My racy past
Type my name into Amazon, then sort by publication date, and you’ll find books of mine that you’ve never heard of. Take First, Best and Only. Originally published in 1986, a first-ever hardcover edition is coming in March. I didn’t know this until I checked the Amazon list myself, which is often the only way I can find out when my early books are being reissued. Once I sell pub rights to a publisher (as I did First, Best and Only to Harlequin), they don’t have to ask my permission. They don’t even have to let me know.
Is this sad, or what? I mean, these books are my children. At the time I wrote it, I poured my heart and soul into each. To be so out of contact with them now is troublesome. It is also, quite honestly, short-sighted of the publisher. I have a website, a blog, and an active Facebook page. I can let my readers know about these books, which is good for sales, right?
That said, there was a time when I wanted to keep my old books under wraps. My newer ones are very different – longer, cleaner in style, and focused on an issue that has as much to do with family relationships as romantic love. In the last decade, I wanted readers to think of me more broadly as a writer of fiction, rather than a writer of romance. When old books pop up out of the blue, they confuse newer readers, who expect one thing and get another.
More oldies are coming, though, and now I’m totally on board. Sixteen of my very first books, all of which have been out of print for more than a dozen years, are being reissued as ebooks in 2012 and 2013. The first four – The Forever Instinct, Jasmine Sorcery, First Things First, and Straight From the Heart – will be published in May. There will also be several two-in-one print editions, the first of which, titled Warm Hearts and containing Heat Wave and A Special Something, is being published in September.
Why am I on board? I reread the above books over the holidays, and loved them! Yes, there are vintage moments, like the music-loving heroine buying a record (no CDs, DVDs, or MP3 players) and the hero of another going straight through an airport to the gate (no security). But my writing style is intact, and these books are rich with feeling. They’re easy reads, they’re sexy, and they’re fun.
Still prefer the newer, longer books? Here’s a tip. When you find a book of mine that you didn’t know was coming, always, always check the copyright date. These old books are good – I do love each and every one, just like I love my kids – but they’re different.
Good but different. Isn’t that the way of people everywhere?
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You can be sure these will be purchased.. I would love to read some of your earlier works. My aunt got me on to your books when she moved to Boston in 1994. I am trying to thnk back to what the first book was. I think it was the Passions of Chelsea Kane.. Then i put you on to a cousin and we now buy your books and share them back and forth…
I LOVE that these are going to be available to us! My only request…that you remind me again just before they are put out so I don’t have to write them down NOW and lose the list! Thanks! Have a great day!
Absolutely, Karen! I’ll put plenty of notice both here and on Facebook. Trust me, I won’t let you forget!
Barbara: I love your books OLD and NEW … I think they are wonderful, they touch the heart and make you really think about things. I will always read your books as I love your writing style and the stories you tell are always fresh and never dull. I look forward to reading some of your books on my new Kindle Fire. I love that they are very inexpensive on there, sure makes it easier to read more!! Thanks for writing such wonderful stories!! Best of the best to you tin 2012!!
I started reading your books since I was a young lass…well, maybe not quite that young! Have loved each and everyone of them!
I’m so excited…can’t wait to read them all!! I have all your books on my keeper shelf….the first one I read was A Woman’s Place. That was it for me…..I was hooked! I have read and re-read (is that actually a word???) all of them more times than I can count. Thanks so much for the hours of reading pleasure! Looking forward to more!
Thru the years I have found MANY of your earlier books at yard sales, thrift shops, flea markets… keep a list in my car of the ones that I have and the ones I am still looking for. I ALWAYS look for your books, everywhere I go, excited to know they are being re-released. YHEA!
I am wracking my brains to remember the first BD book I ever read – unsuccessful so far. But I have read and own a lot of your books, including many of the older ones, and can see how your style has developed over time. I love most of your books, especially the later ones. Keep writing and I will keep reading!
One of the first books that I ever read by you was the Woman next door and i couldn’t put it down i now own all but eight of your books. I even own your shrt story.
