Saturday, March 05, 2011

Some Pub Dates

I asked my editor about future publication dates, and she tells me that When Maidens Mourn is scheduled to be released in March 2012. The paperback of Where Shadows Dance will be released the same month.

The paperback of What Remains of Heaven (those are the cover flats above, which just arrived on Friday) is scheduled for August 2011, which is a year after the release of the trade paperback. They won't be doing a trade version of Shadows. The manuscript for Book Number 8--as yet untitled (yes, here we go again...) is due 1 November 2011, so it may be scheduled for November of 2012. But don't quote me on that.


Anonymous said...

I do not know a thing about the publishing of a novel but I do know about the publishing of scientific books so I#m wondering why "Why Maidens Mourn" will not be published for another year even though you edited it and sent it back to your editor. In my imagination you should have proofs to read in about a month. The summer is probably not the best time to publish a book but October or November? I'd be pleased to read something about the process if you feel like sharing it.

vp said...

I have to admit I was hoping for a late Fall release. Especially since the book is, for the most part, finished. Seems like it would be good to get it out pre-holiday. Of course, I am greedy and full of anticipation having just read and loved Shadows so much.

paz said...

I find it amusing that Sebastian and Hero live in a much slower paced world, literally and figuratively: we live a year while they barely live a month! :-) But I guess that also means they might be with us for a long long time.

Also, a publishing question: are there advantages to trade books over regular paperbacks?

Charles Gramlich said...

An intersting thing about the time lag between writing and publishing is that it would be much more of a problem if you were talking about current affairs or current technology, which could change dramatically in less than a year from finished to published. Not such a problem with historicals!

JC Jones said...

When Shadows Dance is my recommendation on my Mixed Book Bag blog post on March 9th. I also included the title and publication date of the next book. Like everyone else I will be among the first to buy the new books when they come out. It is always nice when there is a heads up about when to expect the next books in a series.

Jane said...

I was just curious about how many books in the St. Cyr mystery series that you are contracted for. I noticed that you mentioned work on book #8.

My hope is that the series is extended for a long time. This is one of my favorites.

cs harris said...

Anon, I actually haven't received my editorial revision letter yet; she was going to read it for the first time this weekend. So I still need to do the editorial revisions, then comes copyedits, then galleys. They're already working on the cover, then comes the "cover copy" aka blurb. Twelve months is pretty standard in fiction; frequently it's longer. The "accounts," aka the bookstores, seem to be asking for longer lead times these days, which is rather strange in our digital age.

vp, twelve months between releases is pretty standard, except for writers who produce multiple books a year. I am a slow writer. I did much prefer my November slot, but I was shifted to March at my own request because with my mother's final illness last year I knew I'd never make a fall release.

paz, it is funny; book number 8 will take place about a month after book number 7. A friend of mine who writes a historical mystery series (Laura Joh Rowland) has her characters age a year between books. But I like keeping Sebastian young. As for trades, the bookstores like them for some reason. They will keep them on the shelves much longer than hardcovers or mass market. Ironically, trade paperbacks have the lowest royalty rate of all editions.

Charles, I ran into that problem with my first thriller. the release was delayed by almost 2 years by my editor's pregnancy, and we almost went to war with Iran before the book came out.

JC Jones, thank you! It wasn't until someone asked about scheduling in the comments that I realized I was clueless myself.

Jane, I am under contract through book #8--it was a two book contract, for #7 and #8.

Anonymous said...

When will you know if there will be a contract for book #9? How can you plan to end a series if you are always having to renew contracts?
Also, I prefer the November time slot as well. A Sebastian mystery is another thing to be thankful for during thanksgiving :)

tiffalex said...

I am wondering one thing (and it has nothing to do with publishing- sorry). How can someone be the love of your life, and you not ending up with them be a happily ever after? (As in Kat and Sebastian) It's so sad/painful reading their interactions now! It seems like if she was the love of his youth, he would have been able to move on when he returned to England - but he didn't. He fell deeper into love with her.

Anonymous said...

March 2012 for When maidens Mourn? It shouldn't take that long! Summer is a great time for reading, so have your editor go to the beach and finish your edits while there! It will be done faster :)

Anonymous said...

Did you intend for Sebastian and Hero to get married at the start of the series? Had you always planned that they would get together?

Essex said...

Funny that you should mention Laura Joh Rowland- I have read several of her books and short stories. Which leads me to a question- do you hang out with a lot of other authors? I mean, historical mystery is probably a pretty competitive market. And there are enough authors out there that comparisons will probably be made - for example, the Sebastian books and say, the Deanna Raybourn series. Is it ever tense at mystery conventions? Anyway, I do love your books and your writing. I was wondering about the process that occurs between your final manuscript and publishing, so I am glad that you answered that question

Barbara Caridad Ferrer said...

