Titles & Audiobooks

Lady Elizabeth FosterAnswering Questions: Aristocratic Titles and Audiobooks

Compiled by Mary Jo

The Wenches invite readers to submit questions to us, and due to general overwork, two interesting questions got lost, but now are found.  So both questions are being answered today, and the questioners will each get a book from me.

Here is the first question from Rosa Berini Franco:

I would like to ask you about a question that has us debating several friends who are fond of historical romance.  The question is the following:

 When a distant relative inherits a title (e.g., earl) from someone who dies without direct heirs, do the sisters of that relative receive the courtesy title of lady?  By distant relative, I am referring to a fourth or fifth degree cousin who has no title whatsoever.

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A Book at Bedtime

The three hostagesNicola here, talking today about listening to stories, not as audio books but as serializations. On 31st January 1949 the first edition of BBC Radio’s "Book at Bedtime" was broadcast. It ran every night for 15 minutes between 10.45pm and 11pm. The first book that was serialized was John Buchan’s The Three Hostages, a rip-roaring adventure story written in 1924. In the months and years that followed, all sorts of literature from the classics to new releases has and continues to be featured on the program, although perhaps there hasn't been as much genre fiction as there might have been. In fact only a year or so ago the BBC admitted that they were looking for happier endings after noticing that listeners had been put off by “gratuitously violent and tragic stories.” Well, yeah – I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to drift off to sleep with images of violence or misery into my mind! 

According to The Times, a brief circulated to potential producers at the time stated: “We will always aim to select a variety but we Stencil.default (3) would like to be offered more titles that are pure pleasure, diversion or even comedy. Happy endings are often a bit too rare in what we are asked to consider. We can listen to sad or disturbing stories if they are ultimately redemptive, but a gratuitously violent or tragic ending is upsetting, infuriating and can seem distasteful.” The note adds that “listeners rarely enjoy being cheated with ambiguity or uncertainty”, implying a preference for plotlines that are neatly resolved. Again, that's a yes from me; I don't mind stories where some elements are left unresolved for the reader or listener to decide on, but if that happened just before I was going to sleep I'd lie awake thinking about it!

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Sunshine for Christmas!

Sunshine for Christmas ebookSunshine for Christmas

By Mary Jo

It's Christmas novella season and I'm celebrating by releasing a freestanding e-edition of this story plus an audio version.  Not that Sunshine for Christmas is a new story.  It's one of five novellas included in my Christmas Revels collection, so if you have a copy of Christmas Revels, there's no need to buy a separate e-edition of Sunshine for Christmas.

But it was the very first novella I ever wrote and I started it with some wariness because I'd never written at this length before. (Most novellas are in the 20K-25K range, though they can be somewhat shorter or longer.) 

The trick is to get a whole, satisfying story within a novella length, and it can be particularly challenging for a romance, where it takes time (and words!) to build a convincing relationship.  This is one of the reasons that reunion/second chance at love stories are popular for novellas.  The main characters already have a relationship, for better and worse, so a lot of the emotional groundwork has already been laid. 


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Silken Audiobooks!

Silken Audiobooks

By Mary Jo

Silk and ShadowsNot everyone loves audiobooks, but some of you do, which is why I've been slowly producing audio versions of my older books.  It takes time and it's pricey, but I want people to have my stories available in their preferred format.  (In particular, for those romance lovers with vision issues because my mother benefited for many years from the National Library of the Blind in the days before commercial audiobooks became widely available.)

But indie audiobooks can face distribution glitches, which is why the second and third books of my Silk Trilogy were so slow in becoming widely available.  Now, finally they are, and I have the time to blog about them–and to give away five copies each of these latter audiobooks! 


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Petals in the Stormby Mary Jo


Those of you who have been following me here know that I've had a slow but ongoing program to get more of my stories into audio format.  The main reason is because a fair number of people really like audio books.

They're great for those with commutes, or who want the distraction of stories while gardening or doing housework or other mundane tasks.  They're also a real boon for those with vision problems.  (My mother listened to a lot of audiobooks from the National Library of the Blind in her later years.)


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