Tuesday, March 1, 2005


Well I don't know about you, but my day is shot all to hell. Thanks for nothing LLB.

OK, so it's not her fault. But dangnabit - I need to blame someone, so why not shoot the messenger?

Revealed in the latest issue of At The Back Fence? Maggie Osborne is retiring!!!!

Maybe I should just leave work now and find the nearest bridge.

Connie Brockway leaving behind historicals is also big news, and while I think Brockway is an extremely talented historical writer - I find the Osborne news more upsetting.

Let's be frank here. Brockway's main poison of choice were English-set historicals. The current derth of Regency historicals does not seem to be dying down, and while Brockway will surely be missed in this arena, there will be several authors vying for her abandoned throne.

Who is going to be vying for Maggie Osborne's crown? At this point, who the heck knows. Kensington/Zebra seems to be the only house left publishing westerns at all (outside of Harlequin Historicals, god bless their hearts!). And while some readers tend to turn their nose up at Zebra books - their new $3.99 debut author program and better cover art may help matters some. I'm also encouraged that they have several new authors in their camp that are writing westerns and/or American historicals (Kate Rothwell, Teresa Bodwell and Laura Drewry to name a few).

But I'm still depressed. Frankly, I haven't been this depressed since Pamela Morsi decamped to contemporary women's fiction. I know Osborne deserves her retirement, and I hope she enjoys it. I met her briefly at a conference in 2002 and she was a really nice lady. A class act.

Still, I plan on pouting for a while.

Update: I thought I was long overdue for a different template, so viola! Goodbye orange, hello green! I'm also going to try Blogger's commenting system. If I end up hating it, I may end up going back to Haloscan.

Coda to this entry: There is of course another house publishing western romance - Dorchester/Leisure. Talk about a major brain fart! Especially since I'm currently reading the latest Leigh Greenwood novel - an author who has been with Leisure for quite some time. Duh Wendy.


Alyssa said...

Wow, I missed that paragraph! (I think it's because I skimmed the entry.) I'm not as fond of westerns as you are, but I'm sorry to hear this news. I admire anyone who writes non-Regencies.


Kate R said...

hey, you erased my entry!
golly. . .I didn't think it was that bad.

Kate R said...

PS like the new look -- it's springtime at Wendy's!

Wendy said...

LOL - Kate, I didn't delete your entry on purpose! When I switched comment forms it deleted all my old Haloscan comments. So we're starting out fresh.

Kate R said...

did you get a chance to read it? all about an author "debuting" under another name? I wanted to know what you thought. . . Dang, maybe I'll have to blog about it. Or mosey over and see if anyone in AAR is up in arms.

Kate R said...

Glad you survived your week from hell and stayed away from the ice picks.

Wendy said...

Sorry Kate, I missed your post :( And you should blog about it!

I'd heard about this from somewhere...maybe LLB's blog? My knee jerk reaction is that I think the whole business stinks. Changing names is certainly understandable, but hyping yourself as a "debut" author when you're clearly not is so uncool.

Laurie Likes Books said...

Wendy -

I was as upset as you were when she told me she was retiring. I DO, though, think there are some good HH authors who write Westerns (Mary Burton, Cheryl St John, Kate Bridges), but HH and Zebra and Leisure are most definitely in the minority when it comes to publishing what I'm now calling Frontier Romances.

But maybe it'll swing back. We're now hearing that instead of asking for Regency-set historicals some of the publishers want more Romantic Comedy...if THEY are overdone in the next few years in the minds of the publishers, maybe the Frontier Romances will come back.

One can always hope.


Wendy said...

I've had the most success with HH's westerns. I think I've only read a couple that rated below a C for me - and those were mostly from authors who tend to be "hit or miss" for me anyway.

Cheryl Reavis is another author I'm hoping hasn't retired. She hasn't had a new book in ages, and I adore the historicals she's written for HH. I still have several of her older titles waiting for me in my TBR....