Dear Candy,

Might I humbly suggest including a scorecard for future books? *g*

Why yes, I finished my RITA books and got to read over the weekend. :) I love the intricacies of the individual mysteries, yet how they neatly tie together, without it seeming deus ex. On the other hand, not only the reader, but the writer in me both thrills and is incredibly impressed by the long-term stories and you continue to grow them in detail and scope throughout the series, maintaining their tension (not the least of which is the evolution of Sebastian and Hero's story-- I've enjoyed watching that inevitability unfold since at least Gods-- I suspected they were meant for each other when she threatened him at Vauxhall. *g*

orannia said...

Thank you Candy!

cs harris said...

Anon at 1:40, I'll go back to contract when I turn in Number 8.

tiffalex, I've always believed that a person can continue to love someone even when life requires them to move on and love again. Sebastian had to go back to Kat and work through the damage that Hendon did to that relationship and discover that Kat's love for him was real, that loving her wasn't a mistake in the sense that he was right about the kind of person she was and about the quality and depth of her love for him. If I were writing a romance, I could have them marry and then leave them in a happily-ever-after glow. But since this is a mystery series, we would have to deal with the repercussions of their marriage year after year, and those repercussions would not have been good, for either of them. Perhaps my attitude towards this is colored by the fact that I fell deeply in love with my own husband--my, ahem, third--at the age of 46. (I don't intend to do that to Sebastian!)

Anon at 1:52, the long wait between when a book is written and when it's published is always hard on the author, too, believe me.

Anon at 2:00, when I first started planning the series, I thought Sebastian and Kat would stay together. But the more I thought about them and the lives they would lead, the more I realized how destructive that would be. By the time I started Angels, I knew I wanted him to end up with Hero. If you go back and read the scene where he kidnaps her in Angels, I think it shows.

Essex, writers do tend to hang with other writers--we're a crazy bunch, our business is crazy, and we're about the only ones who understand each other. Laura and I are in a group of eight writers that meets every Monday (she's now an honorary member since she moved to New York). Writers are human and sometimes another writer's success can be hard to take, but not if you think they're a good writer and deserve it. It's when you see a lousy book get a half million dollar advance that it drives you crazy.

cs harris said...

Barbara, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. This is a book a wrote during my mother's last illness, and I always worried it never quite came together the way I had meant it to.

Anonymous said...

I too am disappointed in the new direction in the series. I enjoyed Sebastian and Kat's chemistry and am sorry to say that I have never taken to Hero.

Since I had read your romances, I didn't think that you would change the romantic pairing midway through the series. I think if you hadn't matched Kat and Sebastian up again and instead left everything in the past, then readers wouldn't have seen how much they truly loved each other -and not just as a "youthful" love. Therefore, the notion that their backgrounds are too complcated or they've outgrown each other doesn't resonate. There's such poignancy in Devlin's scenes with Kat that are simply lacking with Hero.

Anonymous said...

Anon. at 11:58am - I completely agree with you. The idea that Sebastian could ever be truely happy with anyone other than Kat is hard to believe. How will he continue to see her in the following books and not yearn for her and what they could have had? His relationship with Hero will never have the tenderness of the deepness that he had with Kat. When described in Where Shadows Dance, his feelings for Hero don't ring true/ do not come across as sincere.

cs harris said...

Anon at 11:58, when I said Kat was the love of Sebastian's youth, I didn't mean to imply that their love was "youthful" in the sense of something he would outgrow. It was a mature, deep love, But at the same time, Sebastian's love affair with Hero is still very much in its infancy. I will admit that, given the negative feedback I was getting from Team Kat members, I was sorely tempted to let Hero sail away in What Remains of Heaven, but I frankly couldn't do that to Sebastian. Loosing his child on top of everything else would have been too much. I plan to address these issues in several blog posts once more people have read the book.

Anon at 2:54, Sebastian's relationship with Hero is very different from his love for Kat. At the moment he has respect for Hero, a reluctant attraction, and a wariness that comes from who her father is. I think people would like where the series is going--Kat's future love has already been introduced, by the way--but I honestly don't know if I want to do a Number 9.

Jane said...

I, for one, am very happy with Sebastian's growing relationship with Hero. In fact, I'm extremely happy with the way the series has unfolded. I could see where Sebastian may have been attracted to Kat and she was the love of his youth but I didn't think that she was a good long-term choice for him. She would never have been accepted by his family or peers and I think that they would have eventually became very unhappy with their lives together. There were just too many negatives in that relationship. Truthfully, I kind of dreaded him ending up with her.

