Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Harlequin Podcasts!

I'd been meaning to do a post on the Harlequin Podcasts. I'm proud to say I've learned how to use an iPod, I've discovered the many free podcasts available on iTunes and have discovered the joys of hands-free, eyes-free 'reading.'

Then I saw Michelle Styles' excellent post on Leena Hyat's Tote Bags 'n' Blogs . Well, I thought it was a great presentation of the podcasts from a perfect source--a published author. Michelle and Leena kindly agreed to let me post Michelle's excellent piece, so here it is!

Until earlier this year, I will admit that I was only vaguely aware of podcasts and podcasting. However, then Harlequin began to put editorial podcasts on its website and I started to listen. And a new procrastination tool was born. You can download them to an ipod or you can do as I do and listen via your computer.

The editorial podcasts are basically two editors talking in depth about one particular line. Each podcast lasts between 20-40 minutes. They are not only interesting from a writer's point of view but also from a reader's point of view. Ultimately they are a masterclass in what each line is about.The editors have tried to explain what televisions shows/movies the line is most like. Romance used Love Actually to sum up the line -- lots of stories each month but each being about love. SSE chose Brothers and Sisters.

At the moment, the recent podcasts have been from the London office. So Senior Editor Tessa Shapcott and Editor Sally Williamson explained the differences between Modern and Modern Heat as well as the difference between Presents and Presents Extra. Presents Extra are grouped around a specific theme. And they talked about titling and why titles are chosen the way they are. With the Historical podcast, Sr Editor Linda Fildew and editor Joanne Carr talked about popular time periods, themes and heroes. In the most recent podcast on Harlequin Romance, sr editor Kim Young and editor Meg Lewis dispel some of the myths about the Romance line as well as explaining what it is about the line that makes it so special. They also explained that within the line secondary characters provide flavouring. This is different from some of the other lines where secondaries play key roles. Medicals should be coming up soon.

Earlier podcasts included ones on Nocturne, Blaze, Superromance, Intrigue, Special Edition, Desire etc. And the intention is to do all the lines.

For me, it has been an education in what makes up series romance, plus I have discovered several new authors. And as it is sort of working, I can justify the listening. I know when I listened to the historical podcast, I came away with a ton of notes about how my latest books could be improved. And in several places, I thought -- ah that is what my editor meant when she said xyz.

Has anyone else listened to the podcasts? Or does anyone know about any other good podcasts?

Thank you Michelle!

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