Transcripts

 

Writing Romance 8/27/03



Legend:
Questions from the Audience are presented in red.
Answers by the Speaker are in black.
The Moderator's comments are in blue.

Mary Rosenblum

Good evening, all!

Mary Rosenblum

Tonight we were planning to visit with Liz Lounsbury, Romance Writer for both Harlequin and Sillhouette books.

Mary Rosenblum

However, her husband called about two hours ago, and she was rushed to the hospital with a severe asthma attack...

Mary Rosenblum

and won't be released before Friday evening.

Mary Rosenblum

I assured her that we can reschedule, but since you all came here to learn about Romance writing...

Mary Rosenblum

we'll just do an impromptu forum on the topic.

Mary Rosenblum

Since even if I don't write it, I DO know a lot of Romance writers and some editors.

Mary Rosenblum

Life threatening asthma is a pretty scary condition and you never know when you'll get an attack.

Mary Rosenblum

And the universe has helped me out...

Mary Rosenblum

since in my pro. mail box today, I found a packet of info for the Romantic Times Bookclub convention...

Mary Rosenblum

that will be held in Kansas City, Missouri in October.

Mary Rosenblum

That will be a good convention for aspiring Romance writers to attend, since it features...

Mary Rosenblum

panels on how to write romance, meetings with publishers, agents, editors, and the like.

Mary Rosenblum

I'll be posting contact info on the website in Writing Craft: New Markets this weekend, if you're interested.

Mary Rosenblum

If you enjoy Romance, and if you really want to make a reasonable return for writing fiction...

Mary Rosenblum

Romance is the genre to choose.

Mary Rosenblum

Over 55% of all paperbacks sold are Romance

Mary Rosenblum

and about 150 new titles are published monthly.

Mary Rosenblum

THere are 41 million Romance readers in North America and it is an industry with a VERY reliable readership.

terid

is 65K too short for a romantic suspense novel?

Mary Rosenblum

Terid, every publisher...Harlequin, Sillhouette, and the like...

Mary Rosenblum

each publish a variety of imprints.

Mary Rosenblum

These focus on different 'slant's and appeal to different audiences...

Mary Rosenblum

and each has its own length. Some are as short as 70,000 words.

Mary Rosenblum

Or less. As I recall there are some very short imprints...about 55,000.

Mary Rosenblum

others are up closer to 90.000

Mary Rosenblum

You'll have to go to each publisher's website and check the guidelines.

owlybear

we could have a sci fi romance....LOL

Mary Rosenblum

don't laugh, owly!

Mary Rosenblum

The big Romance houses are publishing Romantic SF and Fantasy and it's a hot seller!

mbvoelker

Where does one begin in writing satisfying, believable romance rather than sappy romance?

Mary Rosenblum

Weeelll, Mary Beth, what you see on the book racks is what the publisher wants.

Mary Rosenblum

If that is what you call sappy, you're out of luck. It's what Harlequin et al call successful!

Mary Rosenblum

There are some other houses that will publish romanctic fiction, though.

shoutjoy

How do you know which senareo to write on, many avenues?

Mary Rosenblum

I hope I'm understanding your question, shout. If you mean how do you decide what 'slant' or focus to use for a romance book...

Mary Rosenblum

again, I would go to the Harlequin, Sillhouette or other website and read the guidelines.

Mary Rosenblum

They are very specific about what they want.

Mary Rosenblum

Then find a book or two from that imprint and read it, to see just how that guideline translates into a story.

sailor

My friend who writes romance novels has received fan mail from prison inmates. Other romance writers told her this is common and she should not reply. Have you ever experienced this? Seems like a good reason to use a pen name!

Mary Rosenblum

Ha, Sailor, I have STUDENTS who are in prison!

Mary Rosenblum

Most romance writers I know use a pen name, and it's not a bad idea.

Mary Rosenblum

You are writing sex/love stories here, and when you put on a public face, you have no control over who reads your work...

Mary Rosenblum

or how that person might react or think of you.

Mary Rosenblum

Most writers, myself included, us a PO box as a professional address...

Mary Rosenblum

although I'm pretty free with my home address.

elisabetam

Are there any Romance mags out there that buy fiction besides True Confessions?

Mary Rosenblum

I've posted a few on the website in Writing Craft: New Market Listings, elisabetam.

