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.