• Jenny Brown

Finally! Lord Lightning Gets Published the Way I Dreamed It Would

Lord Lightning is set primarily in Brighton, England, in 1818.

Lord Lightning's Second Edition Is Now Available on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited.

“A Historical Romance for readers who love Austen and the Brontës.”

Download the new edition HERE.

When my first novel Lord Lightning was bought by a big publisher I was in heaven — until I realized that they planned to publish it as a mass market paperback with a tacky clinch cover and a cheesy blurb that gave readers no hint of what was in its pages It still did very well, and the eponymous hero was nominated for best hero in a historical romance by RT Book Reviews. But I got really tired of hearing from friends, "Oh, I could never buy a book with a cover like that."

People Do Judge Books by Their Covers

The hero of Lord Lightning is a jaded, elegant aristocrat in his early 30s, who has earned an undeserved reputation as a rake in his youth and then lived up to it. The man on the paperback looked like a California surfer boy. The heroine in this novel is a thoughtful, red haired, freckle-faced spinster in her late twenties, but my publisher chose to depict her as a hot babe. This kind of mismatch between a book's contents and its cover wasn't unusual for the genre at the time, and devoted readers of romance looked past the cover. But I had written Lord Lightning to be a book that would delight both romance readers and people who mostly read mainstream historical fiction, because I thought the latter would appreciate its 19th century tone and the subtle literary references scattered through its pages.

Newbie Mistakes Weakened the Prose

As Lord Lightning was my first published novel, I still had a lot to learn about writing style. The original version told a good, fast moving story. If it hadn't, it wouldn't have been bought by a big publisher. But when I took courses after it was published, I realized, too late, that in its pages, I had committed many of the classic newbie writing errors. These slow the reader and subtly influence how the book is experienced.

Now the Cover Reflects the Book, the Stylistic Errors Are Gone and the Books is What I had Hoped it could Be

After 7 years, I finally got back the rights to Lord Lightning from my publisher. I decided to wait until I had written a couple more novels before rewriting it and republishing it through the small press I have run since 1995. Those other books are finally done and ready to publish. So here is the new, improved version of Lord Lightning with a cover that more reflects its classic tone and subtle tweaks to the prose that made it read much more smoothly. It's my hope that this new edition will find the readers I had always hoped would enjoy it. Fingers crossed that it does.

In case you wonder why I put the heroine on the cover instead of Edward Neville, Lord Hartwood, who is the hero of Lord Lightning, the answer is this: After days of hunting through hundreds of 19th century portraits, I gave up on finding one that captured the dazzle and shocking vitality of the Lord Lightning character he had created for himself. When I found a portrait that looked very much like Eliza, my heroine, I decided I would depict the heroine and let my readers imagine the hero on their own.

Lord Lightning is now available as a free download to members of Amazon's Kindle Unlimited Program. Download it now!