And the sequel title is...

Remain in Light

Yes, that's the name of the sequel to Conquering Venus. I've been working on this novel for more than a year. Actually, if you want to get technical about it, I've been working on it for eight years.

The title comes from a poem written by the main character, Martin Paige, that appears toward the end of the novel. And the line itself, of course, was inspired by Talking Head's 1980 album of the same name. While I mulled over a list, Remain in Light has been the working title since 2002 when I wrote an outline and the first five chapters for my then-agent who was sending Conquering Venus around to publishers.

While Conquering Venus sat in a drawer from late 2002 to 2008  – occasionally being dusted off for a contest or publisher who feigned interest – the chapters and outline of Remain in Light were buried on a floppy disk that I rooted out of my file cabinet.

To be honest, my then-agent didn't like the first five chapters of Remain in Light. She expected Martin's love interest, David, to return to Paris so they could live happily ever after while helping Irène solve the lingering mystery of how her husband died. Yeah. No.

Remain in Light begins with a letter written by Martin to David that recaps the events in Conquering Venus and then moves at a pretty fast clip to set up a storyline that does not require you to have read Venus to "get it." Irène has hired a detective to help her track down Frederick, who holds the secret to her husband's unexplained death during the 1968 Paris riots. Martin is in a tentative relationship with Euan, a Brit who owns a bookshop on the Left Bank. That is until Martin meets Christian, a young poet who seems almost too good to be true. Then Diane whirls back into town – more crazy and foul-mouthed than ever – with the news that David has gone missing.

While Conquering Venus is a mood piece, Remain in Light is more of a literary thriller. There are detectives, clandestine meetings, a bigoted Paris police inspector, stolen identities, drug dealers and all sorts of unsavory characters who inhabit the city's underworld. What remains from Venus is a sense of magical realism and poetry. Irène is having a strange series of backwards dreams, which continue the theme of synchronicity that began in Venus, and Martin's poetry features throughout.

My goal is to have the first draft complete by year's end (I'm very close now) and then it goes to my friend and editor Kathy Vogeltanz, before going to Vanilla Heart for their input and suggestions. My fingers are crossed for an early 2012 release, but that's not up to me.

While you're waiting for Remain in Light, I'm offering a special Holiday Pack with signed editions of Conquering Venus, my chapbook After the Poison and a certificate for a signed copy of the new edition of Slow To Burn when it comes out next summer from Seven Kitchens Press. The price for all three: $25! That's a bargain, if I do say so myself. You can purchase them via PayPal by using my email address If you have questions, send an email to that same address or leave a comment.


Maggie May said…
Collin I issued a public apology to you on my blog and a hurrah for your books. Thank you for being you. xoxo
christine said…
2012 is a long time to wait for such an exciting story! Congratulations, Collin. Brilliant!
My dear Collin:
Now you are part of us. I post a link to your beloved work. Thanks for visiting us. I will be near of you.
By Kalani Kaushalya

Quite spontaneous
Wasn’t it between us
All of the laughter’s
And All the tears
Felt as a Soft Rain
Switched in to the Acid
Chocking very slowly

Flushing down cheeks
We drank the Poison
Danced in the Flames
You called it a laughter
Was it Salty Sadness ?

Distances unbearable
Then Irreconcilable
Hatred began sooner
Scratched this heart forever

I yelled so aloud
Punished my self
Endlessly though
Couldn’t get satisfied
So much of hatred ?
So much of love ?
Hated you for mocking me
With charming words

Vacuum and the aloofness
Filled in every moment
Too much we missed
In winded channels

Was it the shame
Or was it fear
I could never accept
You in to my life
We drifted apart
Left so much unsaid
Realization came
Little too late
Poignant Destiny
what we had shared
I can never hate you
You are my Beloved
Anonymous said…
I LOVE the title. Headed back to Vancouver, so if I don't talk to you before Christmas, happy holidays!

PS word verification is prize. Hope you win won.

Lisa Allender said…
Hi Collin Kelley---
Love that you are touting(what I said, in my long-ago Review of your novel, "Conquering Venus", at Lisa Allender Writes)--the "magical realism" inherent in your work).

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