Thursday, May 31, 2007

Press Release: Harlequin Announces Launch of Nonfiction Program

Editorial to include relationship books, self-help,
memoirs and biographies

Toronto, (May 30, 2007) Harlequin Enterprises Limited, one of the world's leading publishers of women's fiction, announced today that they will enter the nonfiction market in the fall of 2008. Harlequin will publish titles in numerous genres, including relationship, health, self-help, diet, fitness, inspirational, memoir and biography, as well as companion pieces to successful fictional series by the company’s many bestselling authors.

"Harlequin’s entry into the nonfiction market builds upon our existing strengths as a publisher who provides millions of women around the world with great entertainment and a rewarding reading experience," says Donna Hayes, Publisher and CEO of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.

Industry analysis and reader feedback clearly indicate that the nonfiction category holds tremendous opportunity for Harlequin, with its unique stature as a publisher of content for women. Harlequin had tremendous success with Friends: A Love Story by Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance. Spotlighting the compelling real-life love story of the Hollywood power couple and published in February 2007 under the Kimani Press imprint, Friends: A Love Story was a New York Times bestseller and marked Harlequin’s very first nonfiction romance story.

Harlequin is not creating a new imprint for the nonfiction program. Instead, the books will be author/title-led and will be published under Harlequin’s existing imprints, based on their content.

"The publishing strategy will focus on content that entertains, supports, inspires and provides insights to women as their lives and roles change," says Loriana Sacilotto, Executive Vice President, Global Publishing & Strategy. "The editorial will concentrate on such categories as health, diet, fitness, self-help, motivational and relationship books as well as narrative nonfiction—nonfiction that tells a story, such as memoirs and biographies—and will cater to women 35 years and older."

About Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Harlequin Enterprises Limited is the global leader in series romance and one of the world's leading publishers of women's fiction, with titles issued worldwide in 26 languages and sold in 109 international markets. The company releases 120 titles monthly and publishes more than 1,300 authors from around the world. Harlequin Enterprises Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Torstar Corporation, a broadly based media company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TS.nv.b). Harlequin's Web site is located at Harlequin has offices in 17 countries, including Toronto, New York and London. For more information please visit or

Media Contacts:
Heather Foy Senior Manager, Public Relations
(647) 286-2263

Don Lucey
Assistant Manager, Public Relations
(416) 391-7094
Harlequin Enterprises Limited Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Entry Point

The Book Club meeting was great. One of the writers was an avid and knowledgeable romance reader, so we had a lot to talk about. She'd gone to the NJ Writer's Conference once to refresh & renew & couldn't say enough nice things about the supportive atmosphere of her fellow writers, how inspiring, helpful and great the experience had been. Really nice to hear.

What did I learn? Entry Point, and how important it is in a continuity.

For example, viewers who have recently tuned into Guiding Light are fine with Josh's relationship with Cassie. Sure he went out with others in the past, but this is now & it's working. But longer term viewers simply can't see them as a valid couple. Josh and Reva, despite all their difficulties, belong together. They have a history, and for the viewers who have lived through that history, it colors their perception. Yes, and the fact that Reva is Cassie's older sister does make it difficult!

Listening to the group—comprised of people from all walks of the company, writers, marketers, human resources, public relations, business affairs, management—speaking so passionately of their characters, their choices, motives, relationships, histories, stories was fascinating. And their entry point to the ongoing story, how that impacted their point of view, their perception of reality, was really interesting.

For we all have our "entry points." In life, of course: we arrive before/after something was invented, something happened, our family moved to that house, to this country, before/after a sibling was born, and that defines our place and perception of our universe. A universe which (remarkably) existed long before our arrival and will continue on long after our departure.

And in stories, it is all about entry points. When does the slice of life the author chooses to tell begin? Who do we invest in as readers? Who do we care about? What do we believe? It's all in the timing—for it will impact our perception of truth.

I read an excerpt from a book about a woman that re-read classics she'd read when she was young. She said at 18 she had found ANNA KARENINA the most romantic book she'd ever read. But as a mother, at 40, she was appalled that Anna could have killed herself and abandoned her child. Even as a reader we have entry points and see different truths. That's true even when we read the same information.

Rereading a book isn't always about savoring favorite scenes—it can also be about re-processing information in a new way. Realizing how we've changed and aligning ourselves to a touchstone—or discovering we have moved on.

I have one school motto that is "Veritas" Truth. Hmmmm. Truth can depend on your entry point!

I prefer another of my school's mottoes: "Function in Disaster. Finish in Style."

Now that is a truth to which I can aspire.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Book Club choice for non-romance readers--what book would you choose?

A friend works in the creative department at the soaps for P&G (Guiding Light and As the World Turns). She's invited me to recommend a title and then attend one of their Book Club meetings. Though I haven't been a daytime soap watcher, I am deeply respectful of the amazing job they do to sustain an hour a day, FIVE days a week of a continuity story for years. Decades. Now that is continuity storytelling!

I chose DANGEROUS MEN, ADVENTUROUS WOMEN; Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance, edited by Jayne Ann Krentz. It was originally published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 1992. I read it then and really found it interesting and am re-reading it now and still finding it filled with good perspectives. Patricia Smith was at UPP at the time and sheparded the project through--she'd been a Harlequin sales rep, an editor at Silhouette and not only had a great personal appreciation and insight into the genre, she knew Jayne and of course they worked with a roster of fabulous writers and advocates. Taking notes for my meeting I'm thinking about essays of my own I'd like to write--it's thought provoking--as well as points to discuss at the meeting:

Thinking about the subversive aspect of romances & a patriarchy; the connection of writers and readers/viewers, writers and actors; encoded language, expectations and boundaries; political correctness & feminism--emotional Vs intellectual connection; identification Vs place-holding; empowerment & what we mean by that....

Will need to think further on how some of the issues within the romance genre are potentially similar or different from soaps--whether due to being a visual storytelling medium, the content, or the form. And what does that mean? Hmmm. Rich.

On a seemingly separate topic, I thoroughly enjoyed Christina Dodd's TONGUE IN CHIC which I read during my recent travels. I picked up a copy after getting an email from her saying she was planning to do a post on how she enjoys Harlequin Presents on her group blog Squawk Radio It's there RIGHT NOW CHECK IT OUT (I am quoted! Cool!).

Of course I had to tell her about the fabulous IHeartPresents blog, which she, of course, already knew about. Some people know everything. If you don't know about it, go check it out. After you read Christina's post about how quintessentially delicious Harlequin Presents are, please look at the IHeartPresents blog.

But what was really amazing, along the lines of synchronicity, is that as I was reading TONGUE IN CHIC, there, on p.162, the heroine and the whole hotel crew are parked in her bedroom watching and guessed it, Guiding Light! I'm taking TIC to the Book Club meeting.

Christine (who knows everything) also just informed me that Michelle Buonfiglio is also blogging about Harlequin Presents! Do you know her delightful Romance by the Blog? May 2nd, "The Italian Footballer's Virgin Romance Columnist Bride" is all about Presents, mentions Christina's post and Squawk Radio. Its part of her Romance b(u)y the Book though her website and blog are going to be moving to in June--pretty cool--and will be at

Got back from Ecuador a little while ago, where my brother got married. It was very pretty.

As it happens his wife is from Ecuador, so there was a compelling reason to be there, but if you're planning a big event, check out Ecuador. Same time zone and it's on the US dollar, so you don't have to change money, and the prices are very reasonable. Beautiful country, amazing hummingbirds, great restaurants, hotels, we had a lovely time. Worst case you come back with some Ecuadorian change.

Don't say I don't share hot tips with you!