I think that Hero is a much more interesting and complex character. And the pairing of these unlikely two characters, with all the animosity between the families, lends an extra depth to the books that you wouldn't have otherwise. Sometimes it's nice to see an intelligent female who isn't the most beautiful end up with the lead male. And it's been extremely interesting to watch their relationship grow. It may be a much more mature and realistic relationship than Sebastian had with Kat.

My hope is that you will continue with the series if that option becomes available to you. I think that the majority of the comments and reviews that I've read are quite pleased with the pairing of Sebastian and Hero and the direction of the series.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I think you did too good a job in laying the groundwork for Kat and Sebastian's love in the first few books. Since you stated that you had originally intended for them to be together, there was no foreshadowing until mid-way through the series. I have a feeling this coincided with your decision to change directions. From there, the fast tracking of Hero and Sebastian's relationship happened at break-neck speed.

I actually thought the proposal was a red herring and you only meant for Hero to be a temporary obstacle. Again, this stems from the effort you put into the first several books to demonstrate that Kat and Sebastian having a once in a lifetime love for one another. I know they're your characters, but for this reader, I'm sorry to say that I just don't care for the Devlin/Hero connection.

Kim said...

I'm another Kat booster that hasn't liked the pairing of Hero and Sebastian. I agree with the others that say you did too good a job in the first few books of showing how Kat and Sebastian belonged together and then the series took a sudden change in direction. I don't think it matters if Sebastian and Kat aren't in the same social circles -we're talking fiction. I think an interesting storyline could have been made on how exactly they overcame the obstacles.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy with the pairing of Sebastian and Hero. I can relate to his love for and relationship with Kat, and while real, it was not was realistic -- especially in Regency England. Besides, I have always felt that the relationship between Sebastian and Kat was too convenient. I don't think Sebastian's love for Hero (once he discovers it) will be any less real. In fact, I suspect it will be deeper and more complex. The trick will be convincing himself and Hero that he really loves her. They really make a great team.

Anonymous said...

>>>I will admit that, given the negative feedback I was getting from Team Kat members, I was sorely tempted to let Hero sail away in What Remains of Heaven, but I frankly couldn't do that to Sebastian.<<<

So you did notice there are Team Hero and Team Kat factions! :-D And you did read your readers' comments and used them to adjust your stories. One particular faction is so loud (maybe due to the large number of members, increasing in number since Book#4) and is baying for the blood of the other team's idol, I'm surprised you haven't done away with that character they hate yet. Google is your friend. Or you can start with Goodreads. Colorful comments over there, unless they've already been deleted).

Sigh. Now I understand why a reader who used to be an enthusiast of your series -an early discoverer in fact- is, well, no longer enthusiastic. If you think that reader is a hardcore romance reader where everything must end in Romance-certified happily-ever-after glow, please think again. :-)

Me? just to name one reason among others: I just cannot get over the fact that the mystery in Where Shadows Dance takes the backseat to the shallow characterization of the two leads in the book. There is subtle/understated and there is shallow. Where I am concerned, I know which is which when I see one.

Jane said...

It has nothing to do with social circles. Sebastian's character is an aristocrat, the heir to an earldom, while Kat's character is essentially a prostitue who sold herself for money and information over a period of many years. A marriage between these two is not a good indicator of future happiness. Even in today's world it's frowned upon, let alone in Regency England.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, reading through all these comments, Candy... apologies in advance if this question is sensitive but it has to be asked:

Do you actually understand the characters you have been writing about and their nature?

I think people would like where the series is going--Kat's future love has already been introduced, by the way

Wow! Kat will fall in love with someone else in the next book? Why do you have to do that, Candy? I don't believe that this is the Kat of ANGELS, GODS and MERMAIDS and whatever little we could see her in SERPENTS, HEAVEN and SHADOWS. You may not have gone back and re-read your books again but sometimes they are readers who do and there are those who are quite observant of people and notice things. Why can't it be enough that she would always love Devlin and it is enough that she would be supportive of him in his hobby of solving murders by providing him whatever little information she can (provided he needs them), even though she would never be with him again? Isn't that enough, and the acting profession she loves? Just because there are other people who fell in love 2-3 times in their live, so Kat will too? Because she's a former prostitute so there must be a man for her?

So who is Kat's future love going to be? Lets do a guessing game:

- Paul Gibson?
- her husband, Yates? (despite what we know about him? After all they have been good friends, or so we've been told)
- that Aiden O'Connell?
- Pierrepont? (he just ran away, didn't he. So he could be back)
- that yellow-eyed highwayman hinted in HEAVEN? so that Kat might have her own copy of Devlin?
- Jules Calhoun?

Thank you in advance for this warning, Candy, so that my intelligence is insulted *now* as opposed to when the next book is out.

cs harris said...

Jane, well, that's nice to hear! Thank you.