Mary Rosenblum

If you want to sell romance, it is worth the money to join Romance Writers of America.

Mary Rosenblum

They do not require that you be a published writer, unlike most pro organizations.

Mary Rosenblum

and the membership fee includes a subscription to Romantic Times, their newsletter.

Mary Rosenblum

This has a market section which lists short fiction markets as well as novel markets.

Mary Rosenblum

It costs 100 to join, then the annual dues afterward is per year.

Mary Rosenblum

The website of RWA is:

Mary Rosenblum

Romance Writers of America

elisabetam

I find all the imprints VERY CONFUSING

Mary Rosenblum

They seem so at first, elisabet.

Mary Rosenblum

But they're pretty easy, really.

Mary Rosenblum

A publisher publishes fiction...romance say.

Mary Rosenblum

One Imprint: Shadows, might be dark and ghostly romances.

Mary Rosenblum

Another imprint might be Christian romances.

Mary Rosenblum

A third imprint might be sexier romances

Mary Rosenblum

another might be YA romances...

Mary Rosenblum

The various imprints are described in the guidelines and allow you to send your book to the editor who is most likely to welcome it.

speckledorf

Emotions are a complex issue in the romance genre...how do you portray those emotions realistically without getting sappy?

Mary Rosenblum

AS with any fiction, speckle, show don't tell rules the day!

Mary Rosenblum

If you can allow your character to show us her feelings by the way she reacts to a situation...

Mary Rosenblum

it will always be much stronger than a scene where you the author break in to say...'Carolyn was terrified'.

Mary Rosenblum

That reminds us that we are hearing YOUR story, not living it ourselves!

Mary Rosenblum

and Romance is the ultimate escape fiction! You REALLY want your reader to be sucked into your world1

Mary Rosenblum

so if Carolyn shrinks back, hands at her mouth, struggling not to scream...well, she's terrified, yes?

Mary Rosenblum

And you didn't tell me.

Mary Rosenblum

Even subtle emotions can be portrayed by a glance, a brief thought, or twisted fingers...

terid

Do they prefer plot driven or character driven?

Mary Rosenblum

Nearly all the guidelines will tell you that they want strong characters, but they also want a strong plot, AND the romance MUST be the central focus rather than the mystery or what have you.

terid

My current is 65K and ready to submit

Mary Rosenblum

Terid, I would go to Harlequin and Sillhouette websites and start reading guidelines for the various imprints. Decide where your ms needs to go and send it off!

Mary Rosenblum

But they are not kidding about their word counts!

paja

Writers in all genres in some degree experience the emotions their characters are experiencing. Right? So how does one "discharge" the overwhelming or unseemly emotions?

Mary Rosenblum

Paja, the more you write, the more you are able to creat real people but without needing to 'become' that person.

Mary Rosenblum

That way you are not so strongly affected by the emotions your character experiences. Meanwhile...try a long walk! Or some vigorous exercise! :-)

Mary Rosenblum

Hey, I'm single! I go outside and work hard after I write a nice hot romantic scene!

Mary Rosenblum

(I'm chuckling, but I'm also not kidding!)

mel

A former student of mine when she was in grade 10 is now doing very well as a Romance writer. Her name is Kayla Perrin and she writes for Harpercollins .The Romance novels asre published under

mel

Harpertorch. Two titles are "Say you Need Me" and "Tell Me You Love Me". She has about 17 books out. She says it's a lucrative market. Once your first book is accepted, you have an immediate "in"

Mary Rosenblum

No kidding, Mel. I know several SF/Fantasy writers who pay the rent with their Romances.

Mary Rosenblum

If you

Mary Rosenblum

click with the market, you can write as many books as you can turn out.

Mary Rosenblum

The print runs are large and they sell very reliably. If I hadn't been offered the web editor here, I was planning to ...

Mary Rosenblum

start writing romance seriously.

mystery2me

I have noticed that sometimes magazines print a chapter from

mystery2me

a book and wonder do you get paid for that or is that ...

Mary Rosenblum

missed the end of your questions, mystery, but I'm assuming you were going to ask if that was advertising? For free?

Mary Rosenblum

Not at all.

Mary Rosenblum

Some magazines DO serialize novels. It depends on how you sell the story.

Mary Rosenblum

If it has not been published by a book publisher, then you are selling First NA serial rights and get paid the same as you would for a short story...

