I’m so pleased to have acclaimed historical and romantic suspense writer Cheryl Bolen on the blog today. Cheryl is the author of more than a dozen Regency-set historical romance novels. Her books have placed in several writing contests, including the Daphne du Maurier, and have been translated into 11 languages. She was named Notable New Author in 1999, and in 2006 she won the Holt Medallion (Honoring Outstanding Literary Talent) for Best Short Historical Novel. Her books have become Barnes & Noble and Amazon bestsellers.
Cheryl also writes romantic suspense as well as Regency romance, so let’s find out about that, too.
You had a distinguished career as a journalist before you began writing romance. Why the switch and why the Regency Period?
I didn’t consciously decide to switch. I wrote the two simultaneously for many years. My first efforts at fiction were romantic suspense, but I wasn’t able to sell those. After I sold my first book, a historical romance titled A Duke Deceived, in 1997, I just decided I’d rather write fiction exclusively. I still like doing articles and blogging about Regency England, which is all non-fiction.
You’ve recently taken another branch in your career – writing for Amazon’s Montlake imprint. Was it hard to switch gears from historical romance to romantic suspense?
When Montlake originally approached me to write for them, it was on the strength of my historical romance sales, but then when they said they were looking for serial authors, I instantly thought romantic suspense was a better fit for serials. Before I sold my first book, I’d had a lot of success with romantic suspense in contests for unpublished authors, but after I sold a historical, I put all my eggs in one basket, which isn’t the best thing to do for job security. After I started indie publishing some of my out-of-print historicals, I decided to publish some—but not all—of the romantic suspense novels that had never found a publisher. Not every one was well written enough, but surprisingly, the first book I ever wrote (Capitol Offense) when I was in my early twenties didn’t suck too badly. After re-editing it and updating it a lot, it’s now out, and the reviews have been favorable.
What can you tell us about the new book. It’s in serial form, right?
So glad you asked about my serial, Vanessa! In my Kindle Serial I’ve combined two of my favorite things: traveling to see England’s stately homes with researching English history. My lighthearted romantic suspense, Falling for Frederick, is about a lovely doctoral student who comes across the dead body of the curator of archives in the basement of Siddley Manor, owned by Frederick Percy, Lord of Rockford. Together, my heroine and Frederick have to crisscross England, searching stately homes for a priceless medieval artifact which may lead them to the murderer.
I’d like to say a word here about the Kindle Serials. At present, they offer a new episode of approximately 10,000 words (3 chapters for me) every two weeks. They may be changing the frequency to every week. Whenever someone purchases one of these serials, they pay a one-time fee of $1.99 and automatically get all episodes that have thus far been published. Then each new installment is free. When mine is finished at the end of April, Falling for Frederick will be available as a full-length novel as well as an audio book. It won’t be available internationally until that time. Currently, it’s only available at Amazon.
What’s up next in Cheryl’s writing world?
I’ve been catching my breath. I just finished writing the serial. I had two books come out in October, including a Regency-set inspirational romance (Marriage of Inconvenience) for Love Inspired Historical, a division of Harlequin. Like with Montlake, the senior editor there asked me to write for Love Inspired. She was a joy to work with, and I’ve found a huge market of readers who don’t necessarily want their romances sexy. I need to do proposals for a second stately home murder featuring Frederick and Antonia as well as Book 3 in my well-received Regent Mystery series.
Sounds great! Folks, Cheryl is graciously giving away a copy of her new Harlequin book, Marriage of Inconvenience. To be eligible to win, just tell us which genre you prefer, historical romance or romantic suspense, and a bit about why. Or do you like both?
And by sure to stop by Cheryl’s website for info on all her books!