Guest blogger Jason Sanford often rants on his website at www.jasonsanford.com. His fiction has been published in Interzone, Year’s Best SF 14, Analog, Intergalactic Medicine Show, Pindeldyboz, and other places, and has won the 2008 Interzone Readers’ Poll and a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship.
Here’s a horror story to strike fear into every writer and reader: An emerging author’s first two novels are published by a small press, where the books sell very well. The author begins writing the third book in the series to wrap up his story. However, thanks to the increasingly insane publishing world, readers won’t see this new novel anytime soon.
I’m talking about the Blood Magic series by new author Matt Cook. The first book (titled Blood Magic) was released in 2007 by Juno, a publisher of paranormal romances. As I wrote in my review at that time, the novel is a must read for any fan of fantasy or horror. The sequel, Nights of Sin, was published last year and is even better than the first, taking Matt’s characters into unforeseen emotional and storytelling ground. The books did extremely well, with both being nominated for the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards and becoming two of Juno’s best-selling titles.
The problem is Matt’s novels aren’t truly paranormal romance, instead mixing dark fantasy, horror, romance, and science fiction into an epic storyline. The novels were selected by Juno’s editor because she flat-out loved the manuscripts, which speaks volumes about them. The fact that they sold so well is further proof of their worth.
Unfortunately, Pocket Books recently purchased Juno. While this is great for lovers of paranormal romanceâ€”Pocket lacked a paranormal imprintâ€”the downside is Pocket wants Juno to be solely dedicated to that genre. So a genre-bending novel like Matt’s third book is out, no matter its worth or how well it sold.
I’m optimistic Matt will find a new publisher for the third book. The reprint rights are also available. So if any publishers are looking for a hot new writer to bring under their wing, two words: Matt Cook!
I should also admit a purely selfish reason for blogging about this: I WANT TO READ THIS FINAL NOVEL! I refuse to fall in love with these characters and their story and not discover how everything turns out.
To learn more about Matt and his writing, check out his website and this interview we conducted back in 2007. Or better yet, order the first two books and read for yourself these fun, moving, well-written novels.