We have a friend (who shall remain almost nameless, but her initials are L.R.) who will be particularly interested in this post. Not that it won’t fascinate the socks off the rest of you, but this is really for her. Yes, our dear unnamed friend, we’ve found an interview with Stacy Boyd of Harlequin. Just for you. It’s our little way of making up for being a week behind on email.
After a short introduction to the world of Harlequin and a brief primer on the company’s philosophy — it’s about building brand name recognition as much as author recognition, something more than a few publishers are trying this season — Boyd leaps into the romance genre as a whole. One key point she makes is:
In today’s romance market there is a wide range of character types, plots and subgenres. Romance readers tend to read a lot, both in and out of the genre, so romance authors — and publishers — capitalize on this by providing romances that blend genres, such as romantic thrillers, Christian romance, romantic suspense, erotic romance, and women’s fiction. First and foremost, romance novels are about the emotional high of finding love. That’s still true today.
Boyd then explains that an author needs to combine voice, craft, and really good story telling to grab her attention. This is, after all, a person who reads dozens of submissions a day. Okay, maybe it’s just dozens a week. Time flies when you’re having fun. Bottom line: it’s the story that keeps her going. All that starting with a great hook stuff is lovely, but you have to back it up with something more. You’ve been warned.
And after you’ve caught Stacy Boyd’s attention? Keep it. Here’s how:
The thing an author can do at the revision stage is to actually make the changes I’ve asked for. Revising is as much a skill as writing that first draft, and it is often as difficult and as important. I never ask for changes arbitrarily. I consider myself a first reader, so if something is confusing or boring or clich&2acute;d to me, then it will be to another reader as well. So, while I don’t expect an author to incorporate all of my suggestions, I do expect them to think about the concerns I raise and figure out a way to solve the problems.
- From the Editors: Stacy Boyd, Harlequin (Note: Subscription probably required)