We are so happy to welcome back historical author Ashley March! Her latest novel, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS, was released earlier this month on September 6. If you missed Buffie's glowing review, you can check it out here. When Ashley is not chasing around her two daughters, she is crafting her next delicious masterpiece. Give a warm welcome to Ashley March as she talks to us about ....
The Rise of the Prequel
Thanks so much to the ladies at The Romance Dish for having me today! I’m thrilled to be visiting with everyone again, this time to celebrate the release of my newest Victorian historical, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS!
However, my blog today isn’t going to focus on ROMANCING THE COUNTESS; instead, I’m going to focus on the prequel to ROMANCING THE COUNTESS, which is called ROMANCING LADY CECILY.
As we all know, the publishing industry is changing at such a rapid pace it’s difficult to keep up these days. I personally love my e-books. It’s hard sometimes for me to find time to read as a stay-at-home mom and writer who works throughout the evening and into the early morning hours, but I’ve (happily!) found that I’m going through books faster than I ever have because I can now read them on my smart phone. (This means I can take it with my anywhere and don’t have to worry about the baby eating the pages if I put it down.)
Along with the ease of book portability, I’ve noticed something else that’s happened within the past year: the rise of the prequel.
Whereas in the past publishers haven’t really published short stories or novellas unless they were part of a larger anthology, now we’re seeing a trend of short stories and novellas being released digitally as a means of 1) hooking a reader on a new author for a lower price and/or 2) whetting the reader’s appetite for the related full-length novel.
ROMANCING LADY CECILY is an example of such a piece, something which my publisher approached me about writing after I’d already turned in the related novel, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS. At 15,000 words, it is more of a short story than a novella, but as my first shorter work I was thrilled to discover how much fun it was to write. (It’s also a bit spicier than my usual work.)
As a writer, I have to admit that I like this new trend we’re seeing because I always have ideas for characters and stories in my head that are dying to get out. As a reader, I love these shorter pieces because they allow me to read more of my favorite authors in between the publication of their full-length novels. While I know some readers don’t enjoy short stories or novellas because of their length, if I have a favorite author I will greedily get my hands on anything they write.
One of the more interesting things I’ve seen is not only the rise of the prequel, but also the rise of a series of prequels. By series, I specifically mean a group of novellas that are linked together which all act to increase the reader’s anticipation for a longer novel to be released at a later date.
I know there’s a lot of uncertainty out there about what’s going to happen in the future of publishing, but I have to tell you this—as both a reader and writer, the more stories that are written by authors I love, the happier I am.
But I’d most love to hear what you think about the rise of short stories and novellas. Do you stay away from them because of the shorter length or because they’re predominantly digitally published? Or do you gobble them up, excited to find something new from an author you love? Would you try a new-to-you author by buying a short story or novella at a lower price? One random commenter will be chosen to win a copy of my newest book, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS (open internationally)!
Also, find out how to win the ROMANCING THE COUNTESS Book Tour Grand Prize of 50+ romance novels by visiting Ashley's website.
ROMANCING LADY CECILY (15,000-word short story)
Follow acclaimed author Ashley March, praised by Booklist for her “elegant writing [and] sizzling sexual chemistry,” into the world of Victorian romance, where Lady Cecily Bishop—promised by her parents to a stranger—must fend off the seductive games and heady caresses of Baron Sedgwick….a task that becomes more difficult with each soul-searing kiss…
ROMANCING THE COUNTESS (full-length novel)
Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly, thought he'd married the perfect woman-until a fatal accident revealed her betrayal with his best friend. After their deaths, Sebastian is determined to avoid a scandal for the sake of his son. But his best friend's widow is just as determined to cast her mourning veil aside by hosting a party that will surely destroy both their reputations and expose all of his carefully kept secrets...
Leah George has carried the painful knowledge of her husband's affair for almost a year. All she wants now is to enjoy her independence and make a new life for herself-even if that means being ostracized by the Society whose rules she was raised to obey. Now that the rumors are flying, there's only one thing left for Sebastian to do: silence the scandal by enticing the improper widow into becoming a proper wife. But when it comes to matters of the heart, neither Sebastian nor Leah is prepared for the passion they discover in each other's arms...