Anon at 7:20, I may not have made myself clear. In my original thinking of the series, I considered having Kat and Sebastian end up together, but decided that would be all wrong. By the time I started writing What Angels Fear, I knew the direction I wanted the romances to go. Sebastian's love for Kat was real and deep, and that's how I portrayed it. Did I expect this kind of negative reaction to the direction I planned to have the story take? No.

Kim, sorry.

Anon at 7:45, thank you.

Anon at 8:04, I don't read comments about my books anywhere except here on my own blog. As far as I'm concerned, writers who read Amazon reviews, etc, are just asking for grief. I said I had a moment while writing Heaven when I considered changing what I had planned, but it was only a moment. I still maintain that a long term relationship between Kat and Sebastian would have been destructive to both characters. I'm sorry if you don't see that.

Jane, thank you!!!

cs harris said...

Anon at 9:08, I didn't say she falls in love in the next book at all. I said that she would end up with a love of her own. I didn't say when that would be.

I'm trying to be pleasant here. I would appreciate it if others would make the same attempt. I wouldn't go into your homes and insult you. Differences of opinion are fine, but seriously, this is fiction. Why be ugly?

Anonymous said...

I just read what I consider to be some pretty ugly comments here, which I really disagree with.

I started reading these books because they are murder mysteries and that remains true. The romance just adds another layer and enhances rather than diminishes the story -- especially in the case of Sebastian and Hero.

Also, the idea that Kat or Sebastian may think they cannot love anyone else and then find then can is actually very realistic -- just ask any teenager or young adult (in case we no longer remember our own youth or earlier days).

Best wishes
Anon at 7:45 (too lazy to register)

Elizabeth said...

Wow, I can't believe how unpleasant some of these comments have been.
I for one, ADORE this series and am thrilled by the direction of the story line. Maybe it's because I have not liked Kat ever since I realized that her passing on information to the French potentially put Sebastian's life in danger. I find Hero to be a wonderful character and a far better match for him. I have also found the development to be pretty consistent and believable. I think Sebastian will end up still caring for Kat as a person but not as a lover, and that Hero will be his soulmate and destiny.
BTW I really loved the steam engine section. It was wonderfully funny in a dry understated way. I loved the fact that Hero is captivated by the big technological advances of the nineteenth century. I can see her going on a balloon ride or dragging Sebastian to lectures at the Royal Institution.
It's going to be a LONG wait until the next book. Dang!

Stephanie said...

Just finished "Where Shadows Dance" and passed it on to my sister. I enjoyed it very much for the most part, though I admit to being a bit astonished by the high body count this time around.

Re the Sebastian/Hero/Kat shipping debate: I'm in the perhaps unusual position of liking all three characters as individuals and adopting a "wait-and-see" approach with the pairings. In the first few books, it did seem like Sebastian/Kat was the likely endgame, though I found Hero intriguing, especially as she continued to make appearances.
Frankly, I was more worried for her when events necessitated her marriage to Sebastian--by then I liked her enough to hope she found someone who admired and adored her. It can't be much fun marrying a man who's carrying a giant torch for another woman. In retrospect, it might have been easier to support Sebastian/Hero, if Kat had not survived the events of book one.

And yet, Kat has always been adamant about not marrying Sebastian--she's shown no sign of wavering from that position, however determined Sebastian was to get her to the altar. And I'm wondering if, despite her love for Sebastian, her true devotion is to Ireland, to a country rather than a man.

So, now that circumstances have brought Sebastian and Hero together, it seems unreasonable not to hope they manage to make a success of it. I've enjoyed watching Sebastian start to see Hero as a person in her own right, with all kinds of unusual and wide-ranging interests, rather than just the daughter of his worst enemy. I suspect that he finds himself oddly fascinated by her, and his discovering the various layers to her character promises to make for interesting reading. By now, Sebastian pretty much knows all of Kat's secrets--he's only begun to uncover Hero's.

Will the two women in his life ever meet face to face? Strangely enough, I think they might end up respecting each other if they did.

cs harris said...

Anon at 10:13, well, that was very much my thinking. I seriously didn't expect this. Thank you.

Elizabeth, thank you. I do like both women, but the truth is that when it comes to future story development, Hero does offer more possibilities. The relationship with Kat would eventually have become repetitious, and while that might not have bothered some readers (obviously!), I think the books would have suffered.

Stephanie, yes, the body count did end up being very high! Not quite sure why that happened. I've dialed it back on this next book. You're quite right, Kat has always been very insistent that she would never marry Sebastian for his sake, and I could not see her just suddenly deciding, "Oh, well; I guess maybe I will ruin you after all and marry you." Kat loves Sebastian, but she is not as much of a romantic as he is; she knows their marriage would be a mistake. And the two women do meet in When Maidens Mourn--it was a great scene to write.

essex said...

