Love Gone Wild – Changes to Manuscript Assessments selection criteria.

IMPORTANT NOTICE – Taking on board feedback provided by many of our members who want to take advantage of this opportunity of having their work assessed by their choice of agent, editor or publisher, we are pleased to announce we have broadened the submission criteria for manuscript assessments.

The submission criteria for ALL authors is:

Manuscript Assessments criteria is now the same for all. Aspiring, Emerging and Established may submit:

  1. A one page synopsis, bio, optional photo and your full manuscript


2. A one page synopsis, bio, optional photo, a minimum of your first 3-Chapters (full manuscript may be submitted) and a two-page proposal.

For further details please visit the web for further terms and conditions and formatting requirements. Visit:

To register for Manuscript Assessments:



Love Gone Wild – Participating Agents / Editors & Publishers

The Love Gone Wild conference team are excited to announce our amazing line up of agents, editors, publishers and screen writers for pitching and manuscript assessments. And we’ve secured the most EVER at a conference!

This gives you more opportunities than ever before to pitch your stories and/or get professional feedback from industry professionals.


Before you register, please research the attending Agents/Editors/Publishers. For your convenience, you can see each attending Agents/Editors/Publishers wishlist online, what they’re looking for, and conversely, what they don’t want pitched.


  • You must purchase your core conference ticket before you can register for pitching or assessment sessions.
  • While all our professionals are in the industry, manuscript assessments do not guarantee more than a critique of your pages. Not all professionals are in the position to acquire all genres or types of manuscripts.
  • Please review the terms and conditions for pitching and/or manuscript assessments BEFORE you register.​

Check out our amazing line-up of Agents/Editors and Publishers coming to Love Gone Wild. CLICK HERE or visit: 


Claytons update: Introducing our special guest, Sue Grimshaw, from Random House

Sue GrimshawHello down under! I’m so anxious to meet you all, virtually, at the Clayton’s Conference 2013 next month. Hopefully your summer winter has been marvelous and you’ve all been writing, reading and enjoying the season? It’s summer here in the states and I’ve been enjoying bicycling — it’s great exercise and a nice way to spend time outside.

So much has happened in the last couple of years and Dana was kind enough to let me drop by and shamelessly promote our success – I hope you don’t mind *Grins*


First off, we’ve launched THREE more digital original imprints!!! Yes indeed – Flirt, Hydra and Alibi join Loveswept as RHPG’s digital original imprints, and we are psyched — You can find submission, FAQ’s and other tidbits here at

LovesweptNext we’re establishing websites to promote our brands (that’s you, the authors *wink*) and the imprints themselves — here’s Loveswept’s site, — I totally love this, all of the awesome colors and books too – omg, we’ve the best art department when it comes to covers *fans self*

Flirt 2Inclusive of the launch is our own Street Team!!! Details here – Join won’t you? Free giveaways and first looks at our #Loveswept and #Flirt romances – – And don’t miss our new Facebook page, stop by & ‘like’ us.

And, of course is alive and well featuring books from around the entire romance community; visit me on Twitter; and R@R loves to see you on Facebook; and believe it or not, I’m on Pinterest and Google+, kinda lame but I’m there *Smile*

As you can see, we are everywhere, capturing the community by storm and delivering some mighty fine romances along the way . . . . like our double RITA nominee, Ruthie Knox; Toni Aleo and her sexy Assassin hockey hunks; Lauren Layne will debut with Loveswept this fall featuring her sexy Stiletto series; and so much more!! Tina Wainscott, Tracy Wolff, Tina Leonard, Lisa Renee Jones, Mira Lyn Kelly – just to name a few, whew! Plus all of our awesome classics – find out more here at #Loveswept.

Cassie MaeTHEN, Cassie Mae pours her soul into Kelli Pinkins and Chase Maroney in FRIDAY NIGHT ALIBI, on sale late July — This launches our FLIRT imprint!!

I could go on and on however, I won’t — because I hope you’ll visit me August 17th, ask lots of questions and I’ll try to answer them all PLUS give you the inside scoop, whatever that may be

Until then – salut – Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi and all that –

Happy Romance,


Publisher Spotlight: Escape Publishing launches today!

Escape Publishing is the digital-first imprint of Harlequin Australia and officially launches today, November 14. Please welcome Kate Cuthbert to the blog to share the details of this exciting new publishing initiative…

1. What sorts of stories can readers expect from Escape Publishing in the coming months?

As I keep telling everyone: we’re into everything! Our five launch titles are now available, and they include a sophisticated Romantic Suspense, a groovy contemporary romance, a short holiday novella, an erotic fantasy novella, and a debut urban fantasy.

