Monday, August 25, 2008

The Feel The Heat Competition

As you may have heard by now - Modern Heat is having a competition to find new authors ;) This an a-m-a-z-i-n-g opportunity for aspiring writers to get their foot in the door with one of the most exciting lines out there at the moment! Exciting in what way Trish? Well you tell me how often writers have a chance to be there at the get-go of a bright shiny new line?! And the growing success and associated buzz attached to this line is testimony to how well it's been received by readers. Last year when I was at Nationals in Dallas Modern Heat or Extra as it was then was barely mentioned. Industry people were aware of it's existence and that it was coming to the USA but it was all very *civilized* if you know what I mean. Calm is maybe a better word. Or professional. A kind of wait and see approach from those in the know... The month after Nationals was when the first four Modern Extra's came out as Promotional Presents and sold straight onto the Waldenbooks Best Selling Romance list waaaayyyyy above projected sales expectations and well, the rest is now history - already ;)

This year at Nationals in San Francisco it was DIFFERENT. This year you mentioned the words Modern Heat and suddenly you were being asked a bazillion questions. People KNEW what it was but still wanted to know more. They knew it was doing well and wanted to know more. People who had been reading it were bemoaning the fact they were finding some titles difficult to get hold hold of. How could they tell which ones were Modern Heat's in the line-up? (and in fairness they have a point here with the changing of titles and covers et all - though I do think that will get easier next year with titles being darn close if not the exact same as in the UK/Ire/Aus and NZ - as demonstrated by my book here His Mistress: His Terms which is a December Presents) Bottom line? They wanted to know MORE!!! And they knew the authors names well enough already to seek them out and come speak to them in corridors or elevators ;) This year it really felt like the line had ARRIVED (if that makes sense). It made me feel very very proud to be a part of it!

And now's YOUR CHANCE to join the crew! COMPETITION RULES as as follows:

1. To enter, submit by e-mail a Microsoft Word file of a typed, double spaced, first chapter (no greater than 5,000 words) of a story you have written which is suitable for the Modern Heat series, and a synopsis (no greater than two pages in length) of the complete novel, along with your name, address, e-mail address and phone number to:

2. All submissions must be in English and be received no later than September 15th, 2008. Story concept must be original and must not have won a previous prize/award nor have been previously submitted, reproduced or published.

3. Entries will be judged by a panel of members of the Harlequin Mills & Boon editorial staff, based on the following criteria:
• Voice
• Content
• Writing Skills

in equal measure.

In the event of a tie, duplicate prizes will be awarded. Decisions of the judges are final.

4. Submissions will not be returned and may be used for promotional purposes only. All rights of the submitted work will remain with the author. Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, at its discretion, may request to see one or more full manuscripts from contest entrants after the close of the competition. No responsibility is assumed for lost, late, illegible, incomplete, non-compliant, non-delivered or misdirected submissions.

5. This contest is open to entrants who are 18 years of age or older and is void wherever prohibited by law; all applicable laws and regulations apply. Employees and immediate family members of Harlequin Enterprises Ltd and Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, including contracted authors, their parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and all other agencies, entities and persons connected with the use, marketing or conduct of this Contest are not eligible to enter. By acceptance of a prize, the winner consents to use of his/her name, photograph or other likeness for purposes of advertising, trade and promotion on behalf of Harlequin Enterprises Limited and Harlequin Mills & Boon, without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.

6. Winners will be determined no later than September 30th, 2008, and will be notified by e-mail. Winners will be required to sign and return a Publicity Release and Affidavit of Eligibility certifying his/her eligibility and that the submitted chapter and story outline are his/her own original work, and it has not won a previous prize/award nor has it previously been submitted/reproduced/published, within 10 days of notification. Non-compliance within that time period may result in disqualification and an alternate winner will be selected. Harlequin Enterprises Ltd and Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, their parents, affiliates and subsidiaries are not responsible for errors in the electronic or printed presentation of this Contest. Winners agree that Harlequin Enterprises Limited and Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from acceptance of or use of their prize.