Here is another voice in support of you, Candy. I do not understand the vitriol directed towards you over the direction that you have taken in your books, since these books represent your vision and creativity, not anyone else's. Some people do not seem to understand the difference between criticizing in a constructive way and being a jerk. There has been too much of the latter lately - give it a rest. Like Candy says - this is fiction, for crying out loud. We live in a society where we have free will and freedom of speech - differences of opinion can be wonderful and enlightening but can be ugly too - don't abuse what we are lucky to have.
Anyway, I agree with some of the other posters - I personally like the way the whole Kat-Sebastian-Hero triangle is panning out simply because I do consider it far more realistic in the context of the time. I do not have any personal preference - I am not a huge romance fan and I like your books because I think they stand on their own as great mysteries. The romance aspect is interesting and I think well-written, but not essential to me in order to appreciate these books. I think that the way the story has developed has been done in a realistic, mature way that I can certainly identify with. Both Kat and Hero have very admirable qualities about them, and as another poster said, I have regarded both of them with interest, wondering what fate will befall them and hoping that in the end, both will be happy. And it sounds like they will. So I am looking forward to the next book . Will the baby be born in the next one? That would be a treat!

Anonymous said...

Candy, I think you are a wonderful writer, and no matter what happens in your future books, I will always be a fan, and will always be at my bookseller the day your books come out. That being said, I do think that if Kat's and Sebastian's true parentage were to become known, Society might have been scandalized (but who doesn't love a good scandal) for a little while, and then life would have continued, and Society would have grudgingly accpeted Kat, and her and Sebastian's marriage could have occured. I can't believe that after Sebastian's quotes of "not having you in my life would destroy me" to Kat, he would be able to truely love Hero in the same fashion. I think that it is very sad that Sebastian will not end up with his soul mate, and that no matter the consequences, he and Kat would have been very happy together. THey could have always left for Italy or America together anyways...

Anonymous said...

While I agree that with you Candy that people can fall in love more than once in their lives, I don't think it can be the same kind of love. I think that Sebastian's love for Kat, with its depth, tenderness, and all-consuming passion will never be replicated with Hero. I think that his and Hero's love, while it may become true over time, will always be second to what Sebastian had with Kat. It will never reach the same magnitude and proportions. But I am glad to hear that Kat will end up with someone else too. She is a lovely character and deserves some happiness as well (even if it isn't to the degree as what she had with Devlin).

cs harris said...

Essex, thank you. This series was planned first and foremost as a mystery series, with the romance and other personal issues intended to add depth and resonance. I suppose I should have anticipated that some readers would come to care passionately, although I didn't. But it's great when readers come to care so deeply about books, and I'm sorry if some are so disappointed. I can only follow my own vision.

Anon at 12:52, the problem of course is that by the time Sebastian knew Kat wasn't his sister, Hero was pregnant. Illegitimacy was still a stigma in those days, and the truth of either birth would have been damaging. If it became known that Kat was Hendon's illegitimate daughter without the truth of Sebastian's birth being known, they obviously couldn't be together. And if Sebastian's illegitimacy were to become known, it would destroy him. I could have had them sail off to America, but that would have destroyed the mystery series, which is very much about London in the Regency period! You may be right--he may never have the love with Hero that he had with Kat. If I had been writing a romance I would have had the relationship tangle evolve differently. But this is a mystery series, and I need pathos/poignancy/conflict. Plus the fade to happily ever after isn't there in a mystery series the way it would be in a romance. In some ways I think it's better that their love be there as something good and beautiful in their past, without our seeing it battered year after year by the realities they would have had to face if they had married.

Anon at 12:52, like I said above, you may be right. I think a huge part of the depth and poignancy in the love between Kat and Sebastian came from the external opposition. With Hero and Sebastian, the problems they face are more internal. To be frank, I would love to write a romance set in 1842 between Simon St. Cyr and Kat Whatever, where the children of Sebastian and Kat meet and fall in love and DO live happily ever after!

Traci said...

Dear Candy -
I just want to tell you hello and that I LOVE all your books. Just finished reading "Where Shadows Dance" and have to tell you the last chapter/ending scene with Hero and Sebastian was Fabulous. I can actually visualize both of them when I am reading and I think they both get under each others skin. I hope to see you at the Murder by the Book signing in Houston on March 19 and I anxiously wait your next installment.

Please continue past book 8 as they are plenty of us Sebastian fans eagerly awaiting more. I wish I had your talent. Keep up the great work and ignore the ugly comments.

Anonymous said...

