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Friday, May 6th, 2011 by Cynthia Eden
Kensington Associate Editor Megan Records…Plus Awesome Giveaway!

Update:  Hi, everyone! Thanks so much for checking out Megan’s great post! A random winner was selected, and that winner is…Pamk! Congrats!

I’m very excited to have my wonderful Kensington Publishing editor, Megan Records, here with us today. Not only is Megan one very sharp editor, but she’s also an all-around fun person. :-) When you check out her blog below, I think you’ll see what I mean. Megan Records is a lady with a great personality. She is also a lady offering some awesome prizes today. One lucky commenter will win: 4 Laura Kinsale books (those nice trade reprints), a shirt and tote bag from Heroes and Heartbreakers, and 6 Kensington books, customized to the winner’s taste.

Now that’s a great deal! Welcome, Megan! Thank you for taking the time to post with us today.

10 Things You Might Not Know About Your Editor

1) You may have written it, but we think of it as “our book,” too. We might not go as far as thinking of them as our babies, but they are definitely a favorite niece or nephew.

2) We hate those negative reviews as much as you do. I don’t go searching for reviews of my books. I find the good ones make their way to me, and I don’t want to know about the others. Of course, when you are hurt about a negative review, I’ll talk you down from the ledge with a very logical argument about how people have different tastes, and this is just one person’s opinion. But inside I’m restraining myself, because I’d really like to jump all over that reviewer and yell, “What the hell is this? How could you think it was anything but AWESOME?”

3) If you’re frustrated about something, we probably are too. In a perfect world, I would always get the exact cover I want, we’d have an unlimited marketing budget, sales numbers would always be fantabulous, and everyone would be on Oprah. I know that it’s not a perfect world. But that doesn’t stop me from feeling like my brain is going to explode in those situations where I’m unhappy, too, but I have to somehow try to keep you happy.

4) We wake up in the middle of the night with ideas for revision, and the perfect title sometimes just comes to us the shower. No exaggeration.

5) We want you to turn in your next book on time. But only partially because it messes up the schedule. Your editor is your #1 fan. We read your manuscript and immediately think, “I have to wait HOW LONG until the next book?!?!” And then we must distract ourselves with other work until the next deadline. So yes, we don’t want the system to fall apart because you deliver late, but we also have selfish motives for keeping you on track.

6) Your triumphs are our triumphs. When Zoe Archer called me to tell me she’d be nominated for a RITA, I screamed into the phone (apologies to Zoe’s ears). When I found out Cynthia Eden’s book for Grand Central had also been nominated, I started tearing up (the book isn’t even my book). When you get awards and accolades, we couldn’t be prouder.

7) Editors are hard core. Or slightly insane. Need proof editors love their work? Conferences involve traveling (a pain these days), giving up our weekends/time with our families, being “on” all day, the horror stories (every editor has one), and inevitably falling behind at the office even though we tried SO HARD to be all caught up before we left. Yet we still go. We still take work home; we use social networks in an effort to boost our authors. We don’t do all this for the money :]

8 ) We have a love/hate relationship with email submissions. We love that we can get something immediately, and it’s so much easier to keep things organized. It’s also much easier for people to spam submit, send nasty responses to my rejections, and for me to accidentally delete something.

9) We get the same sideways glances and weird questions when we mention our jobs. When are you going to graduate to literary fiction? Do you test out things you read in your books? Oh, so you’re a proofreader? (This last one really gets me.) On the plus side, my husband’s work colleagues think he is a hero when they hear my profession.

10) We love to give away books—but not because we are super generous. It’s either give them away, or have both the house and the office look like an episode of Hoarders.

***

Thanks, Megan! And if you’d like to learn even more about Megan, you can follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/meganrecords.  She provides great sneak peeks into the life of an editor.

So…want that prize?  Just leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway!  And have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 by Caridad Pineiro
Harlequin Desire Senior Editor Stacy Boyd

#37 – Using Random.org, I’ve picked a winner for copies of THE CALLING Vampire novels, namely, DANGER CALLS, TEMPTATION CALLS and FURY CALLS: Sewicked :grin: Please e-mail me your postal addresses so I can send out your prize. :cool:

stacyboydToday we’ve got a very special guest, Stacy Boyd, Senior Editor for Harlequin Desire and also my (Caridad’s) wonderful editor! Stacy is here to give us some hints on how to create a winning novel for Desire. We’d love to hear what you like about Desire or feel free to post any questions you may have about the Desire line or writing for Harlequin. Finally, we’ll pick one lucky commenter to win copies of some of the books that Caridad and Stacy have worked on together from THE CALLING Vampire novels, namely, DANGER CALLS, TEMPTATION CALLS and FURY CALLS!


Without further ado, here’s Stacy!

Seven Tips for Creating the Perfect Harlequin Desire Submission

1. Hook your reader right away!

Write a really great first line, first paragraph, first chapter. Readers, and editors, want to be invested in the characters, their conflicts and/or the premise right away.


2. Create a story with high stakes and lots of conflict.

In Desire, we love lots of sensual tension and romantic conflict, and there should be strong and believable reasons that the hero and heroine are at odds, as well as believable sensual attraction that makes them want to resolve their differences.


3. Develop an alpha hero with a heart of gold.

Desire heroes are sexy, powerful alphas with a core of emotional vulnerability. The hero may seem tough and stoic, but underneath that hard exterior, the reader can sympathize with the hero’s motives and flaws.


4. Surprise us!

Know your genre. Play with it. Make your reader feel like she’s never read anything like your book before. A surprise in the plotline, in the story’s execution, in the character development or in the author’s style and voice can really make a writer stand out from the crowd.


5. Be professional.

Successful Desire authors tend to write quickly, consistently and well. Including your publishing history and other relevant experience in your query letter, along with a short summary of your book, is the best way to introduce yourself. We look for writers we can build long-term, so let the editors know if you have more story ideas in the works.


6. Be a reader.

Read as much as you can, write what you love, keep honing your craft and maintain an attitude of persistence and professionalism.


7. Do your research.

If you’re interested in writing for Desire, you can find our guidelines on Harlequin.com, and you can speak with our authors, readers and editors by following us on Twitter (@DesireEditors) or “liking” us on Facebook (facebook.com/harlequindesire).


Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today, Stacy! We really appreciate it.