Friday, July 11, 2014

An Insight Into What Greyhaus Literary Is Acquiring

 For those of you attending the upcoming PNWA and RWA Conferences, here are some insights into what I am looking for. This information is coming directly from the submission guidelines but I am adding for you some things I like to see in these stories. 

I am doing this because I always emphasize the need to target your queries and pitches to the specific editor and agents you are meeting with. You need to demonstrate how your story is a perfect fit for the individual beyond simply what that person is acquiring. 

HARLEQUIN AUTHORS (Entangled Authors may use this as well)Word Count should be according to the Harlequin Guidelines Scott is actively looking to acquire authors for all of the Harlequin lines with the exception of the Teen Line. Authors wishing to write for Harlequin should know the line they are wishing to work for and demonstrate an ability to translate the specific guidelines of that line into a piece of writing. Please review the guidelines BEFORE submitting. It is recommended authors should have at least one story finished and either additional projects in that same line, or a clear vision of future works that will fit in that line. 

When it comes to series authors I am really looking for authors who understand the lines they are writing for. These are unique challenges. Series/category writing is not just about the word count but the voice, the style and the story line. Make sure to tell me exactly how your story fits that exact line. I would also add that writing for lines such as Harlequin and Entangled require an ability to produce. You should be able to produce 3-4 stories a year at a minimum. If, at the time you are pitching, you only have one story, be prepared to tell me ideas for other stories that will also fall in that same line.

NEW ADULTWord count 75,000 - 110,000If you are writing in New Adult, please make sure that you fully understand this genre. It is not simply stories of teens having sex. I am interested in stories that really are looking at the world from this unique "in the middle" perspective. Essentially, if you read the Women's Fiction guidelines, you will get the idea.If you are pitching this idea top me, please use the standard categories but in the premise, begin by stating it is a NEW ADULT project.

Look, I get that New Adult is the hot new craze but if you are not really familiar with this line, you should not be writing in it. I am looking for stories that readers in the age group you are writing for can relate to to. Since this is for those 18-20 something reader, we need to have "real" situations and characters. I want real issues that this group is having to deal with. Please note, like I say in the women's fiction section, I am not interested in a lot of drama and issues. I don't want baggage. I want you to really concentrate on one or two issues for your character. Be able to tell me what the "take away" is for the reader. What is that theme you are trying to promote.

SINGLE TITLE CONTEMPORARY ROMANCEWord count 75,000 - 110,000I am actively looking for real stories with real people in real romances. Please note this does not mean non-fiction. I am truly interested in finding, what I define as "old school" contemporary romances. Think the Danielle Steele level that really focused on the relationships.Writers in this category should not rely on heavy amounts of plot devices or baggage for the characters. Keep these people real so that the readers can truly relate.

I cannot stress this enough. I want real romances. No, this does not mean it is non-fiction. I want characters and relationships that we would see around us in the real world. We're not looking for things that are so over the top that the readers cannot relate to. Characters do not have to come from completely dysfunctional lives. We should really feel good about the state of romance and relationships in the world after reading your story.

SINGLE TITLE HISTORICAL ROMANCEWord count 75,000 - 110,000These stories can be set in any time period. The stories should demonstrate a strong understanding of the time period and not rely on "source book" levels of research. I am personally not looking for westerns and stories set during the Civil War.Show me you have something unique in this category!

These are not simply historicals with a little bit of romance. The romance should be the central focus of the story. I want to clearly see some strong writing here and not random little stereotypes. For those of you who might write historicals, and think you have a historical romance, please visit your local bookstore and go to the "ROMANCE" section. Would your story fit here? If not, you don't want to pitch to me.

I will also tell you that I currently have some VERY strong authors in this genre. I do not like my authors to compete with each other so you need to show me something different. 

Be prepared to clearly prove to me you know this history well!

SINGLE TITLE PARANORMAL ROMANCEWord count 75,000 - 110,000I am looking for something that stands out as being unique. Telling the same old vampire, werewolf, demon, or angel story is not going to work. I am not interested in Urban fantasy here. I really want to see those strong paranormals. Time travels are great but please make sure the time travel is "real" and plays a role in the plot.
Paranormal IS NOT Fantasy! 

Too often, I am seeing paranormal turning into just plain weird. Be able to clearly give me a sense of the world building and make sure to be able to explain it clearly. I am turned off by stereotypes and cliche story lines. If it is a time travel make sure to make it clear you know how the time travel works. I am not interested in a story you hype as a time travel but it is really nothing more than a historical. 

SINGLE TITLE ROMANTIC SUSPENSEWord count 75,000 - 110,000Stories should be real and the main story arc has to be the romance. Please make sure that we don't have characters doing things that would not normally happen in real life. Please review Maslow's Hierarchy to understand what I mean here. In other words, if someone is being stalked by a sexual predator, he or she will not be interested in sex.

Like the historicals, the romance needs to take central stage here. I am not interested in a suspense story with sex. Please also take the time to review Maslow's hierarchy to insure the relationship is believable. The situations you place your characters in need to be real and not manufactured or forced. Just a note on pet peeves - I hate seeing the heroes stereotyped at Ex special ops named Duke, Slade or other dorky names.  Just because it is romantic suspense also does not mean the heroine has to be stupid and always finding herself in a place she shouldn't be. I am very picky about this genre. I turn down a lot of these stories simply because the suspense is unrealistic or the characters are unrealistic!

SINGLE TITLE WOMEN'S FICTIONWord count 75,000 - 110,000I am actively looking for "book club" style women's fiction pieces. These stories should examine the world through a woman's eyes. We want to see what it means to be a woman. Stories can be historical or contemporary but the focus must be on the female journey.Please focus on one issue and not a ton of personal problems the protagonist has.Stories can have happy or sad endings.Please no adultery.

I love women's fiction and I want stories that focus in on real issues. For me, I really want you to think book club here. These need to be stories that focus in on creating a sense of discussion, not simply about the characters but about the issues and decisions. Readers should be able to understand their own lives through reading your story. I would also stress that Nicholas Sparks is not women's fiction. We need to be seeing how the world looks through the female lens. 


If you are pitching a book that has been previously published, please be prepared to show me sales numbers. In simple terms, if you are pitching a book you self-published, then sales need to be AMAZING.  I am also not interested in projects you self-published after you have already pitched the story to other editors and agents. Along the same lines, the story must fit any of the above guidelines. 

No comments:

Post a Comment