Meet Ireland's sexiest author. With 18 hit novels and a literary award nod under her belt, Dubliner Daisy Cummins is one of the most prolific and successful writers in the land -- yet you've probably never even heard her name. But I don't mind people knowing who I am at all. My friends and family think it's great -- even my little brother Jack has read a couple of my books under duress!
Daisy's sexy secret is out of the bag this week anyway, as she's just been shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association Love Story of the Year Award for her novel Bride in a Gilded Cage. From wannabe-writer to would-be award winner in the space of just four years, her career success has been the sort of swept-off-your-feet stuff found between the covers of one of her books.
She had this tape that doesn't exist any more on how to write the perfect romance novel, so I thought 'Why not have a go? However, the course of true love never did run smooth, and her first foray into the world of rich Romeos and horny heroines was rejected by the publishers. About a year later, I was published on my third attempt with Chosen as the Frenchman's Bride -- don't read into the titles too much! Indeed, critics may scoff at the obvious titles, very soft-porn sleeves and bed-hopping narratives, but dig deep enough and you're sure to find one of those naughty rose-emblemed tomes on the book shelf of every home in Ireland and beyond.
But one of the authors is a year-old mum-of-three and if you go on their Facebook page, it's all younger women who are leaving comments. I get emails from 18 and year-old college students from all over the world who are fans.
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Why buy a book that you feel you have to read hidden behind another book? From the sweet 'Cherish' range to the no-holds barred 'Blaze' collection, the brand's books are colour-coded by content -- from a romantic cuddle in front of the fireplace to swinging from the chandeliers. Put it like this, though, you're certainly not going to write about 'waves crashing on a shore' to describe an orgasm.
It's hard work trying to come up with all these different ways for the characters to have what's essentially the same act! It just depends on however I'm feeling that day! Writing about romance and romping all day, surely clit-lit doyenne Daisy must have the most exciting sex life in Ireland? From Carrie and Big to the upcoming royal wedding, what girl doesn't want to be swept off her feet and introduced into this lavish lifestyle where money's no object?
It's the whole Cinderella complex. It's sheer escapism. Ironically, though, single Daisy confesses she wouldn't touch one of her own over-the-top creations with a barge pole if he showed up on her doorstep professing his undying love or just lust this Valentine's Day. I'd be quite happy with somebody nice and kind -- even if he doesn't swoop me off to Morocco for lunch in his own helicopter! Mary O'Conor I'm in my mids, my wife is 10 years younger, we've been together for 15 years and we have two lovely kids.
Katie Byrne Pamela Anderson didn't mince her words when she announced her split from French football player Adil Rami earlier this week. It is the vast, barren landscape between these two fantasies that has given rise to separate empires: romance for women and pornography for men.
That there is so little intersection between the two helps explain why each has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry. Male fantasies remain inherently adolescent the paper boy growing into a plumber, the housewife more desperate and inventive , but the underlying premise remains wild sex without responsibility. The Harlequin fantasy is meaningful sex that symbolizes a lasting emotional connection, and often an end to financial responsibilities. Nevertheless, critics have highlighted similarities between the two worlds.
I would go so far as to say it is misogynistic hate speech… This is what heterosexual romantic fiction promotes—the sexual submission of women to men. Whether it was technically porn or not, Bindel was saying, men came out on top. The company was founded in in Winnipeg by a consortium that included Richard Bonnycastle, who had been a lawyer and a fur trader for the Hudson Bay Company before taking a job at an outfit called Advocate Printers.
At the start, Harlequin supplied Advocate with product, reprinting British and American paperbacks—romances, westerns, detective fiction—for the Canadian market. Lawrence Heisey as its president. A Harvard mba who had worked for Procter and Gamble, Heisey adapted consumer product tactics to the staid bookselling model. He developed a subscription system whereby readers could have books delivered directly to them, which enabled rural customers to get the books, eliminated retailers and returns, and provided the company with valuable data about its consumers.
The new direction prompted others to enter the increasingly lucrative market, with Simon and Schuster launching Silhouette, and Dell starting its Candlelight Ecstasy series.
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In , Torstar, owner of the Toronto Star and already an investor in Harlequin, bought the remaining shares of the imprint, then began buying up its competitors, including, in , its largest American rival, Silhouette. T he Harlequin empire is housed in a nondescript nine-storey concrete bunker in a commercial zone of Don Mills. I wish I could report that my flashing emerald eyes melted the icy core of publisher and ceo Donna Hayes, but Ms. Hayes was tantalizingly, heartbreakingly unavailable. The books are written by hundreds of different writers, and are necessarily formulaic in order to maintain consistency.
The company receives roughly 1, unsolicited manuscripts a month and reads even the worst of them. Harlequin Romances are easy to parody, less easy to write. There have been almost 1, successful Harlequin authors, winnowed from hundreds of thousands of aspirants. Those who make the cut tend to be true believers, sympathetic to both the genre and the characters. Laura Shin, a former Harlequin editor, told me her authors were a varied group: Ph. Harlequin authors have their own web pages, with photographs, blogs, news, bios, and email addresses so readers can get in touch directly.
On her website, Nora Roberts born Eleanor Robertson lists more than books she has written since , including twenty-three between and Of these, have been on the New York Times bestseller list. In alone, she had thirteen books on the list.
