But she's elusive. So, lo and behold, "RunningWithQuills.com Week (and Two Days)!" rolls around. Who should I find is a particular friend of Miss Quick? None other than the exquisite Jayne Ann Krentz, who's here today!
Okay, I don't know much about ships but I do know a little something about careers in the field of romantic-suspense because I've got three of them: Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle. I didn't set out to have three careers, honest. What's more, my three pen names are the worst kept secret in the publishing industry. There's a note in every single one of my Amanda Quick books that clearly states that I write as Jayne Ann Krentz and Jayne Castle. Ditto for my Krentz and Quick books.
But in spite of all that information I've somehow managed to develop three distinctive groups of readers and what's more, a whole bunch of them will read me under only one of my names. Very few will cross over and read me under all of my names.
I'm not entirely sure why this is. As far as I'm concerned I do the same kinds of characters and the same core story under each of my three names. My heroes and heroines hold the same values and the same world views in all of my books. Heck, I couldn't write any other kind! If you like the kind of people I do as Quick, theoretically you should like them when I write as Krentz or Castle. I do the same mix of passion and suspense under each name, too.
In fact, as far as I'm concerned the only thing that changes in the books when I switch names is the time period/setting. True, the three different worlds I create allow me to do different types of plots. But so what? Plots aren't that important. Nobody reads for the plot. What's important are the characters. Yet every time I do a signing it's a sure bet that some people will only buy my Krentz books; some will buy only the Quick titles and a small (but enthusiastic bunch) will want just the Castle books. (Believe me, I really cherish those readers who read me under all three names!)
So, in an effort to see if I can encourage a little more cross-over reading, I have come up with a special cross-over series: The Arcane Society novels. The first title in the series is my recent Amanda Quick hardcover, SECOND SIGHT. It introduces the mysterious Arcane Society, a Victorian-era group devoted to psychic/paranormal research. The heroine is a Victorian photographer who sees auras.
The next title in the series will be my January hardcover, WHITE LIES, under my Jayne Ann Krentz name. In it we'll meet some of the descendents of the Arcane Society, modern-day psychics who face modern-day problems. The heroine is a human lie-detector and if you think you can't get a decent date, just imagine how bad your social life would be if you knew for sure the guy was lying when he said he'd call you in the morning!
I'm not sure this project is going to work. It could be that time periods and settings are simply too important to most readers. But I'm hoping there will be some adventurous souls out there who will find the heroes and heroines of the Arcane Society interesting enough to risk some cross-over reading experiments.
How important are backgrounds and settings to you? Are you willing to cross-over between historical, contemporary and futuristic worlds? Or do you prefer to stick with one of the three?
Jayne Ann Krentz
Please visit the Jaynes and Amanda at JayneAnnKrentz.com
Encore! Thank you, Stella Cameron, for leading us down the garden path yesterday with your IT guy poll. You sure know how to get the Bellas on a roll. Please come back when "Target" hits the shelves.
Encore due! All Hail, Val, winner of the IT Guy poll. Honorable mentions: Brad and Joaquin and George and Peirce and...