In the coming months, you can expect science fiction, fantasy, erotic romance, YA, romantic suspense, and a whole range of contemporary romances that really span the spectrum of living – and loving! – in Australia today.


2. Will there be a certain number of titles releasing each month?

We’re really focusing on quality over quantity, so we’re not looking to reach any quotas. If we have 15 fantastic stories ready to go, then we’ll release all 15. If there’s only one, then we’ll let it fly solo. However, it’s definitely looking like more of the former than the latter, based on the high quality of submissions that are coming in.


3. What are the advantages of digital publishing over traditional print publishing?

Risks! Print publishing really has to focus on reaching as broad a market as possible, whereas digital-first can really spread its wings and take on niche titles, cross-genre titles, rule-breakers, and innovations. Naturally we want our titles to reach as many people as possible, but we’re just as happy if they find a home as a cult favourite or a niche title.


4. What makes Escape Publishing unique?

Unlike other digital-first publishers, we’re focused on Australian romance. We really want to bring Australian voices, characters, settings, and stories to the romance world. A local focus means we can celebrate our roots, and a romance focus means we can target our market. We are absolutely happy to accept submissions from international authors and settings outside of Australia, but we’re really interested in building an Australian presence in the international romance world.


5. Can readers purchase books through all available ebook retailers worldwide?

Absolutely – all the biggies (Amazon, B&N, iTunes, etc) as well as smaller and local stores. Our stories are published without DRM or geographic restrictions.


6. Are there any particular types or genres of stories that Escape is looking for but hasn’t found yet?

I can tell you that, personally, I’d love to see some more Australia-set historicals, and we’re also happy to explore the emerging subgenre of ‘new adult’ romance fiction.


7. These days authors are expected to be more proactive in their marketing efforts, how important is social media for authors and what types of marketing strategies does Escape employ to spread the word about their books?

One of the contributing factors to the success of romance fiction is the relationship between the author and the reader, and social media has made this so easy. I would encourage authors to get involved and online in the way that best suits their comfort level and time restrictions, but without fail, all authors need an up-to-date, easy-to-navigate website.

We’re really lucky at Escape, because we get to build on the networks that Harlequin Enterprises and Harlequin Australia have built over the years, as well as a targeted digital strategy to get our titles out there and connect our readers with our stories.


8. Will you be publishing any novellas or short stories? Is there anything in particular you’re looking for when it comes to shorter works of fiction?

We publish anything from 5000 words to 250 000, so yes, novellas and short stories. The only restriction we put on our lower word counts is that they are still a complete story with that lovely emotional arc that we (and our readers!) want to see.


9. How can aspiring authors submit their work to Escape?

The best way is via our website: There’s an online form that covers all the bases, and a direct email contact if you run into trouble.


Thanks for your time and congratulations on the launch of Escape!

You can find out more about Escape at their website, facebook, and twitter!


Beyond the Literal – New Publishers Light the Flame

The heat is on for Australian authors

Ainslie Paton

The local scene for romance writers is heating up and set to sizzle this summer with the launch of three new direct-to–digital publishers, each acquiring local writers.

First with the factor fifteen was Destiny Romance which launched in August with four titles and is adding two per month.

Destiny authors include:  Jennifer St George, Kelly Hunter, Elsie K Ackers, Peta Crake, Charmaine Ross, Carla Caruso, Bernadette Rowley and Imelda Evans (and coming soon, Louise Reynolds and L.J. Young).

In mid November, Harlequin turns up the heat with the launch of their electronic first line, Escape, also with a line-up of newly discovered and established writers.  More on the Escape launch will follow in a Publisher Interview by Juliet Madison.

But currently upping the burn quotient to scorching is Pan McMillan’s, Momentum with the release of its Hot Down Under series.

Hot Down Under is a series of fourteen erotic short stories by new and established Australian authors being released over a three-month period beginning in November.

According to Momentum it aims to propel Australian erotic romance writing to the top of the bestseller charts.

The series includes straight and gay erotica, plus scenes involving multiple partners and fantasy elements.  Each of the stories has an Australian setting and a ‘flame’ rating out of five on the cover, which indicates how explicit the story is.  None of the stories is lower than a three-flame rating.

