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    Stacey Abrams has written 8 romance novels. Now her fellow authors are raising money for Georgia Democrats.

    Stacey Abrams has written 8 romance novels. Now her fellow authors are raising money for Georgia Democrats.

    Stacey Abrams’s work in Georgia has inspired a handful of romance novelists to raise money for the Senate runoff in January.
    Credit…Butch Dill/Associated Press

    Before Stacey Abrams was a prominent figure on the national political stage, she was known to romance readers under another name — Selena Montgomery. Under her pen name, Ms. Abrams, the voting rights activist and former candidate for governor in Georgia, has published eight romance novels, with titles like “Reckless” and “Deception.”

    Now her two worlds are colliding, as romance fans and fellow writers have joined her movement to turn out Democratic voters in Georgia’s Jan. 5 runoff, which will determine which party controls the Senate. Last month, a group of romance novelists launched “Romancing the Runoff” to mobilize Democratic voters in Georgia.

    The fund-raising effort was started by four romance novelists — Courtney Milan, Alyssa Cole, and Donna Herren and Bree Bridge, who write together under the pen name Kit Rocha. Their initial goal was to raise $20,000 for the New Georgia Project and Fair Fight, two voting rights organizations founded by Ms. Abrams, and for Black Voters Matter, a fund created to boost Black voter turnout. They blew past their goal and have raised more than $460,000.

    Ms. Milan said the project grew out of a text exchange between her and Ms. Bridge after it became clear that there would be a Senate runoff in Georgia. They were inspired by Ms. Abram’s efforts to flip Georgia for Democrats even after she lost her own campaign for governor, a show of optimism that Ms. Milan said typified romance readers’ belief in “happily ever after” endings.

    “A big part of it is because Stacey Abrams was so instrumental in establishing Fair Fight,” Ms. Milan said. “Someone who sees that possibility for hope, and works to make it come to pass, is a quintessentially romance thing. You could just drown in pessimism, but she didn’t.”

    To rally romance readers, the organizers auctioned off more than 3,000 items, including a yearlong writing mentorship with the author Ann Aguirre (sold for $5,700); autographed and annotated copies of novels by the romance writer Tessa Dare; and a TV writing consultation with Sheryl J. Anderson, the showrunner for the Netflix series “Sweet Magnolias.”

    One of the prized items: a signed hardback edition of Ms. Abrams’ debut novel, “Rules of Engagement,” which she wrote while attending Yale Law School. “Both Selena & Stacey will sign,” Ms. Abrams wrote in a tweet endorsing the fund-raising effort, adding a winking emoji. The book sold for $3,200.

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