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Cathy C
07-02-2006, 05:11 PM
Posted by kristie911:

I've readied my partial for Harlequin Superromance, taking the time to clean it up a bit in terms of swearing. But it does have some violence in it. My MC flees an abusive relationship and the prologue covers that...in some detail. He beats her up and she runs. Then the story starts. I'm not sure how well that's going to be recieved. Though my synopsis spelled it out and so did my query letter and they still requested it.

Any advice? It's been years since I've read Harlequin books.

I know, I know...I haven't even sent it out and I'm already stressing out!! :)

Cathy C
07-02-2006, 05:12 PM
My advice:

a) Pick up some recent Harlequin/Silhouette books and read them. Each line is very specific as to what they want and those wants change from year to year. You need to have a good idea what line to approach and can't do that if you're not familiar with what's out there now.

b) Graphic violence is always a tricky sell in romance. It can be done, but it has to be done VERY well for an editor to allow it---in any publisher's line.

c) I'll leave it to annie and Susan for more specifics about the Superromance line. :)

Cathy C
07-02-2006, 05:12 PM
c) I'll leave it to annie and Susan for more specifics about the Superromance line. :)

YIKES!

I don't know Supperomance. But that should be a hint to the writer. You can cash checks from Harlequin for a decade and not know much about the other lines because each line is unique and it's all one can do to keep up with the changes in your own line.
Harlequin "tolerates" one thing in one and much more or less in another, and from one author to the next, they can differ. We often compare notes on what editors don't want from one author but encourage in another.

So line, author voice, editorial vision are all factors. You should read some Supers, at least the opening chapters ;) Hit the used bookstore and stock up on the latest ones, see if your work has the right feel. You're put some work into the story, go ahead and put a wee bit more research before you send.

annie jones
aka Luane Jones

Cathy C
07-02-2006, 05:13 PM
Oops! :o Sorry, annie. I thought you wrote for that line.

I do know a couple of Superromance authors off-list and could ask them but, like you said, it's an author-by-author thing. The ones I know can probably get away with just about anything if they wanted, simply because they've been in the line for so long.

Cathy C
07-02-2006, 05:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kristie911
I've readied my partial for Harlequin Superromance, taking the time to clean it up a bit in terms of swearing.

:::::::Snipped:::::::::
Any advice? It's been years since I've read Harlequin books.

I know, I know...I haven't even sent it out and I'm already stressing out!! :)


It seems ill-advised to submit to a line you're not very familiar with.

Cathy C
07-02-2006, 05:14 PM
Swearing - hell and damn are acceptable, as long as they're not used every other word. (One ms I had, I swear, I must have been in a bad mood as I wrote it because there were a too many hells and damns in it. <G> But my editor just pointed that fact out ot me and had me clean it upa little bit.) I've been allowed to use sh**. Just don't overuse that one, either. I don't know if the F-word is allowed. Probably not. I've never tried to push that one.

Violence...well...that depends. Take a good look at that prologue. Are you absolutely certain that it's necessary? And just because it's mentioned in the query or synopsis doesn't mean anything - the editors may not realize from those that this is an actual, on-screen thing. Seriously, I'd take a long, hard look at that prologue. The reader may not need to "see" the beating at all.

Good luck!

Susan G.

Cathy C
07-02-2006, 05:14 PM
I don't know. I've deleted the prologue and then put it back in because I didn't like the feel without it. I makes you so much more sympathic to the MC. And later things are referenced to it, such as certain body movements that frighten her and shows how far she's come during the ending.

I guess I'm just going to leave it in and hope for the best. I hate to compromise the story just to fit the line, since it wasn't exactly geared toward them in the first place. I cut it down and took out a lot already.

Thanks for the advice...I was going to send it out today but I'm headed to the library to see if they have any recent Superromance books I can read. I've read a lot of them but it seems that the older ones are a lot different than the newer ones.

Then I'll cross my fingers and hope for the best...it's all I can do, right?!

Cathy C
07-02-2006, 05:14 PM
eharlequin.com has free samples to read online. For most books, the sample is the first chapter.

Cathy C
07-02-2006, 05:15 PM
Originally Posted by kristie911
I've deleted the prologue and then put it back in because I didn't like the feel without it. I makes you so much more sympathic to the MC.


I don't think the reader really needs to "see" it to be sympathic. They just need to know that it happened. That's just my personal opinion though :)

Cathy C
07-02-2006, 05:16 PM
I don't think the reader needs to see it, either. And this way, you can also make the reader wonder a bit. Why does she react like that? What exactly happened to her? You don't need to show the hand too early.

