Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Presenting...Emily Rodmell

Emily Rodmell Name: Emily Rodmell

Title: Assistant Editor

Role: I edit and acquire for the Steeple Hill lines.

Tell us about yourself: I've been at Harlequin since 2004. Before that, I worked as a newspaper editor at several newspapers in my home state of Florida, and then worked at Scholastic here in New York City. I started at Harlequin as an Editorial Assistant, was promoted to Assistant Editor and am now acquiring and editing books for Steeple Hill.

For Steeple Hill, I’m looking for inspirational romance, romantic suspense and historicals for our three Love Inspired lines: Steeple Hill Love Inspired, Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense and Steeple Hill Historicals.

We're especially focussed on building our author base for the Love Inspired Suspense line. In addition, I’m also looking for women’s fiction and non-fiction for our single title line. Note that Single Title submissions must be agented, though.

In the past year, I've acquired three brand new authors that we’re very excited about. Missy Tippens’ debut novel Her Unlikely Family will come out in the Love Inspired line in February, 2008. Lynette Eason’s debut novel, Lethal Deception, will be published by Love Inspired Suspense in February, 2008 and her follow-up books, River of Secrets and Holiday Illusion, will be released in August and November. And Dana Mentink will also be writing for Love Inspired Suspense. Her first novel with us, Killer Cargo, will be released in June 2008 and her second, Flashover, will come out in January 2009. They have all been very busy writing!

We’re actively acquiring for the Love Inspired Suspense line these days, and we’re very open to new authors. For publishing in general, I would suggest researching the lines you submit to. Make sure your book will fit in, but also make sure that it has a special, unique quality to it. Don’t send in a cookie-cutter manuscript. But also don’t send it something that is so complely different that it doesn’t fit the line.

What are your pet peeves? Manuscripts that were submitted without the author reading our guidelines first. If you’re going to submit, make sure that your manuscript fits within our word count range and doesn’t contain material inappropriate for the targeted line.

What kind of stories appeal to you now? For my personal reading, I like novels with strong heroines. I also enjoy journalistic memoirs and current events titles.

Do you have a favorite book? My favorite book of all time is Gone With the Wind.

Emily sounds like a true romantic--a requirement to be successful at this job. Thank you.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Presenting...Elizabeth Mazer

Elizabeth MazerName: Elizabeth Mazer

Title: Editorial Assistant, Steeple Hill/Silhouette

Role: Responsible for providing administrative and editorial support to the Senior Editor of Love Inspired/Love Inspired Suspense and the Executive Editor of Silhouette Books primarily through evaluating submissions, providing author support and guiding manuscripts through the stages of production.

Publishing Background: I began at Harlequin in my current position in April, 2007. Prior to that, I worked in the editorial department at what was then known as Bookspan (now Bertelsmann Direct North America) first with Crossings Book Club, and later with Book Development.

Submissions: We’re actively looking for new authors for Love Inspired, Love Inspired Suspense, and the Silhouette lines, and will consider both agented and unagented submissions.

As for formatting, I’d prefer to receive a full synopsis along with the first three chapters. Please list the specific line you’re targeting.

Pet Peeve: Insufficient research! Misspelling my name, or the name of the line in the cover letter can make it very hard for me to give the rest of the submission serious consideration.

The author has to sell me not just on the qualities of her book, but also on how well her story would fit into our line, and I become very hard to convince when I sense that the author hasn’t done her homework.

What I Want to See: Strong, sympathetic characterization. The harder I have to work to relate to the characters, the more likely I am to give up on the book altogether!

Thank you, Elizabeth. So there you have it--I couldn't add a thing. Which comment, coming from an editor, is a real compliment!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Romance Writers of America® Supports Authors in the War Against Internet Piracy

Just wanted to post the following from the RWA® for general interest:

RWA® to provide a clearing house of file-sharing sites and instructions for copyright holders to protect their works.

