‘I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly.’

Edgar Rice Burroughs

 This week I’m reporting on the Spotlight on Tor/Forge books from the Romance Writers of America convention in New York City.

Tor and Forge are two imprints of Tom Doherty books, a division of Macmillan. Tor publishes primarily science fiction and fantasy while Forge publishes “everything else.”

The following editors spoke at the workshop: 

Melissa Ann Singer, Senior Editor at Tor. She edits everything from science fiction/fantasy to thrillers to women’s fiction – “whatever catches my eye.” In historicals, she likes ancient civilization, Tudor and Stuart, and World War I to present day. In science fiction she likes space opera. She likes female characters “with a smart mouth.” She’d also like to see an immigrant story that doesn’t go through Ellis Island. This includes both modern and historical immigrant stories.

Stacy Hague-Hill, Editor. She works primarily on urban fantasy, some epic fantasy and some science fiction. She is drawn to books with strong characters. She would really like “a horse book.”  For instance, she’d love women’s fiction set in a stables or racetrack.  She likes a darker edge with paranormal romance and urban fantasy. She likes romantic elements in all genres, including mystery.

Kristen Sevick,  Associate Editor primarily for Forge. She edits mystery, thrillers, women’s fiction and romantic suspense and historicals. She is interested in historical women’s fiction. She’d like to see “a story with a ghost ship.”

Whitney Ross, Assistant Editor at Tor. She edits YA, Sci fi, urban fantasy, fantasy, some romance and historicals. She likes books that are “not entirely dark” with hopeful endings.

Melissa Frain, Associate Editor works on YA, paranormal romance and urban fantasy. In YA, she likes character-based novels for 15 to 17 year olds. Romantic elements are a plus. She’d love a great YA historical. Most of Tor’s YA features paranormal elements, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be open to other types of stories.

The workshop started with the editors showing off some of the books soon to be published by Tor/Forge. These included YA, urban fantasy, fantasy, alternative history, paranormal, mystery, historical and mainstream books. Titles were a mix of reprints, new authors, established authors and even one author who originally self-published her work electronically and was picked up by Tor.

Production Assistant Heather Waters talked about their community-building websites. Macmillan has three genre sites:

Tor.com, devoted to Science Fiction and Fantasy

HeroesandHeartbreakers.com is the site for Romance

CriminalElement.com  focuses on Mystery and Suspense

These are sites for readers to come and talk about books in their favorite genre. They feature short stories and daily reads. All of these sites pay authors for short stories and for blog posts. Liz Eddlestein is the acquisitions editor for Heroes and Heartbreakers, the romance website. They are open to romantic short stories in any sub-genre. See the guidelines here. The guidelines for submitting stories and posts to each site are listed on the site.  

Tor does accept submissions from unagented authors, as well as agented authors. Submission guidelines are here.

They review unsolicited submissions regularly in meetings, so if you send to one editor and it isn’t right for them, they’ll pass the submissions.

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Inspired Publishing is a new ePublisher that specializes in heartfelt romance. Inspired wants to see emotional and entertaining love stories that inspire—books that will make you laugh, make you cry, make you sigh. Romance that packs a punch. Inspired Publishing currently offers authors a  royalty rate of 50%.

Inspired Publishing is looking for new authors! Any submission made between now and October 30th, 2011 will automatically be submitted in their Kick Off! contest. The author of the winning manuscript will receive a publishing contract featuring a special one-time 60% royalty rate and a $50 Visa gift card. Runners-up will receive the offer of a contract featuring the special 60% royalty rate. Please visit the website for contest rules.

Inspired Publishing is also looking for submissions for their upcoming Escape line of short stories, 10-20K in length. Current themes include Weathering the Storm and Seasons. More info available here.

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I have a new historical romance out next month. Here’s a peak at the cover:

 West With the Wind follows widow Mariah Tate (and her faithful dog, Worthy) on their journey to California is a wagon train led by veteran guide Campbell Jefferson. Mariah may be the only woman who’s ever made Camp think of settling down,but his desire to protect her wars with her need to keep secrets. The past comes back to haunt the lovers when they find more than gold waiting for them at the end of the trail. Available from Musa Publishing October 1, 2011  You can pre-order the book now for only $4.99

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From the latest Publisher’s Marketplace:

Women’s/Romance
Cindi Myers’s THE WOMAN WHO LOVED JESSE JAMES, the story of the little-known wife who stood beside James from his early years until his death, to Deborah Smith at Bell Bridge Books, for publication in Fall 2012 (World).

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As always, feel free to pass along the information from this blog to others. Reprint it, forward it and link to it. All that I ask is that you give me credit. Thanks!  Cindi Myers.

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