The story I'm working on right now, the heroine has some interesting backstory. I could show that backstory right up front, in a prologue. But I'd rather leave the reader guessing for a while. Let the reader discover bits about her as things move along.

But that's just my thoughts. :)

Did you find some new Supers to read?

Susan G.

Cathy C
07-02-2006, 05:16 PM
I haven't...the library doesn't carry them and I can't afford to just buy a bunch from the website. And I haven't been able to make the trip to the closest B&N that would carry them. It's almost an hour away...gas prices, you know!

But I did send the partial today...I'm braced for rejection which is normally how I feel whenever I send anything out. I racked up so many of them that I actually send it and just sit around waiting for the rejection...I don't have my hopes up at all. I guess I'm just a pessimist at heart! :)

Josie
07-04-2006, 04:17 AM
Kristi:

Cathy is giving you wonderful advice.

I do think you should try to read some of Superromance stories before too long. Extra knowledge gives you more power in your writing.

I know you said you can't afford it. Do you have access to a public library in your area? Membership is probably either cheap or free.
Around here all public libraries have category romances available.

Good luck.

Cheers :D

PattiTheWicked
07-04-2006, 04:51 AM
You might try a Half Price Books, if your area has those. We have several, and they all carry a ton of different Harlequin lines -- even have them shelved in groups to make it easy to find them.

Josie
07-04-2006, 04:57 AM
Oops sorry I forgot you said your library doesn't carry them.

Well, aren't there any stores with second hand books, or people who have yard sales. Have a little look around where you are or Half Price Book markets as Patti suggests.

Do you have any kind of cheaper than usual book stores?

:)

kristie911
07-04-2006, 06:05 AM
No bookstores close but I am keeping an eye on yard sales, unfortunately, so far the ones I've found were pretty old. But I'm working on it.

Thanks for all the great advice!!

kristie911
07-06-2006, 10:49 AM
I just won an ebay auction for 10 Harlequin Superromance books, all from 2006. Why didn't I think of ebay before?! Duh.

Guess I'll have plenty of reading material for a couple of weeks...

Josie
07-06-2006, 09:03 PM
So glad you got your books at eBay!!!

Good luck !!!!! :D

Gillhoughly
07-07-2006, 08:24 PM
One of my buds writes for them and they are very specific about what they want for their various lines.

They're also very good about working with writers to produce a product everyone likes.

You really do need to read a wide sample of their latest in several lines, keeping in mind that each book was turned in at least a year ago.

Their guidelines set out some specifics, but there's nothing like checking things at the bookstore and even reading previews--which some writers will have on their websites.

They're also sticky about word count and meeting deadlines, but they pay fast, and there's nothing like having your books sold all over the world during the 6-week window that it will be in the stores.

Down the road you can always buy unsold copies to sell through your website! :D

R B Kiernan
03-13-2012, 08:56 AM
Quick question: What does Harlequin pay and/or how do they pay?

Stacia Kane
03-13-2012, 03:09 PM
Quick question: What does Harlequin pay and/or how do they pay?


What they pay will vary depending on line/imprint (I'd assume Carina deals, for example, are different from Superromance deals as far as advances etc.) and what kind of deal you/your agent negotiates.

And I'd assume they pay by check like the other NY houses do.

san_remo_ave
03-13-2012, 07:10 PM
Yes, Harlequin's advances vary wildly from line to line. And they pay royalties by paper check twice a year.

This is still one of the best basic references to give you an idea. http://brendahiatt.com/show-me-the-money/

Oh, and Carina, as a separate e-publisher owned by Harlequin (not a category line of HQ) doesn't pay advances, which is a common scenario in the e-publishing world.

job
03-13-2012, 09:25 PM
A beginning that's violent or graphic may signal a whole book of such material. When Scene One, Act One, is a severed hand crawling up from the basement and strangling the plumber, (gag, choke, gurgle, thrash,) the reader forms certain expectations.

In the prologue, you're giving the reader a first taste of the soup, as it were.

Now you could maybe preface this violence with something that tells the reader violence is over and limited and in the past. As in:

"Sometimes at night, in her dreams, Susan Mallory remembered the bad times and woke sweating and cold.

That last day before she ran from Tommy, ran as far and as fast as she could, she'd come in from shopping at the Piggly-Wiggly. She put two brown bags on the counter and ..."

R B Kiernan
03-15-2012, 03:13 AM
Thank you all for your responses. I sincerely appreciate the input.