Romance Writers of America (RWA), a professional association representing 9,800 romance writers, is committing its resources to providing information on how to protect copyrighted works and help fight the growing problem of Internet piracy. As theft of intellectual property affects all creators, RWA hopes to raise awareness of this issue and assist authors with the knowledge to demand take down of unauthorized copies of their works by establishing a clearing house for authors of all genres.

RWA recently published a list of websites that contain unauthorized downloads or other copies of copyrighted romance novels. The list includes contact information for the website administrators and links to each website’s takedown procedures. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act requires online service providers to promptly block access to infringing material (or remove such material from their systems) when they receive notification claiming infringement from a copyright holder. The information provided by RWA includes instructions for sending notice to these websites as well as a sample takedown letter.

The database containing the list of these websites and other related information can be found under “RWA News” at the association’s website, (The direct link to the data base and instructions is Due to the nature of piracy and the fact that this service was originally intended for RWA members, the list is by no means complete; writers are encouraged to report similar, additional sites by sending information to

Change can only happen through the combined efforts of everyone affected. Agents, publishing professionals, and writers are urged to utilize and contribute to the database maintained by RWA. Permission to forward this release is granted and strongly encouraged. For more information or questions regarding RWA’s list of Internet piracy sites, contact Carol Ritter, Professional Relations Manager, at (832) 717-5200 ext. 127.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

- Channel Your Inner Guy...

Just attended a presentation given by a very smart and talented group of people, but I came away with a powerful impression about girlspeak and boyspeak and a compelling message for people of the female persuasion:

You have got to Channel your Inner Guy when you speak publicly!

Both men and women presented. Both were smart, articulate, but the impact was night and day. Now there were some great women speakers and some not so great men, but there was a steriotypic role tendency that I fall into myself that hit me over the head listening.

You know where I'm taking this. Girlspeak meant presenting their recommendations tentatively, their language filled with caveats, 'mights,' 'coulds,' efforts to please, to question, to solicit approval, information couched with options and alternatives. If they were a dog, they'd be approaching you head down, ears flattened, tail low and wagging frantically.

And of course the guys would say their piece much more directly and quickly, with focus, specifics, to the point, putting their opinion out there, appearing to know everything, taking the risk. If they were a dog, they'd be sitting up straight or standing, ears pricked, legs apart, tail high, barking loudly for attention.

At worst, boyspeak delivers the not-too-subtle tyranny and bullying of 'my way or the highway,' 'there is one correct opinion & you have just heard it, no conversation, questions or dissent will be tolerated' and other forms of oppressive language. And girlspeak is sensitized--in the worst case, over sensitized--to that, and can go too far to compensate. But let me tell you, boyspeak was a lot easier to listen to!

Frankly, it is exhausting to listen to girlspeak. My stomach was clenched the whole time wondering where the sentences were going, whether there was any certainty or clarity I could hang my hat on, or whether it was all just a morass of possibilities that I was now supposed to figure out and sort through without clear direction, just a few gentle hints and hopes expressed.

I think there's a happy medium--a combining of forces that is what a good relationship is all about--that captures the best of both.

It entails channeling your inner guy--you've seen it in the yin yang symbol, or C.G. Jung's animus/anima: finding that core piece of "other"--of our own direct opposite--that we carry within ourselves.

It means speaking clearly, confidently, directly, with passion and commitment to your point of view--but setting things up briefly at the beginning and/or at the end in a way that opens the door to feedback, or sets up the points to be discussed, what those discussion goals are & how that feedback will be managed.

All tentative and qualifying terms need to be ruthlessly eradicated from the general text. If you can't bear to get rid of them entirely (I can't) they go into a one sentence direct, opinionated qualifier. You don't need to say the recommendations are just your opinion (duh!) and for heaven's sake don't be apologetic about having an opinion; you insult the person who is asking you for it.

No one is interested in how nervous you are or how unqualified you feel; they just want you to tell them what you know or recommend in as clear and compelling a manner as you can.

Just shut up about everything else. Ask yourself, would a guy ask that? Say that? Worry about that? No. So forget it.

Later, you can graciously open the door to comments (but don't stop channeling your inner guy).