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Ch-ch-cha- Changes

Turn and face the strange – I love that song because it’s an elemental truth is that we constantly change, right?

Recently, after the whole lawsuit over image infringment on a few blogs, I went through all my posts, double checked to make sure I hadn’t used any illegal images and pulled them. I had only two in the almost four years of blogging, and in a way it was fun to look back at where I was the day Keri Ford asked me to join her blog. (Little secret – the blog is still saved under my favorites as “Keri Ford and Amy Talley.”)  See? Change already. I don’t blog under Amy Talley anymore.

But anywho, it was fun to see where I was at that time, struggling through trying to write a new Regency book while editing the first book to death. Many of those first posts were about my uncertainty, wondering if I should take the risk of submitting or piddling around trying to decipher my contest scores. Through those posts I watched myself grow as a writer. Starting with doubt, growing with frustration and small accomplishments. I giggled as I saw my mid-March post, knowing that a Golden Heart final was around the corner and wincing at the hopelessness evident in my early September post in 2009, the one where my discouragement was at an all-time high. Then rejoicing once again as I celebrated THE CALL. And then more years trickled by and here I am, so different yet still the same.  “Time may change me, but I can’t change time.”

We all change and that’s a good thing.

ONe change I’m currently excited about is the change to the line I write for- Superromance. When I was in Anaheim this past month, I got the chance to see the changes they’ll be making to the imprint…and it’s exciting. First, the word count is going up to 85,000 – a most welcome event because Superromances used to be SUPER but was cut down to 65K several years ago. That move paired with narrowing the focus to the Home and Hearth line diluted our brand and made the line mirror-image of other lines. Along with the beefed up word count, the subject matter has broadened. There will still be stories of ranchers and cops, but the focus has stretch to include the taboo football coaches and rock stars in more exotic locations. Small towns, big cities and all sizes in between, Superromance will cover a lot of ground. Another exciting change is Superromance will not longer be part of Home and Hearth and will instead be its own imprint – Romance and More!. With new shelving separate from some of the other lines, Superromance is making strides in showcasing the Single Title books of the category world. And even bettter – new covers. These new covers were vetted by industry professionals who study the publishing world, and they steered Superromance toward covers that don’t scream “Harlequin!” which I think gives the writers in this line a good shot at having better ebook sales. Oh, and no more bright yellow banner either. A small, tidy gold bar will go half way aross the page with Superomance in lowercase letters and small script. Understated elegance in a bigger book.

Can you tell I’m excited?

So, yeah, change is suiting me about right now. I’ve got my fingers crossed that a new look, a new vision and a new concept will help revive a line that has had a stellar past. Sure, I have my own reasons, but honestly, Superromances were some of the first romances I read back in the day and I would hate to see them fade away. This month over at the Harlequin website, it’s Superromance month. There are plenty of fun threads on which to chat, and I have a free online read starting on August 13th called “The Nerd Who Loved Me.” It’s a cute little romance between a secondary character in Under the Autumn Sky (Mary Belle) and the ugly duckling who grew up next door to her in Bonnet Creek. Hint: Tripp ain’t so nerdy anymore! It’s a fun, sexy little read about forgiveness. So if you’re looking for a nice way to start the day, you can click on the link and get a daily episode. Here’s the link in case you want to check it out – http://www.harlequin.com/community

So what changes are you facing in your life at present? Anything exciting or scary? Go ahead and use the blog for some therapy. We’ll talk you through it.


18 Responses

  1. Liz,
    Being a new Superromance author, I’m very excited about the changes as well! Single title category book? Why the heck not? I’m loving the new covers, too.

    I was glad to see the changes in Harlequin in general, updated covers, new lines, more modern merchandising, that will hopefully pick up younger readers.

    You’re right – change is often good! You’d think I’d welcome it more than I do, huh? 😉

    • I’m very excited to be sharing the line with you and Pamela – three Superromance writers right here in the midst of a bunch of super writers. The changes are exciting and much needed, and I can’t wait to see how readers like the new look and bigger books 🙂

  2. I’m excited they’re remodeling too. The new look will be good but the extra twenty thousand words, oh yeah!!

    My excitement is purely from the vantage point of a reader, obviously.

    • Yes! I’m a reader, too, and I love so many of the writers in the line. That means more for me, too. 🙂

      Going back to where we began feels like a good thing. Supers offered something a little different to readers, namely a bigger read witih secondary characters and plots, and it worked.

      Market research says readers like to read shorter books because it suits the busy schedule they live each day. I wanna know who these readers are….because I can’t think they’re serious readers. When I was really reading a bunch, the criteria for the book was thickness. LOL.