Mary Rosenblum

although most magazines pay you a flat sum for a novel serialization rather than per word.

Mary Rosenblum

If it's already been published, then you are selling second rights and get less money, but you STILL get paid!

shoutjoy

Some sappy, some steamy and some sweet, huh?

Mary Rosenblum

And some with a particular theme, shout. Mystery. Thriller. Fantasy...

Mary Rosenblum

That sort of thing.

margieh

On a scale of 1-5 if "sappy" is a 1, what is a 5?

Mary Rosenblum

Margieh, that is so subjective! What I might consider sappy, another reader might think is compelling!

sailor

My friend uses her real name in the copyright, but she is thinking of switching to her pen name.

Mary Rosenblum

I'm a little confused by that, sailor. Your work is copyrighted in your legal name.

Mary Rosenblum

A pen name is not necessarily your legal name unless you make it so.

shoutjoy

What do you get for your membership?

Mary Rosenblum

In Romance Writers of America? The website will give you details...

Mary Rosenblum

but mostly, it allows you to participate in local chapters, which put on workshops, panel discussions, visits from publishers and the like...

Mary Rosenblum

and to get the newsletter and market news, plus I believe that RWA offers...

Mary Rosenblum

legal advice and some insurance for us writers who have trouble getting group health plans!

Mary Rosenblum

I know MWA offers group health insurance plans.

shoutjoy

You talk about fiction, many romance bks mostly fiction?

Mary Rosenblum

I'm not sure I entirely follow your question, shout.

Mary Rosenblum

Romance is by definition fiction, rather than nonfiction.

Mary Rosenblum

But much fiction has a romantic element!

mbvoelker

I'd like to share a link. My favorite writing website is from a romance writer, Alicia Rasley. The link is to her article of the month and IMO the archived articles are well worth the time. http://www.sff.net/people/alicia/art.htm

Mary Rosenblum

Interesting that she's on SFFnet, mb.

Mary Rosenblum

I wonder if she's a member of SFWA, too.

shoutjoy

What is used most, 1st, 2nd or 3rd person?

Mary Rosenblum

Shout, Iíve noticed third in use more than in first, but some imprints are probably done more in first person.

Mary Rosenblum

Second person rarely works well for novel length fiction. The reader gets resistant to being told 'you do this' 'you do that'.

owlybear

if you take characteristics form several people that you observe or admire, yet you are not like that, and create a character It might be difficult to get too emotional , because you do not know what these people experience, so you'd have to make those emotions up in your imagination...

Mary Rosenblum

Well, Owly, that's how you really do all characters. In reality, every real character we create...

Mary Rosenblum

contains extrapolations of our own self.

Mary Rosenblum

We contain a range of possibilities and emotions, and you draw out some small aspect of yourself..

Mary Rosenblum

to create the believable emotional response in that character.

mbvoelker

What about incorporating romance into other genres? What techiques do romance writers use that other writers would benefit from knowing?

Mary Rosenblum

Emotion is probably the characteristic that predominates Romance, mb.

Mary Rosenblum

And all too often, emotion is left out of the story as characters go through the actions of the plots.

Mary Rosenblum

While you may not need to include as much emotion in fantasy, or a mystery as you would in a romance, some of those techniques, the ability to show the emotions...

Mary Rosenblum

of a character without telling us, is beneficial and strengthens the characterization.

shoutjoy

What is the average pay for a novel, article, short story?

Mary Rosenblum

Shout, these are very general figures, okay?

Mary Rosenblum

There are exceptions, but these are common. Short fiction pays from zero to ten cents per word, on average...

Mary Rosenblum

and ten cents is high. REALLY top markets like New Yorker, ATlantic, and some high end anthologies may pay a dollar a word.

Mary Rosenblum

Articles should pay about a dollar per word and more for large circulation magazines.

Mary Rosenblum

Novels will net you -- for genre like SF, fantasy, mystery, etc -- about 5000 as a first-novel advance. Less in some houses. But if you sell well, you'll get more than that from royalties.

Mary Rosenblum

If you sell something that the marketing people think will really take off and plan to market as their leading book for the quarter...

Mary Rosenblum

you may get 20,000 or up for an advance.

Mary Rosenblum

Our mystery guest earlier this year, with his rock climbing prosecuting attorney character got a solid five figure advance...