In every single book, It's written that Kat is the love of Sebastian's life - yet you are pairing him with Hero. Does this mean that really, all along, Hero and Devlin are really soulmates?
Also, I think you should have a female character in one of your future books that is a doctor/healer. Give Paul Gibson a run for his money :)

EM said...

I'm a long time reader of your blog but have never posted a comment. Some of the nasty, whiny comments I have read have inspired me to post and tell you how much I enjoy the series and the direction it has taken. You have been more than gracious in responding to all of the comments here. Frankly, some of them are really ticking me off but I keep coming back to read more.

Kat/Seb Fan said...

I hope you will find my post a respectful discussion on why some of us are disappointed in the new direction in your series and not a critisism of you. I know you labor hard over these stories and have been taken by surprise by the budding controversy.

Upon reading your posts, I'm saddened that you think the pairing of Kat and Sebastian would have been repetitious. There are so many plot possibilities between these two with her divided loyalties with Ireland, the family opposition, her career and their class differences. Since the romance plays a small part, it has never felt redundant.

Also, it might have been interesting if you had made Kat Jarvis' illegitimate daughter instead. You would then have gotten the same complexities that you are now exploring between Hero and Sebastian.

Finally, the pregnancy appears to be a too convenient plot device so that there was absolutely no way for Kat and Sebastian to ever find their way back to one another.

Hero and Sebastian aren't in love yet, so it just seems so sad to go this route, especially since Hero is written as an independent suffragist. I pictured her with a do-gooder like Paul. An emotionally wounded man that would support her wanting to help those less fortunate.

I believe what some of us are trying to say is that in real life you have enough instances of unhappiness in relationships. So we enjoy reading fiction where love actually works out for two complex individuals who have everything working against them. Therefore, it isn't enough to simply say that Sebastian finds happiness with Hero, because it actually feels like he betrayed Kat. Though she married first, it was in name only. I actually thought it was going to be a minor obstacle in their road to happiness - thus the major diappointment when you switched the pairings mid-way through the series.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I'm in the middle of reading when gods die and just wanted to let you know how much I love your st cyr series.

Lucy Galbraith said...

Scarlett and Rhett didn't end up together, and neither did the Ilsa and Rick in "Casablanca". Sometimes a a grand love affair doesn't last. A bittersweet but important lesson to learn in life is that one can love again, but it will be a different kind of love. And aren't we talking about a mystery series, not a romance series? Candy, watch out for Kathy Bates ("Misery").

TK said...

Devlin repeatedly says that Kat is the love of his life. How can he not be with the love of his life?

Rich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alexandra said...

Agreed with TK. Does this mean that Hero will truely be the love of his life? I have a hard time believing it to be so...

Also Candy, I think it is very nice of you to answer our blog comments and questions! Many authors don't do that, and I know you are very busy, so I want to say thanks for that :)

Steph said...

Kat/Seb Fan - I am in complete agreement with you! I don't think their romance would ever become redundant or old or battered, but could grow even deeper and more beautiful. I think there would be a lot of plot possibilities between these two, along with those of Sebastian's long-lost mother (and possible brother - highway man with yellow eyes). I think it would be more true to Sebastian's character to say "to hell with society" and had found a way to marry Kat. Aristocratic men married actresses and other types of women in those days-it wasn't common, but it occurred. Mr. Darcy married a woman considered "beneath" him, as did Mr. Rochester. Poor Kat. I so desperately wanted them to be together. I think even in a mystery series, you can still have a happy ending without it turning into a romance.

Anonymous said...

After all those horrid obstacles to Kat and Sebastion's relationship - Love should triumph in the end!!!
I like Hero, and think she is important to the series, but her character could have developed (and still develop) alongside Kat and Sebastian without having to break Kat/Seb's relationship apart.
I thought Hero would have been great for Gibson, as she would be strong enough to help him break his opium addiction.

Jane said...

I have never seen fans behave in such a way as the Sebastian/Kat commentators on this web site. I now truly understand the word fanatic. They appear obsessed with getting their way.

They have been abusive, rude, ridiculing, and demanding. Even though you have been extremely gracious and explained your decision numerous times, they refuse to accept your answer and continue their harrassing behavior.

If I were you, I would close the topic and refuse to respond. And I would set rules so that such behavior is not tolerated in the future.

Anonymous said...

I don't usually comment but I would like to chime in. I like both women tremendously but Hero is the character with the most potential. If I were a writer, the Hero dimension would be far more interesting. Sebastian is a good, admirable, and "heroic" man and I see that Hero would be a better spark to uncover new aspects of Sebastian. That would keep me reading this wonderful series.

cs harris said...

Traci, thank you! I'm looking forward to Murder by the Book. i had a great time when I was there a few years ago.

