Overcoming a Stereotype With a Great Story

by Joshua Corin, author of While Galileo Preys, the first book in the Esme Stuart series

It was a moment of desire and hope.

I was in my cubicle, staring at my work phone. I knew the call from my agent would be coming. He seemed to think that MIRA was interested in publishing my new series but the offer had yet to be made. He assured me that if the offer was going to be made, it was going to be made that afternoon. These were my office hours so occasionally a student would come by to ask a question about an assignment or to argue a grade but most of that afternoon was spent staring at my work phone, begging and wishing and praying for it to ring, and for the news to be good.

And then the call came.

It was a moment of desire and hope.

My agent informed me that MIRA was indeed interested in publishing my new series and were in fact making an offer. I screamed. I danced. I uttered a litany of joyful obscenities. I was happy for myself, of course, but I was also happy for my protagonist, Esme Stuart, a woman struggling with that most wonderful and difficult of burdens—a sense of duty. She quit the FBI to become a wife and a mother, to live out the American dream in white-picket-fence Long Island, but when a madman crisscrosses the country on a murderous rampage, her sense of duty tugs at her. Can she join in the manhunt without destabilizing the idyllic life she has worked so hard to create? Can she balance work and family? And what happens when these two worlds collide, and the madman comes to Long Island seeking revenge?

It is a story I believe in and a topic that both women and men can relate to, and the fact that MIRA, on that afternoon, agreed to share Esme’s story with the world, left me giddy. And so, after I proceeded to call every person I ever met, I walked over to my department office to share my good news with my colleagues.

It was a moment of desire and hope.

One of my colleagues congratulated me on the accomplishment and, of course, asked me who was publishing my novels. When this colleague confessed to having not heard of MIRA, I explained to her that it was the division of Harlequin that specialized in thrillers. My colleague listened, nodded, and then replied, “Oh, Harlequin? I didn’t think your book was a romance novel.”

No, it’s not. It’s a thriller. Although Harlequin made a name for itself publishing romances, that genre most famous for its literary promises of desire and hope, for over fifteen years now it has been branching out, and successfully, I might add, into other areas. I am proud to be a Harlequin writer. MIRA publishes some of the best thrillers in the market today and I am honored that the first novel in Esme’s story, While Galileo Preys, is now among them. I hope that you get a chance to pick it up, and, if you do, I hope that you enjoy it.

One warning, though: although the context of the story is dark and the pace is nonstop, as befits a thriller, While Galileo Preys is ultimately a novel infused with, yes, desire and hope. If that’s not your cup of tea, you might want to contact my colleague. I’m sure she could recommend an alternative.

Editor’s note: To celebrate Joshua’s MIRA debut, we’re giving away a print copy of While Galileo Preys to a blog reader! We’ll pick a winner on Monday, September 6th. To enter, please leave a comment on today’s post—have you ever come across a fellow reader who’s been surprised by your “reading choice”? The contest will run until 11:59 pm EST Sunday, September 5th and is only open to US and Canadian residents (with our apologies to our overseas readers!) For full entry details, please click here.

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Comments ( 6 )
  1. Penn_eHarlequin
    September 3, 2010 at 7:45 am
    Reply

    I have to confess that I was extremely excited when I saw that GALILEO is also available in audio, because it looks like my kind of book and I get books “read” faster if they come out in audio.

    Penn

  2. DarcyO
    September 3, 2010 at 12:22 pm
    Reply

    I like most book genres, but have surprised a few people with my choice of thrillers. I’d love to read Galileo. Thanks for the chance.

  3. chey
    September 3, 2010 at 2:34 pm
    Reply

    I like most genres. Some people just don’t get that.

  4. Joshua Corin
    September 3, 2010 at 9:42 pm
    Reply

    Penn, I can’t wait to hear the audiobook too! Maybe I’ll play it at my readings.

    Darcy and Chey, I like most genres too. Some people, I think, just refuse to expand their horizons.

  5. LORETTAc
    September 3, 2010 at 9:54 pm
    Reply

    I read different genres and find wonderful bookd in all of them. Sometimes when I’m reading a romance people look at me like it isn’t a real book.

    loretta
    lbcanton@verizon.net

  6. Joshua Corin
    September 4, 2010 at 9:50 pm
    Reply

    Loretta, I’ve been in parts of the country where people look at me funny if I’m reading ANY book…

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