Mary Rosenblum

because the marketing people thought the book would really take off. '

mbvoelker

What makes a romantic relationship believable, compelling, and strong enough to carry an entire book?

Mary Rosenblum

Two words, mb. Real people.

Mary Rosenblum

That kind of character driven novel depends on the people being not only believable but people that we care about enough...

Mary Rosenblum

that we really don't need a lot of exciting plot to carry the story.

sailor

She is thinking if her pen name in the copyright to make it harder for prison inmates to find her. She got a letter from a convicted murderer.

Mary Rosenblum

Well, Sailor, no matter how hard you try, if fans REALLY want to find you, they can.

Mary Rosenblum

James Tiptree Junior, a very famous SF writer was my aunt's best friend. I never realized until after she was dead.

Mary Rosenblum

She created an entire legal identity as Tiptree. (She worked for the CIA) and nobody knew but her close friends.

Mary Rosenblum

But some fans STILL figured it out!

Mary Rosenblum

Really upset her!

shoutjoy

Do you teach how to deal with tax issues rel to publishing?

Mary Rosenblum

Yes, shout. My accountant, John Caton, who handles writers and artists...

Mary Rosenblum

will be a guest here this fall, talking about how to deal with the tax man as a writer.

Mary Rosenblum

And he'll write me a 'how to' article, as well.

terid

what does it mean when they say "category romance?"

Mary Rosenblum

what it means, terid, is the type of romance published by one of the Romance publisher's imprints.

Mary Rosenblum

They're actually rather formulaic in that they are very similar in form.

Mary Rosenblum

Which is why you should read the imprint before you decide your book will fit it!

shoutjoy

Can we get scripts of these chats?

Mary Rosenblum

You sure can, shout.

Mary Rosenblum

Since this is really a forum rather than an interview, it will be posted in Writing Craft: Forum Transcripts.

Mary Rosenblum

but I'll post another copy of it in Surviving and Thriving: Transcripts, where I usually post the Thursday interviews...

Mary Rosenblum

just so I don't confuse people!

terid

I know Harlequin will accept unsolicited mms.....

terid

but, should I try for an agent?

Mary Rosenblum

I would, terid. Your agent will make some changes in the Harlequin contract that you won't know to make...

Mary Rosenblum

and an agent gives you more respect. But I wouldn't try for one until you sell to Harlequin.

Mary Rosenblum

You'll get a better agent with a sale in hand!

shoutjoy

You talk about imprints are these like cliftnotes?

Mary Rosenblum

These are sort of subgroups within the publishing house, shout.

Mary Rosenblum

One imprint might be romantic mysterys for example. Another might be supernatural romance, or Gothic, or romantic fantasy. Each imprint has its own name, but is under the umbrella of the publisher.

Mary Rosenblum

In mystery, I wrote for Berkeley Prime Crime, which is the 'cozy' imprint for Putnam Publishing.

Mary Rosenblum

They have other mystery imprints, too.

elisabetam

what is an average length for a chapter?

Mary Rosenblum

Most of the Romances I"ve looked at, elisabet, tend to have fairly short chapters, usually a single scene.

Mary Rosenblum

There is no hard and fast rule for chapter length...

Mary Rosenblum

but I wouldn't aim for thirty page chapters!

speckledorf

Will publishing a romance lead to an easier time getting published in other genres?

Mary Rosenblum

To some degree, speck.

Mary Rosenblum

It means you're a pro, you can write a book and deliver it on deadline.

Mary Rosenblum

You will be treated like a pro, even if you've never sold in the genre you're submitting to.

shoutjoy

Do you have to become a company once published?

Mary Rosenblum

Not usually.

Mary Rosenblum

You can talk to my accountant when he's on the site, but what he told me...

Mary Rosenblum

is that if you're not a company the IRS says you're not a company, even if you incorporate.

Mary Rosenblum

Not much point if the tax man disallows it!

mel

Are Romances roughly in that

Mary Rosenblum

I don't know the actual numbers, MEl.

Mary Rosenblum

I gather that you don't get more than that for your first contract...

Mary Rosenblum

but if you sell well, they print more, and your pay goes up.

Mary Rosenblum

How quickly or how high, I can't say for sure.

Mary Rosenblum

But the people who write it that I know, really are paying the rent with it. So it pays reasonably well.

Mary Rosenblum

Top sellers make much more!

