So … How Marketable is Cadence Drake?

By Holly Lisle

Ammit asked if I thought that Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood and other Cadence Drake novels would be more marketable than C: The Secret Project.

I started to answer in comments, but discovered that I had a fair amount to say about the question.

The sad truth is that a Cadence Drake sequel will be considerably LESS marketable in the pro market than C, because the first novel set in the world, Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood, was published by someone else. That makes the whole project tarnished goods.

If we use a slightly raunchy analogy, publishers want one of two things. They want a virgin, or they want a really profitable whore. Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood was a nice girl who didn’t put out, married the wrong guy, and got dumped just as she hit the Locus Bestseller List. (HTCB sold through its print run right away, and my publisher didn’t reprint.)

My agent already read HTCB and passed on trying to sell the sequels; Cady may be a sexy, strong heroine, but HTCB was too SF and too “smart” for the current market.


I’ve been wanting to write more about Cadence Drake since I came up with her, and now, dammit, I’m forty-five years old, and part of why I wanted to be a writer was to tell the stories I wanted to tell. (The other part was to stay home with my kids while getting paid.) I’ve been waiting a long time to tell Cady’s stories.

So what will happen is that if there’s interest, I’ll end up doing the Cadence Drake books on the side, and publishing them myself in my spare time.

And if, at some point in the future, I can point to numbers that publishers find impressive, maybe someone will want to pick Cady up as a profitable whore. ({sigh} That really is a depressing analogy.) If not, I will still have written the books I wanted to write.

Contents¬†© Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved