Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Westerns IV

The latest Inside Romance from Harlequin Enterprises covers the books published in the 12 week period September 27 to December 20. There are 14 numbered series plus 4 unnumbered series. During this period the cumulative total for the numbered series passes 20,000. With around 65 published every four weeks in the numbered series, this total increases by some 850 every year, 1,100 including the unnumbered books. This is a bit over twice the number of books Harlequin published in their first 10 1/2 years. Another way of saying this is Harlequin now publishes more books in Canada in six months than in their first 10+ years. And this excludes all the foreign editions.

Something that caught my attention is the number of westerns that Harlequin lists for the 12 weeks - 50. All but of a handful are modern with stories about "a rancher who's an undercover FBI agent" or "a wealthy, sexy fun-loving cowboy". My guess is that the Western Writers of America would not consider any of these books western.

Here are a few early Harlequins from the only Harlequin author to have received the WWA's Spur Award (1956) for best western novel.

Harlequin 88 - December 1950

Harlequin 88 back

Harlequin 145 - December 1951

Harlequin 145 back

Harlequin 171 - May 1952

Harlequin 171 back

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