Please join us in welcoming Executive Editor Marsha Zinberg today! We're very pleased to have her here talking about Harlequin's Famous Firsts special edition releases.
By: Executive Editor Marsha Zinberg
As Executive Editor of Feature and Custom Publishing at Harlequin, I work on reissue programs all the time and have done so for many years. So what was so special about putting together our Famous Firsts Collection, timeless romance stories which readers are enjoying in select months of 2009?
First of all, we wanted to do something really special for Harlequin’s sixtieth anniversary celebration. Each series had special in-line books and features planned. What could we do in a reissue format that would appeal to current readers? We decided to go for “timeless” and “classic”, and to revisit some of the first novels written by romance authors who had gone on to establish careers and renown in their chosen field.
For me, this was really a project of the heart because….I happily admit it….I have been at Harlequin long enough to have been on staff when many of these books were originally acquired, and reflecting on the journey of both the books and the authors is quite nostalgic for my sentimental heart!
Finally, and most important, working on this project afforded the wonderful opportunity to reconnect with many of the Famous Firsts authors, whom I have known throughout their careers. It was a chance to catch up, and even more rewarding, to gather their reflections and thoughts on their particular books, on their careers and on the current state of romance publishing.
In a series of blogs on various sitesover the next couple of weeks, it will be my pleasure to share some of these comments and insights with you!
I was quite delighted by the variety of responses I got when I asked the authors what had prompted the ideas for their books. Linda Lael Miller told me that she had always been interested in politics, and wanted to write about how it might affect a heroine’s life to be related to a president of the United States. What she was going for in State Secrets, she explained, was a relationship similar to that between Kate Jackson and Bruce Boxleitner in Scarecrow and Mrs. King, a television series from the 80’s that she loved.
For Joan Johnston, the inspiration for Ties that Bind was a newspaper article on performance art that described two people who’d spent an entire year tied together by an eight-foot rope, and had not spoken to each other at all during that time!
Vicki Lewis Thompson, as an established Harlequin Temptation author, was asked to write one of the first Harlequin Blaze stories. She wanted both hero and heroine to be out of their element, and remembers that she “couldn’t think of a more Blaze-like city” than Las Vegas, which both fascinated and repelled her!
And Anne Stuart, an author of more than 100 stories, instantly responded that the plot of Tangled Liesemerged in her brain from her affection for an obscure 1948 movie entitled Miss Tatlock’s Millions. It depicted the impossible dilemma of someone falling in love with a person pretending to be a sibling…the biggest romantic no-no of all, and she desperately wanted to write that story—as a mystery. Fortunately for her and for us, the Harlequin Intrigue line had just begun , and this book, which was “burning a hole in her brain”, was one of the first bought for that series.
Please be sure to watch from my next blog post at PlotMonkeystomorrow, June 2, where I will share with you how the technological revolution impacted some of your favorite authors!
Don’t forget that you can enjoy 16 free Harlequin novels by downloading them at www.HarlequinCelebrates.com. And the Harlequin Cover Art Show in New York runs May 30 – June 12th at the Open House Gallery, New York City (201 Mulberry Street in Soho).
Have you read any of the Harlequin Firsts?
To celebrate the release of these we've got 4 of the novels and one tote bag to give away!
Every person who leaves a comment on this post telling us what Famous First they're most looking forward to will be entered to win this beautiful tote bag:
Additionally, we're going to giveaway one of each of these Famous First titles:
Tangled Lies by Anne Stuart
Moontide by Stella Cameron
The Matchmakers by Debbie Macomber
Tell us which one you're interested in and we'll throw your name in the hat. You're welcome to put your name in for all four books, but you may only win one. However, one person may win a book AND the tote!
You must leave a comment before 11:59 p.m. Friday, June 5th in order to be entered in the giveaway.
See a full list of the Famous Firsts here. Share this post!