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Sunday, May 1st, 2011 by Jennifer Haymore
Literary Agent Barbara Poelle

#37 – Per random.org, Cathy P. is our winner! Email me at jennifer@jenniferhaymore.com with your choice of format (ebook or print) and your address to claim your prize. Congratulations, and thanks so much to everyone who commented!!

*****

I’d like to introduce you to my wacky, irreverent, completely amazing and wonderful agent, Barbara Poelle, from the Irene Goodman Literary Agency. Barbara helped me to get me my start by selling my first books to Grand Central Publishing, and sometimes I like to think I helped her get her start, too (but I’m sure she would have been just fine without me)!

Now, without further ado, heeeeeeeeeeere’s Barbara!

~Jennifer

*****

Jennifer: What made you decide to become a literary agent, and how does one train to become an agent?

Barbara: All my life I have been a voracious reader. My mom loves to tell the story about when I was reading Stephen King and spilled my kool-aid all over and it was just puddling and dripping and she said, “Barbie! You spilled everywhere!” and I said, “Just one more page, ma.”

And “train” is a funny word. You have to kind of approach agenting like you should life in general: With 2% Common Sense and 98% Balls. ( Can I say balls here or should I use a romance euphemism? heh.)

Jennifer: What is your favorite genre to sell?

Barbara: That is the best part about working at my agency- we can take on any client with any project that we have a vision for. So that means I can have the privilege and the luxury of populating my list with things that rock my world rather than those I have to take on to fill an agency expectation in a genre.

Jennifer: Can you share some of your favorite success stories with us?

Barbara: Sure! This one time I had an author we’ll call Shmennifer Shmaymore to protect her identity and I was able to sell the plot of her book to one house and the characters to another for a total of 5 books. Oh, and did I mention this was ON A PROPOSAL? That is still something my boss just shakes her head and laughs about.

(Jennifer: Hmmm…I wonder who this Shmennifer character is????)

Jennifer: Do you use an e-reader or do you read paper books?

Barbara: For work? My ereader, and my ereader only. For play? ALWAYS paper. ALWAYS. It is just how I am built. My husband and I have boxes and boxes of books in storage, as well as two free standing bookcases and a built in bookcase always bursting. I also love when we have guests and they can see our eclectic reading style and I am a HUGE fan of lending out favorites. Hey if I don’t get it back I can always get another. Travis and I counted once and we think we lent out and then repurchased 5 copies of Life of PI over the years.

Jennifer: What kinds of books do you most enjoy reading in your spare time?

Barbara: Everything. If Susan Casey has a new non-fiction, then I will run to the store and push people down to get it. Huge Anne Lamott fan. But mostly I love walking through the shelves and piling books in my arms and then choosing what to read depending on my mood. But I love me some bathtub romance reading, a habit I started with Julie Garwood’s books back in college.

Jennifer: What kinds of books are you looking for right now?

Barbara: Well written ones! Ha- okay I know that isn’t helpful. Mostly genre fiction, but again, I get to be open to what works I represent so I really am looking for a unique take on a familiar theme no matter the shelf space it would inhabit.

Jennifer: How can an author make her query/pages really stand out, in your eyes?

Barbara: By keeping it simple, clean and professional. I always say, get in and get out. Your query needs to tell me the hook, the book, and the cook. The hook: one line with genre and word count. The book: five lines of plot summary. The cook: you! And I don’t care if this is your debut just let me know why this book, why you, and why now.

Great advice, and THANK YOU so much, Barbara, for joining us here at the Dangerous Women Blog today!

I’m going to be giving away three books that Barbara has recently represented, one by me and two by a couple of writers/friends who are also represented by Barbara and who I deeply admire!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFTERTIME

~By Sophie Littlefield

DEFIANT

~By Kris Kennedy

A SEASON OF SEDUCTION

~By Jennifer Haymore

I’ll announce the winner on Monday night!

~Jennifer

Saturday, April 30th, 2011 by Jennifer Haymore
Jennifer Miller- Samhain Publishing

