Conquering Venus Finds A Home!

My debut novel, Conquering Venus, will be published later this year as a paperback original by Vanilla Heart Publishing. I signed the contract on Tuesday thinking that it would be at least a year before the book would be available, but the publisher is so excited about Conquering Venus that she wants to rush it out over the summer. In most cases, this would not be possible, but Conquering Venus has been edited to within an inch of its life in the last 10 years as it was passed around to agents and editors. My friend and fabulous graphic designer, Elizabeth Holmes, is already at work on the cover, I'll have new author photos made in the coming weeks, and four incredible fiction writers (and I do mean incredible!) have agreed to blurb my baby. So, what's the novel about?

In the summer of 1995, young American writer Martin Paige agrees to help chaperone a group of high school seniors on their graduation trip to Paris as a favor to his best friend, teacher Diane Jacobs. Diane hopes Europe will act as a catalyst to lift Martin from his grief following the suicide of his lover, Peter. But the trip proves to be more than either of them bargained for, as Martin finds himself falling in love with one of her students, David McLaren, who is unprepared to cope with his burgeoning sexuality. 

Once in Paris, Martin meets a mysterious widow, Irène Laureaux, who is debilitated by agoraphobia and spends her days spying on the hotel guests across from her apartment. Martin and Irène discover they have a logic-defying connection: a small tribal tattoo on their left hands that means “equal but opposite.” This is same tattoo that Martin’s lover and Irène’s husband had inked into their skin. 

All the characters lives are irrevocably changed in a horrifying terrorist attack at a Paris metro station. Liberated by the blast, forced from her own self-imprisonment, Irène learns her husband’s death was not an accident, and dares Martin to acknowledge the role he played in Peter’s suicide. Diane, harboring her own secrets, takes a drastic step to force David out of the closet and admit his feelings for Martin.

  From America to England to France, the globe-hopping story places fictional characters amidst historical events such as the Nazi occupation of Paris, the student/worker riots of 1968 and the terrorist bombings of Paris in 1995. 

Conquering Venus is the first book in a trilogy, and I'm already 200 pages into volume two and working on an outline for volume three. I have so much work to do over the next six months -- and for the next couple of years -- that I'm numb with a mixture of excitement, fear and total disbelief. In February, Conquering Venus will have its own blog, where you'll be able to find out more about the characters, read a longer synopsis, get a sneak peek at the first chapter, see photos from the trip I took to Europe that inspired the story and an interactive map of the locations in the novel. 

I hope everyone will help me celebrate the culmination of what has been a life-long dream. I can now officially call myself a novelist. 

Comments

Ivy said…
Collin! What a star you are! Well done and congratulations! :-D Yay!
Anonymous said…
Congratulations!! That's amazing news!

Faithful Blog Reader
Karen J. Weyant said…
A big congrats!! What a way to start out the new year!
Justin Evans said…
Collin:

This is amazing news! Congratulations on all points! I am very happy for you!
stacebro said…
CK!!!

I'm so incredibly excited for you, you cross-genre masterpiece!!! The first round's on me on Saturday...
Lisa Allender said…
Well, we all knew it would happen for you! Congratulations again, Coll!
jc weatherby said…
Collin, congratulations. It sounds like an intriguing story.
Penultimatina said…
Many, many congrats, Collin! XO
jessica said…
Wahoo!!!!! I 'tuned in' this morning to see what your news could be, and this is just the best!
Brent Goodman said…
Mwwwah! Incredible news! *doin a little dance*
Premium T. said…
Fantastic!
Pop! Fizz! Clink!
(That's the Champagne toast.)
Radish King said…
2 woots for you!

WOOT!
WOOT!

Can't wait to read it.

xor
Great news, Collin. Congratulations.
Tara said…
Congratulations! So excited for you!
Huzzah! Congratulations, Collin!
COngratulations!
nolapoet said…
Congratulations, Collin!
ButtonHole said…
Great news! I'm queued up already for a copy!
Anonymous said…
Fantastic news! Can't wait to read it finally.

GAV
DeadMule said…
Way to go, Collin! Congratulations.
Best, Helen
KATE EVANS said…
Wheee! I'm sure you'll love working with Vanilla Heart. They rock.
Rupert said…
Great news! Hope to see you tomorrow at W'smith . .
Anne said…
Wonderful, wonderful news!!
Congratulations, Collin! That is great news!
Look at you, rockin' the genres. Congratulations!
poetwithadayjob said…
Collin, it sounds really good! I hope you sell a hundred thousand copies!
Levari said…
Right the fuck on! Excuse my profanity, but I'm so happy and...proud(?!)

May this be the first tiny-tiny step in a long and illustrious career as a novelist. The book sounds absolutely amazing and I'm looking immensely forward to reading it. Congratulations on this wonderful achievment.

Lee
Liz said…
Collin, loads of congrats to you -and fantastic news on the summer launch - it sure is exciting!
Maggie May said…
holy CRAP!!! this is awesome!!! and your summation is the shit- this book sounds truly interesting. wow this is just awesome. i thrill for you :))
minus five said…
hey, collin--that's great news! congratulations!
Keith said…
Congrats!

Awesome news...
We are so happy to have you with Vanilla Heart Publishing Collin! You rock, and we are excited to be working with you. HUGS
Pris said…
Collin, that's fantastic!! My writing partner and I have been trying for three years. Nada so far. I'm so happy for you!!!
Pamela said…
Congratulations! This is such great news.
Bitten said…
Aww, I'm so proud of you, Collin! Heck, you iz peeple, now! And I left you a lil s'prize prezzie over at BBAC to celebrate... :)
Dear Collin, I am delighted to hear this. Very happy for you, and can't wait to read Conquering Venus.
Congrats!
SarahT said…
Such terrific news! Chris S. told me on Friday, and we are looking forward to cooking up a BIG book-launch bash for you, Fayette County Library style. Keep us posted!
Anonymous said…
Wow look at all these folks! You are already a star.

GAV
Dana said…
Great news!
Peter said…
Late to the party: Congratulations!!!
Lee Herrick said…
Arriving late but with good cheer---congratulations, Collin!
Collin Kelley said…
I'm bowled over by all the comments. Thank you, everyone!
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Bloody brilliant, mate!

A novelist I ain't, and I admire anyone who can accomplish such a feat.

Sounds like a fantastic read, and I remember how much I liked an excerpt you posted a while ago.

Much looking forward.
David said…
Badass news, Collin!

Bravo!!!
January said…
Woo hoo! Way cool. I'm so happy for you, Collin.
Sheila said…
Congratulations!!!
Rachel Mallino said…
YAY, Collin!!!! So happy for you!!!
christine said…
This is very big news, Collin! I heard you at Poetry Atlanta, and I did one of those cartoon double takes with sound effects, because I only just heard about you putting on the finishing touches... Hooray!

The plot is captivating, and I can't wait to read more. I'm uncorking the champagne right now.
jenni said…
This f'n rocks! I'm so so happy for you! Can't wait to have a copy in my hot little hands! yayayayayyay!!!
greg rappleye said…
Whoa!

Dude!

Congratulations!
Emily A. Benton said…
oh i'm so late to this but CONGRATS! how exciting.
jaxx said…
CONGRATULATIONS AND A THOUSAND SMOOCHES AND HUGS!

persistence and excellence triumphs again. i am SO SO happy for you, collin. can't wait to see the book.

but i can't even imagine how the hell you're going to manage ANOTHER blog. AND edit the second novel? i mean, do you ever sleep?

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