You know her as Stacey Abrams, the politician and voting rights activists who helped turn Georgia blue.
But twenty years ago, the publishing world knew her as Selena Montgomery, the author of a series of romance novels.
On Tuesday, Berkley Publishing – an imprint of Penguin Random House – announced that it would reissue three titles – “Rules of Engagement,” “The Art of Desire” and “Power of Persuasion.”
According to NPR, “they are romantic suspense novels, all starring a diverse cast of characters who work for an espionage organization in the U.S. government. Each novel features a different pair of Black lead characters, and an overarching storyline connects all three books.”
Abrams released a statement celebrating the news:
“As my first novels, they remain incredibly special to me. The characters and their adventures are what I’d wished to read as a young Black woman — stories that showcase women of color as nuanced, determined, and exciting. As Selena and as Stacey, I am proud to be a part of the romance writing community and excited that Berkley is reintroducing these stories for new readers and faithful fans.”
Abrams, 47, is no stranger to book writing. She’s penned two nonfiction titles “Our Time Is Now” and “Minority Leader.” And her fictional legal thriller “While Justice Sleeps” comes out next week.
NPR provides more details about her early writing career:
Between her final year of law school and her earliest years as a state representative in Georgia, Abrams wrote eight romance novels, all under the Selena Montgomery pen name. According to an archived version of her personal website, the eight books have sold more than 100,000 copies in total.
Though her latter five novels have been regularly reissued, her first three are harder to come by. Originally published by Arabesque, an imprint that focused on Black romance writers, used copies now regularly sell for $100 or more. Abrams did not control the rights until recently and sold them to Berkley at a private auction, according to the publisher.