#11 – Per random.org, Colleen is our winner! Email me at jennifer@jenniferhaymore.com with your choice of format (ebook or print) and your address to claim your prize. Congratulations, and thanks so much to everyone who commented!!

~~~

And now we welcome Jennifer Miller, romance editor from Samhain Publishing!

Jennifer’s Bio from the Samhain Website: Jennifer Miller has lived in sunny Southern California ever since she earned her master’s degree in education from UCLA, but she is half Northern (Canadian) and half Southern girl by blood. After working in jobs ranging from investment sales to teaching to acting on stage, Jennifer finally settled into working with books—romantic fiction in particular. She has been with Samhain since early 2007.

Jennifer enjoys all romances with likable, interesting characters, lots of action, and loads of sexual tension. She is a self-proclaimed “conflict junkie” – her favorite books all contain powerful, seemingly unable-to-overcome conflicts. She especially loves books that make her sigh with pleasure at the end and believe in happily ever afters. She is a sucker for everything romantic.

*******

The Dangerous Women group came up with a few questions to ask Jennifer, so here they are:

  • How do you choose what to publish and what to reject?

That’s a complicated question to answer! I suppose I can simplify it…There are lots of reasons to reject a manuscript, but there is one reason to accept a manuscript, and it’s this: You love the story so much you can’t put it down until “the end”.

  • Is there an expected “heat level” for the books you accept?

No. Samhain accepts everything from super sweet to as spicy as it can go. When I’m reading a manuscript for submission, the heat level has no bearing in and of itself. I do look at whether the heat level is appropriate for the content of the story, the characters, etc. I feel like I can tell when an author puts in more sex scenes because she feels like “my book needs more sex”. That doesn’t work for me at all.

  • How can an author submit to Samhain?

Samhain has very specific submissions guidelines. You can check them out at Samhain’s website, and you can find answers to almost all questions about submissions on the FAQs page. Generally speaking, we require the first three chapters of the book and a two-page synopsis.

  • How long does it take from acceptance to actual publication?

That varies depending on where your manuscript fits into your editor’s schedule. I hate to give hard numbers, but generally speaking, for my authors, the time ranges from 6-12 months.

  • How much influence do authors have on their covers at Samhain?

Samhain has a great group of cover artists. The authors fill out a very detailed art request form, and the artists use that as a guide to create a cover. The author, editor and artist work closely to come up with an aesthetically pleasing cover that represents the book well.

  • What is the most annoying thing that newbie authors seem to do with submissions?

Shall I count the ways? ( ;-) Kidding!)
But let me list a few suggestions for the new authors out there:
(1) Follow the submissions guidelines for the line you’re submitting to.
(2) Include a professional-sounding query letter.
(3) Please don’t email me after you receive a rejection demanding a critique of your story. We simply don’t have the time to do that–that’s what critique partners are for.
(4) Don’t take rejection personally. Keep submitting and keep writing–never give up!

  • What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened in a Samhain office/meeting?

We have one editor who is quite talented at taking the most bizarre plots that have been submitted to us and turning them into Dr. Suess-type poems! It’s hilarious, but I dare not repeat any of them here… ;-)

  • How many books do you edit?

I edit an average of two books a month. I’m considered a part-time editor. Some of the editors edit more; a few edit less.

  • What genres do you edit?

I currently edit for the Samhain Romance and the Retro Romance lines. I edit all genres of romance and erotica, plus science fiction, urban fantasy and fantasy with romantic elements.

  • Do Samhain digital books go into print?

Yes, if the book is over 50,000 words (approx), it will go into print in trade paperback format several months after the digital release.

  • Have you ever had a book hit the New York Times Bestseller list?

Yes! Just recently, Samhain has had two books hit the New York Times e-book list. I was very proud of my author, Maya Banks, hitting the list with her book, Colters’ Daughter, and Shelli Stevens (edited by Samhain’s Tera Kleinfelter) hit the extended list with Flash Point.

  • What edge does Samhain give their authors?

Samhain employs a great group of people dedicated to releasing the very best quality digital books out there. Samhain has great distribution, the royalties are top-notch, and, perhaps most importantly in this fast-changing business, it’s a forward-thinking company.

*******

I’ll choose one commenter tomorrow to win the following Samhain books (a mix of genres edited by me!), in the format (print or digital) that you prefer:

-Hunting Season by Shelly Laurenston

(Paranormal  Romance)

-Colters’ Woman by Maya Banks

(Erotic Contemporary Romance)

-The Promise of Kierna’Rhoan by Isabo Kelly

(Science Fiction Romance)

AND…

-10 Days in Paradise by Dangerous Woman Dawn Halliday (signed!)-also published by Samhain but edited by my colleague Sasha Knight.

Thanks so much to the Dangerous Women for having me!  Please feel free to ask me questions! I love to talk about editing, authors, and Samhain. Or just drop by just to say hi. :)

Please remember to comment on yesterday’s post, too, for a chance to win a free ticket to the fantastic RomCon Romance Convention!

~And don’t forget-all comments count towards the e-reader drawing May 8th!~

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011 by Jennifer Haymore
Making Memories

#17 – Michelle is our winner! Email me at jennifer@jenniferhaymore.com with your address to claim your prize. Congratulations, and thanks so much to everyone who commented! What awesome family traditions you all have!