Hot Down Under authors include:  Rhyll Biest, Rhian Cahill, Kasey Channing, Cate Ellink, C.T. Green, S.E. Gilchrist, Keziah Hill, Shona Husk, Beverley Oakley, Kylie Scott, Tracey O’Hara, Mel Teshco and Marianne Theresa.

Five of the authors are previously unpublished and were mentored by the established authors during the writing process. The resulting stories combine a fresh approach with years of experience.

Announced just ahead of the RWA Conference in August, the project was the brainchild of Tracey O’Hara.

“The Hot Down Under project originally started out as a way to help mentor new writers and soon became much more. We were all extremely thrilled when Momentum came on board,”  said Tracey.

“Erotic fiction has been huge long before Fifty Shades of Grey came along.  It has been selling like hotcakes in the US for many years now. It is great to see an Australian publishing company supporting great genre fiction,” she said.”

‘We always planned to publish extensively in genres like romance and erotic romance when we first launched Momentum. However, we weren’t expecting such a gifted collection of new and established authors to approach us with such an accomplished project,” said Joel Naoum, publisher at Momentum.

“More than anything, this proves that there is a vibrant and talented community of genre writers in this country who are looking for support from their local publishers.”

Due to the nature of digital publishing, Momentum was able to publish the stories within a few months of first receiving the pitch – an amazing turnaround time in today’s publishing environment.

‘Digital publishers are more able to take risks.  It would be impossible to print these short stories individually, the costs would be prohibitive and shelf space in bookshops is extremely competitive,” said Joel.

For more information:

Destiny Romance

Momentum Books

Escape Publishing

September’s Hearts Talk Hot off the Presses Now

Spring into post conference content

Selling 75

Laurann Doher (Cyborg Seduction) has been a published writer for only three years but has a 75 book deal – she takes time to tell Mel Teshco about her writing life with Ellora’s Cave.

Laurann wrote 54 books before she ever sought publication.  She hates shoes.  Maybe that’s her secret?

How to bake a book

Jaunita Kees swaps her hammer for a spatula and shows us how to bake a perfect book.  Don’t worry there is actual writing and editing involved as well.

It’s not about the vanity – it’s about the choice

Maree Anderson talks about becoming a self-published author in this month’s, “How do I…”

Winners and Grinners

Celebrate our contest winners and the teams that made the Diamond and Claytons conferences possible.  And they did it for love!

It’s Destiny with Penguin

Read about Destiny Romance the new line being introduced by Penguin.

Escape to Harlequin

Harlequin adds a new digital first imprint to its range.  Read about their So You Think You can Write resources and contest too.

A Writer’s Life

Sarah Mayberry talks about the perils of wanting to be liked and when to use the politican’s standby – “No comment.”

Dear Joan

In this edition Dear Joan gets some help to explore the world of e-publishing with Sarah Mayberry and Nicola Marsh and answers the eternal question, should be become a contest judge.

The Writer’s Journey

Ingrid Riskersey talks to Julie-Anne Carter about marauding Vikings, pantsing and her favourite authors.

Contest Update

See the dates and preliminary details for this year’s contest season, including a Valerie Parv Award report.  Allergy medicine not required.

And our regular features:

  • From Rachel’s desk
  • Market Watch
  • Member News with Bronwyn Stuart
  • In-person events with Doreen Sullivan
  • New Releases

For full articles and regular columns, go to our website.


  • Not a member? Please view our sample issue from January 2011.
  • To receive our wonderful monthly newsletter, we invite you to Join RWA for all the details.

A Tale Of Three Publishers with Amy Andrews

It’s a brave new world in publishing.  New boutique publishers, traditional publishers’ new digital imprints and self-publishing are offering authors more options than ever before.  But what is it like to juggle multiple options?  We invited RWA past president, Amy Andrews, to tell us…


Firstly, let me just say how thrilling it was to attend the Gold Coast conference this weekend just gone. I’m suffering from beach and female-chit-chat withdrawal and my bed just wasn’t the same last night after the cloud-like comfort of my giant one at the QT.

I’m so excited about the absolute buzz that pervaded the conference – that it’s never been a better time to be an author (particularly a romance author) with all these new options open to us. New digital lines both here and overseas and finally finally Australian publishers telling us – we want your stories!

Yes, we have choices now. And you know what? You’d be mad if you didn’t explore and grab hold of every single one. The key, these days, to longevity in this business is diversifying. And I’m happy as a clam to now be working with three publishers.

