Jenna Black's Blog Experiment

Wherein romance author Jenna Black plunges into the terrifying new territory of blogging . . .


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Gotta Love Those Bad Boys!

Now that I'm past yesterday's dentist visit, I can finally focus on what's really important to me. Shadows on the Soul is coming out this very month! (On my birthday, no less! Neat present, huh?)

You might think that since this is my third book, I'd be cool as a cucumber. Just another day at the office. Uh . . . no.

I don't think I'll ever get over the thrill of a new book coming out. After all, I toiled for more than sixteen years to get where I am now, and it's only fair I should get at least sixteen years of thrills out of seeing my books in print. But with Shadows on the Soul, it's even more.

Yes, I'm excited, as always. But I'm also nervous. (Also as always, alas.) Each book in the Guardians of the Night series has gotten a little edgier than the last, and each time I find myself worrying whether romance fans are going to accept the latest level of edginess. If you've read Secrets in the Shadows, then you know just how bad a bad boy Gabriel, the hero of Shadows on the Soul is. For those of you who aren't familiar with him, you can read the sample chapter on my website and get a good idea of what he's like.

He's a vampire. He's a Killer. He seethes with anger. And he's even got a bit of a sadistic streak. How can I hope romance readers will be able to sympathize with him? *Takes deep breath* I remind myself that my agent and editor both read it and loved it. I remind myself that in general, the romances put out by Tor aren't as conventional as those put out by many other houses. And now I can even remind myself that the book got a 4 1/2 star Top Pick from Romantic Times! Obviously, there are others out there who see his redeeming features.

None of that quells the self-doubt. I love Gabriel. He's one of my favorite characters I've ever written, and I've sympathized with him ever since he made his first appearance, popping out of my sub-conscious from God-only-knows where. That means that with this book, I feel like I have a little bit more personally at stake. One of the major themes that colors all my books is the idea that no matter how screwed up your life is, no matter what mistakes you've made in the past, there is always hope for redemption. It will bother me when people are unable to accept Gabriel--and I know some people won't. I had a well-known author decline to give me a blurb because he was just too dark, and I know she won't be the only one to think so.

This month and the next will be very tense for me as I await the public's reaction to this hero who means so much to me. And I will be extra grateful to my review-screening partner. (We read each other's reviews and then forward on only the good ones, so we don't spend too much time agonizing.)


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