Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The five most common mistakes Romance authors make

One of my other hats is to edit the Pink Heart Society blog. It is a labour of love but I enjoy it
Anyway, the PHS is very fortunate in that Tessa Shapcott who was a legendary editor at Harlequin Mills & Boon until she left the company earlier this year has agreed to do several posts on writing romance. Tessa is one of the main reasons that Harlequin Presents enjoyed such success over the years.
Her first blog The Five most common mistakes Romance authors make (and how to avoid them) went live on Saturday. If you missed it (and it should be required reading for any Romance author), you can access it here.  Tessa has agreed to do a few more posts for the PHS in the coming months so keep an eye out. I will try to highlight them as well.

And I should be over at Unusual historicals later today/tomorrow with a post on five fascinating facts about Viking controlled Northumbria which is where Paying the Viking's Price is set.


Sharon Kendrick said...

I think it's overly-simplistic to state that Tessa was one of the main reasons that Harlequin Presents has enjoyed so much success over the years.

Tessa is a great editor - no question, but HMB has many great editors. It's what's known as a team!

Michelle Styles said...

i'm not denying HMB has a great many editors but the fact remains that the line direction, story mix, cover focus, promotion of authors, selection of authors for continuities, etc etc are ultimately the responsibility of the sr editor/editor with over all responsibility for that line. For a good many successful years, Tessa oversaw Presents. It is now Jo's baby. The recent HQN announcement of Tina James promotion to executive editor which cites her work with LIH and LIS is a case in point.

Sharon Kendrick said...

And of course - aren't we FORGETTING THE AUTHORS?!

Michelle Styles said...

No I am not forgetting the authors at all. Someone had to have the good sense to buy them in the first place and keep buying them. Presents is a very specific voice -- the ability to discern that voice and understand what is going to sell is a highly specialised skill. It is also being able to get the best from the authors and knowing when certain stories aren't right for their voice. Also which editors might be more suited to which authors. Not all editors are the best person for an author. It is all about obtaining the best possible story for the line.
The really hard part can come when sr editors change as sometimes v good authors finds the line moves in a direction that their voice isn't suited for. I am thinking here of when Leslie Wainger stepped down from SIM or when Desire took a swing towards the more Presents side of the spectrum.
I also wouldn't want to put something out in the marketplace that had not been professionally edited. Great editors do bring a lot to the table.

Ramiro said...

This is fantastic!