magical mall:
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/c/rick-cook/mall-purchase-night.htm
    (I post the links to show off the cool covers.)

    Reply
  17. I’ve had short stories in two anthologies: Andre Norton’s CATFANTASTIC IV (an alchemist’s cat)
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/n/andre-norton/catfantastic-iv.htm
    and OLYMPUS, edited by my friend and neighbor Bruce Arthurs, modern stories about the ancient gods (the House of Atreus appears on a trashy talk show about dysfunctional families).
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/g/martin-h-greenberg/olympus.htm
    I’m trying to get Bruce energized about a project I suggested a long time ago–REGENCY FANTASTIC. All Wenches will be invited to contribute if we ever get it off the ground.
    And a good friend of mine wrote a very funny novel about a magical mall:
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/c/rick-cook/mall-purchase-night.htm
    (I post the links to show off the cool covers.)

    Reply
  18. I’ve had short stories in two anthologies: Andre Norton’s CATFANTASTIC IV (an alchemist’s cat)
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/n/andre-norton/catfantastic-iv.htm
    and OLYMPUS, edited by my friend and neighbor Bruce Arthurs, modern stories about the ancient gods (the House of Atreus appears on a trashy talk show about dysfunctional families).
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/g/martin-h-greenberg/olympus.htm
    I’m trying to get Bruce energized about a project I suggested a long time ago–REGENCY FANTASTIC. All Wenches will be invited to contribute if we ever get it off the ground.
    And a good friend of mine wrote a very funny novel about a magical mall:
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/c/rick-cook/mall-purchase-night.htm
    (I post the links to show off the cool covers.)

    Reply
  19. I’ve had short stories in two anthologies: Andre Norton’s CATFANTASTIC IV (an alchemist’s cat)
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/n/andre-norton/catfantastic-iv.htm
    and OLYMPUS, edited by my friend and neighbor Bruce Arthurs, modern stories about the ancient gods (the House of Atreus appears on a trashy talk show about dysfunctional families).
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/g/martin-h-greenberg/olympus.htm
    I’m trying to get Bruce energized about a project I suggested a long time ago–REGENCY FANTASTIC. All Wenches will be invited to contribute if we ever get it off the ground.
    And a good friend of mine wrote a very funny novel about a magical mall:
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/c/rick-cook/mall-purchase-night.htm
    (I post the links to show off the cool covers.)

    Reply
  20. I’ve had short stories in two anthologies: Andre Norton’s CATFANTASTIC IV (an alchemist’s cat)
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/n/andre-norton/catfantastic-iv.htm
    and OLYMPUS, edited by my friend and neighbor Bruce Arthurs, modern stories about the ancient gods (the House of Atreus appears on a trashy talk show about dysfunctional families).
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/g/martin-h-greenberg/olympus.htm
    I’m trying to get Bruce energized about a project I suggested a long time ago–REGENCY FANTASTIC. All Wenches will be invited to contribute if we ever get it off the ground.
    And a good friend of mine wrote a very funny novel about a magical mall:
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/c/rick-cook/mall-purchase-night.htm
    (I post the links to show off the cool covers.)

    Reply
  21. I love short stories. They give you, out of necessity, a set of parameters that ‘force’ you to be as succinct as you can be and still weave those characters and world that sucks the reader in.
    I also enjoy them because as you pointed out, MJ, it gives some of the lesser known authors an opportunity, when paired with a popular author, the chance to have their voice ‘heard’ by so many more readers than might have given them the chance otherwise and I have to say, I’ve found a few authors from those anthologies that have gone on to bigger and better and I have gone along for the ride.
    I am part of a group of published and amateur writers who, twice a month, are sent a prompt and must use that prompt in a short story. Some of them are excellent, some show the inexperience of the writer, but all are treated equally and posted on our little website. Some have even gone on to become novels or novellas which is wonderful. But all are done with the idea of honing the craft of writing as well as really just plain old enjoying writing them.
    Amateur or published, it’s a great way to try new voices, different genres, and further hone our writing skills and whether I’m reading them or writing them, they give me a nice break for a short time with a usually satisfying ending and I think it’s great! 🙂
    And once again, I’ve just chatted away at nothing. Someone wound me up the last few days!
    sorry

    Reply
  22. I love short stories. They give you, out of necessity, a set of parameters that ‘force’ you to be as succinct as you can be and still weave those characters and world that sucks the reader in.
    I also enjoy them because as you pointed out, MJ, it gives some of the lesser known authors an opportunity, when paired with a popular author, the chance to have their voice ‘heard’ by so many more readers than might have given them the chance otherwise and I have to say, I’ve found a few authors from those anthologies that have gone on to bigger and better and I have gone along for the ride.
    I am part of a group of published and amateur writers who, twice a month, are sent a prompt and must use that prompt in a short story. Some of them are excellent, some show the inexperience of the writer, but all are treated equally and posted on our little website. Some have even gone on to become novels or novellas which is wonderful. But all are done with the idea of honing the craft of writing as well as really just plain old enjoying writing them.
    Amateur or published, it’s a great way to try new voices, different genres, and further hone our writing skills and whether I’m reading them or writing them, they give me a nice break for a short time with a usually satisfying ending and I think it’s great! 🙂
    And once again, I’ve just chatted away at nothing. Someone wound me up the last few days!
    sorry

    Reply
  23. I love short stories. They give you, out of necessity, a set of parameters that ‘force’ you to be as succinct as you can be and still weave those characters and world that sucks the reader in.
    I also enjoy them because as you pointed out, MJ, it gives some of the lesser known authors an opportunity, when paired with a popular author, the chance to have their voice ‘heard’ by so many more readers than might have given them the chance otherwise and I have to say, I’ve found a few authors from those anthologies that have gone on to bigger and better and I have gone along for the ride.
    I am part of a group of published and amateur writers who, twice a month, are sent a prompt and must use that prompt in a short story. Some of them are excellent, some show the inexperience of the writer, but all are treated equally and posted on our little website. Some have even gone on to become novels or novellas which is wonderful. But all are done with the idea of honing the craft of writing as well as really just plain old enjoying writing them.
    Amateur or published, it’s a great way to try new voices, different genres, and further hone our writing skills and whether I’m reading them or writing them, they give me a nice break for a short time with a usually satisfying ending and I think it’s great! 🙂
    And once again, I’ve just chatted away at nothing. Someone wound me up the last few days!
    sorry

    Reply
  24. I love short stories. They give you, out of necessity, a set of parameters that ‘force’ you to be as succinct as you can be and still weave those characters and world that sucks the reader in.
    I also enjoy them because as you pointed out, MJ, it gives some of the lesser known authors an opportunity, when paired with a popular author, the chance to have their voice ‘heard’ by so many more readers than might have given them the chance otherwise and I have to say, I’ve found a few authors from those anthologies that have gone on to bigger and better and I have gone along for the ride.
    I am part of a group of published and amateur writers who, twice a month, are sent a prompt and must use that prompt in a short story. Some of them are excellent, some show the inexperience of the writer, but all are treated equally and posted on our little website. Some have even gone on to become novels or novellas which is wonderful. But all are done with the idea of honing the craft of writing as well as really just plain old enjoying writing them.
    Amateur or published, it’s a great way to try new voices, different genres, and further hone our writing skills and whether I’m reading them or writing them, they give me a nice break for a short time with a usually satisfying ending and I think it’s great! 🙂
    And once again, I’ve just chatted away at nothing. Someone wound me up the last few days!
    sorry