Mary Rosenblum

Marginal 'mid list' sellers won't make as much.

shoutjoy

In describing, when do you quit? Can you go overboard?

Mary Rosenblum

Sure, shout.

Mary Rosenblum

If you spend an entire two page segment describing a sunbeam bouncing around a bedroom while nothing much happens...well, that's a little more detail about a sunbeam and the bedroom...

Mary Rosenblum

than I want to read, unless it's critical to the plot!

Mary Rosenblum

But I do like to see where I am.

terid

so should I not say my novel is romantic suspense?

terid

and call it just a romance?

Mary Rosenblum

Terid, I'd go read the guidelines. Check Harlequin, Sillhouette, and Dorchester. They are the big three.

Mary Rosenblum

Also check AOL Warner books.

Mary Rosenblum

Look for imprint descriptions that mention suspense and submit your ms to that imprint editor.

shoutjoy

Do you a list of reputable agents we can contact when ready?

Mary Rosenblum

You bet, shout. Hang on.

Mary Rosenblum

http://www.aar-online.org/index.html

Mary Rosenblum

This is the url for the Association of Authors Representatives -- the professional organization of Agents.

Mary Rosenblum

A reputable agent will belong to this organization.

Mary Rosenblum

And the webpage offers a tutorial on how to acquire an agent, what questions to ask him or her, and the like. It also provides...

Mary Rosenblum

contact info for their members, and what to send to the agent you are interested in.

Mary Rosenblum

Go there first! It's all you need!

Mary Rosenblum

Association of Authors Representatives

Mary Rosenblum

There's the direct link. It'll be in the transcript.

sailor

If you create a set of characters, and someone else steal them and write their own sequel? I remember the controversy about the sequel to Gone with the Wind. Can they get around it just by changing the character's name?

Mary Rosenblum

Well, the Gone with the Wind was a special case because a LOT of money was involved...

Mary Rosenblum

but if you publish a set of characters in a world and another author uses those characters...

Mary Rosenblum

one letter from your lawyer to the publisher will stop it. That is a legal no no and the publisher will drop the book.

Mary Rosenblum

The Gone with the WInd thing was a parody. There WAS a legitimate sequel, but that was entirely legal and approved.

mbvoelker

Real people. That's what all the best writing seems to boil down to, isn't it?

Mary Rosenblum

That's right, mb. You got it!

margieh

What is Gothic?

Mary Rosenblum

it's a subgenre of romance, margieh.

Mary Rosenblum

I don't know it well, but it's set in a certain time period in England, mostly, also Europe, and tends to be dark in plot.

Mary Rosenblum

It has a strong following.

elisabetam

I am having trouble with chapter lengths and organization. how long should a chapter be?

Mary Rosenblum

Well, elisabet, the simplest way to go is to let each chapter be one scene long.

Mary Rosenblum

Unless your scene is three pages long!

Mary Rosenblum

But when you change location or time, or shift from one POV to another, this is a good place to begin a new chapter.

Mary Rosenblum

A good friend, well published in SF, writes 8 - 10 pg chapters.

terid

so I should try to sell to harlequin first THEN get an agent

Mary Rosenblum

That's probably your best route, Terid.

Mary Rosenblum

You don't need an agent to send ms to Harlequin.

Mary Rosenblum

And good agents often refuse to take on unpublished writers...

Mary Rosenblum

but if you have a contract, they'll be much more interested.

janp

If a man and woman, 60 plus, become romantically involved, when and where would you let the curtain fall? in or out of bed?

Mary Rosenblum

In fiction generally, this is up to you, and how comfortable you are writing a sex scene, janp.

Mary Rosenblum

If you are squeemish about writing the sweaty details of that hot Saturday night, then drop the curtain and tiptoe offstage and let the reader fill it in!

Mary Rosenblum

I have to admit that that's what I tend to do, mostly. :-)

Mary Rosenblum

But I've read some really beautifully written scenes that were quite detailed and weren't porn at all.

Mary Rosenblum

It also depends on your audience. That ain't gonna work for a YA book! Obviously!

Mary Rosenblum

In Romance, it again, depends on the imprint and the guidelines will tell you how much sex is permitted.

sailor

So you get a contract for your first book. Do you then try for an agent for your 2nd book, or do you try to get an agent to negotiate the details of your first contract?

