More on Sydney

So, did I have any goss from the Aussie conference? Not as far as hot M&B goss goes and believe me, my ears did a lot of flapping. 🙂 Dianne Moggy, the Harlequin VP, gave a great talk about how well Harlequin was doing and did mention a new line that had a ‘broader editorial direction’ but there was no further info about that. I wondered if it was Riva she was talking about. Certainly the news I heard about Riva is that no one knows quite which direction it’ll head in. Which, like I said in my previous post, is actually quite exciting. As far as I can tell, the same editorial guidelines remain in place but I reckon if you make sure your hero is alpha, your conflict is internal, and your story is character rather than plot driven, that does leave you with a lot to play with.

So what else? Editors were all saying ‘we don’t know quite what we want but we’ll know it when we see it’ which is – as always – very helpful! 🙂 The agents there made a good case for getting one. I wasn’t thinking about an agent as Harlequin’s contracts are all boilerplate but then again, an agent can help a little with nudging when you’ve been waiting a while. Very tempting to me at this particular point in time but from what I’ve heard, getting an agent is even harder than getting published so I don’t know.

Went to a great discussion panel with lots of Blaze/Presents/Desire authors who were just a bunch of fabulous ladies. I asked a question about settings for Blaze and whether locations other than North America were acceptable and this seems to be okay, with the proviso that Blaze sells to a primarily North American market so nothing that’s way too different. I also asked another question about acceptable language when it came to – ahem – love scenes. Seems to be what one author can get away with, another can’t. All up to the editor I think. Best quote about that came from Sarah Mayberry who said that if you’re going to use an expensive word then make it count!
Interesting since, in my opinion, MH heroes are supposed to be younger and I don’t know about you, but all the young guys I know do not say, ‘oh bother’ when something isn’t going their way. Even damn is waaaay too wussy. 😉

I did get to speak to some other authors though, who were all without fail very, very lovely. One newly sold author had been writing and submitting for eleven years before she made her first sale this year. Each step on the request/revise process took six months. So I stopped whining pretty quickly. 😉 But her advice? Same advice as Hoo gives out and what I tell myself the times I’m not throwing myself on the ground in a tantrum – never, ever give up.
On that happy note, I leave you with a few more piccies:

Here we are in our finery for the cocktail evening. Becca, Rach and Janette are at the back while Miss Thing (moi) there is lolling at the front.

On the right is the Leah, Janette, Rach looking very glam, and some old biddy who decided to get in on the act. 😉

And lastly, just in case you were thinking of giving up, here is Hoo. He’s got a whip and he’s not afraid to use it!

PS: No, no news!

12 thoughts on “More on Sydney”

  1. Bec – and so did Hoo! As you can tell by the photo. 😉

    Rach – I know! I wished she’d talked more about that. She’s in NZ this weekend but I bet it’ll just be the same talk she gave in Sydney.

  2. Do you think the NV will be used to firm up the boundaries for Riva with all that lovely reader feedback?

    Excuse me but I think that “biddy” is looking hot! Hoo agrees with me and he’s the one with the whip!

    I’m still loving the photos and living vicariously through your stories. All hail the published authors who wait for eleven years. Bettcha she’s got a good dose of that virtue patience that seems to elude me :).

  3. So glad you were able to attend. I would love to do the same.

    As far as Agents go, I have been trying to get one for a time now. I think they must all really be at the whim of the publishers. They know what is selling and what is not and seem to be unwilling to take a chance on something a little different (even though they say they are looking for “fresh voices”. I have gotten really nice rejections talking about how well I write and how much they admired what I sent them and that they are very intrigued with my plot. But the answer was still NO.

    As to something else you talked about. SEX. I am trying to branch out, seeing if I can write something that certain publishers are currently looking for, so I downloaded a Harlequin “Undone” and a Harlequin “Spice”. Wholly Hannah. Apparently, too much isn’t too much! I personally am a fan of the “striptease” you know, a little left on is sometimes sexier than taking it all off (at least in the first chapter).

    This search for other ways to get published led me to Carina Press. Harlequin’s strictly epublisher. The guidelines are a lot broader and I think they just want to expand their new baby. However, they don’t give advances and they don’t have DRM. And I think they ask for all rights for 7 years. But hey, it might be a hell of a way to break in, n’est pa?

  4. Seednee! Or, as we say in Oregon: Sihdnee. 😀

    Hoo…put down the whip…I’m working…I’m working!!

    Jackie, I’m hoping it’s RIva they were referring to. Actually, talking of broadening editorial, I think a lot of the lines are shifting to accommodate new things these days. Very encouraging!

    Wendy, re Carina and DRM…It’s my opinion DRM doesn’t help anything. Our print books turned ebooks are DRM’d and my book is still listed on at least ten illegal download sites. Without DRM, people can put the ebooks on the reader or device of choice. And with it…law abiding people can’t, and jerks still steal it. Just my two cents!

  5. Lacey – I wondered that re NV. But then NV is for ALL lines. Thanks re the biddy! Was that a blatant fish for compliments or what? 😉
    Yes, that author was pretty amazing. I was quite inspired.

    Wendy – that kind of confirms what I thought re agents – harder than publishers! Carina is definitely worth a look I think. I do write hot but not sure I could do the whole erotica thing.

    Maisey – Hoo’s rather happy with that whip so I’m not sure he wants to put it down. 😉 Yep, you said it re Riva. I think that’s a very good thing personally. Oh and I’m with you re DRM. It sucks. Having had problems with it in the past, I can’t see any use for it at all.

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