Sunday, July 01, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 26 - Sandra Marton

Well I promised you some of the big names in romance writing and here's where I keep part of my promise. Because today's Guest Blogger is another of the real stars of the Harlequin Presents line up - Sandra Marton.

So many times I've heard from would-be authors that there's no point in submitting to Presents/Modern because they just don't accept American authors. Huh? Now why on earth would that be? And sucha comment is going in thre face of clear evidence from the actual Presents line-up. There are several authors who totally disprove this theory - more of them coming up later - and one of course is Sandra Marton.

Sandra is one of the authors that I used to hunt out when I was just beginning my career in this writing game. Her very first book Rapture in the Sands was published in 1985, so we started out almost together. Just to see the name Sandra Marton on a cover was enough to make me want to grab it.

So when I first met Sandra at the RWA Conference in New York in 2003 it was like meeting one of my personal heroines. I couldn't believe that I was actually sitting, eating pizza with her. But by then we'd communicated so often through the internet that the conversation was easy and relaxed from the start. We share many of the same interests - a love of animals and concern for the environment - though Sandra's wildlife concerns focus on the beautiful wild wolves while I concentrate on the big cats.

Last September, Sandra and her husband came over for the Mills & Boon Authors' lunch and I was able to organise a Presents dinner so that she could meet some more of the UK authors, specially the new ones who had just been signed. I remember sitting opposite her at that meal and finding it really hard to believe that we had only met a couple of times before.

Sandra has a brand new trilogy out now - The Billionaires' Brides and I have a copy of the first book - The Italian Prince's Pregnant Bride - on my TBR pile right now.Her name still makes me reach for a book automatically. (It's very important to get that apostrophe in the right place! My first attempt was The Billionaire's Brides and The Italian Princes' Pregnant Bride - not the same thing at all!)

Welcome to the Blog Party Sandra Marton

Fifty books!

Fifty of anything is an impressive number, isn’t it? We celebrate fiftieth birthdays—well, of other people. I mean, women turn fifty and pretend it’s not happening. We do celebrate friends’ and relatives’ fiftieth anniversaries with parties and champagne, but when else makes us whistle and hoot and stamp our feet and say, “Fifty? Hooray!”

Well, when Kate Walker writes her fiftieth book! Reaching that milestone is a remarkable achievement. And when those fifty books touch the hearts of readers all around the world, you can bet people cheer.

Congratulations, Kate! It’s a joy to party with you… but please, get straight back to work! Your readers want more. More great stories, more exciting heroes, more of everything that is Kate Walker. Here’s a cyber-toast to you, along with a cyber-hug, from a sister author and one of your fans.

Love from Sandra Marton (who, ahem, has written 70 books… and knows, personally, how much these anniversaries really mean)

A signed copy of one of the books in my August-September-October Presents trilogy, BILLIONAIRES’ BRIDES

Do you enjoy reading linked books like The Billionaires' Brides - and why?


lidia said...

Hi Sandra! I loved linked books. Key reason is that it give me an opportunity to meet up again with previous characters.

Also, there is a dynamic between friends/relatives there and it adds to the character development.

And lastly, it almost "makes me" buy all of the linked books -- certainly wouldn't want to miss out on one!

Minna said...

I like linked books because I want to know what happens to other people who have been mentioned in the first book.

Virginia said...

Yes I enjoy reading linked books I just don't like the way they are spaced out you have to wait several months before you can see whats going to happen in the story. I sometimes wait until I get them all before I start reading so I don't forget what has happened in the story.

Donna Alward said...

I adore linked books. Like Minna said, when you "meet" characters in a first book, you get to see their story - as well as revisit the characters you have already fallen in love with. Plus you are familiar with the setting etc. so it feels a bit like coming home. :-)

Sue A. said...

I also enjoy linked books. But I prefer the books to be stand alone books too. If I discover the series late and read them out of order I don't want to be confused because I needed to read them sequentially. I like to feel that the characters live on even after their own book has ended.

Cherie J said...

I love reading linked books. It's fun to be able to revisit with old friends from previous books.

KimW said...

I like linked books especially if there's not too long of a wait between them. I like to find out what happened with the characters and, of course, if I really like them I want the story to just keep on going.

robynl said...

I love linked books where one can keep on visiting with old friends from the first book. More than 1 book with some of the same characters lets one learn more of the characters' lives.

christina said...

Yes, I love the extra depth you can get from linked books. Like Virginia, I try and save them up to read all at once, but it's always a temptation to dive in straight away!

Sandra Marton said...

I've just read the comments about linked books and I feel like shouting, "Yes, yes, yes!" to all of them!

I love writing linked books for the very reasons so many of you love reading them. The chance to visit with characters I've developed, that 'dynamic' Lidia refers to, make writing such books sheer joy.

I also feel, as does Sue, that linked books absolutely must stand alone. That's the way I always write mine. Each story must be understandable and enjoyable even if my readers haven't read the other books in my mini-series.

As Donna says, people love that 'coming home' feeling linked books give. And they develop great empathy for the characters. I get email from readers, asking me if I'd please consider writing a book that would update some of the families and characters I've created: the Barons, the Landons, the O'Connells, etc.

The other thing I enjoy about creating a linked mini-series is that it gives me lots more freedom to go into depth with my characters, and also lets me keep a sub-plot running through the books.

In the series coming out now, for instance, my Billionaire Princes are all old pals. They've had a longstanding relationship ever since college, and it was lots of fun for me to dip into that relationship as part of each of


CrystalG said...

I love linked books. When there are secondary characters in a book, I want to know their story too. Also, linked books allows me to know what happens to characters in previous books after they fall in love.

Dena said...

Yes,I do because I always want to know whats going on with the characters after the book ends and getting to know more about the other charaters mentioned in the book.

Pam said...

I like catching up a bit with characters in linked books, and often there is that secondary character yo just want to know more about. Also, that subplot you mentioned that may carry through a series, sort of like watching your favorite TV series.

Joyce said...

Linked books are great. They give more depth to the characters. It's like learning more about old friends.


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