Mary Rosenblum

No, Sailor, you get the agent before you sign the contract!

Mary Rosenblum

Don't worry, you have plenty of time.

Mary Rosenblum

First you get a letter or phone call saying that your book will be published, and probably asking for a disk of the ms.

Mary Rosenblum

Then, later, the contract will arrive...sometimes with the acceptance letter, often later.

Mary Rosenblum

That's when you get in touch with agents and say, 'help'!

Mary Rosenblum

Send the contract to the agent on your list of potentials who answers first and let that agent call the editor and start negotiating.

Mary Rosenblum

Just make a list of agents you want before you send the ms off, so you're not frantically doing research when the contract arrives!

janp

Would readers accept a gentle, loving sex scene with people over 60?

mel

Why should age make a difference? An author would NOT let the curtain fall on a younger couple ,but WOULD with a 60 +one? I detect age bias, and I'm 60+ !! Tsk Tsk! (LOL)

Mary Rosenblum

I had to post these together!

Mary Rosenblum

Certainly the readers are going to accept a loving sex scene with 60 year olds if you WRITE a lovely sex scene with 60 year olds!

Mary Rosenblum

You can make anything beautiful by the way you describe it...even if you're describing it accurately!

Mary Rosenblum

Think of the glass half empty/half full analogy.

Mary Rosenblum

If you're going to describe your lovers as disgusting...then they are! If you describe their bodies or actions as beautiful...then they are.

Mary Rosenblum

Same attributes, different way of looking at them.

mel

THANKS!!! LOLOL!!

Mary Rosenblum

Any time, Mel! :-)

chatty lady

Absolutely true...

Mary Rosenblum

Thank you, Chatty! You're the expert. :-)

paja

Agents: There's a list of agents on that writers representative sites, so other than genre, how do you pick out names to send to?

Mary Rosenblum

Unless you start asking writers at conferences who their agent is, about all you have to go on right now is genre.

Mary Rosenblum

This is where writers conferences are valuable.

Mary Rosenblum

You chat with a writer whose work you like. I'm looking for an agent, you say. Who is yours? Are you happy with him?

Mary Rosenblum

If you're lucky, the writer may refer you to that agent or tell you to use his/her name when you query that agent.

Mary Rosenblum

But you will find out who is good.

Mary Rosenblum

I know the SF agents...many of them at least...but I'm not familiar with agents in other genres.

Mary Rosenblum

If you're looking for an SF agent talk to me.

paja

Is it easy for a new writer to tick off the more experienced ones by asking about her/his agent?

Mary Rosenblum

well, not if you're polite, paja.

Mary Rosenblum

If someone comes up to me and tells me that he enjoyed my last Asimov story and then says he's got a SF novel and can I recommend an agent...

Mary Rosenblum

I'm happy to give him names. Hey, we ALL love to hear that somebody liked our work.

Mary Rosenblum

We're not telepathic, you know! :-) If you don't tell us, we can only guess!

roe

how about mystery agent, Mary

Mary Rosenblum

I don't know them well, roe. I don't get to too many of the mystery conferences. And since I'm not looking for an agent...

Mary Rosenblum

the conversation hasn't come up much, although next conference I'm at...

Mary Rosenblum

I'll ask around for referrals for Long Ridge and website people ...agents who are taking first mystery authors.

roe

did you use your same agent for your garden mysteries

Mary Rosenblum

I did, roe. She GOT me my garden mysteries! She was having lunch with Judy Palais of Putnam and Judy said she was looking...

Mary Rosenblum

for an author to do a gardening mystery series.

Mary Rosenblum

That's when Martha called me and told me she wanted three chapters, a synopsis and proposals for two more books on her desk by the next day!

Mary Rosenblum

Didn't QUITE make that deadline, but I got it to her the day after!

sailor

Mary, if you had started writing romances, would you use your current agent for those or would she not have the right contacts?

Mary Rosenblum

I have a romance out with her right now, Sailor.

Mary Rosenblum

But if I had started with Romance, I would have gone to some of the RWA conferences and probably been steered to a different agent.

Mary Rosenblum

Agents cross genres, and Martha has handled several Romance authors, just as she has handled mystery authors...

Mary Rosenblum

they just tend to concentrate more on one genre than others.

speckledorf

Alright Mary...don't keep us in suspense..title of romance...and is it available now!!!