    Reply
  25. I love short stories. They give you, out of necessity, a set of parameters that ‘force’ you to be as succinct as you can be and still weave those characters and world that sucks the reader in.
    I also enjoy them because as you pointed out, MJ, it gives some of the lesser known authors an opportunity, when paired with a popular author, the chance to have their voice ‘heard’ by so many more readers than might have given them the chance otherwise and I have to say, I’ve found a few authors from those anthologies that have gone on to bigger and better and I have gone along for the ride.
    I am part of a group of published and amateur writers who, twice a month, are sent a prompt and must use that prompt in a short story. Some of them are excellent, some show the inexperience of the writer, but all are treated equally and posted on our little website. Some have even gone on to become novels or novellas which is wonderful. But all are done with the idea of honing the craft of writing as well as really just plain old enjoying writing them.
    Amateur or published, it’s a great way to try new voices, different genres, and further hone our writing skills and whether I’m reading them or writing them, they give me a nice break for a short time with a usually satisfying ending and I think it’s great! 🙂
    And once again, I’ve just chatted away at nothing. Someone wound me up the last few days!
    sorry

    Reply
  26. OK, since we’re talking about novellas, I’ve written one. It’s a Regency time travel, and, lo and behold, an e-publisher will publish it this year (no release date yet). Right now I’m working on another novella, a Regency Halloween story with fantasy and humor.
    Mary Jo, you may be right, that short brings out the humor. My time travel has humor in it, and so does the Halloween story. But then, my longer WIPs also have humor. Maybe I just take a situation and turn it around to be something crazy. Or maybe I’m just crazy. Anyway, here’s my website (www.lindabanche.com) for anyone who wants to see the weird world of Linda Banche. (Moderator, please remove if I’ve overstepped any bounds.)

    Reply
  27. OK, since we’re talking about novellas, I’ve written one. It’s a Regency time travel, and, lo and behold, an e-publisher will publish it this year (no release date yet). Right now I’m working on another novella, a Regency Halloween story with fantasy and humor.
    Mary Jo, you may be right, that short brings out the humor. My time travel has humor in it, and so does the Halloween story. But then, my longer WIPs also have humor. Maybe I just take a situation and turn it around to be something crazy. Or maybe I’m just crazy. Anyway, here’s my website (www.lindabanche.com) for anyone who wants to see the weird world of Linda Banche. (Moderator, please remove if I’ve overstepped any bounds.)

    Reply
  28. OK, since we’re talking about novellas, I’ve written one. It’s a Regency time travel, and, lo and behold, an e-publisher will publish it this year (no release date yet). Right now I’m working on another novella, a Regency Halloween story with fantasy and humor.
    Mary Jo, you may be right, that short brings out the humor. My time travel has humor in it, and so does the Halloween story. But then, my longer WIPs also have humor. Maybe I just take a situation and turn it around to be something crazy. Or maybe I’m just crazy. Anyway, here’s my website (www.lindabanche.com) for anyone who wants to see the weird world of Linda Banche. (Moderator, please remove if I’ve overstepped any bounds.)

    Reply
  29. OK, since we’re talking about novellas, I’ve written one. It’s a Regency time travel, and, lo and behold, an e-publisher will publish it this year (no release date yet). Right now I’m working on another novella, a Regency Halloween story with fantasy and humor.
    Mary Jo, you may be right, that short brings out the humor. My time travel has humor in it, and so does the Halloween story. But then, my longer WIPs also have humor. Maybe I just take a situation and turn it around to be something crazy. Or maybe I’m just crazy. Anyway, here’s my website (www.lindabanche.com) for anyone who wants to see the weird world of Linda Banche. (Moderator, please remove if I’ve overstepped any bounds.)

    Reply
  30. OK, since we’re talking about novellas, I’ve written one. It’s a Regency time travel, and, lo and behold, an e-publisher will publish it this year (no release date yet). Right now I’m working on another novella, a Regency Halloween story with fantasy and humor.
    Mary Jo, you may be right, that short brings out the humor. My time travel has humor in it, and so does the Halloween story. But then, my longer WIPs also have humor. Maybe I just take a situation and turn it around to be something crazy. Or maybe I’m just crazy. Anyway, here’s my website (www.lindabanche.com) for anyone who wants to see the weird world of Linda Banche. (Moderator, please remove if I’ve overstepped any bounds.)

    Reply
  31. The first ‘book’ I wrote turned out to be 23,000 words, LOL. There seems to be much more of a market for novellas now, so maybe I should dust some of mine off. I used to me a hold-out buying anthologies, but now I find I enjoy three or four different voices and tasty small bites. Candice Hern is coming out with one this fall that looks especially delicious.

    Reply
  32. The first ‘book’ I wrote turned out to be 23,000 words, LOL. There seems to be much more of a market for novellas now, so maybe I should dust some of mine off. I used to me a hold-out buying anthologies, but now I find I enjoy three or four different voices and tasty small bites. Candice Hern is coming out with one this fall that looks especially delicious.

    Reply
  33. The first ‘book’ I wrote turned out to be 23,000 words, LOL. There seems to be much more of a market for novellas now, so maybe I should dust some of mine off. I used to me a hold-out buying anthologies, but now I find I enjoy three or four different voices and tasty small bites. Candice Hern is coming out with one this fall that looks especially delicious.

    Reply
  34. The first ‘book’ I wrote turned out to be 23,000 words, LOL. There seems to be much more of a market for novellas now, so maybe I should dust some of mine off. I used to me a hold-out buying anthologies, but now I find I enjoy three or four different voices and tasty small bites. Candice Hern is coming out with one this fall that looks especially delicious.

    Reply
  35. The first ‘book’ I wrote turned out to be 23,000 words, LOL. There seems to be much more of a market for novellas now, so maybe I should dust some of mine off. I used to me a hold-out buying anthologies, but now I find I enjoy three or four different voices and tasty small bites. Candice Hern is coming out with one this fall that looks especially delicious.

    Reply
  36. I like anthology/novella/short stories and I’ve found a number of new authors by reading them. They are a nice break between heavy duty books. I’m looking forward to the one that’s coming out with Mary Balogh, Stephanie Laurens, Jacquie D’Allesandro and Candice Hern, in which they take the same plot but write different stories. At least, I think that’s the gist of it, sounds interesting. I would be interested in reading a joint effort from the Wenches.

    Reply
  37. I like anthology/novella/short stories and I’ve found a number of new authors by reading them. They are a nice break between heavy duty books. I’m looking forward to the one that’s coming out with Mary Balogh, Stephanie Laurens, Jacquie D’Allesandro and Candice Hern, in which they take the same plot but write different stories. At least, I think that’s the gist of it, sounds interesting. I would be interested in reading a joint effort from the Wenches.

