Juno Books Brings Smart, Savvy Supernatural Thrillers to Readers
Urban fantasy, supernatural suspense, paranormal romance--all of these subgenres are hot right now, and Juno Books has been publishing a cornucopia of such novels in bright, sharply designed mass market paperbacks. There's a wide variety of fiction between those covers. For example, Personal Demons by Stacia Kane is about a reporter and a demon lover, while Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti is set in an imaginary world and has more in common with steampunk and epic fantasy. Blackness Tower by Lillian Stewart Carl is in a Mary Stewart Merlin vein, except featuring a Spanish armada. Matthew Cook's Blood Magic chronicles the adventures of a necromancer named Kirin. Three other Juno Books seem to fit snugly into the supernatural suspense category: House of Whispers by Margaret Lucke, Dancing with Werewolves by Carole Nelson Douglas, and Apricot Brandy by Lynn Cesar.
These trends in book publishing appear to be driven by the success of TV programs like Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as the huge success of such writers as Kim Harrison. The audience for such imprints is predominantly women, and most of the writers are women. What's interesting is that Juno, an independent press, seems able to compete on an even playing field with the big publishers for quality fiction in this area. Whether this is a self-sustaining niche or a category that will ultimately become overly familiar has yet to be determined, but in the meantime check out some of these interesting titles.