Mary Rosenblum

Oh, goodness, I just sent it off. It's a romantic mystery, not category, so the markets are limited. I think it's with Warner right now.

Mary Rosenblum

I'll let you know when it sells. :-)

Mary Rosenblum

If you're serious about Romance and you want to become one of Harlequin or Silhouette's authors...

Mary Rosenblum

then I strongly suggest that you look at the imprint that fits your story the most closely...

Mary Rosenblum

because Harlequin et al, really know what they want in a romance and that is what you find on the shelves. They are not, in my experience...

Mary Rosenblum

awfully open to experiments. If your book is similar to others out there, you're in good shape!

chatty lady

IMPRINT?

Mary Rosenblum

Hi, chatty. I think you missed my earlier definition.

Mary Rosenblum

Imprints are named lines within a publishing house.

Mary Rosenblum

For example, in Putnam Publishing, 'Berkeley Prime Crime' is their cozy line. It is an imprint. They have other mystery imprints, too.

Mary Rosenblum

And a Romance imprint.

mbvoelker

You mentioned fantasy and SF romance. Could you go into more detail? I've never seen one of either.

Mary Rosenblum

These are new.

Mary Rosenblum

Harlequin is bringing out a Romantic Fantasy line. I think I"ve posted it in New Markets.

Mary Rosenblum

So is Tor Books. It's also posted in New Markets.

Mary Rosenblum

I picked up the recent release in that line: Kashiel's Dart at a recent conference.

mel

Are the Harlequin Romances mostly "formulaic"? If they are, should a writer acquaint herself or himself with the formula BEFORE writing the Romance so that it will easily fit one of their imprints?

Mary Rosenblum

Yes, and Yes, Mel!

Mary Rosenblum

I knew a couple of grad students who got together as a team and paid much of their tuition by writing Harlequins.

Mary Rosenblum

They followed the 'formula' for a particular imprint.

Mary Rosenblum

If you haven't started the book yet, I'd choose an imprint that fits what you're doing and notice how the plots are constructed.

Mary Rosenblum

Then follow that structure with your own story.

mel

And are the "formulas" in their imprint guidelines?

Mary Rosenblum

Not specifically, Mel. They will tell you what kind of romance they want, what kind of story, but they're vague, like all guidelines.

Mary Rosenblum

That's why I suggest you read a few.

Mary Rosenblum

Well, we're drawing to the end of our time here!

Mary Rosenblum

Anyone want to suggest a topic for Friday's AFter Hours Forum?

mbvoelker

Pacing? I've just hit one chapter with too much happening and the next with too little.

Mary Rosenblum

Pacing is good, mb.

Mary Rosenblum

That's one topic that most of the 'how to write' books don't cover...

Mary Rosenblum

not surprisingly, because a LOT is involved with pacing!

Mary Rosenblum

I'll do that.

Mary Rosenblum

Well, I wasn't Liz Lounsbury, but maybe this will give you all even better questions to ask her, when I can bring her back!

Mary Rosenblum

romance is fun. I enjoyed my little fling with it.

Mary Rosenblum

Don't forget that the chat rooms are busy most weekday mornings (well, morning MY time, 10 am pacific, 11 Mt, 12 central, and 1 pM eastern).

Mary Rosenblum

People are around most evenings too!

Mary Rosenblum

And tomorrow, at the After Hours, I'll talk about pacing!

Mary Rosenblum

Good night!

Return to Transcripts


Home | Writing Course | Short Story | Full Story Writing Test 
 
Send Me Full Info | Enroll | Our Instructors | Our CredentialsSample Lesson 
College Credits | Tax Deductibility | From Overseas  | Writer's Bookstore  
Free Writer's News | Life Support for Writers | Chat Room  | Live Forum | Writing Craft
Calendar of Events | Professional Connection | Transcripts | Post a Note | Surviving & Thriving
 
Student Center | Privacy Policy | Web EditorComments | Writing for Children 

LongRidge Writers Group
91 Long Ridge Road, West Redding, Connecticut 06896
Telephone: 1-800-624-1476 ~ Fax: 203-792-8406
Email:
InformationService@LongRidgeWritersGroup.com

Copyright © Writer's Institute, Inc., 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
No part of the electronic transmission to which this notice is appended may be reproduced or redistributed in any form or manner without the express written permission of Writer's Institute, Inc.