7. Prizes:

1st – winner will be awarded the services of a Harlequin Mills & Boon editor for one year [1st October 2008 – 30th September 2009], who will offer advice and guidance on contest entry, plus subsequent, previously mutually agreed submissions of partial or full manuscripts aimed at the Modern Heat series.

2nd - consultations for two runners-up on their first chapter and synopsis aimed at the Modern Heat series (50000 words) with a Harlequin Mills & Boon editor.

Only one prize per person. No cash alternatives.

8. For a list of winners (available after 1st October 2008), send a self-addressed, stamped
envelope to:

Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited
18-24 Paradise Road
Surrey TW9 1SR
United Kingdom

Now over at the IHeart Presents Blog you can find advice on writing for the line from many if not all of the Modern Heat authors (moi included at some point this week I think and then again in September) I've been reading through them and lemme tell ya folks there are some absolute GEMS in there! And you definitely get the vibe of the line. So get thee there I say!

My first blog will be on dialogue but if you have ANY QUESTIONS you want to ask me about Modern Heat or writing for the line then don't be the least ikkle bit afraid to ask either there or on here or by email through my website and I'll post the answers here for all to see. Consider it open house if you like and swap notes or ask each other questions or egg each other on. Seriously. Me Blog es su Blog and all that...

I'll be here. Writing frantically. While still dying. Can't begin to tell you how ill I am. Managed to stand up straight and throw a ball for the dogs for ten minutes today and was so dizzy and tired I had to go lie down for three hours to recover. They make STRONG GERMS in the States is all I can say! (Mind you my Mom reckons I was sick like this last year when I came home too...Me? I don't have that good a memory) And I really haven't got the time to be ill. Have I mentioned I have a London trip and TWO - not one but TWO public appearances at Irish Literary Festivals in September??? No? Well yes I do. And another book due October. No pressure.


Right. Shall now go take more cough medicine, paracetamol, fluids and the like, refill my hot water bottle and get back to Hollywood and my screen-writing couple who are currently locked away in his Malibu beach house...


Donna Alward said...

I seem to remember you being this ill as well, hon. Hugs and more hugs.


Melissa Blue said...

Back with the living one could say.

The line sounded interesting then I read Gabe's story and the line sounded outright to die for. Now if I didn't have a rule about entering books that don't really exist....

Here's my question: How do you keep the light, fun, flirty tone throughout the whole book?

I've done it once and not sure how I can recreate it.

Anyway, hope you feel better.

Janet said...

Hi Trish,

Hope you feel better soon. your hectic lifestyle makes me feel tired just thinking about it. You maybe need to hibernate for a while.

Two questions:
1)I saw this in the guidelines:
"Although conflicts should be realistic and believable, in this series it is not necessary for the hero and/or heroine to have a massive tragic and/or traumatic pasts to create those conflicts."

I've noticed that in the recent Modern heats I've read, there is less mention of the characters' backstory than in previous books in the line. Is this a slight change for the line? Or just something I'm reading too much significance into?

2)Did you get my e-mail of a few weeks ago or should I resend?

Janet Ch.

Aideen said...

Love the cover for the Dec Presents, saucy and sexy.
The competition does sound like one mind blowing opportunity doesn't it?
Have been keeping up to date on IHeart and the posts have been fantastic. Helpful and encouraging to say the least.
Funnily enough, the one up at the moment from Natalie Anderson is all about conflict. And my question is more or less the same as melissa' the conflict in Modern Heat really a lighter versison of the conflict we see in Modern? Or is it just dealt with differently because of the editorial guidelines?

Does that make sense to you? If a person has to think of ways to draw out a sustaining conflict for a whole book, does that tell you something? It told me to scrap the story I was writing and start afresh. Wrong move?, could I possibly have salvaged my original story?

Oh lord, this comp is really starting to ruffle some feathers...


Aideen said...

Oh, and this is going to sound like a careless afterthought...
But I hope your feeling better soon Trish and I wish you a speedy recovery.

Almost typed speedo there, can't seem to get Michael Phelps out of the old mind lately.