Who among us hasn’t seen the infamous movie Charlie and Chocolate Factory? (Either the original or the recent Johnny Depp redo, whichever floats your boat). Well, today I certainly could commiserate with the excitement and joy of young Charlie lucking out in finding the last Golden Ticket that allowed him to pass through the illustrious gates of Willy Wonka’s emporium to behold the marvels within.
Except, unlike Charlie, my ticket wasn’t for a sugar-laden Wonderland, but unlocked the doors of North America’s single largest publishing house, Harlequin.
Although, interestingly enough, there was something chocolate to be found just around every corner.
On Friday October 17th, along with the ladies from my Toronto Romance Writers chapter, I was one of the few who were fortunate enough to attend a tour where we were shown the v Marketing, DTC (direct to consumer) and Editing departments. It was a hell of a way to celebrate my birthday, let me tell you.
We met with various individuals who explained their day to day operations, answered our burning, innermost questions and even treated us to a light lunch of finger foods and Harlequin freebees.
*Insert giddy school girl squeal here*
The entire experience was such an eye-opener and I was shocked to learn that Harlequin is about so much more than those beloved series novels you see lining the shelves in Walmart and Shoppers. They have dealt with some rather impressive big names in the romance world such as:
1) Nora Roberts (Gaaaaaaaaah! I’ve read just about EVERYTHING this woman has written. Twice. Okay…three times)
2) Sandra Brown
3) Heather Graham
and 4) Robyn Carr
Just to name a few.
And, one of the many reason I have grown to love and appreciate my writing group is that they have opened so many doors to me, as a writer. In addition to the tour, the Harlequin editors met with the group the following day to talk even more about what they’re looking for and lines that are actively seeking new authors/voices. (Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend that meeting).
The best part is that on November 3, Harlequin is accepting submissions of our respective work’s in progress (30 pages + synopsis) for review/consideration as well as feedback.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to dig into my Harlequin swag bag and get my read on.