So who are they and how do they stack up?

Entangled Publishing –

In case anyone didn’t hear my squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee from the bar on Sunday night at the conference, my Indulgence published by Entangled Publishing has just gone live. Taming the Tycoon had a gooooorgeous cover and well, who doesn’t love a good tycoon?

Entangled are the new kids on the block but they are making a huge impact with phenomenal success. They are young and smart and small enough still to be quick and nimble and their willingness to adapt swiftly to market has been inspirational. And their philosophy of “no book left behind” is heart-warming to authors who have suffered through decades of “throw it against the wall and see if it sticks”. I cannot speak highly enough of my experience with them.

Harlequin –

I’ve written 29 books, both for the Medical and RIVA/Presents Extra/KISS lines for this hugely successful international publisher. HMB have defined “romance” for decades and need no introduction. One of the highlights of the conference was receiving my 25th pin on Thursday night at the Harlequin authors dinner which included some lovely words from my gorgeous London ed Lucy. For eight years they have taken my stories to the world – THE WORLD – with translations in over a dozen languages. In a world dominated by the 50 Shades hype that tells you you’re intellectually inferior to enjoy romance, I have loved being part of the Harlequin family and am proud to call myself a Harlequin author.

Harper Collins Australia –

Writing single title is an entirely different beast to writing category romance but some things never change – the relationship with your editor. And working with Anna Valdinger on the tandem novel Sister Pact I wrote with my sister has been a truly wonderful experience. From edits to story direction to cover concepts it’s been an interesting ride being out there in the Australian market with all the other “big” books but she’s been with us every step of the way. The local market is much smaller and much, much harder to “crack” and that had been a true learning experience. But I’m so happy that it’s opening up to more of us.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have three different, diverse publishers who are invested in me. Me. So my advice is to get yourself out there and take advantage of all the new choices that are around today. And don’t lock yourself in to just one place. Once upon time that was the done thing but remember, this is your career and you have to do what is best for you.

And sometimes that means sharing the love 🙂

Amy Andrews writes category romance for both Harlequin and Entangled and contemporary women’s fiction for Harper Collins Australia under her real name Ali Ahearn. She was on the RWA national executive for six years during which time she organised two conferences and undertook a two-year term as president. You can read more about her at

Choc Lit: Romance Publisher looking for an Australian Star

Choc Lit is a UK Romance Publisher recently launched in Australia and they are, in their own words:

looking to add some Aussie heat and glamour to our tasty selection of fiction and we’d like to find the next Australian star author.  Dream of being published internationally? Write romance with irresistible heroes? Then this could be for you.

[Links to submission criteria and more info below. Ed.]

Since this sounded like an opportunity that might be of interest to our members, we thought we should find out a bit more about Choc Lit.  Imelda Evans (Blog-girl and RWA member about town) put Luke Roberts, from Choc Lit into her interrogation chamber interview chair and here are the results:

Choc Lit is an interesting name.  Is there a story that goes with it?

Glad you like it!  (Well you said, it’s “interesting” anyway…) Yes, there is a story. The MD of Choc Lit, Lyn Vernham, was discussing the name Choc Lit with a colleague, when they were thinking of starting the company. Lyn was sure it would be taken already, but a quick check revealed the name had not been trademarked. The idea, beyond the play on Chick Lit, was to match chocolate to particular heroes from the romance novels the company publishes. This led to the company strapline, “where heroes are chocolate- irresistible.” As most women like romance and chocolate, the name seemed, and still seems to be a winner. We have worked with a number of chocolatiers in the UK to match their cocoa treats with our tasty heroes. No Choc Lit book launch is complete without some chocolate for people to sample.

How would you describe Choc Lit?  What can people expect of your books?

Choc Lit books are innovative and fun. They are prepared to try new ideas, both in the material they publish and in finding alternative or unusual routes to market. Choc Lit books always incorporate a male as well as a female point of view. You get to hear from the heroes in Choc Lit books and gain an insight into what they’re thinking. In terms of genre, we’ve made an effort to cut loose from the somewhat formulaic plots and horizons to which romances have traditionally adhered. Choc Lit books incorporate comedy, historical settings, paranormal and timeslip elements into the stories, but there’s always romance at the core. We try to do the unexpected to some degree, and some reviewers have picked up on this. The Daily Mail newspaper in the UK, for example, was surprised by the graphic scenes of conflict in Margaret James’ trilogy about a British family living and fighting through World War I and II.

