Happy Wednesday, everyone,
Naomi Rawlings here, and I’m wishing you all a warm and lovely spring day from Michigan’s rather cold and windy Upper Peninsula. (And yes, I saw a few snowflakes touch the ground while writing this post.)
The month of April is especially exciting for me this year, as my first-ever published novel, Sanctuary for a Lady, releases. And did you know I’m not the only one with a debut novel this month? Author Jessica Nelson, had her first novel, Love on the Range, release as well. (Congratulations, Jessica!)
So as any eager new author would do, I raced to Walmart last week and found my book on the shelf (right beside Jessica’s). As I stood back admiring my novel in an actual store, available for anyone to buy, I noticed that my setting was a little different from the books beside it. All three other books releasing from Love Inspired Historical this month are set in the 1800s, and all three other books are attached to the United States in some way. Two of the stories are set in the American West, and the third involves a sea journey from Ireland to America. Then there’s my book, lonely little Sanctuary for a Lady, set in France during the late 1700s and without a single mention of America throughout the entire novel.
Did you know my publisher considers this setting a bit of a risk? That Love Inspired Historical has never before published a novel set during the French Revolution? So my publisher is rather curious to see if Sanctuary for a Lady will sell as well as Love on the Range and Brides of the West and The Wedding Journey.
Novels set in the United States generally tend to sell better than novels set other countries. Please understand there are exceptions to this rule, and a book set in a foreign country can sell just as many copies as a book set in the United States. Novels set in England are rather popular as well, but in general, foreign set books sell fewer copies.
I’m not the only Love Inspired Historical author dipping into the pool of European fiction, however. Last month Eva Maria Hamilton had her debut novel, Highland Hearts, release. Highland Hearts is set in the 1700s like my novel, and it takes place completely in Scotland. Our publisher has asked both Eva and I to consider writing sequels to our novels. Eva’s will be set in Scotland again, and I’ve just started working on a second novel set during the French Revolution. And while Eva and I and others are writing, our publisher is watching to see whether these novels sell a good number of books, or whether Love Inspired Historical will want to publish novels set primarily in the United States and England in the future.
So I’m curious about you. What type of historical novels do you prefer? Do you like stories set in foreign or exotic places and unfamiliar times? Or do you like stories set that take place on American soil and within the past century and a half? If you had to pick between a book set in Europe or a book set in the United States, which would you chose, and why?