Plenty of people know Stacey Abrams, the political organizer, voting rights activist, and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate. Soon, many more will get to know Abrams, the romance novelist. Penguin Random House imprint Berkley has obtained the rights to the first three romance novels Abrams wrote more than 20 years ago under the pen name Selena Montgomery and will rerelease them next year, per Vulture. Rules of Engagement, The Art of Desire, and Power of Persuasion, involving "international espionage, page-turning action, a core love story, Black heroines, and a diverse cast of characters," will be sold in hardcover and audiobook versions. Abrams wrote her first novel, Rules of Engagement, while at Yale University, per Oprah Daily. The three books "showcase women of color as nuanced, determined, and exciting," Abrams says.
"I've always been very comfortable with the multiple strands of my identity, whether it's the creative piece or the activist piece or the policy part of me," the 47-year-old tells the Wall Street Journal, adding she chose a "separate identity" for writing to differentiate her projects. At the same time she was writing her first novel, "I was writing a journal article on the operational dissonance of the unrelated business income tax exemption," she notes. Abrams has penned eight romance novels in all. Her last, Deception, was published in 2009. She finished writing her first political thriller not long after, though it failed to sell until 2019, per the Journal. While Justice Sleeps, in which a young law clerk becomes the power of attorney for a Supreme Court justice who falls into a coma, will be released by Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House, on May 11. (More Stacey Abrams stories.)