    Reply
  38. I like anthology/novella/short stories and I’ve found a number of new authors by reading them. They are a nice break between heavy duty books. I’m looking forward to the one that’s coming out with Mary Balogh, Stephanie Laurens, Jacquie D’Allesandro and Candice Hern, in which they take the same plot but write different stories. At least, I think that’s the gist of it, sounds interesting. I would be interested in reading a joint effort from the Wenches.

    Reply
  39. I like anthology/novella/short stories and I’ve found a number of new authors by reading them. They are a nice break between heavy duty books. I’m looking forward to the one that’s coming out with Mary Balogh, Stephanie Laurens, Jacquie D’Allesandro and Candice Hern, in which they take the same plot but write different stories. At least, I think that’s the gist of it, sounds interesting. I would be interested in reading a joint effort from the Wenches.

    Reply
  40. I like anthology/novella/short stories and I’ve found a number of new authors by reading them. They are a nice break between heavy duty books. I’m looking forward to the one that’s coming out with Mary Balogh, Stephanie Laurens, Jacquie D’Allesandro and Candice Hern, in which they take the same plot but write different stories. At least, I think that’s the gist of it, sounds interesting. I would be interested in reading a joint effort from the Wenches.

    Reply
  41. From MJP:
    Anne, I’m with you in that shorter works came be frustrating because I want MORE! But the stories are a manageable size, as Janice says. That was one rationale for the many lovely Signet Regency Christmas collections: around the holidays everyone is busy, so it’s easier to fit in a novella than a novel.
    Janice, you’re right that there is no saggy middle because there is no middle. 🙂 When I write a novella, I tend to think of it as having not a plot but a situation. When the situation is resolved, the story is over.
    A nice thing about the novella length–anywhere from 15K to 35K words in the romance definition–is that it is long enough to do a good romance, while short stories are probably too short.
    And a novella can be emotional, too–sometimes wildly so! One of Jo’s “year of three Georges” stories was a novella of a younger man, older woman, and it was marvelously emotional. A lot of romance novellas are real tear jerkers. In a -good- way!
    Traditionally, romance novella anthology have been by invitation only, but with the internet, it’s possible to publish a much wider range of stories. Unfortunately, the number of print novella anthologies has diminished as the economics get more difficult.
    One of the nice things about
    Tal, clearly the same artist did the covers for CATFANTASTIC IV and A CONSTELLATION OF CATS. Wonderful covers! By someone who really knows cats.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  42. From MJP:
    Anne, I’m with you in that shorter works came be frustrating because I want MORE! But the stories are a manageable size, as Janice says. That was one rationale for the many lovely Signet Regency Christmas collections: around the holidays everyone is busy, so it’s easier to fit in a novella than a novel.
    Janice, you’re right that there is no saggy middle because there is no middle. 🙂 When I write a novella, I tend to think of it as having not a plot but a situation. When the situation is resolved, the story is over.
    A nice thing about the novella length–anywhere from 15K to 35K words in the romance definition–is that it is long enough to do a good romance, while short stories are probably too short.
    And a novella can be emotional, too–sometimes wildly so! One of Jo’s “year of three Georges” stories was a novella of a younger man, older woman, and it was marvelously emotional. A lot of romance novellas are real tear jerkers. In a -good- way!
    Traditionally, romance novella anthology have been by invitation only, but with the internet, it’s possible to publish a much wider range of stories. Unfortunately, the number of print novella anthologies has diminished as the economics get more difficult.
    One of the nice things about
    Tal, clearly the same artist did the covers for CATFANTASTIC IV and A CONSTELLATION OF CATS. Wonderful covers! By someone who really knows cats.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  43. From MJP:
    Anne, I’m with you in that shorter works came be frustrating because I want MORE! But the stories are a manageable size, as Janice says. That was one rationale for the many lovely Signet Regency Christmas collections: around the holidays everyone is busy, so it’s easier to fit in a novella than a novel.
    Janice, you’re right that there is no saggy middle because there is no middle. 🙂 When I write a novella, I tend to think of it as having not a plot but a situation. When the situation is resolved, the story is over.
    A nice thing about the novella length–anywhere from 15K to 35K words in the romance definition–is that it is long enough to do a good romance, while short stories are probably too short.
    And a novella can be emotional, too–sometimes wildly so! One of Jo’s “year of three Georges” stories was a novella of a younger man, older woman, and it was marvelously emotional. A lot of romance novellas are real tear jerkers. In a -good- way!
    Traditionally, romance novella anthology have been by invitation only, but with the internet, it’s possible to publish a much wider range of stories. Unfortunately, the number of print novella anthologies has diminished as the economics get more difficult.
    One of the nice things about
    Tal, clearly the same artist did the covers for CATFANTASTIC IV and A CONSTELLATION OF CATS. Wonderful covers! By someone who really knows cats.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  44. From MJP:
    Anne, I’m with you in that shorter works came be frustrating because I want MORE! But the stories are a manageable size, as Janice says. That was one rationale for the many lovely Signet Regency Christmas collections: around the holidays everyone is busy, so it’s easier to fit in a novella than a novel.
    Janice, you’re right that there is no saggy middle because there is no middle. 🙂 When I write a novella, I tend to think of it as having not a plot but a situation. When the situation is resolved, the story is over.
    A nice thing about the novella length–anywhere from 15K to 35K words in the romance definition–is that it is long enough to do a good romance, while short stories are probably too short.
    And a novella can be emotional, too–sometimes wildly so! One of Jo’s “year of three Georges” stories was a novella of a younger man, older woman, and it was marvelously emotional. A lot of romance novellas are real tear jerkers. In a -good- way!
    Traditionally, romance novella anthology have been by invitation only, but with the internet, it’s possible to publish a much wider range of stories. Unfortunately, the number of print novella anthologies has diminished as the economics get more difficult.
    One of the nice things about
    Tal, clearly the same artist did the covers for CATFANTASTIC IV and A CONSTELLATION OF CATS. Wonderful covers! By someone who really knows cats.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  45. From MJP:
    Anne, I’m with you in that shorter works came be frustrating because I want MORE! But the stories are a manageable size, as Janice says. That was one rationale for the many lovely Signet Regency Christmas collections: around the holidays everyone is busy, so it’s easier to fit in a novella than a novel.
    Janice, you’re right that there is no saggy middle because there is no middle. 🙂 When I write a novella, I tend to think of it as having not a plot but a situation. When the situation is resolved, the story is over.
    A nice thing about the novella length–anywhere from 15K to 35K words in the romance definition–is that it is long enough to do a good romance, while short stories are probably too short.
    And a novella can be emotional, too–sometimes wildly so! One of Jo’s “year of three Georges” stories was a novella of a younger man, older woman, and it was marvelously emotional. A lot of romance novellas are real tear jerkers. In a -good- way!
    Traditionally, romance novella anthology have been by invitation only, but with the internet, it’s possible to publish a much wider range of stories. Unfortunately, the number of print novella anthologies has diminished as the economics get more difficult.
    One of the nice things about
    Tal, clearly the same artist did the covers for CATFANTASTIC IV and A CONSTELLATION OF CATS. Wonderful covers! By someone who really knows cats.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  46. I love anthologies – as some people have already said, no saggy middles and the opportunity to try new authors. Or genres – like the combination romance/sci-fi/fantasy anthology Irresistible Forces. It’s got six stories! I’ve only read two, and it’s great to know there are four more waiting when I have a snippet of time.

