There are five stories within Wings in the Night that do not have “Twilight” in the title. Here is the reason why.
After publishing 13 Wings in the Night novels and novellas, the publisher decided that we wouldn’t be able to attract new readers to an old series, and asked us to step “outside the box” and write about some vampires who were not a part of our core group and to use titles that did not contain the word “Twilight.” Their thinking was that a self-contained trilogy would sell better than books 14, 15 and 16 of an ongoing series. This was their marketing strategy. We presumed they knew best and went along with it. And so my authoress Maggie Shayne wrote three books that were connected to each other, but not so much to the rest of the series.
At least, she attempted to. Naturally I was having none of that and so I popped in and insisted that I, at least, be involved. And so the miniature series within the series, called The Reaper Books by some, was born. DEMON’S KISS, LOVER’S BITE and ANGEL’S PAIN. And the publisher did not refer to them as Wings in the Night Series, even though, really and truly, they were.
We did not see a huge different in sales as a result, so the publisher then decided my authoress should try the same strategy again, this time writing just one, a single-title, stand-alone vampire book about a pair of characters outside the core gang, and try it that way.
Not a trilogy within the series, just a single stand-alone vampire novel.
So we came up with BLOODLINE. But again, it was virtually impossible for Maggie to create a vampire novel that was not a part of her already-existing vampire world. And so as she wrote BLOODLINE, I was whispering into her ears, giving her ideas of where the rest of our “family” could fit into the story (near the end, it turned out.) And since she cannot resist my whispers, she put us in.
Later, readers were very confused about these four titles. Were they Wings in the Night, or were they not? And if they were, then where did they fit into the reading order?
Sidenote: The original cover art for BLOODLINE was done in russet and gold shades, and the model was lying on her back, face up, no fangs, flat chested, and resembled Sleeping Beauty awaiting the kiss of her prince. Pretty, yes. A true reflection of Lilith? Not even close. We convinced them to rethink the cover and got this blood-rinsed look and a model with fangs and cleavage.
After the books were released, Maggie convinced the publisher that in her mind, they were all Wings in the Night books, and should be labeled as such. So now they are, and they are books 14, 15, 16, and 17 in the Wings reading order.
Sidenote: The men on the Reaper Gang covers are very mixed up. Clearly the model on the cover of Angel’s Pain belongs on the cover of Demon’s Kiss. He’s far more Seth than Reaper. The fellow on Lover’s Bite is our idea of Reaper, and so he belongs on Angel’s Pain. And as for Jack of Lover’s Bite, none of the three models really fit for him. We’d have a whole new model. So to shorthand it, Seth is on Reaper’s cover, Reaper is on Jack’s cover, and the guy on Reaper’s cover doesn’t belong on any of them. Yet another reason we are giddy with joy that we are doing our own covers going forward. We can make the models match our inner vision.
In addition, there was a single novella, titled “Vampires in Paradise” that was released in an anthology called VACATION WITH A VAMPIRE that did not contain the “Twilight” signature title. That was because its release date fell smack in between TWILIGHT PROPHECY and TWILIGHT FULFILLED. Those two books, which were intended as the series finale, were tightly connected and we wanted them to be read together, back to back. So we didn’t want the novella, which took place on a tropical island and was removed from the action taking place in the rest of our vampiric world, to distract readers from the stunning conclusion of the series.
Of course, I always knew it wouldn’t be the end. If my authoress thought I was going to stop giving her stories about my kind and insisting she write them down, she must have been deluded.