Thursday, April 26, 2012

Signet Regencies

Before I started writing romance novels, I read an enormous number of books--I have, since childhood, and read every kind of book I could get my hands on.  I eventually found a friend in high school who also read a lot, and her favorites were romance novels, in particular Regency romance, and she introduced me to those.

Don't know what a Regency romance is?  Oh you poor dear.  Think Jane Austen.  Pride and Prejudice.  Sense and Sensibility.  Fun, romantic, often witty, and set between the years of approximately 1790 to 1820.

Check out Library Journal's description here:

I took off on those like a rocket.  Had to get my teenaged hands on every kind I could find, from Georgette Heyer (the founder, essentially, of modern Regency romance) to Barbara Cartland.  I found, over time, where I could find my favorites, and that was within the covers of the Signet Regency imprint.  I ended up going to those Regencies by Signet first, then the others.  Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of wonderful authors writing for other imprints and publishers, but I could always depend on reading something different, yet still adhering to the Regency feel in a Signet Regency romance.  Signets became my mainstay into adulthood.

I think many Regency and historical romance fans can recognize the names that published with Signet Regencies:  Mary Jo Putney, Jo BeverleyClare Darcy, Catherine Coulter, Sandra Heath, Barbara Hazard, Joan Wolf, Edith Layton, Marion Chesney (aka M.C. Beaton), Mary Balogh, Anita Mills, Amanda Scott, Laura Matthews (aka Elizabeth Neff Walker), Carla Kelly, Michelle Kasey (aka Kasey Michaels), Elisabeth Fairchild, Candice Hern, Elizabeth Mansfield, April Kihlstrom, Teresa DesJardien, and many more.  If you haven't read these authors' books, go forth, find, and read. For a complete list of Signet Regency authors and their Regency romances, here's a good web site reference:

When I started writing romances, they naturally were Regency romances, the ones I liked the best.  And my ambition was to be a Signet Regency author, because those were my favorites.  I considered Signet to be the premier publisher of Regencies.  I could count on the history to be as accurate as possible, and the storytelling to be superb, with just a bit of the unexpected thrown in.  If I could achieve those ranks, it would be confirmation of the quality--in my mind, at least!--of my stories.

Eventually I did become a Signet author.  Of the eleven novels I have published, seven were with Signet.  Of the four novellas I've written, three were also with Signet.  To top it off, when I received a letter from one of my favs, Mary Jo Putney, complementing me on the first Signet Regency I had published, I just about cried and ran to tell my husband, I was that thrilled.  Not that he totally understood the significance of this, but he knew enough to give me a hug and congratulate me.  :-)

Unfortunately, in about March of 2006, Signet ceased publication of their Regency line.  For me, and for many others, it was a sad day in romance history.  No, not because I had been a Signet author, but because there are a limited number of Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen books around, and there has to be some way to feed the Regency-era habit.  For a Regency fan (e.g., me), it was a day for weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Well, I'm glad to say that Signet has revived the Signet Regency line, this time as ebooks.  These will include both out-of-print books as well as never-before-published Regencies.  You can find them at Penguin's Intermix site (Penguin is the publisher of the Signet imprint), or click on the "invitation card" at the top of this blog.

Will one of my books be e-published there?  Yes (Miss Carlyle's Curricle, sometime in July).  Will I totally spend my royalty check at this site?  No doubt.

Seriously, Signet should just have a buyer's account for me into which they deposit my royalty checks and out of which I can buy Regency romances.


Kanchb said...

Oh Gosh - thank you so much for posting this and esp the buying links (tho' I do not think my wallet or $ budget will thank you). I loved the Signet line - doing a very happy dance!