New York, NY (February 4, 2020) – Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, today announces the acquisition of two original works of romance fiction, the result of an “open submission” call for “compelling, heartfelt romances featuring authentic perspectives” that the publisher conducted in Summer 2019 to encourage increased diversity and amplify representation of writers of all backgrounds. Authors Preslaysa Williams and Thien-Kim Lam each received a publishing contract for Own Voices contemporary romance novels that are scheduled to be published in 2021.
Editorial Director Erika Tsang signed Thien-Kim Lam, an author of stories about Vietnamese characters who smash stereotypes and find their happy endings. Lam’s novel centers on heroine Trixie Nguyen, who is determined to make her sex toy business a success, proving to her traditional Vietnamese parents that she can succeed in a non-traditional career. Her first pop-up event is going well…until she runs into the ex who dumped her. Tsang says, “There’s an energy in Thien-Kim’s writing that I fell in love with almost right away. And the story feels universal, especially as it relates to our heroine Trixie, who bucks people’s expectations of who she should be and strikes out on her own path. With sex toys.”
Executive editor May Chen acquired Preslaysa Williams, an award-winning author and professional actress who writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction with an Afro-Filipina twist. Williams’s novel features an exciting new slow-burn contemporary about Maya Jackson, a Manhattan-based, Afro-Filipina wedding gown designer who learns to trust in herself and her ability to love again when she returns home to Charleston, South Carolina, and finds herself helping a widowed single father keep his struggling bridal shop afloat. Chen says, “Reading this manuscript, it was immediately evident how much Preslaysa loves sharing her culture with her readers. Plus, Preslaysa’s acting background definitely shone through – the romantic tension drama runs high in this sweet and sexy book!”
“Lam and Williams are stellar additions to Avon’s growing diverse title program,” says Tsang. She continues, “We saw a number of promising manuscripts, and as those projects develop, we hope to identify additional compelling Own Voices romances for the Avon list.”
About Avon Books:
Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, is one of America’s preeminent romance houses and developed the careers of such bestsellers as Tessa Dare, Eloisa James, Beverly Jenkins, Lisa Kleypas, Sarah MacLean, Julia Quinn, Lynsay Sands and Cat Sebastian. Avon is also home to some of the most important names in contemporary romance and women’s fiction, such as Ilona Andrews, Alyssa Cole, Jeaniene Frost, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Alisha Rai, Jennifer Ryan, Jill Shalvis and Mia Sosa. Avon Books has been publishing award-winning romance and women’s fiction since 1941. For our complete mission statement, please visit www.avonromance.com.
About HarperCollins Publishers:
HarperCollins Publishers is the second largest consumer book publisher in the world, with operations in 17 countries. With 200 years of history and more than 120 branded imprints around the world, HarperCollins publishes approximately 10,000 new books every year in 16 languages and has a print and digital catalog of more than 200,000 titles. Writing across dozens of genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals and the Man Booker Prize. HarperCollins, headquartered in New York, is a subsidiary of News Corp and can be visited online at corporate.HC.com.