Thursday, February 18, 2010

Aspen Mountain Press Launches New Aurora Regency Imprint!

Aspen Mountain Press will launch its new Aurora Regency imprint on July 21, 2010!

Aurora Regency at Aspen Mountain Press is a line devoted to Regency romance. Traditional Regency romances, as exemplified by Georgette Heyer’s work, are first and foremost historical fiction about a very specific (and short) era. So what are we looking for? Hopefully, this will answer any questions you might have about Aurora Regency’s guidelines.

1) We expect historical accuracy. This includes language, clothing, customs, etiquette, events and places. Your book should have rich detail, the appropriate language and slang and an understanding of life in Regency England or, if set outside of England, according to the customs of the country. That includes behavior appropriate to a character’s life, position and social situation. (For example: divorce was not an option in Regency England so no new divorcĂ©es gallivanting at Almack’s in competition with the Season’s loveliest debutantes.) Historical accuracy will be a consideration in the acceptance of manuscripts and an integral part of the editing process. If your manuscript has several historical errors, you may be asked to revise and resubmit.

2) We hope for novel plotlines or exciting new twists on old themes. We are open to paranormal or Gothic themes as long as these elements do not compromise the Regency romance genre. So if your impoverished but well-born governess falls in love with the lord of the manor that’s fine. Just make it interesting.

3) We expect romance—oh, loads of it! Every kind of hero is fair game in a Regency romance and our heroines should be head over heels in love with them. But remember—this is a Regency romance. Spice is okay; jalapeno salsa is not. In an era were even the smallest infractions would lead to social ruin, well brought up young heroines were virgins on the wedding night. {However, if your Regency is about a member of the demimonde (a courtesan) and is erotic in nature, please indicate this in your query letter.} And, naturally, a HEA is the conclusion of choice.

4) Great dialogue. In the Regency romance, conversation is well-crafted and engaging. Half of the process of falling in love occurs when the hero and heroine engage in a battle of wits. Repartee is an art form; conversation is seduction. Anachronistic sayings or language are strongly discouraged.

5) Society. Society rules these characters’ lives. The Season is capitalized for a reason. As Jane Austen said in Pride and Prejudice, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Society dictates that universal truth, and in a Regency romance Society is where the bridal hunt is carried out. It can be London or Bath or Brighton or even a simple country parsonage involved in county society—but society (either capitalized or not) is as big a character as any human being.

6) Fun. Above all, Regency romances are fun—both to read and to write. The more adventures your madcap heroine has, the better. Paranormal Regencies are acceptable as are the more intricate Regency murder mysteries. Even the darker side of the Regency world is fun.

So, do you think your Regency romance fits the bill? Then submit to us! The Aurora Regency line is published by Aspen Mountain Press, a royalty-paying e-publishing company. We do not charge fees for set up or charge for editing your story once it has been accepted for publication. Our contracts request rights to the contracted work, including digital and print formats as we will provide some of our titles in print later this year.

Aurora is looking for well-researched Regency romances between 35,000 and 70,000 words, although we will bend on the upper word limit if the story merits it. Please submit exactly and only the following if you wish your manuscript to receive serious consideration:

A query letter in the body of an email with:

Your legal name, pseudonym if applicable and contact email.

Working Title

Manuscript Length

General story description in two paragraphs

Writing Credentials

Include the first chapter (or first twenty pages, whichever is shorter) embedded in the body of the email. We will not open attachments. If we like what we see, we will request the rest of the manuscript. If this is a simultaneous submission, please inform us of this in your query letter. We will consider only COMPLETED manuscripts. Aspen Mountain Press does not accept proposals from writers unknown to us. Aurora Regency at Aspen Mountain Press will open for submissions on February 15, 2010. Please send all questions and submissions to We accept ONLY e-submissions. Initial response times are anticipated to be no longer than 2 weeks.