I’m loving your boooks so much. . I’ve read your fingerprints on kindle version. Before i read “the family tree” and one more book i cant remember the name. . Please let me know which books are made into movies and which books i can buy and read on kindle version. . Than you so much for keeping us entertained. You are such a fabulous author. Please keep on writing. Love to read your books. :-).
Barbara: I began reading your books when you were writing for Harlequin and don’t believe I have ever disposed on any one of them Needless to say, I have read every book of yours that I have been able to find and have most of the ones which are now being reissued. I love how your work has evolved as I have grown as a reader as well. BUT, those earlier works did draw me in and I haven’t stopped reading your books since that time. Please keep writing, only wish you could write faster.
Wow! I can’t wait for the books to be re-published! I just checked my reading list I put together over 10 years ago when I discovered you. I have them in somewhat of a chronological order based on what I could figure out….. Through My Eyes, Bronze Mystique, Fulfillment, Having Faith, Cardinal Rules, etc., are several I could never find in print. I don’t have the ones you listed above on there. Hmmm. Now I have to figure out to make a folder on my Kindle with your name on it 🙂
I’m a very new reader – I’m only 20 and I started reading your books back in 2007 with The Family Tree – but I have picked up a couple of your earlier novels over the past few years! I’ve been able to source some of the out-of-print ones on BookMooch.com or from library book sales. I don’t typically read “racy” romances (I generally prefer the sweeter romances you find in historicals and Amish novels) but I really liked “Montana Man”. Snowbound romances are my favourites! I’ve also read “An Irresistible Impulse” and didn’t like it quite as much but I did enjoy the setting of the story and the characters being thrown together by the court case. I’ll definitely be looking out for more of your older books when they become available on Kindle. I think it’s great that more authors are reissuing their backlists as ebooks.
You are one of the four authors whose books I keep-others go to friends or library (or are on my Kindle, of course) Hope the new ones are on Kindle. (I always have to type my comments two times because I forget to do the anti-spam quiz…)
Okay-senior moment-just read that they are e-books…sorry
I love your books, Barbara. Looking for Peyton Place and Lake News stand out for me. I would love to read your older romance novels and will look for them when they come out. I do think it’s not very smart for the publisher to neglect notifying you as to when they’re being re-released. It must be exciting to have your ‘first-born’ books on the market again for new readers of your work. Congrats!
I’ve loved your books for a long time Barbara and am just starting to dabble with the idea of writing for publication rather than fun. Thinking along the lines of romantic fiction but not necessarily erotica. Given your history, would you recommend starting with the Harlequin route or are there other publishers that would be a better option for those just starting out?
I truly don’t know! I haven’t worked in romance for such a long time that I suspect there are dozens and dozens of options. What I’d recommend is looking at those romance novels you think your own work is most like, making a list of the publishers of these, then approaching each and every one. If they don’t accept “unsolicited” manuscripts, that would mean you have to work through an agent. But there is also the self-publishing route. Or the strictly-ebook route. Like I say, lots of options, though I don’t know which to recommend first. I’m so sorry. But good luck with it!
I became aware of you through a mail order book club when I purchased “Coast Road” & have read several of your books since then. My favorite is “More Than Friends”. I’ve gotten 6 ladies into your books. My best friend (1 of these ladies) promised me a copy of “Escape”, but since I prefer the traditional paperback, I’m waiting for that release to be able to read it, which isn’t easy!
Although I do prefer your newer novels, I have read some of the old ones & my goal is to read every book of yours!
Keep writing because you inspire me. I’m on my 5th revision of my first completed manuscript.
Hi there. Not entirely sure is this is the right forum for this, but I wanted to mention that a number of Barbara’s older romances will also be published as new audios in the coming months (and years), from Dreamscape Audio. We’re set to release FIRST, BEST & ONLY alongside the Severn House hardcover reissue, and have many more in the pipeline.
Before I inundate this blog with the forthcoming titles (and thinly veiled marketing), I’ll simply leave it at that for now. Thanks!