Anon at 3:48, I've always believed that people can have more than one love in their lives--deep, meaningful, satisfying loves. I guess that goes against the romance canon, but that's what i believe. As for the female healer for Gibson, that's an idea. He needs someone to heal his lingering phantom pains and get him off the opium.

EM, thank you; I'm so glad to hear you're enjoying the series.

Kat/Sebastian Fan, I can only write the series the way I see and feel it. If Kat had been Jarvis's daughter, she would have been a very different character. Her story is integral to who she is and what happened between the two lovers when they were younger. I could never see Hero with Gibson--she is too domineering and proud, and he needs someone gentle to help him heal. I'm sorry if the developments in the love stories disappointed you, but some of the most poignant, memorable love stories do not end happily. I do believe people can love again.

cs harris said...

Anon at 5:22, well, that's nice to hear! I hope you continue to enjoy it.

Lucy, my point exactly!

TK, if this were a romance, I would have had them end up together. But it's a mystery series, which gave me the freedom to explore love in all it's many manifestations. I believe people can learn to love again. If the romance genre if helping to perpetuate the damaging myth that we only love once, then it's not healthy.

Alexandra, I personally have had three deep, meaningful loves in my life. Sebastian will always love Kat; that's the way he is. But he can love again, deeply and beautifully.

Steph, Kat drove away the man she loved when she was 16/17 because she knew what marriage to her would do to him. She's now older and wiser, and married Yates to avoid ruining Sebastian. After all that, she is not about to change her mind. To have her just suddenly decide to marry him would in my opinion be a violation of everything that has been gone before. It would be to force her to act out of character simply so that the love story could have a happy ending. She has said from the very beginning she wouldn't marry him, and she meant it!
Oh, and the highwayman with yellow eyes enters the picture in When Maidens Mourn.

Anon at 7:47, I know readers have hoped Hero could be pushed off on Gibson, but that would be a marriage made in hell. Kat has made it clear from the very beginning that she loves Sebastian too much to ruin him by marrying him. "The only way I would ever marry you is if I quit loving you, and that's not going to happen." She's not the kind of woman to suddenly change her mind.

Jane, I do think much of the rudeness came from one disgruntled reader. That's the problem with "anonymous"--you don't know if it's one or a dozen. In one sense it's wonderful that readers are so passionate about the series. Kat and Sebastian were star-crossed lovers, which seems to be hard to accept. I'm willing to help people understand why the story went this way, but I'm not going to change my mind!

Barbara Caridad Ferrer said...

I've always believed that people can have more than one love in their lives--deep, meaningful, satisfying loves. I guess that goes against the romance canon, but that's what i believe.

Amen-- and this is also why I failed miserably at writing romance and turned to YA and women's fic instead. *g* I like realistic possibilities way too much.

This is a book a wrote during my mother's last illness, and I always worried it never quite came together the way I had meant it to.

I remember. I recall you pushing to finish this story while your mom was so ill. Oddly enough, I think this book has the most laugh-out-loud black humor moments of any of the books, so far and I think maybe it was your writer lizard-brain finding an outlet.

Maybe it didn't come together the way you meant it to, but I think it came together rather well for all that. :)

Anonymous said...

I feel that in Sebastian marrying Hero, he is in truth betraying Kat, himself, and true love. It is just not right!! It leaves one feeling unsatisfied, or betrayed as well.
That being said, can you recommend any great books to tide us readers over till book #7 comes out?
Thank you :)

cs harris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cs harris said...

Barbara, it was my frustration with the romance genre's rules that led me to write mysteries. My romance editor, Shauna Summers, let me do things no one else in the industry would have done, but she was leaving the business (she's now back) and I was getting a "pick a time and place and stick to it, and no more of these other mortal romance sins you've been getting away with" vibe. I believe in love, beautiful, lasting love, but I also believe that love doesn't conquer all and that one can love again--deeply, beautifully. And it's nice to hear the book worked for you. I suspect you're right about the black humor. The scene where Sebastian and co. put Ross's body back was written sitting at my mother's bedside in the hospital.

Anon at 8:09, Kat told Sebastian over and over again that she would never marry him; she then married someone else in an age where marriage was literally "until death do we part". Sebastian was honor bound to marry Hero to rectify a situation they'd both created. He needs to move on with his life, accept reality, and try to find happiness elsewhere. This is what Kat wants for him--she said it to him, and she meant him. He's not betraying her, he's embracing life while continuing to love her and looking to put the hurting bits of himself back together. As for what to read... maybe try Midnight Confessions, by Candice Proctor? I guarantee it has a happy ending, and when I reread it (last week, for the first time!) I was surprised to see how much the hero, Zach, had in common with Sebastian.

Anonymous said...

