Note: Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a second member of the Carina Press team, Amy Wilkins. You can see from her bio that she likes Chuck. I knew I liked her for a reason.
Amy Wilkins is Assistant Manager, Digital Content & Social Media for Harlequin Enterprises. When not dabbling with Carina Press, she works on Harlequin’s eBook production, blogs, Twitter account, and more. She has a growing reputation as the office geek. Her favorite things include: Chuck (TV), Lord of the Rings (movies), books (duh) and her Sony eBook Reader (just awesome).
You can follow Amy on Twitter
Last week, Emily introduced herself and blogged what it’s like being a Carina Press reader – and I’m here to introduce myself, too! At Harlequin, my title is Assistant Manager, Digital Content and Social Media. I work on things like Harlequin’s blogs, Twitter, audiobooks, and –the biggest part–eBooks. In 2010, a new job will be helping to figure out how to make the best Carina eBooks, too…but that’s a post for another day. Like Emily – and Malle, and Angela, and Aideen, and the others you’ve already met – I’m part of the Carina Press acquisition team, reading submissions for possible acquisition.
For Harlequin I have read slush submissions for Spice Briefs and Silhouette Nocturne Bites, and I currently still read submissions for Harlequin Historical Undone. In fact, some of you submitting may even have received rejections from me before. If you have, don’t let that stop you sending your work to Carina! I have a good memory for recognizing names and if I think a story comes in that I have read before, I let someone else read it. We are committed to giving everything – including manuscripts rejected by Harlequin – a fresh chance. For Carina, I tend not to read the historical submissions since I already read so many for Undone and I like the variety we see in the Carina inbox. Luckily there are plenty of other historical fiction fans on the team to read them instead!
My other responsibilities mean I don’t read nearly as much as Emily or Angela, but for the few submissions can get to, I find myself being drawn to stories similar to what I read on a regular basis: some fantasy/paranormal, the odd historical and erotic romance.
If you had asked me a couple years ago if I would become an erotica/erotic romance “expert”, I would have thought you were crazy. But between reading Spice Brief subs and reading the new Spice Briefs each month to write the blurbs that appear on websites, I’ve ended up reading quite a few erotic stories! I knew I had crossed a point of no return when Emily called me up to ask, “Is this normal in ménages…?” and I knew the answer. I’m sure my parents would be horrified!
So what stands out to me in a good submission? Some things I like are:
– Innovative settings and set-ups.
– Snappy dialogue.
– Heroes who strike the right balance between strong but not too aggressive (especially in a sexual way).
– Historical accuracy – I’m all for artistic license, but if a “fact” is a major part of a story, I have been known to crack open my university texts to look something up.
Keep in mind that I am also just one reader – at this point, many submissions are read by at least two people, so even if something doesn’t appeal to me personally, it has another shot.
But our erotic romance inbox is looking a bit slim these days, writers. If you have a story, please send it in! I’d love to read it… :)