      Thanks for the comment, Erin 🙂

  3. I agree, Liz! The thicker the better in my book (um … no pun intended:-) Romance is great, but I love a book that has other subplots going on. I love being able to develop the secondary characters with stories of their own. I’ve always been an 80-000 to 85,000 word writer. Even trying to cut to 75,000 was difficult, so I feel like Supers are the perfect fit for me.
    And I love the new covers. Can’t wait to see my second book with the new branding!

    • LOL. I see where you’re heading with that first comment, Pamela.

      I’m in the middle of writing my first one at 85, 000 and I find I like the pace. I’ve got a nice little secondary thread going and I almost like it more than the stories of the hero and heroine. Don’t even know when this one is scheduled…

  4. Liz,
    I’m excited about the bigger, better Supers. I wish I could share that my changes coming up include being one of the new authors. I guess I have to submit first, right?

    Superromance was the first Harlequin I picked up, and after reading an interview with senior editor Wanda Ottewell I made sure to read your debut. I have all your books. I usually end up buying two to four Supers each month, but this month is going to be hard to narrow it down. I may have to get all six.

    On a personal note, the big change I’m facing is having my oldest son start High School tomorrow. I’m excited and nervous for him. And a little sad for me since it means he is growing up and will be leaving me soon.

    • I really appreciate all the support you’ve given me, Kristina. Even though it seems like I’m an old hat at Superromance, I’m not. My first book came out two years ago, so in the realm of thiings, I’m pretty new. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you on the Superromance loop, and I bet it won’t be too long before we’re celebrating a sale for you.

      Yes, a big change on the horizon for your son and you. I’ll be following you next year when my oldest goes to HS, too 😦

      • Even though you’re kind of new, I think of you as a mentor of sorts. Part of it has to do with the timing of your debut book and part of it is because I sometimes wonder if you’re my long lost twin. Except you’re slightly younger than me. It’s been following your career so far, and I look forward to many books to come.

        And maybe someday there will be a blurb “If you love Liz Talley, try Kristina Mathews new book”

        • Oh, that would be so awesome to see! I really, really hope to see that some day, and you know that I’m always willing to help you out when you have questions 🙂

  5. I think it’s all exciting. The bigger books, new covers, different shelving–oh my! congrats to all the Super authors. Looks like fun and great things are headed your way!

  6. Awesome journey, Liz!

    I’m excited about the Superromance changes, too. When I started writing romance, I had a long history of loving category as a reader, and conventional wisdom was that was a good place to break in. (This was the early 90s.) So I subscribed to all the lines and read all the books in every one. Superromance filtered out as my favorite and best fit, because of the complexity and room for secondary characters and more extended plotlines. SO glad it’s going back there! Can’t wait! 🙂

    I’m not facing any major changes in the immediate future, that I know of. Next year my oldest will be going off to college (hopefully), and that will be a major change.

    • Thats a huge change, Natalie. But an exciting one 🙂

      Glad you like the same things I do about Superromance. That added complexity is such a bonus. I like shorter reads sometimes, but wish they could be a little longer and deeper (jeez, that sounds raunchy.)

  7. I love looking back at old blog posts to see where I was a couple years ago too, Liz. Very enlightening and fun. Wow, it sounds like there are some great changes coming at SuperRomance.

    I’m actually one of those readers who sometimes enjoys a shorter story (including anthologies) because once I pick up a book I can’t put it down. Pretty much literally. That said, I’m not always fully satisfied with the smaller scale of the story either. Love the bigger books, just not the time they suck from my life because I have no willpower. 😉

    My big change is the Scrivener For Dummies book coming out this month, and my youngest (!) starting high school in September. Both are exciting, if a bit scary. 🙂

    • Isn’t it excitng though? I can’t wait to host you on the Ruby blog and ask you really hard questions so you can convince me to give it a spin.

      I think there are plenty who like that three hour story. To a degree I like it too, but I’m really glad to stretch my legs in my stories a bit. I’m having a great time writing a 3rd POV that has it’s own arc and storyline. Very interesting…well, at least to me 🙂

  8. Lots of changes coming up soon for me and I’m not so sure I like them. LOL Senior year for my oldest, college tours, another legal driver right around the corner. Ugh… A mom can only take so much, right! It’s going to be a fast and furious year for us.

    I missed the conference this year so I’m trying to catch up on all the changes. The Superromance changes sound very exciting! 🙂

    • Yep, those are big changes. College. Sigh.. Sounds kind of scary, but I’ll be behind you. Five more years and I know they’ll fly by.

      Okay, now I’m sad.

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