Boroughs Publishing Group at the
|Editor in Chief Chris Keeslar with the first group to receive the gorgeous Boroughs tote|
For those of you who couldn’t make it, the RT Convention was this past weekend, April 11 - 15, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Hotel in Chicago. Boroughs was there as well, handing out bags and good cheer, and taking time to learn more about both authors and readers in this wildly changing world of e-publishing.
|Keeslar with Zuzulo|
The convention drew several thousand fans and authors of romance, and over a thousand were predicted at the E-Expo and Graphic Novel Book Fair on Thursday, where up-and-coming paranormal romance author Kellyann Zuzulo made her debut book signing. Soon to be published Regan Walker was also in attendance!
Do you see the tote in the pictures? Interested in one of your own? Comment on our blog and three winners will be chosen at random to receive a free handbag.
Author Spotlight: Kellyann Zuzulo
As in most families, my mother was my first storyteller, and in our house, fairies, wraiths, banshees, and angels populated our bedtime tales. My Ireland-born-and-bred Mom would summon unseen beings from the ether to flitter and cluster, scheme and struggle. The descriptions were sometimes fantastical, but always the stories were told as though every single thing was indeed possible. They worked. I believed.
Eventually I grew out of that gullible childhood, but I was already predisposed to the possibility of an actual realm of the unseen. Perhaps I was even then seeking to find it again, to summon back the joys of youth. And why not? Many people seem to suspect the existence of other domains. The Irish have their fairies (so please don’t neglect to crush your used egg shells, else the pookies will come and wreak havoc in your kitchen) and it seems every culture has separate tales of exotic, ethereal beings. But it wasn’t until my job as a managing editor of publications for the Saudi embassy that everything came full circle.
Arabia is the cultural source for the lore of the jinn. (Genies, in common parlance.) They’re like fairies, only bigger, more substantial, more…human. That part intrigued me. Imagine the stories you could tell where genies and humans get to interact! And when I discovered the Arab world has produced scholarly manuals that chronicle laws of behavior for genies and humans, the fairy veteran in me nodded knowingly. The writer in me whooped with enthusiasm. Here was a world I could believe.
I found many sources that detail the physical manifestation of jinn, how they live and how they look. Genies are very similar to humans, but with abilities that we can only dream of: instant travel across continents, the ability to alter their molecular structure in order to occupy small spaces, longevity that allows them to experience millennia of civilizations and cultures. And with my subscription to Biblical Archaeology Review, I had a resource for insight into the ancient world, and particularly—when you get to it—the time in Solomon’s Temple.
During my research, I happily noted there were no prohibitions for the “intermingling” of humans and genies. Whereas humans are shaped from the clay of the earth, and angels from light, the jinn are forged from flame. Hot stuff, indeed. That practically demands some intermingling.
The ultimate hero suddenly appeared in my mind: a man with long life, good looks, a steady and true character that becomes ferocious when he’s been wronged or when he’s trying to reclaim a lost love. Enter Zubis. Then add Bethany O’Brien, the woman who won his heart in a bygone age. You wouldn’t think she’d need convincing after setting eyes on Zubis again, yet nothing is ever that easy. I have a feeling things will work out, though. Love is magical even without the mystical powers of a genie—which only make things interesting.
Love makes everything possible. I suppose Zubis could have just snapped his fingers and made Bethany adore him, but above all I wanted a story of love and loyalty that spans millennia that my readers could believe. That meant they had to make the journey all over again. Nothing else would do. The training was too good from my mother. Like her, my goal as a storyteller is for a reader to read, to sigh a romantic sigh, and to say “And why not?” Then to make a wish of their own.
Check out THE GENIE IGNITES.
Christopher Keeslar Named Editor in Chief
For those of you who don’t already know, Boroughs Publishing Group welcomed Christopher Keeslar as Editor in Chief on March 5th, 2012. Keeslar graduated from New York University in 1995 and immediately entered the publishing industry. He remained with his first employer, Dorchester Publishing, for over sixteen years, and he enjoys a stellar reputation in the Romance industry, where authors and agents alike applaud him for his integrity, enthusiasm and commitment to producing great stories. He takes time to grow and groom authors rather than simply churn out product. In 2004, Chris was chosen to receive RWA PASIC’s 2004 national award for best editor. This was followed several years later by the RWA New York chapter’s local award.
Keeslar’s preferences skew toward fantasy and science fiction–style romances, “paranormals” and urban fantasy as they are often called, and toward medieval historicals, though he enjoys a broad range of Romance.
Please join us in welcoming Chris to the Boroughs community.