So many of us reinvent ourselves in the New Year, so we're asking authors who are rebranding themselves - through choice or necessity - how they go about a writerly reinvention.
As part of our special PHS Rebranding Edition, Jane Godman is talking about the gap that Harlequin Nocturne is going to leave...
“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment)
Nobody likes change. As an author, you put your heart and soul into your work with the ultimate goal of being published. For me, my first “big” publishing contract came early in 2015, when I signed a three book deal with Harlequin Nocturne, their paranormal line.
Nocturne has been a special line to write for. Dark and dramatic, it’s always been one of the hottest of the Harlequin series. Big characters need big stories (and even bigger sex scenes). The team of authors and editors are amazing and boundary-pushing, while the Harlequin Art Department produce the most gorgeous covers.
But, sadly, Nocturne will come to an end in December 2018. Captivating the Bear, the third in a mini-series about rock star shifters (and my ninth in this line) will be my last Nocturne.
I’m no stranger to the roller-coaster of being an author. My first books were published with a small company that went out of business. After that, I had five gothic romances published with Shivers, which was part of HarlequinE (their digital only line that came to an end after only twelve months). I was also published with Samhain Romance, a wonderful publisher that folded in the last few years.
I’m fortunate because I also write paranormal romances for SMP Swerve. My Arctic Brotherhood series is a very strong part of my author brand, but there’s no denying that the loss of Nocturne is painful. For a paranormal author, it was an important part of my repertoire.
I feel its impact less because I also write for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. Making the shift from paranormal to romantic suspense felt comfortable in some ways and challenging in others. Obviously, the romance is central in both genres. There are other similarities. Both are fast-paced, dramatic, and have twists and turns that leave the reader breathless. The differences, beyond the obvious human versus non-human protagonists, tend to center on the world-building aspects (in paranormal) and getting the right balance between thriller and love story (in romantic suspense). Second Baby, Second Chance, the third book in my Sons of Stillwater mini-series, is published in January 2018 (with more to come in the series).
Because I write paranormal for another publisher and write in another genre, I don’t feel I will have much “rebranding” to do when Nocturne finally ends. Nevertheless, I’ll miss those iconic blue covers on my website banners and other marketing materials.
I’ll continue to write paranormal romance, and other romances, including romantic suspense, of course. I will miss Nocturne. Whilst I understand the commercial reasons behind Harlequin’s decision, I think its demise leaves a gap that won’t easily be filled.
For what it’s worth, I think those stories will still be told. Paranormal romance writers and readers are tenacious. We will find a way!
Jane's latest release, Secret Baby, Second Chance, is out now. For more information about her and her writing check out her website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.