Where did Choc Lit start and where are you operating to date?

Choc Lit published their first book in Dec 2008. By the end of 2011 we had published 15 books. We now publish a book a month, and most of our titles are available in our chief markets of the UK, America and of course Australia, which we are very excited about! The goal is to produce two books a month by the end of 2013. In terms of where we operate physically, (because more and more of the book world is going online), Choc Lit HQ is in the lovely countryside of Surrey, in south-east England. Our novels are now distributed worldwide and we are seeing an increasing number of foreign language and translation rights requests.

How long has Choc Lit been publishing?

Oops. Already answered that! Our first book was The Importance of Being Emma by Juliet Archer, released in December 2008, followed by Starting Over, by Sue Moorcroft. The Importance of Being Emma is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic novel Emma. Juliet does a great job of getting inside the hearts and minds of Jane Austen’s heroes. Sue has helped establish our contemporary fiction titles, and Starting Over features one of our most sought after heroes! Since these first two books, we haven’t looked back.

What formats do you publish in? Trade, mass-market, e-books…?

All of them. Publishers have to take all these formats seriously at the moment, although ebooks are proving to be the growth sector.

Who is your target audience?

We are aware that it’s mostly women who read our books. And that includes adult women of almost any age. Some of our books, like The Untied Kingdom by Kate Johnson, a satirical tale of the United Kingdom as a third-world nation in a parallel universe, are more popular with young women aged under 35. But a lot of our historical fiction, like Christina Courtenay’s award-winning adventures in diverse lands, have a more mature readership. And we mustn’t forget to exclude the men. We know that some men are reading our books, and good on them, we say.

Can you give us some representative examples of Choc Lit authors?

Choc Lit publish new or developing authors and we believe in all of them absolutely. No one Choc Lit author represents the brand, or some would say publisher, better than any other. You’d have to look at to see them all. We work very much as a team. It may sound strange, but we even call it the Choc Lit family. All the authors are excellent at supporting one another and getting more savvy with social media, marketing and creating sales opportunities by the day. Some of the authors have been winning prizes. We’ve won 7 in the last 18 months. That’s a great endorsement for some of them, and we’re only sad that there aren’t enough prizes for everyone to add at least one to their trophy cabinet. They all deserve some silverware!

I see you have launched in Australia.  What does that mean to your sales here?  Will your books be in bookshops, available online and/or elsewhere?

Yes. We’re delighted about this. It’s a real opportunity and folks in Australia have been so welcoming. We’re being distributed in Australia by Alpa Books. Our books should be available via the full gamut of bookshops, online retailers and  also at certain conferences. If they’re not, speak to Alpa or the bookshop manager! As we’ve only just launched in Australia, we think it will take a while for books to be available through some channels, as this always takes longer than we hope. But everyone that asks for a copy of Please Don’t Stop the Music, the UK’s Romantic Novel of the Year 2012, or any of our books in their local store, helps get the distribution chain moving. Our latest title to become available in Australia is Evonne Wareham’s book, Never Coming Home, which has just won The Joan Hessayon Award fort promising new writing. Look out for that one.

Obviously, you publish romance. Do you publish other genres? Do you publish all the sub-genres of romance, or do you have a preference?

We will not exclude any subgenre of romance. If the book is well written and it gains favourable reviews from our Tasting Panel of independent readers, there’s a good chance we’ll publish it. They are quite picky and have eclectic tastes. It so happens that we have published contemporary, historical, comic, paranormal and timeslip romances to date. We do have something of a preference for books which have a clear love of and characterisation of place, as well as powerful chemistry between the hero and heroine. This is especially evident in Chris Stovell’s books, and you’ll find this loving rendering of all the things which make a place what it is, in the books of forthcoming authors like Liz HarrisLinda Mitchelmore and Henriette Gyland.

You’re running a search for an Australian romance writer.  With regard to that, who is eligible? Published or unpublished?  Any other criteria?

Well, the full details are available at but to answer your questions succinctly, both published and unpublished authors are eligible, although the manuscript must not be under consideration by other publishers, nor be a repeat of any previously published material.

All submissions must meet our submission criteria and be received before 31st August 2012. The winner will be announced December 2012. To be eligible to enter our Search for an Australian Star competition, you must live in Australia.

What do you want to see from entrants? 