    Reply
  47. I love anthologies – as some people have already said, no saggy middles and the opportunity to try new authors. Or genres – like the combination romance/sci-fi/fantasy anthology Irresistible Forces. It’s got six stories! I’ve only read two, and it’s great to know there are four more waiting when I have a snippet of time.

    Reply
  48. I love anthologies – as some people have already said, no saggy middles and the opportunity to try new authors. Or genres – like the combination romance/sci-fi/fantasy anthology Irresistible Forces. It’s got six stories! I’ve only read two, and it’s great to know there are four more waiting when I have a snippet of time.

    Reply
  49. I love anthologies – as some people have already said, no saggy middles and the opportunity to try new authors. Or genres – like the combination romance/sci-fi/fantasy anthology Irresistible Forces. It’s got six stories! I’ve only read two, and it’s great to know there are four more waiting when I have a snippet of time.

    Reply
  50. I love anthologies – as some people have already said, no saggy middles and the opportunity to try new authors. Or genres – like the combination romance/sci-fi/fantasy anthology Irresistible Forces. It’s got six stories! I’ve only read two, and it’s great to know there are four more waiting when I have a snippet of time.

    Reply
  51. Novellas are lovely. They’re like canapes served at a good cocktail party. A delicious taste, eaten while chatting with witty people (or people who sound witty after a glass or two.) They don’t fill you up and they add a dash of spice to the proceedings.
    Interesting that I’ve seldom read a novella I wanted to be a novel. But I have read ones that made me wish there were more of them.

    Reply
  52. Novellas are lovely. They’re like canapes served at a good cocktail party. A delicious taste, eaten while chatting with witty people (or people who sound witty after a glass or two.) They don’t fill you up and they add a dash of spice to the proceedings.
    Interesting that I’ve seldom read a novella I wanted to be a novel. But I have read ones that made me wish there were more of them.

    Reply
  53. Novellas are lovely. They’re like canapes served at a good cocktail party. A delicious taste, eaten while chatting with witty people (or people who sound witty after a glass or two.) They don’t fill you up and they add a dash of spice to the proceedings.
    Interesting that I’ve seldom read a novella I wanted to be a novel. But I have read ones that made me wish there were more of them.

    Reply
  54. Novellas are lovely. They’re like canapes served at a good cocktail party. A delicious taste, eaten while chatting with witty people (or people who sound witty after a glass or two.) They don’t fill you up and they add a dash of spice to the proceedings.
    Interesting that I’ve seldom read a novella I wanted to be a novel. But I have read ones that made me wish there were more of them.

    Reply
  55. Novellas are lovely. They’re like canapes served at a good cocktail party. A delicious taste, eaten while chatting with witty people (or people who sound witty after a glass or two.) They don’t fill you up and they add a dash of spice to the proceedings.
    Interesting that I’ve seldom read a novella I wanted to be a novel. But I have read ones that made me wish there were more of them.

    Reply
  56. I love them when they’re good. I re-read Balogh’s Christmas collection all the time, and Heyer’s Pistols for Two. And I can’t wait for the upcoming IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (which has one Wench and one “Honorary Wench” in it).

    Reply
  57. I love them when they’re good. I re-read Balogh’s Christmas collection all the time, and Heyer’s Pistols for Two. And I can’t wait for the upcoming IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (which has one Wench and one “Honorary Wench” in it).

    Reply
  58. I love them when they’re good. I re-read Balogh’s Christmas collection all the time, and Heyer’s Pistols for Two. And I can’t wait for the upcoming IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (which has one Wench and one “Honorary Wench” in it).

    Reply
  59. I love them when they’re good. I re-read Balogh’s Christmas collection all the time, and Heyer’s Pistols for Two. And I can’t wait for the upcoming IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (which has one Wench and one “Honorary Wench” in it).

    Reply
  60. I love them when they’re good. I re-read Balogh’s Christmas collection all the time, and Heyer’s Pistols for Two. And I can’t wait for the upcoming IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (which has one Wench and one “Honorary Wench” in it).

    Reply
  61. When I am at a busy time in my life then reading a full length story starts to become difficult. Then I enjoy reading novellas. I think that’s why there are so many Christmas anthologies out there. It becomes frustrating when you are trying to read a full length story at a time when you have limited free time.

    Reply
  62. When I am at a busy time in my life then reading a full length story starts to become difficult. Then I enjoy reading novellas. I think that’s why there are so many Christmas anthologies out there. It becomes frustrating when you are trying to read a full length story at a time when you have limited free time.

    Reply
  63. When I am at a busy time in my life then reading a full length story starts to become difficult. Then I enjoy reading novellas. I think that’s why there are so many Christmas anthologies out there. It becomes frustrating when you are trying to read a full length story at a time when you have limited free time.

    Reply
  64. When I am at a busy time in my life then reading a full length story starts to become difficult. Then I enjoy reading novellas. I think that’s why there are so many Christmas anthologies out there. It becomes frustrating when you are trying to read a full length story at a time when you have limited free time.

    Reply
  65. When I am at a busy time in my life then reading a full length story starts to become difficult. Then I enjoy reading novellas. I think that’s why there are so many Christmas anthologies out there. It becomes frustrating when you are trying to read a full length story at a time when you have limited free time.

    Reply
  66. I dearly love a good short story. I read collections all the time to find new authors, though I know an author’s novel-length writing can be very different.
    I like novellas too, but wasn’t fond of the two romance novella collections I’ve tried. Both collections were ultra-fluffy and the stories felt incomplete. I was particularly disappointed by one story that put a coda on an existing series–I think one had to already be a fan to jump in to the world.
    I’ve had better luck with a couple of erotic romance collections. Those stories employed fantasy smartly to create a world in very few words.
    But having said that about novellas, I love the punch of a true short story, or the lingering curiosity about what happens next (is that what seems incomplete to some readers?), or the purity of getting nothing but in-the-moment story.

    Reply
  67. I dearly love a good short story. I read collections all the time to find new authors, though I know an author’s novel-length writing can be very different.
    I like novellas too, but wasn’t fond of the two romance novella collections I’ve tried. Both collections were ultra-fluffy and the stories felt incomplete. I was particularly disappointed by one story that put a coda on an existing series–I think one had to already be a fan to jump in to the world.
    I’ve had better luck with a couple of erotic romance collections. Those stories employed fantasy smartly to create a world in very few words.
    But having said that about novellas, I love the punch of a true short story, or the lingering curiosity about what happens next (is that what seems incomplete to some readers?), or the purity of getting nothing but in-the-moment story.

