Thursday, March 13, 2008

Historical Fiction 101- Part 4

Today, I'm going to take a look at some of the CBA publishing houses that have a strong presence in the historical fiction genre.

Bethany House pretty much created CBA historical fiction with Janette Oke and Gilbert Morris. Both of these authors started writing in the early 80's, when Christian fiction was still in its infancy. The first House of Winslow book was the second "adult" book that I ever read. They've also published much of Michael Phillips' writing, as well as Judith Pella. Recently the entire structure at Bethany was turned upside down, and their historical division isn't getting as much attention as it used to. The current VP of sales wants to branch out and cut back on the number of historicals Bethany publishes. I find that rather sad.

Heartsong Presents from Barbour is an extremely popular book club that has a line of historical fiction, Heartsong Presents Historicals. They tend to be on the shorter side though, between 40 and 50,000 words. And that's just fine for some people, but I'm not one of them. I've never actually read a Heartsong. Brief guidelines can be found here.

The parent company of HP, Barbour, also publishes historical fiction in their trade paperback line. They have just re-released Susan May Warren's "Olga", now titled "The Sovereign's Daughter" and I also know that they will very soon be re-releasing Gilbert Morris' Appomattox Saga series. If you love Civil War fiction, this is THE series to read.

The recent launch of Steeple Hill's Love Inspired Historical line catapulted them very firmly into the historical genre. Submission guidelines can be found here. At this point they're open to pretty much everything except the American Revolution. As I've said before, there are multiple Regencies in the pipeline. The word count for LIH is 70-75,000.

Tyndale House has published all of Tricia Goyer's novels so far. Unfortunately she recently announced on her blog that Tyndale will not be publishing any more of her historicals. I think it has something to do with the Spanish Civil War Chronicles sales numbers. I don't know what the current status is for them accepting historicals, so if anyone who reads this does know, please leave a comment.

Zondervan also publishes a few historicals, but they're more well known for their thrillers, suspense, non-fiction and the NIV. They have Brandilyn Collins and Terri Blackstock.

Revell also has a growing presence in the historical genre. They published the blockbuster hit All The Tea in China, and they've published Deanne Gist's A Bride Most Begrudging and Courting Trouble. Revell and Bethany are both owned by the Baker Publishing Group. Revell is also the publisher of A Passion Most Pure that's making all kinds of waves in the CBA. I plan to order the book this weekend and will be posting a full review. Revell seems to be open to content that's edgier and a little more passionate. I'm looking forward to seeing what else Revell will publish.

This is just a very very basic list, but it should give you a pretty good idea of what all is out there. In the realm of historical fiction there is truly something for everyone.

Next Tuesday, please stop by for an interview with Laurie Alice Eakes. She has a Heartsong coming out. I'll post the full blog tour schedule over the weekend. We're doing something pretty unique with the interviews and in order to read all the answers you have to go to every blog on the list. But don't worry! There's only 5.

1 comment :

  1. Bethany may soon be focusing on historicals again--Tamera Alexander just signed a new six-book contract with them for more historicals, this time with a Southern setting. :-)

    I've heard that Harvest House is looking to expand their historical fiction line, too, but that's just one of those "through the grapevine" things.

    Great series!