In terms of length we are looking for 70,000 to 100,000 words. Subgenre is not important, a fabulous story and great romance is what we are looking for.

Is there anything you don’t want to see?

Badly written manuscripts, heroes and heroines who get it on by the third page, characters who seem to be carbon copies of well-known characters we’ve seen/read elsewhere…

How should people submit?

We’re looking for a synopsis and a little information about the novelist. This needs to be emailed to by 31 August, 2012, but we’d advise looking at the full submission guidelines first.

How is the competition judged?

The strongest submissions will be read by our Tasting Panel of independent readers. They will draw up a shortlist of 3 candidates. This is quite a democratic process, as there are 50 members of the Tasting Panel and they all have different tastes and opinions. We are exploring putting the 3 candidates forward for a public vote, to be hosted by the Australian Romance Readers Association website.

What does the writer ‘win’ if they are chosen?

The winner will be offered a contract with Choc Lit, who will market and sell their book worldwide.

Are you open to choosing more than one writer, if you like what you see?

We will choose a winner, however difficult that may be. But if there are other very strong submissions that narrowly miss out, we will definitely be interested in speaking to the relevant authors, about whether we can publish their work a little further down the line.


And that’s the end of the interrogation, interview!  Thanks to Luke for his time and comprehensive answers.  For more information on the search, click the links above, or here.

As with any competition, RWA advises that you read all the fine print carefully and only proceed if you are happy.  Please note that entries need to be submitted by 31st August 2012.  If you decide to enter, Good Luck!

A Day in the Writing Life of … Cassandra Dean

Welcome, Cassandra and thank you for participating on our blog.

Warning : some content is not suitable for under 18.

What time of the day do you write? Are you a morning, night-owl or anytime writer?

A night-owl, definitely! I find I do my best work at night. Something about the dark, about the lack of distractions because even the birds are asleep, fires my creativity. However, I am also a massive opportunist and will take whatever I can get. If, for some reason, I start writing in the morning, I’m not going to question it…not that this has happened, mind you. So not a morning person!

Where do you write? Do you have your own special place? Does the location vary?

I would love to have a special place, but I write anywhere I can. Recently, I have taken to bringing my laptop to the day job to do some writing during my lunch break. I managed to do most of the edits on ENSLAVED this way! 

 Another example of the write anywhere sitch – I was in a restaurant eating dinner by myself (I know, such a loser, right?? 😉 and proceeded to write a whole scene for the new work in progress. All I need is the means and the opportunity and bob, he is my uncle.  I also like to pretend I’ll write when I’m on holiday, and so I bring my laptop.  Sometimes I do, but mostly I get distracted by holiday type stuff 🙂

Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser? Do you edit as you go or prefer to edit after completion of the ms?

I plan a lot while I’m driving…hopefully this doesn’t make me a dangerous driver! However, I don’t like to plan too much.  I have tried in the past to plan, with note cards of different colours for different subplots, but found it didn’t really help. As long as I have a general idea, I go where the mood takes me. For me, this is really effective.

 Do you use whiteboards, posters, visual aids to help in your creativity?

I used to use a corkboard, which would contain various items to help me visualise stuff.  Hmm.  Anyone would think I wrote for a living, the way the words are flowing from me right now, so very descriptive.  Okay, think Cassandra!

 I’ve had the good luck to travel to a lot of the places my stories are set in and I use the photos I’ve taken to remind me of the feel of walking through the terrain, to remember the atmosphere.  I also use music to block out the outside world. Actually, funny story, when writing my very first book (which will probably never see the light of day – geez, it was bad!), I found I could only listen to one album, the same album, over and again. It was the only thing that got me writing. If I listened to other albums, I would get distracted. I don’t know what it was about that particular album (and it was only for that particular book). Odd.

What writing tools do you favour? Long hand, computer …..

I use a curious mix of both. Sometimes, I find writing scenes out long hand helps fire the creativity but the convenience of computers (and the speed at which I can type) really helps get my thoughts down as quickly as possible. However, when I’m stuck, having a hard copy of the draft helps bring all my thoughts together and makes the way forward clearer.

Is your writing space messy, organized or somewhere in between? What is your favourite form of procrastination? Do you have any tips to beat off that old foe “procrastination”?

Somewhere in-between! It can be messy while I’m working but I’ll always clean the desk and make it neat (or my version of neat) before I leave the workspace.  As for procrastination, I will find anything to do rather than write, which is so silly because I love it so. And yet, for all my love, it’s hard work- don’t let anyone tell you any different. So I’ll watch telly, read a book, do housework, visit friends…anything but write! 