    Reply
  68. I dearly love a good short story. I read collections all the time to find new authors, though I know an author’s novel-length writing can be very different.
    I like novellas too, but wasn’t fond of the two romance novella collections I’ve tried. Both collections were ultra-fluffy and the stories felt incomplete. I was particularly disappointed by one story that put a coda on an existing series–I think one had to already be a fan to jump in to the world.
    I’ve had better luck with a couple of erotic romance collections. Those stories employed fantasy smartly to create a world in very few words.
    But having said that about novellas, I love the punch of a true short story, or the lingering curiosity about what happens next (is that what seems incomplete to some readers?), or the purity of getting nothing but in-the-moment story.

    Reply
  69. I dearly love a good short story. I read collections all the time to find new authors, though I know an author’s novel-length writing can be very different.
    I like novellas too, but wasn’t fond of the two romance novella collections I’ve tried. Both collections were ultra-fluffy and the stories felt incomplete. I was particularly disappointed by one story that put a coda on an existing series–I think one had to already be a fan to jump in to the world.
    I’ve had better luck with a couple of erotic romance collections. Those stories employed fantasy smartly to create a world in very few words.
    But having said that about novellas, I love the punch of a true short story, or the lingering curiosity about what happens next (is that what seems incomplete to some readers?), or the purity of getting nothing but in-the-moment story.

    Reply
  70. I dearly love a good short story. I read collections all the time to find new authors, though I know an author’s novel-length writing can be very different.
    I like novellas too, but wasn’t fond of the two romance novella collections I’ve tried. Both collections were ultra-fluffy and the stories felt incomplete. I was particularly disappointed by one story that put a coda on an existing series–I think one had to already be a fan to jump in to the world.
    I’ve had better luck with a couple of erotic romance collections. Those stories employed fantasy smartly to create a world in very few words.
    But having said that about novellas, I love the punch of a true short story, or the lingering curiosity about what happens next (is that what seems incomplete to some readers?), or the purity of getting nothing but in-the-moment story.

    Reply
  71. I find the intensity of short fiction appealing, and, on a practical note, I like being able to finish a short story or novella as I wait in the doctor’s office, at a grand’s soccer practice, or for my car to be serviced.
    Some of the works of literary fiction that I love best are short story collections–Eudora Welty’s A Curtain of Green, Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge, Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women. The same is true of short stories and novellas in genre fiction. I have most of the Signet Regency Christmas anthologies on my keeper shelves, along with Christmas Revels and Under the Mistletoe (Balogh). I reread them every December. Other favorites are The True Love Wedding Dress (Anderson, Brockway, Claybourne, and Metzger), Wedding Belles (Kelly, Kerstan, Layton, Lane,and Metzger), Love and Death (mystery stories by Maron, Cannell, Hart, and others), and Irresistible Forces (Asaro, Beverley, Bujold, and Asaro). Enchantment Place sounds like fun. I’ll look for it.

    Reply
  72. I find the intensity of short fiction appealing, and, on a practical note, I like being able to finish a short story or novella as I wait in the doctor’s office, at a grand’s soccer practice, or for my car to be serviced.
    Some of the works of literary fiction that I love best are short story collections–Eudora Welty’s A Curtain of Green, Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge, Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women. The same is true of short stories and novellas in genre fiction. I have most of the Signet Regency Christmas anthologies on my keeper shelves, along with Christmas Revels and Under the Mistletoe (Balogh). I reread them every December. Other favorites are The True Love Wedding Dress (Anderson, Brockway, Claybourne, and Metzger), Wedding Belles (Kelly, Kerstan, Layton, Lane,and Metzger), Love and Death (mystery stories by Maron, Cannell, Hart, and others), and Irresistible Forces (Asaro, Beverley, Bujold, and Asaro). Enchantment Place sounds like fun. I’ll look for it.

    Reply
  73. I find the intensity of short fiction appealing, and, on a practical note, I like being able to finish a short story or novella as I wait in the doctor’s office, at a grand’s soccer practice, or for my car to be serviced.
    Some of the works of literary fiction that I love best are short story collections–Eudora Welty’s A Curtain of Green, Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge, Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women. The same is true of short stories and novellas in genre fiction. I have most of the Signet Regency Christmas anthologies on my keeper shelves, along with Christmas Revels and Under the Mistletoe (Balogh). I reread them every December. Other favorites are The True Love Wedding Dress (Anderson, Brockway, Claybourne, and Metzger), Wedding Belles (Kelly, Kerstan, Layton, Lane,and Metzger), Love and Death (mystery stories by Maron, Cannell, Hart, and others), and Irresistible Forces (Asaro, Beverley, Bujold, and Asaro). Enchantment Place sounds like fun. I’ll look for it.

    Reply
  74. I find the intensity of short fiction appealing, and, on a practical note, I like being able to finish a short story or novella as I wait in the doctor’s office, at a grand’s soccer practice, or for my car to be serviced.
    Some of the works of literary fiction that I love best are short story collections–Eudora Welty’s A Curtain of Green, Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge, Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women. The same is true of short stories and novellas in genre fiction. I have most of the Signet Regency Christmas anthologies on my keeper shelves, along with Christmas Revels and Under the Mistletoe (Balogh). I reread them every December. Other favorites are The True Love Wedding Dress (Anderson, Brockway, Claybourne, and Metzger), Wedding Belles (Kelly, Kerstan, Layton, Lane,and Metzger), Love and Death (mystery stories by Maron, Cannell, Hart, and others), and Irresistible Forces (Asaro, Beverley, Bujold, and Asaro). Enchantment Place sounds like fun. I’ll look for it.

    Reply
  75. I find the intensity of short fiction appealing, and, on a practical note, I like being able to finish a short story or novella as I wait in the doctor’s office, at a grand’s soccer practice, or for my car to be serviced.
    Some of the works of literary fiction that I love best are short story collections–Eudora Welty’s A Curtain of Green, Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge, Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women. The same is true of short stories and novellas in genre fiction. I have most of the Signet Regency Christmas anthologies on my keeper shelves, along with Christmas Revels and Under the Mistletoe (Balogh). I reread them every December. Other favorites are The True Love Wedding Dress (Anderson, Brockway, Claybourne, and Metzger), Wedding Belles (Kelly, Kerstan, Layton, Lane,and Metzger), Love and Death (mystery stories by Maron, Cannell, Hart, and others), and Irresistible Forces (Asaro, Beverley, Bujold, and Asaro). Enchantment Place sounds like fun. I’ll look for it.

