First of all, I always say that there will always be a place in publishing for stories. Publishing is not going to go away.
Secondly, I will get to the stories. Being there on Sept. 1st or Sept. 12th isn't going to make that big of a difference.
Finally, only rush a project if you have "TRUTHFULLY" the project the editor or agent wants and it is perfect.
So, with that said, here are things I am looking for, things I am not eagerly looking for and things I simply don't want.
- All Harlequin lines - Not teen and probably not historical (see comment below on that one)
- Single Title Contemporary Romances (Real stories, real people, a lot of depth and no baggage or drama (Think Macomber, Mallory, & Higgins)
- Strong Women's Fiction (I want a focus on one issue. I want the focus to be on how the protagonist comes to grips with the issue and what she learns about herself. This is not plot focused, this is message focused. Think Oprah and Bookclub type)
- Multi-cultural - I want the culture to come through here. I want you to think Amy Tan here!
- Historical romance - I have amazing authors right now and the stable is pretty full.
- Romantic suspense - This line is heading in the direction of paranormal right now. Not much new that I am seeing. If you do this, the situation must be real, I don't want baggage and the romance better still take the lead in the project.
- Paranormal - All I can say is find something new. Don't just rename something or mix two different characters (i.e. Vampire and Angel)
- Fiction with romantic elements (it is or it isn't romance, end of story)
- Science Fiction
- YA (teen, middle ages, I don't care what you call it, you know what I mean)
- Inspirational for the entire CBA market - I will read it for the Love Inspired Lines but that is it!!!)
- Incomplete stories
- Stories under 75,000 words unless designed specifically for a Harlequin line
- Stories that have already been published
- Stories I have already rejected
- Stories that every editor has already passed on
- Stoires that every other agent has already passed on and you figured you would "see what Scott says"
I'd say that about covers it.