Are there any particular rituals you do to set the mood / harness your muse?

Not really. It’s just a matter of sitting down and fighting the seductive lure of procrastination.  Once I get into it, I can write for ages but as for the initial start, I have yet to find a foolproof way to skip the ‘getting into’ stage – does anyone have any suggestions?

 Do you spend much time reading over the previous day’s work? Do you have a special system in place in order to begin writing or go with the flow?

No special system…Wow, I sound really unorganised, don’t I? I tend to go with the flow, forcing myself to put something on the page to fix later. Even if I write “fight scene, sword, blood argh!” that gets me to the next bit of the story and I can come back in a later draft to add the scene required. For me, getting the emotion down is paramount – even if the first draft has anachronistic language which I then fix up, the feel I’m going for is down and it can be fixed later!

 Thanks so much for having me! Please feel free to visit me at my website, on Facebook or on Twitter!

Cassandra writes historical romance with a bit of a flare, a touch of the erotic and a lot on the Happy Ever After. Her book Enslaved is available at Decadent Publishing.

Warning : some content is not suitable for under 18.

Thank you Cassandra, for sharing a day in your writing life.

Carina Press: Editor Angela James answers your questions

Today we welcome Angela James, Editor of Carina Press to the RWAus blog to answer your questions.

1. Have you chosen all the books for the launch of Carina Press or are you still looking for more?

Not at all, as of today (December 17th) we’ve actually only acquired three authors, for a total of six titles, and though we do have half a dozen more slated for acquisition, we’re still searching for additional launch month titles.

2. Will the cover price be different for different lengths of books?  ie. will shorter works be sold for less?

Yes. We haven’t set our final prices yet, but they will be competitive within the digital market and based on word count.

3. How many submissions did Carina Press get?

In the first two weeks of opening to submissions, we had nearly 300 manuscripts submitted!

4. How long will the wait time be on submissions?

Wait time is currently 8 to 12 weeks. To start, we’re taking just about every bit of this because we announced we were open to submissions the same day I started the job! And so, I had no editors hired yet to read submissions. Now that I have 8 editors hired, with 2 more to come, submissions are getting read very quickly.

5. And when will you be coming Down Under again?

Oh, I loved every minute of my trip to Australia, you have no idea how much I’d like to come back. And maybe make it to Sydney this time! Truly, the Australia RWA members and everyone I met while wandering around Brisbane and Melbourne were fantastic and I just had a lovely time discovering the food, the culture and the sites. I’d come back next month if I could! But sadly, I have no immediate plans for visiting. Some day…

6. What format will the books take? Is it true there will be no DRM, in which case, how does this affect piracy and posting of author’s works on torrent and file sharing sites?

Books will be available in ePub and PDF formats for sure, we haven’t decided on the other formats quite yet.

There will be no DRM on files, but this doesn’t haven’t any affect on piracy. Pirates are technically savvy people and DRM is not a deterrent to piracy as is evidenced by the sheer number of titles available to pirate, that were sold only with DRM on them. Those who pirate know how to strip DRM within a minute’s work if they want to upload it to the sites so DRM doesn’t stop piracy. At Carina, we believe that DRM does, however, stop customers from making legitimate purchases and also accessing their content. DRM is a barrier for many people, who find it confusing, frustrating and a reason not to buy.

7. Will they be available at legitimate ebook seller sites or only through Carina Press?

Carina Press titles will be available through third-party distributors as well. Essentially, we want to be where readers are!

8. Are there any plans to traditionally print bestselling stories at a later date?

The future is full of possibilities!

9. Will the royalties be similar to other epublishers (i.e. 35-40%)

Royalties will be 30% of cover price from direct Carina sales and 15% of cover price from third-party retailers. There is no option clause in the contract and we request a term of seven years.

10. Are you concentrating on any particular content? And what won’t you be publishing?

We’ll be focusing on romance and all its subgenres, but will also be publishing a variety of fiction genres such as fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, mystery, thrillers, women’s fiction and more.

Right now, the only two things I can say we won’t be publishing is poetry and young adult.

Thank you, Angela, for taking time out to answer our questions.We wish you lots of success with Carina Press, and perhaps we’ll see some of our members chosen as Carina Press authors. For more information about Carina Press, visit their website.

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