Have just finished Where Shadows Dance, and I really like where the Hero/Sebastian relationship is heading.
I noticed what appears to be a typo on page 252 - Sir Hyde Foley is referred to twice as Sir Foley, although everywhere else (correctly) as Sir Hyde.
When Maidens Mourn is set in August 1812 - right? I hope there is a bit more breathing space for book 8, so that this baby has a chance to be safely born.

cs harris said...

Lesley, thanks for the heads up about the typos; I'll make a note so I can correct the proofs for the paperbacks. What a weird thing to have done. Sigh. Book number 8 is set in September of 1812, then #9 will be in late January-early February. There's an historical event in September 1812 I wanted to use for a story line.

Lynnd said...

I just thought I'd add my two cents and say how much I love the St. Cyr series and am intrigued with the way it is unfolding. I am looking forward to seeing how the relatiionship between Hero and Sebastian develops over the next several books. The only problem with getting and immediately reading the books when they come out is that I have to wait a whole year for the next one. Thank you for many happy hours of reading.

vza said...

Wonderful series! Just finished, "Where Shadows Dance". Loved it.
Remember folks, it is FICTION!

Diane said...

I'm very happy with the way things progressed between St. Cyr and Hero in Where Shadows Dance! I began reading your books as a mystery series, and as should happen with all really great mysteries, you brought the characters to life and made me care about them, including your secondary characters.

Your rationale for why Kat and Sebastian would not have worked well as a married couple is completely correct. You write the Regency period (one of my favorite settings) in a very historically accurate way, and the only way their relationship would fit the time would be if he kept her as his mistress.

He and Hero (and, of course, their families) provide an emotional and intellectual challenge for each other, and a lot of room for growth, and this is a much better pairing in terms of how the series can continue to develop. I'm so glad you chose this route!

I'm also hoping that Tom the Tiger will learn to trust his new mistress and am looking forward to reading how that comes about. : ) Also hoping to see more of Hero's younger cousin Sabrina Cox in future books. I especially appreciate that your plots are not predictable, except in the fact that it seems Paul will never lack for dissection subjects as long as he knows the St. Cyrs!

Rue said...

Just finished WTSD and want to say: "loved it" and can't wait for the next one!:)

Elaine Cunningham said...

I thoroughly enjoyed WHEN SHADOWS DANCE. As a former history teacher, I'm almost ridiculously grateful for historially accurate fiction. Reading historical novels is, far too often, like listening to a boy soprano who is rapidly approaching puberty: You know there's going to be a few bad notes. It's lovely to be able to relax and enjoy the performance.

As much as I appreciate the setting and plot, however, it's the characters that made this series shine. Devlin is marvelous, and Hero is one of my favorite characters since... well, ever. She's an excellent foil for Devlin. Kat is lovely, but Hero is full of angles and corners and surprises.

Looking forward to the next book. Thanks for the wonderful series.

ssimchik said...

I look forward to your books as if they were chocolate candy. Please keep writing them.

I don't really want join the ranks of the Kat/hero controversy, but I think you've done the exact right thing. Hero has much more depth and character and it'll be interesting to see how their relationship develops---as I'll bet it will. Kat was just not a good person in her own right. I hope someday soon Sebastian will see Kat and wonder why he ever had such an obsession for her.

Elaine said...

Wow! I was following up on a remark in an Amazon review claiming that you said the "yellow-eyed highwayman" would appear in the next book. I stumbled on this long list of comments and have been perplexed and appalled by those commenters who seem to believe that their feelings about the characters are more important than your feelings about them, or your needs as a writer for characters who tell the stories you want to tell.

In the early books, I was truly atonished and moved by your ability to portray the tenderness and passion between Sebastian and Kat so beautifully. Even so, I was troubled by Kat's choices. As a young girl she sends Sebastian away to "save" him, then turns around and spies for the French - the very enemy Sebastian has gone of to fight. Even when she and Sebastian get back together and she tells Aidan that she will no longer spy, she continues to keep secrets from Sebastian. She is, of course, entitled to make her own choices. But those choices make her something less than the perfect "soulmate" some of your more strident readers call her.

On the other hand, there is Hero. From her first appearance on the scene, I have believed that Hero is the woman Sebastian needs. She has an integrity and complexity that makes her a much better match. She will not, I think, profess undying love for Sebastian then betray him. If she has to make choices which are in conflict with his, she will, I believe, admit the conflict openly and not resort to subterfuge.

I was reflecting recently on the scene in WAF when Kat is held hostage to lure in Sebastian and he comes dramatically to her rescue. I compared that to WSD, when Hero is held hostage to distract Sebastian and... comes to her own rescue. As lovely and romantic as the first scene was, it is in the second scene that I find a true partner for Sebastian.

Thanks you so much for creating these fascinating people and sharing them with us. I hope we get to see how their lives turn out for decades to come!

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