"Captivating historical romance: love and faith throughout the ages."
Please join us in welcoming Love Inspired Associate Editor Emily Rodmell who was kind enough to agree not only to spending time with us but to judge a Love Inspired Historical pitch contest. Details on that and today's giveaways after our question and answer session with Emily.
What is Love Inspired Historical, and what are you looking for?
Love Inspired Historical is an inspirational historical romance line that publishes books of 70-75K words. We accept all time periods up to World War II. We love Westerns and publish a lot of them, so send them our way. But we’re also really interested in finding a lot of books in different genres and time periods. We’d love to see more Regency, Scottish Highlands, Medieval, missionary, Biblical and other unique settings.
Why submit to Love Inspired Historical?
The Love Inspired franchises have been growing in leaps and bounds over the past few years. Love Inspired went from 4 books a month to 6 a couple years ago, and this year Love Inspired Historical doubled its output from 2 books a month to 4. That means that we need double the amount of authors. We’ve already acquired about 20 new authors since the bump, but we have room for more. LIH is a great place for both published and unpublished authors to submit. We’re one of the few places that doesn’t require an agent, so it’s ideal for new authors with fresh ideas looking for a start. We also can publish our authors multiple times a year. So if you’re published at a house that only wants one book a year from you and want an extra outlet for your work, feel free to send us something. The Love Inspired lines have huge readership numbers that allow you to reach a large number of readers who auto-buy LIH and might not ordinarily pick up your other work.
What are some tips you can give writers targeting LIH?
Read other LIH books and our guidelines to get an idea of what we’re looking for. Then be original. Come up with ideas and plotlines and settings that are your own. Our editorial mantra for the year is “unpredictability”. We want to buy stories that hook us on from the beginning and keep us entertained until the end. We want to see elements that surprise us in a good way. Don’t try to write to a formula. Give us something unique and special that still fits within our guidelines.
What are some examples of recent LIH books that you’ve published that you’re excited about?
Because of all the opportunity for new authors at LIH, I’ve been thrilled to be able to buy some great stories that have recently hit the market. In Lacy Williams’ Marrying Miss Marshal, the heroine is a town marshal in the old West. I loved this story because it was great to see a new take on a woman in a man’s job. In The Reluctant Outlaw by Karen Kirst, the heroine is kidnapped by a gang of outlaws and thinks the hero is one of them. The story keeps you engaged and you can’t beat the hot guy on the cover. And I’ve been thrilled to work on Christine Johnson’s recent series of books set in Michigan in the early 1900s. The hero in the first book (Soaring Home) was a pilot, and the heroine dreamed of being one and wouldn’t back down until he gave her a shot. In her newest book, The Matrimony Plan, a rich heiress thinks she wants the high society guy but finds that a penniless preacher might be the perfect one for her.
Who can acquire for Love Inspired Historical?
Senior Editor Tina James, myself and Elizabeth Mazer are the official members of the LIH team, so we get most of the LIH submissions. But Love Inspired Senior Editor Melissa Endlich and Love Inspired Editorial Assistant Rachel Burkot can also acquire books for LIH.
Melissa Endlich, Emily Rodmell & Rachel Burkot
How does a published author submit to Love Inspired Historical? And may an author writing for another Love Inspired line submit to LIH?
An author published with a different publishing house, should send (or have their agent send) a proposal (synopsis & 3 chapters) to one of the members of the LIH team at 233 Broadway, St. 1001 New York, NY 10279, or if we’re on an email basis with your agent, they can contact us that way. Current LI & LIS authors should contact their editor to discuss if it would be the right move. We prefer that current authors not spread themselves too thin between the lines. So unless you’re able to write a minimum of 2 books a year for each line, try to stick to one specialty.
How does a unpublished author submit to Love Inspired Historical?
Unpublished authors should mail a query letter and synopsis (3 chapters are also acceptable) addressed to one of the members of the LIH team. If we like what we see, we’ll request a full manuscript. So please only query us if you have a full manuscript ready (or almost ready).
Above photo -Joan Marlowe Golan, Tina James & Elizabeth Mazer
The word count for Love Inspired Historical is 70 to 75 thousand words. Is that computer word count? Is there any wiggle room?
That’s computer word count. There’s no wiggle room in the published books, but if you’re slightly over or under at submission, it’s not a deal breaker. We can work to get it at the right number. But my advice would be to submit within the right range.
Your guidelines explain what periods you are looking for but are any time periods saturated? Can you clarify what biblical fiction is and is not?
No time periods are saturated. Westerns are the most popular with readers, so we’re always happy to get those, but we also want to find other unique and interesting settings to bring our readers. The sky’s the limit. Be original. For us, Biblical fiction would probably be the best if it was a fictional character set in Biblical times.
What is the level of sensuality accepted in Love Inspired Historical, and does it vary according to the time period of the book?
Love Inspired Historical books are sweet across the board. When you’re thinking of how sensual you can get, look at it this way. The books should be something that you would be completely comfortable reading and passing along to either your grandmother or your 12-year-old daughter. If it would make you uncomfortable to do so, it’s probably too sexy.
Do you have any POV preferences for Love Inspired Historical?
We require that there be both hero and heroine point of view in any LIH story and prefer not to see additional POVs, but occasionally do make a few exceptions (villains, ect).
What about references to specific religions in reference to historical settings. Is that allowed? How is it handled?
We prefer that specific denominations not be highlighted since we have readers across the spectrum, but it’s handled on a case by case basis. Your best move is to be general.
Thank you, Emily for taking the time to answer all these questions in detail! And check it out, Seekerville made Emily's to do list!!
Bio: Emily Rodmell is the associate editor for Love Inspired, Love Inspired Suspense and Love Inspired Historical. She also coordinates the continuity series for the lines. She is a former Florida girl who lives for sunny days and good books. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyRodmell or on the Harlequin message boards at http://community.harlequin.com/forums/love-inspired/editors-corner-chat-emily-rodmell
Seekerville is thrilled to share a Love Inspired Historical Pitch Contest.
We're keeping this very simple. All pitches will be read by Associate Editor Emily Rodmell. The top two will receive a light critique of a proposal. The contest will run from 10/20/11 through 10/24/2011. Details on the contest tab above. Please note, this contest is open to PUBLISHED AUTHORS as well as UNPUBLISHED AUTHORS. So start practicing your (max) six sentence pitch. Any pitches that are put in the blog comments today will be deleted.
If that isn't enough Seekerville is delighted to share our special giveaways today, made possible by Love Inspired Historical authors and Associate Editor Emily Rodmell. We'll be giving away books and/or prizes every 20 comments until we reach 300 comments. Additionally, one commenter will receive a set of the entire month's LIH releases courtesy of Emily Rodmell.
Winners will be announced in the Weekend Edition, Love Inspired authors and Seekerville authors are not eligible for prizes so their comments will be not be counted. The cutoff for eligible comments is 12 midnight Pacific Coast Time.
Here's a look at our prizes. Be sure to say hi and thank you to these generous Love Inspired Historical Authors!
The following Love Inspired Inspired Historical authors are donating giveaways and will be stopping by to say hi.
- Janet Dean
- Janet Tronstad
- Victoria Bylin
- Debbie Kaufman
- Mary Moore
- Carla Capshaw
- Patty Smith Hall
- Lacy Williams
- Christine Johnson
- Karen Kirst
- Valerie Hansen
- Regina Scott
- Noelle Marchand
- Winnie Griggs
Take a look at these awesome giveaways! Thank you Emily Rodmell, LIH authors and Seekerville.
Click on the Photobucket to peruse the prizes at your leisure!!