Friday, September 29, 2006

Industry News

I spent last weekend at the Ottawa RWA Chapter - Are You Sweet or Spicy? Conference. The whole weekend was targeted to those writers working to write series romance. It was a fantastic weekend. Well-run conference - the specific nature of the event made it I think even more helpful to those attending. There was a lot of relevant and clear information (which isn't always the kind of information you get when dealing with Harlequin - thier guidelines are VERY vauge) And this is what I learned in no particular order.

1. If you are trying to break in target one of the new lines (EVERLASTING, ROMANTIC SUSPENSE, NOCTURNE) they are always looking for inventory.

2. If you are trying to break in and those lines don't appeal to you try to target one of the lines that puts out six books a month - SUPERROMANCE, INTRIGUE, BLAZE. They are always looking for inventory.

3. Nocturne is dark. They aren't looking for Vampire hi-jinks.

4. Everlasting is looking for historical material mixed with contemporary. Think Suzanne Brockman's WWII stuff. This is a VERY romantic line.

5. The difference between Romantic Suspense and Intrigue is - Intrigue is very hero focused. Women or Child in Jeopardy stuff but the hero does the saving. Romantic Suspense if for some of those kick-ass heroines.

6. AS A WHOLE - HARLEQUIN IS RETURNING TO ROMANCE. EVERY LINE IS GETTING MORE ROMANCE CENTERED.

7. Brenda Chin gave an interesting analysis of how hooks are used in the lines. For instance if you have a secret baby in a Blaze it means - the hero and heroine have done it once - you know they'll do it again. In an Intrigue you know that baby is going to be in jeopardy. There were more that I can't remember.

8. The editors find out what is said about them on the loops and they track it down. Brenda Chin said directly to the whole room - if you are an idiot on the loops or are difficult to work with and she knows about it - she won't buy your book.

9. Small conferences are the way to go. Intimate. Informative. Not over-whelming. Everytime I go to a small conference I am reminded of how great they are.

10. Gayle Wilson, President of RWA is a class act and a lovely lady.

That's it for the most part - hopefully others who attended might chime in with mroe info.

6 comments:

Marion Gillespie said...

The Ottawa conference was very informative and a lot of fun. One other thing Brenda said that I found interesting is the difference between Blaze and erotica. While Blaze is very sensual and pushes the envelope, there is only one male and one female and they end up in a committed relationship at the end of the book.

Erotica includes more that two people, threesomes are quite normal and the language is a lot more graphic in erotica.

Hope this explanation on the difference between the two helps someone. Marion Gillespie

Molly O'Keefe said...

Thanks Marion - good distinction. Another thing Brenda said about Blaze is that she is doing some elements of paranormal. Not all the time but every once in a while she runs a series.

The Happily Ever After promise as Brenda called it is something they are returning to in all the lines.

Jordanne Ford said...

Wonderful news, Molly, thanks for sharing. I wonder how the Romantic Suspense word count and writing guidelines will differ from SIM and when they'll have that information made available to us.

Anne

Nancy said...

Molly,

Thanks for posting. Really great information.

Nancy

Sinead M said...

Sounds like a great conference.

I've been hearing on some loops, and a couple of industry blogs that editors are starting to ask for historicals again.

Says Sinead, hopefully

Jetsetter James said...

Great info.

Helps me make a couple of decisions I've been rolling around in my head.

I'll be sure to check out the smaller conferences.

J.

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