One of the biggest downsides of being a freelance writer is that I work in isolation. I get together with fellow writers with some frequency, but these aren't the folks who make the big decisions that could have a real impact on my career. What I'd really like to do is sit in on a marketing or editorial meeting. Since that is never going to happen, I find myself doing what I call "reading the runes," looking for indirect information. And then I drive myself bonkers trying to figure out if it has any bearing on my career.
The latest example:
Once upon a time, Nora Roberts wrote a historical romance for what was then the fledgling Harlequin Historical line.
REBELLION was HH #4 and came out in 1988.
Recently, REBELLION has been reissued. Last week, it was #11 on the New Yorks Times paperback bestseller list.
I understand why a publisher would reissue a Nora Roberts book. Frankly, I believe somebody could publish a compilation of her grocery lists and have a bestseller. What does such a prolific, talented author eat? Is her secret to success in her diet??? (For the record, I don't think so!)
But here's where I start a-puzzlin' -- why a historical and why now?
Rumor has it that historicals are about to experience an "upswing." Why? No idea. Will it happen? No idea. I just do my thing and hope for the best. But does this say something about what my publisher (encompassing editorial and marketing folks) thinks about historicals? Do they think they're on the upswing? Is REBELLION a case of trying to catch the wave? Or is it a sign that the wave is already surging? Or is it an attempt to kick-start a wave?
Again, no idea. Will I ever find out? Highly, highly unlikely.
But now you know why authors sometimes walk around muttering to themselves.....