Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The MacGregors are everywhere!

Look for Nora Roberts' The MacGregor Grooms, heading your way July, 2008--and you can still get The MacGregor Brides. Check out the cover connection--don't they belong together?

The MacGregors are everywhere--and here's my story. Took a trip to South Africa. Here are my phone photos to prove it. First some establishing shots:
Cape of Good HopeThis is the Cape of Good Hope. Doesn't this look like the very tip of Africa? While it's not the Southernmost tip, it is apparently the Southwesternmost end.

Tip of AfricaThis is the actual Southernmost tip of Africa, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet (note sign). Not nearly as dramatic as the Cape!

Ostrich + OceanAt times driving around felt like Northern California, sea to one side, mountains on the other--but every once in a while something would wander by and remind you you really weren't in "Kansas" anymore!

MacGSo as mentioned, there we were, driving around in South Africa and what do we see? Yes, we were faced with an impossible choice--Robertson (Nora Roberts' family name) or Macgregor (a Nora Roberts family name). Which would you pick?

NR+ IS shadesLuckily for me, I picked...Nora Roberts! Here we are at her summer event. Yes, my husband has stopped eating her potato salad long enough to take a special phone photo of us.

FYI in South Africa, we stayed in the charming town of Mcgregor at a lovely B&B, sleeping under a MacGregor tartan coverlet. At breakfast, the hostess explained about the Scottish immigrants that had originally settled there and I sent her a complete set of Nora's MacGregor series, of course!

So here's my pitch. This is a photo of me as a bridesmaid at my brother's wedding (yes, of course I cropped out my head, it was an art concept I was going for). Some time ago I'd given a copy of the cropped picture to the art director because I thought it would be a great concept for a cover.
IS bridesmaid
Months (if not years) later, I see the Brides cover--pretty similar, eh? I think I was the inspiration. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Presenting...Harlequin Hungary (Photo) and Mary-Margaret Scrimger (Interview)

My conundrum: I had a photo, but no interview. An interview with no photo.

So I decided to combine them, though they have nothing to do with each other, except both represent contributors to the editorial team. Here's a picture of the wonderful Harlequin Hungary editorial team, with a note from their editorial manager, Dr. Imre TÉGLÁSY:

TeamHarlequinHungary 07jpg

"In the background you can see the Picasso painting of the Harlequin child--of course!

"On your left side: Zsuzsanna GLAVINA, senior editor, Vicky SIMORÁDI, senior editor, Dr. Imre TÉGLÁSY, editorial manager, Iren BODA, secretary, Katalin KOLTAY, technical editor, Dora BAKAY, editor.

"Thank you. Köszönöm!"


Thank you very much--Köszönöm szepen--to the whole editorial team for taking Harlequin editorial to market in your country! (sorry, don't know how to print the proper accents).

I also am delighted to introduce Mary-Margaret, the next installment of the popular editorial interviews:

Mary-Margaret Scrimger

Assistant Editor, MIRA Books and SPICE

"My responsibility is varied: I’m responsible for MIRA back covers and prelims; I read a lot of SPICE submissions, particularly SPICE Briefs right now; also, I also work with the Nora Roberts team on Nora Roberts' backlist.

"I’ve been with Harlequin for 3 years and have recently been promoted to Assistant Editor. Before Harlequin I had a variety of jobs but most of them were part-time or summer jobs to get through school.

"The most important thing for me with work is that I enjoy it and have motivation to do it. If I were working for a financial company or law firm then I don’t think I could get out of bed in the morning.

"Working in publishing is pretty amazing because I get paid to do what I do in my spare time – read. Plus, learning how a book is put together from the inside has given me a new perspective.

"One of my strongest childhood memories is my Dad reciting Robert Service's poems to us as bedtime stories. Because of my Dad all of my sisters and I have The Cremation of Sam McGee memorized and it is my favorite childhood book.

"I think any story can be interesting depending on the way it is told. I have no interest in brick laying but a few months ago I read a beautifully written story about a brick layer. The author had the skill to pull me into the story and show me a different side of brick laying that I had no idea existed! Those type of books appeal to me--ones that show me hidden secrets that we couldn’t even imagine.

"It really depends on when you ask the question! Right now I’m really into German movies. I bawled in THE LIVES OF OTHERS and GOODBYE LENIN. My all time favorite movie is probably a very unknown movie called SLC PUNK"

Thank you Mary-Margaret for taking the time to share. While I haven't memorized the whole of The Cremation of Sam MacGee (impressive) it is a favorite. And I often flash on the refrain during appropriately strange moments:

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.