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The sheer volume seems obsessive. It was this bond that Stephen King cleverly exploited in Misery. In the novel, the writer-protagonist kills off his popular heroine, Misery Chastain, prompting a deranged fan, menacingly played by Kathy Bates in the film version, to take offence. There are, presumably, Harlequin readers who spend a great deal of time in the fantasy world. For Harlequin, that trust is inscribed in editorial guidelines for each series that lay out the theme, the profiles of the hero and heroine, the acceptable amount of sex, and the number of words.
While he may be harsh and direct, he is never physically cruel. She is strong-willed and smart though capable of making terrible mistakes when it comes to matters of the heart.
Whatever else it is, the romance genre is democratic. The writing is editor driven, and the editors are reader driven. And what drives the readers? For a while, they could seek only vicarious love in Harlequins—no sex. I agreed, naturally, and set another close date to send them by. Tuesday -- Dec 18 -- Received another round of revision notes. Again, fairly epic in scope. Monday -- Jan 7 -- Contacted Suzy to propose Jan 18 deadline for revisions, and she said sure!
Thursday -- Jan 24 -- Actual date I managed to send in revisions. They were hard, man. Then I spent time with the Crickets of Scary Silence. Wednesday -- Feb 20 -- Email arrived from Suzy, asking if she could call in the afternoon. I said sure, but then promptly missed the call. Emailed, rescheduled for next day.
How to set our pulses racing with the first chapter of your Medical romance! So, our Top Ten Tips are…. Begin your story at an interesting point — a point of change, an exciting or dramatic moment. Whether you prefer the hustle and bustle of an inner-city hospital or perhaps the gentle cosiness of a village practice, take the reader straight into the medical world of your characters right from the get- go. The setting is integral to the story in any Medical Romance. Bring fresh takes and new twists to traditional storylines — carve your own unique niche. Internal emotional conflict should be your main focus.
Emotional development between your characters is a big part of the promise to Medical Romance readers.
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Explore their reactions to the situation and make sure they are totally convincing and captivating! Engage your reader and their emotions. Get them on the page together quickly and show the chemistry and the dynamic between them. That immediate spark that makes the reader know they are going to fall madly in love! She could be a nurse, a doctor, a physiotherapist — the list is endless! She could be really feisty and smart with a heart of gold, or warm, caring and lovely.
Just make sure she is vivid, captivating and really well developed — someone your reader can really identify with. The hero must sweep the reader—as well as the heroine—off her feet! He can be a sexy rebel, a loving dad, or tortured and meltingly brooding. He has integrity and an honourable character and his strength of character, sheer determination and passion have seen him rise to the top of the medical profession. When creating your hero and heroine on the page, show the reader rather than tell them who they are! Reveal your key characters gradually and subtly - through actions, interaction together and with others, and insight into their thoughts and feelings.
Some insight into the medical community in which your hero and heroine works is part and parcel of the series however, keep secondary characters to a minimum and ensure your story is focussed on your hero and heroine and the development of their conflict and relationship. So there you have it. If you have any questions for us, just ask in the comments section below. Good luck! Medical Romance submissions must be received between Monday 24th March and Thursday 24th April to receive a response within 24 hours! We ask how they started writing, why they started writing, and most importantly, how did the romance writer dream come true for them In our debut edition, we asked debut Cherish author, Jessica Gilmore to tell us how she went from slush Here's Jessica It was tailor made for me as I was completely in thrall to regency romance; breeches, spirited Misses, marriages of convenience, highwaymen, sardonic Dukes, rakes.
I loved them all. One day, I vowed, tossing my head like a true heroine should, I will finish that first page. I will be a romance writer.
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How could I raise her to go for her dreams if I was too frightened to try for mine? Rather than try and find my voice I tried unsuccessfully to sound like Georgette Heyer, I had no idea of conflict, a cardboard cut-out hero and heroine and an entire town full of far more interesting secondary characters. I was genuinely surprised when it received a standard rejection! So I finally did some real research - and came across the New Voices competition. Of course I had to enter and submitted a chapter chock-full of betrayal, intrigue and sizzling tension - or so I thought.
And to a course that changed my life…. It was an incredible opportunity to learn from the very best and, after a few subtle hints, my husband bought me a place for my Christmas present. Covering everything from structure to conflict, dialogue to pacing it was a fantastic guide to writing genre fiction. It also made me think about my own writing style and whether regency romance was really the genre for me.
One assignment was to write the opening page of a romance novel and I decided to try my hand at a contemporary romance - the result was the opening page of The Return of Mrs Jones. Thanks to Jessica Hart I had the tools, the RNA gave me both an incentive and a deadline to turn that opening scene into a book. It was finally finished just a few weeks before the deadline, printed as I was packing the car to go camping, posted as we set off on holiday. I learned a lot in the three years between New Voices and getting The Call.
I had to find my own voice, find the line that was right for me, be disciplined with my writing time, learn my craft. I would advise all aspiring writers out there to join your local professional bodies, read, read and read some more, go on workshops and courses, accept critique - and keep writing. Plus follow Jessica on Twitter here. Welcome to our brand new Medical Romance writing Fast-Track. Starting on Monday 24th March!
Send your submission to the Medical Romance team and get a response in 24 hours! If you love strong and sexy medical heroes and heroines, then the Medical Romance team is waiting to read your first chapter! So send us your Medical Romance! Full writing guidelines are available at How to Write Medical Romance.
Please submit a first chapter and synopsis only, along with a cover letter containing your contact details. To be sure that your submission receives a 1 day response, you must have an acknowledgement of receipt by return email. A response will be sent within 24 hours of the acknowledgement email being sent to you not including weekends.