Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Leaving The Past Behind

Dear Publishers,
As a librarian, many of you tend to send me various catalogs throughout the year. This is much appreciated, and helps me keep on top of upcoming releases. However, while going through a catalog Monday afternoon, my blood pressure spiked. There, nestled in the pages of the St. Martin's Minotaur catalog was information about "a pulse-pounding debut thriller" by an author named Linda Castillo.

Little Miss Crabby Pants then got to wondering, "Could it be the same Linda Castillo? The same Linda Castillo who has written six single title romantic suspense novels for Berkley and twelve series books for Harlequin?"

Yep, it is.

OK, if you want to get technical about it - Sworn To Silence, which is due out in June is the author's first straight-up suspense novel. Still, it galls me to see the word "debut" attached to her name when this is hardly her first rodeo. I understand the predicament. I mean, you wouldn't want suspense/thriller fans to know about her sordid past as a ::gasp:: romance writer because the evil, nasty love cooties might scare them away.

I know it's not "fair" to pick on St. Martin's Minotaur about this. They're hardly the first or last publisher to ever do this. It happens all the time and there is plenty of guilt to lay on numerous doorsteps.

Still, it chaps my buns in a serious way. It implies the romance novels that the author wrote aren't "real books." That the author didn't work just as hard on them as she undoubtedly did on her "exciting debut novel" that is coming out after she's already published 50 "trashy" Harlequins. You can go ahead and accuse Little Miss Crabby Pants of being "over sensitive" - but given the inferiority complex that hangs over the romance genre to this day, it's just better for you to admit now that I'm right and you are wrong.

Wendy the Super Librarian AKA Little Miss Crabby Pants

P.S. - This is by no means a "knock" against Castillo. I mean, it's not like she has any control over St. Martin's PR department. Seriously, congratulations to her for not only scoring a hard cover release with Minotaur (an imprint I generally like), but also author quotes from the likes of Lisa Scottoline, Sandra Brown, John Hart and Chelsea Cain. And damn, this book sounds wicked good. We tend to get ARCs from Minotaur here at work, and I'll be stalking the mail room for this one.

Kate Burkholder, who grew up in the Amish community of Painters Mill, Ohio before leaving for the outside world and the study of law enforcement, has recently been appointed Chief of Police in her former hometown. Her knowledge of the Amish, their language and customs, makes her the perfect candidate. When a serial killer, whose spree sixteen years before was dubbed The Slaughterhouse Murders, returns with spectacular violence, Kate is determined to catch him. But she is also desperate to keep a secret from her past: the reason she fled the Amish world is that she was the young girl the killer attacked before disappearing - and she killed him in self defense. No one knows, except her Amish father and brother who helped bury the body. So who is behind the current murders? And what is the connection to Kate's past?


Lana said...

I don't think you're being overly sensitive. That kind of thing really bothers me, too! Clearly we are right and they are wrong!(Also, your comment about love cooties made me snerk my morning tea.)

On the plus side, the book does look really good. I'll sure be picking it up. Good post, Miss Crabby Pants :-)

Leslie said...

Totally agree with Miss Crabby Pants. It makes it sound like the romance novels she wrote were just practice for writing the real thing.

And the new book does sound good.

Liza said...

I have to agree with everyone else. Makes it sound like her romance novels weren't real books. I do think her new book sounds really great. Great post Miss Crabby Pants.

little alys said...

This is something worth bring up. How is it being oversensitive when people overlook entire genres? Sometimes, I wonder if the PR people actually have PR skills rather than irritate buyers. Or did they assume we're not smart enough to realize these things. *scoffs*

The book does look interesting though.

Cathy in AK said...

Maybe St. Martin's is just dissing the other publishing houses as far as competition goes, since they do romances as well. I dunno, just trying to be the peacekeeping middle child here :)

Ms. Castillo's "debut thriller" does sound interesting, though. I'll have to see about picking it up.

azteclady said...

I see your point, completely--and it's a shame it still happens.

I do have to say, though, that I like it when I know a book will be someone's *print* debut author, because they are a helluva lot of readers who haven't ever read (or even heard of--like my eldest brother, by golly!) ebooks.

Tracy said...

Yeah, that would have bothered me too if I'd have seen it. It's just all about wrong IMO.

The book sounds good though - I'll have to check it out when it's released.

Nikki said...

That is kinda weird that they would present her as a debut author when clearly this is not her debut novel.
However, this one sounds really good. So there you have it.

sula said...

lol @ love cooties. I do agree that it's quite dismissive to call it a debut when she's got a catalogue of romance work. what are we, chopped liver? pfft.

Nicole said...

It does sound good.

Of course, I remember liking her romantic suspense books.

Kristie (J) said...

Nope - SuperLibrarian has a complete right to be Little Miss Crabby Pants. What are we - chopped liver?
Srsly - romance fans are the heart that is keeping the publishing business beating and to dismiss us like that is just wrong.