    Reply
  76. From MJP:
    It sound as if we admirers of all lengths of story!
    I read Heyer’s PISTOLS FOR TWO once, and was never tempted to reread, unlike all her full length romances. The stories seems a bit mechanistic, IIRC, and often showed gimmicks she’d used in longer works. Perhaps if I’d read them scattered over time I would have liked them more.
    Rosamund Pilcher wrote wonderful stories, probably for women’s magazines, that were later collected in a couple of different volumes after she became and international best seller. Lovely stuff, even though I’m not a huge fan of the short format. She was terrific at getting emotion in.
    Another anthology worth mentioning is DRAGON LOVERS, including Jo and me, plus Barbara Samuel and Karen Harbaugh. The trade paper edition came out last year. The mass market is coming up in October. Dragons rock!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  77. From MJP:
    It sound as if we admirers of all lengths of story!
    I read Heyer’s PISTOLS FOR TWO once, and was never tempted to reread, unlike all her full length romances. The stories seems a bit mechanistic, IIRC, and often showed gimmicks she’d used in longer works. Perhaps if I’d read them scattered over time I would have liked them more.
    Rosamund Pilcher wrote wonderful stories, probably for women’s magazines, that were later collected in a couple of different volumes after she became and international best seller. Lovely stuff, even though I’m not a huge fan of the short format. She was terrific at getting emotion in.
    Another anthology worth mentioning is DRAGON LOVERS, including Jo and me, plus Barbara Samuel and Karen Harbaugh. The trade paper edition came out last year. The mass market is coming up in October. Dragons rock!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  78. From MJP:
    It sound as if we admirers of all lengths of story!
    I read Heyer’s PISTOLS FOR TWO once, and was never tempted to reread, unlike all her full length romances. The stories seems a bit mechanistic, IIRC, and often showed gimmicks she’d used in longer works. Perhaps if I’d read them scattered over time I would have liked them more.
    Rosamund Pilcher wrote wonderful stories, probably for women’s magazines, that were later collected in a couple of different volumes after she became and international best seller. Lovely stuff, even though I’m not a huge fan of the short format. She was terrific at getting emotion in.
    Another anthology worth mentioning is DRAGON LOVERS, including Jo and me, plus Barbara Samuel and Karen Harbaugh. The trade paper edition came out last year. The mass market is coming up in October. Dragons rock!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  79. From MJP:
    It sound as if we admirers of all lengths of story!
    I read Heyer’s PISTOLS FOR TWO once, and was never tempted to reread, unlike all her full length romances. The stories seems a bit mechanistic, IIRC, and often showed gimmicks she’d used in longer works. Perhaps if I’d read them scattered over time I would have liked them more.
    Rosamund Pilcher wrote wonderful stories, probably for women’s magazines, that were later collected in a couple of different volumes after she became and international best seller. Lovely stuff, even though I’m not a huge fan of the short format. She was terrific at getting emotion in.
    Another anthology worth mentioning is DRAGON LOVERS, including Jo and me, plus Barbara Samuel and Karen Harbaugh. The trade paper edition came out last year. The mass market is coming up in October. Dragons rock!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  80. From MJP:
    It sound as if we admirers of all lengths of story!
    I read Heyer’s PISTOLS FOR TWO once, and was never tempted to reread, unlike all her full length romances. The stories seems a bit mechanistic, IIRC, and often showed gimmicks she’d used in longer works. Perhaps if I’d read them scattered over time I would have liked them more.
    Rosamund Pilcher wrote wonderful stories, probably for women’s magazines, that were later collected in a couple of different volumes after she became and international best seller. Lovely stuff, even though I’m not a huge fan of the short format. She was terrific at getting emotion in.
    Another anthology worth mentioning is DRAGON LOVERS, including Jo and me, plus Barbara Samuel and Karen Harbaugh. The trade paper edition came out last year. The mass market is coming up in October. Dragons rock!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  81. There was a very good REGENCY SUMMER anthology once; and a VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS one that featured some of our Wenches’ best novellas.
    Mary Jo, you should look up the entire CATFANTASTIC series. The covers are all of cats in various period costumes. The Byzantine one on IV is my favorite. I do wish that by the time they got to four, they’d issued them as notecards.
    I think that A CONSTELLATION OF CATS was deliberately intended to be a continuation of the CATFANTASTIC series after Norton’s death. I don’t know why they changed the title, and I don’t know if it has become a series.
    I have been trying without success to remember the name of another anthology of cat fantasy tales I bought at about the same time as CoC, that had a cover I think by the same artist: a theatre full of cats, watching cats on a stage. All were wearing more or less Elizabethan garb and elaborate masks, and one was left wondering which were really the performers and which the audience…..

    Reply
  82. There was a very good REGENCY SUMMER anthology once; and a VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS one that featured some of our Wenches’ best novellas.
    Mary Jo, you should look up the entire CATFANTASTIC series. The covers are all of cats in various period costumes. The Byzantine one on IV is my favorite. I do wish that by the time they got to four, they’d issued them as notecards.
    I think that A CONSTELLATION OF CATS was deliberately intended to be a continuation of the CATFANTASTIC series after Norton’s death. I don’t know why they changed the title, and I don’t know if it has become a series.
    I have been trying without success to remember the name of another anthology of cat fantasy tales I bought at about the same time as CoC, that had a cover I think by the same artist: a theatre full of cats, watching cats on a stage. All were wearing more or less Elizabethan garb and elaborate masks, and one was left wondering which were really the performers and which the audience…..

    Reply
  83. There was a very good REGENCY SUMMER anthology once; and a VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS one that featured some of our Wenches’ best novellas.
    Mary Jo, you should look up the entire CATFANTASTIC series. The covers are all of cats in various period costumes. The Byzantine one on IV is my favorite. I do wish that by the time they got to four, they’d issued them as notecards.
    I think that A CONSTELLATION OF CATS was deliberately intended to be a continuation of the CATFANTASTIC series after Norton’s death. I don’t know why they changed the title, and I don’t know if it has become a series.
    I have been trying without success to remember the name of another anthology of cat fantasy tales I bought at about the same time as CoC, that had a cover I think by the same artist: a theatre full of cats, watching cats on a stage. All were wearing more or less Elizabethan garb and elaborate masks, and one was left wondering which were really the performers and which the audience…..

    Reply
  84. There was a very good REGENCY SUMMER anthology once; and a VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS one that featured some of our Wenches’ best novellas.
    Mary Jo, you should look up the entire CATFANTASTIC series. The covers are all of cats in various period costumes. The Byzantine one on IV is my favorite. I do wish that by the time they got to four, they’d issued them as notecards.
    I think that A CONSTELLATION OF CATS was deliberately intended to be a continuation of the CATFANTASTIC series after Norton’s death. I don’t know why they changed the title, and I don’t know if it has become a series.
    I have been trying without success to remember the name of another anthology of cat fantasy tales I bought at about the same time as CoC, that had a cover I think by the same artist: a theatre full of cats, watching cats on a stage. All were wearing more or less Elizabethan garb and elaborate masks, and one was left wondering which were really the performers and which the audience…..

    Reply
  85. There was a very good REGENCY SUMMER anthology once; and a VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS one that featured some of our Wenches’ best novellas.
    Mary Jo, you should look up the entire CATFANTASTIC series. The covers are all of cats in various period costumes. The Byzantine one on IV is my favorite. I do wish that by the time they got to four, they’d issued them as notecards.
    I think that A CONSTELLATION OF CATS was deliberately intended to be a continuation of the CATFANTASTIC series after Norton’s death. I don’t know why they changed the title, and I don’t know if it has become a series.
    I have been trying without success to remember the name of another anthology of cat fantasy tales I bought at about the same time as CoC, that had a cover I think by the same artist: a theatre full of cats, watching cats on a stage. All were wearing more or less Elizabethan garb and elaborate masks, and one was left wondering which were really the performers and which the audience…..