*****************************Thanks, everyone, for sharing your favorite seasons with us yesterday! All four seasons were well represented, and I loved how you all reminded me of the special things about each of the seasons!


bunny1I spent the day yesterday playing with the kids and decorating for Easter. I remembered making an Easter Bunny cake with my grandma when I was little, so I went online and Googled “bunny cake.” We ended up making the cutest cake from Betty Crocker online–and it was so easy! Some friends came over, and we had a blast decorating three dozen eggs.


Today, after my son’s baseball game, it’s off to shop for goodies for the Great Easter Egg hunt, which we haven’t had for a couple of years, since we haven’t been at home during Easter.


Sometimes I get so caught up in the crazy busyness of my life that I forget how important it is to make memories with my kids. I hope that someday they grow up and remember the adorable little bunny cake we made, and they make one with their own children. I think I’m going to make a pact with myself to do these little special things with them more often.


What are some fond memories you have of your own childhood? Or, if you have kids, what are some memories you’ve made with them?


I’ll pick one commenter on Monday morning to win the following:


Signed copies of
A Hint of Wicked, A Touch of Scandal,
and A Season of Seduction

And a couple of awesome products to pamper yourself with from Laura Mercier:
Crème Brûlée Sugar Scrub, 12 oz.
Crème Brûlée Hand Crème, 2 oz.

Thursday, April 21st, 2011 by Donna Grant
Why Romance

#12 – Colleen is our WINNER! Email me at donna@donnagrant.com with your address to claim your prize. CONGRATS!
*****************************
Morning, all! My wonderful, amazing agent, Emily Sylvan Kim, was supposed to be here this morning, but life has gotten in the way and she’s unable to make it. So, I’m stepping in for her. :)

The other day I got this curious email from a review site that said one of their reviewers was bashed for reading romance. They asked if I would be willing to write a blog on “Redeeming Romance”. My answer was, of course, a resounding yes!

But that got me thinking. Romance is the biggest and largest selling genre out there. They put our section in the back so readers will have to walk through other books (with the hopes that some other books might catch their eye) in order to get to ours. Booksellers know how well romance sells. They know that readers will go into a store and not just buy one book. They buy several. So, in a way its a smart business move.

Yet for all our sales, people still view romance as some nasty, embarrassing thing to read. The “bodice-ripper” is long gone, but that connotation is still around. As I stated in my blog for the review site, I changed a lot of people’s opinions by simply pointing out what romance is.

Romance is about the journey of two people. It’s an inner journey where they find themselves and love. It’s a journey that can be fraught with danger, most of the times villains out to get them, but always, always, there is a “Happily Ever After” in the end. No matter what the characters go through, no matter how heart wrenching, you know as a reader, that in the end, they’ll end up together.

After mentioning to the many macho guys around me that most movies/TV shoes/books have a romantic element in them, they began to see things differently. Of course, it didn’t happen over night. My hubby, who is awesome, helped me by pointing out that romance/relationships are a part of life so they would be in everything. Most of the guys changed their way of thinking, and even a few went and bought my books to read (and had me sign them. :))

It just goes to prove that there is a stigma on romance still. Some say the covers don’t help. But, honestly, I love the clench covers. :) I want to see a hot guy on my covers. lol. In the end, it comes down to readers who are willing to stand up for what they love to read, to tell people it isn’t porn. It’s a story of love, of adventure and intrigue, of discovering characters who make you root for them and cry for them and laugh with them. It’s about being taken away from the daily grind to a place whether in Medieval Scotland, a futuristic world, a contemporary setting, or a fantasy world that makes you fall in love with the characters and know that love does indeed exist.

Tell me why do you read romance?

I’ll choose someone for a signed copy of the second book in my Dark Sword series, FORBIDDEN HIGHLANDER! And look for my next book, UNTAMED HIGHLANDER on April 26th!

forbiddenhighlander_300x186
untamedhighlander_300x183

hugs,
D
www.DonnaGrant.com

Monday, April 18th, 2011 by Cynthia Eden
Let’s Talk Heroes…

Update: The NEVER CRY WOLF ARC winner is…Pam B! Congrats, Pam! And thank you so much to everyone who commented!


Hi, everyone!


Thanks for joining the Danger Women Writing blog party! Today, I thought I’d talk about one of my very favorite things…the sexy hero. Whether the guy is a cop, a cowboy, or even a deadly vamp, he’s a man who can always steal the show–and the heorine’s heart.


I like to write (and read about) heroes who are strong, smart, and able to handle any situation that I can throw his way. Alpha heroes are always fun, but I’ll confess to having a bit of a beta weakness, too. What can I say? I do like the guy-next-door-type.


I also like anti-heroes. Those bad boys who have more than a hint of evil in their hearts. These guys see the thin line between good and evil, but they often just ignore the line. A guy like this has to fight for redemption. I love that fight.


I’ll share another confession. I like “more” than just your average mortal man. I like wolf shifter heroes. I like vampires. I like demons. I like the guys with the dark edge. In my upcoming paranormal romance, NEVER CRY WOLF, my heroine must bargain for protection from a guy who is (quite literally) the big, bad wolf. Werewolves can be dangerous, but they can also be loyal, protective, and downright wild.



What kind of heroes do you like? Share with me. I’ll pick one winner to win an ARC of NEVER CRY WOLF (due out on June 28 from Kensington Brava).


Best wishes,


Cynthia Eden
www.cynthiaeden.com


Bound By Blood--Special .99 ebook--Available now

Bound By Blood--Special .99 ebook--Available now

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 by Cynthia Eden
It’s almost time…

On April 15th, we will be starting an awesome Danger Women Writing blog party.  We’ll have fabulous guest posters (literary agents, editors from great publishing houses) and we’ll have tons of prizes. Oh, yes–PRIZES!  Daily prizes will be given to commenters, so be sure you head over for the fun.

dangerwomenparty

Spread the word! See you tomorrow!