    Reply
  86. One of my favorite short stories (although it may qualify as a novella) is one of Mary Jo’s. The hero was a minor character in “The Rake and the Reformer”, the man who lost Alys because he was too young and too foolish to realize what he had at the time. He now embodies one of the best qualities of a hero: he has matured and learned from his mistakes. When on a trip to Italy he meets an Englishwoman and is now wise enough to be open to new experiences (and new foods!) and to recognize true Quality when he finds it unexpectedly.

    Reply
  87. One of my favorite short stories (although it may qualify as a novella) is one of Mary Jo’s. The hero was a minor character in “The Rake and the Reformer”, the man who lost Alys because he was too young and too foolish to realize what he had at the time. He now embodies one of the best qualities of a hero: he has matured and learned from his mistakes. When on a trip to Italy he meets an Englishwoman and is now wise enough to be open to new experiences (and new foods!) and to recognize true Quality when he finds it unexpectedly.

    Reply
  88. One of my favorite short stories (although it may qualify as a novella) is one of Mary Jo’s. The hero was a minor character in “The Rake and the Reformer”, the man who lost Alys because he was too young and too foolish to realize what he had at the time. He now embodies one of the best qualities of a hero: he has matured and learned from his mistakes. When on a trip to Italy he meets an Englishwoman and is now wise enough to be open to new experiences (and new foods!) and to recognize true Quality when he finds it unexpectedly.

    Reply
  89. One of my favorite short stories (although it may qualify as a novella) is one of Mary Jo’s. The hero was a minor character in “The Rake and the Reformer”, the man who lost Alys because he was too young and too foolish to realize what he had at the time. He now embodies one of the best qualities of a hero: he has matured and learned from his mistakes. When on a trip to Italy he meets an Englishwoman and is now wise enough to be open to new experiences (and new foods!) and to recognize true Quality when he finds it unexpectedly.

    Reply
  90. One of my favorite short stories (although it may qualify as a novella) is one of Mary Jo’s. The hero was a minor character in “The Rake and the Reformer”, the man who lost Alys because he was too young and too foolish to realize what he had at the time. He now embodies one of the best qualities of a hero: he has matured and learned from his mistakes. When on a trip to Italy he meets an Englishwoman and is now wise enough to be open to new experiences (and new foods!) and to recognize true Quality when he finds it unexpectedly.

    Reply
  91. From MJP:
    Tal, I’m not sure that Constellation of Cat was really an extension of the Catfantastic series–more of an acknowledgment that readers and writers both love cats and cat stories. 🙂 And those covers are just so brilliant! They’d make a lovely set of posters.
    >>ne of my favorite short stories (although it may qualify as a novella) is one of Mary Jo’s. The hero was a minor character in “The Rake and the Reformer”, the man who lost Alys because he was too young and too foolish to realize what he had at the time. He now embodies one of the best qualities of a hero: he has matured and learned from his mistakes.<< Susan, "Sunshine for Christmas" was my very first Christmas novella, and I went into it with some trepidation since I'd never written a story at that length. (20K words.) When I wrote The Rake and the Reformer, I was rather taken by Lord Randolph Lennox, who was a nice guy, but too young and too shy about revealing his feelings to another guy, and it changed his life. Naturally, I had to give him a happy ending. 🙂 His story was originally in A Regency Christmas II, I think, and is now available in my CHRISTMAS REVELS collection. The historically accurate glow-in-the-dark Bambino came from The Straight Dope column of interesting oddball facts. 🙂 I'm glad you enjoyed the story, Susan. I love the Christmas novellas because they can be so shamelessly over the top sentimental. 🙂 Mary Jo

    Reply
  92. From MJP:
    Tal, I’m not sure that Constellation of Cat was really an extension of the Catfantastic series–more of an acknowledgment that readers and writers both love cats and cat stories. 🙂 And those covers are just so brilliant! They’d make a lovely set of posters.
    >>ne of my favorite short stories (although it may qualify as a novella) is one of Mary Jo’s. The hero was a minor character in “The Rake and the Reformer”, the man who lost Alys because he was too young and too foolish to realize what he had at the time. He now embodies one of the best qualities of a hero: he has matured and learned from his mistakes.<< Susan, "Sunshine for Christmas" was my very first Christmas novella, and I went into it with some trepidation since I'd never written a story at that length. (20K words.) When I wrote The Rake and the Reformer, I was rather taken by Lord Randolph Lennox, who was a nice guy, but too young and too shy about revealing his feelings to another guy, and it changed his life. Naturally, I had to give him a happy ending. 🙂 His story was originally in A Regency Christmas II, I think, and is now available in my CHRISTMAS REVELS collection. The historically accurate glow-in-the-dark Bambino came from The Straight Dope column of interesting oddball facts. 🙂 I'm glad you enjoyed the story, Susan. I love the Christmas novellas because they can be so shamelessly over the top sentimental. 🙂 Mary Jo

    Reply
  93. From MJP:
    Tal, I’m not sure that Constellation of Cat was really an extension of the Catfantastic series–more of an acknowledgment that readers and writers both love cats and cat stories. 🙂 And those covers are just so brilliant! They’d make a lovely set of posters.
    >>ne of my favorite short stories (although it may qualify as a novella) is one of Mary Jo’s. The hero was a minor character in “The Rake and the Reformer”, the man who lost Alys because he was too young and too foolish to realize what he had at the time. He now embodies one of the best qualities of a hero: he has matured and learned from his mistakes.<< Susan, "Sunshine for Christmas" was my very first Christmas novella, and I went into it with some trepidation since I'd never written a story at that length. (20K words.) When I wrote The Rake and the Reformer, I was rather taken by Lord Randolph Lennox, who was a nice guy, but too young and too shy about revealing his feelings to another guy, and it changed his life. Naturally, I had to give him a happy ending. 🙂 His story was originally in A Regency Christmas II, I think, and is now available in my CHRISTMAS REVELS collection. The historically accurate glow-in-the-dark Bambino came from The Straight Dope column of interesting oddball facts. 🙂 I'm glad you enjoyed the story, Susan. I love the Christmas novellas because they can be so shamelessly over the top sentimental. 🙂 Mary Jo

    Reply
  94. From MJP:
    Tal, I’m not sure that Constellation of Cat was really an extension of the Catfantastic series–more of an acknowledgment that readers and writers both love cats and cat stories. 🙂 And those covers are just so brilliant! They’d make a lovely set of posters.
    >>ne of my favorite short stories (although it may qualify as a novella) is one of Mary Jo’s. The hero was a minor character in “The Rake and the Reformer”, the man who lost Alys because he was too young and too foolish to realize what he had at the time. He now embodies one of the best qualities of a hero: he has matured and learned from his mistakes.<< Susan, "Sunshine for Christmas" was my very first Christmas novella, and I went into it with some trepidation since I'd never written a story at that length. (20K words.) When I wrote The Rake and the Reformer, I was rather taken by Lord Randolph Lennox, who was a nice guy, but too young and too shy about revealing his feelings to another guy, and it changed his life. Naturally, I had to give him a happy ending. 🙂 His story was originally in A Regency Christmas II, I think, and is now available in my CHRISTMAS REVELS collection. The historically accurate glow-in-the-dark Bambino came from The Straight Dope column of interesting oddball facts. 🙂 I'm glad you enjoyed the story, Susan. I love the Christmas novellas because they can be so shamelessly over the top sentimental. 🙂 Mary Jo

    Reply
  95. From MJP:
    Tal, I’m not sure that Constellation of Cat was really an extension of the Catfantastic series–more of an acknowledgment that readers and writers both love cats and cat stories. 🙂 And those covers are just so brilliant! They’d make a lovely set of posters.
    >>ne of my favorite short stories (although it may qualify as a novella) is one of Mary Jo’s. The hero was a minor character in “The Rake and the Reformer”, the man who lost Alys because he was too young and too foolish to realize what he had at the time. He now embodies one of the best qualities of a hero: he has matured and learned from his mistakes.<< Susan, "Sunshine for Christmas" was my very first Christmas novella, and I went into it with some trepidation since I'd never written a story at that length. (20K words.) When I wrote The Rake and the Reformer, I was rather taken by Lord Randolph Lennox, who was a nice guy, but too young and too shy about revealing his feelings to another guy, and it changed his life. Naturally, I had to give him a happy ending. 🙂 His story was originally in A Regency Christmas II, I think, and is now available in my CHRISTMAS REVELS collection. The historically accurate glow-in-the-dark Bambino came from The Straight Dope column of interesting oddball facts. 🙂 I'm glad you enjoyed the story, Susan. I love the Christmas novellas because they can be so shamelessly over the top sentimental. 🙂 Mary Jo

    Reply
  96. I too bounce between book lengths as well as genres. Is there a cereal box genre? I finished Neil Stephensons Baroque Cycle in August (all 3 700+ page books). But school starts on Monday so I am back to shorter works. With an alarm clock I can’t read until the wee hours anymore. I have this terrible disability of having to read everything and get obsessed until the end. Therefore short works, school and alarm clocks suit me just fine. Thanks for putting out books of everylength until they find a cure for obsessive reading.
    P.S. I limited myself to only magazines when I had my first infant because I was terrified that I would not hear him cry. And despite what my Mom thought, I could not read through labor thought I did try.

    Reply
  97. I too bounce between book lengths as well as genres. Is there a cereal box genre? I finished Neil Stephensons Baroque Cycle in August (all 3 700+ page books). But school starts on Monday so I am back to shorter works. With an alarm clock I can’t read until the wee hours anymore. I have this terrible disability of having to read everything and get obsessed until the end. Therefore short works, school and alarm clocks suit me just fine. Thanks for putting out books of everylength until they find a cure for obsessive reading.
    P.S. I limited myself to only magazines when I had my first infant because I was terrified that I would not hear him cry. And despite what my Mom thought, I could not read through labor thought I did try.

    Reply
  98. I too bounce between book lengths as well as genres. Is there a cereal box genre? I finished Neil Stephensons Baroque Cycle in August (all 3 700+ page books). But school starts on Monday so I am back to shorter works. With an alarm clock I can’t read until the wee hours anymore. I have this terrible disability of having to read everything and get obsessed until the end. Therefore short works, school and alarm clocks suit me just fine. Thanks for putting out books of everylength until they find a cure for obsessive reading.
    P.S. I limited myself to only magazines when I had my first infant because I was terrified that I would not hear him cry. And despite what my Mom thought, I could not read through labor thought I did try.

    Reply
  99. I too bounce between book lengths as well as genres. Is there a cereal box genre? I finished Neil Stephensons Baroque Cycle in August (all 3 700+ page books). But school starts on Monday so I am back to shorter works. With an alarm clock I can’t read until the wee hours anymore. I have this terrible disability of having to read everything and get obsessed until the end. Therefore short works, school and alarm clocks suit me just fine. Thanks for putting out books of everylength until they find a cure for obsessive reading.
    P.S. I limited myself to only magazines when I had my first infant because I was terrified that I would not hear him cry. And despite what my Mom thought, I could not read through labor thought I did try.

    Reply
  100. I too bounce between book lengths as well as genres. Is there a cereal box genre? I finished Neil Stephensons Baroque Cycle in August (all 3 700+ page books). But school starts on Monday so I am back to shorter works. With an alarm clock I can’t read until the wee hours anymore. I have this terrible disability of having to read everything and get obsessed until the end. Therefore short works, school and alarm clocks suit me just fine. Thanks for putting out books of everylength until they find a cure for obsessive reading.
    P.S. I limited myself to only magazines when I had my first infant because I was terrified that I would not hear him cry. And despite what my Mom thought, I could not read through labor thought I did try.

    Reply
  101. From MJP:
    –And despite what my Mom thought, I could not read through labor thought I did try.–
    LOL! You rate the Readers Hall of Fame for trying, Lyn. To me, it sounds pretty reasonable at a time when distraction is reasonable. 🙂
    As an addicted reader myself, I understand perfectly. If I like a book well enough to keep reading it, it’s just a matter of time until it sucks me into the black hole.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  102. From MJP:
    –And despite what my Mom thought, I could not read through labor thought I did try.–
    LOL! You rate the Readers Hall of Fame for trying, Lyn. To me, it sounds pretty reasonable at a time when distraction is reasonable. 🙂
    As an addicted reader myself, I understand perfectly. If I like a book well enough to keep reading it, it’s just a matter of time until it sucks me into the black hole.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  103. From MJP:
    –And despite what my Mom thought, I could not read through labor thought I did try.–
    LOL! You rate the Readers Hall of Fame for trying, Lyn. To me, it sounds pretty reasonable at a time when distraction is reasonable. 🙂
    As an addicted reader myself, I understand perfectly. If I like a book well enough to keep reading it, it’s just a matter of time until it sucks me into the black hole.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  104. From MJP:
    –And despite what my Mom thought, I could not read through labor thought I did try.–
    LOL! You rate the Readers Hall of Fame for trying, Lyn. To me, it sounds pretty reasonable at a time when distraction is reasonable. 🙂
    As an addicted reader myself, I understand perfectly. If I like a book well enough to keep reading it, it’s just a matter of time until it sucks me into the black hole.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  105. From MJP:
    –And despite what my Mom thought, I could not read through labor thought I did try.–
    LOL! You rate the Readers Hall of Fame for trying, Lyn. To me, it sounds pretty reasonable at a time when distraction is reasonable. 🙂
    As an addicted reader myself, I understand perfectly. If I like a book well enough to keep reading it, it’s just a matter of time until it sucks me into the black hole.
    Mary Jo

    Reply

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