by Isabelle Gormezano Marks, Editorial Assistant
D is for…
Deadlines: Though the world of Romance thrives off spontaneity and fate, everything that the editorial team do has a date and time that it needs to be ready by. As a result, Romance HQ is full of fabulously colourful schedules, post-it notes and any kind of organisational apparatus you can think of! There is nothing too big, small or silly to help keep us on track and on time in order to get our books to print.
Decorations: Whether it’s someone’s birthday, Christmas or an anticipated author visit, there is always far more for the eyes to feast on at Romance HQ than the average office. Amongst the retro romance covers and calendars with scantily clad men or kittens (viewer’s choice!), a cake stand – or two, or three… – proudly sits for editors to visit at least once throughout the working day, as well as a notice board ready to welcome any visitors we’re lucky to have pop by.
Distractions: With over twenty books a month acquired out of the UK office alone it’s clear we get through a vast amount of work day to day. But where there are editors, there is also ample fun. Every day is different, with food-fuelled brainstorming sessions, team workshops to keep our skills advanced and up-to-date, the odd game of rounders (British baseball) in the local park and discussions on the cinema’s alpha hero of the moment to distract us. We’re a team that works hard and plays hard too! No matter how much is going on in the office…we can always find time to share a giggle.
E is for…
Editing: This wouldn’t be an editorial blog post without mentioning the best job going! Nothing can quell the excitement of watching a manuscript evolve from the proposal, to a first read, to a physical book with cover and blurb ready for the shelves! Rarely does a day go by when we don’t stop to think about how lucky we are to do what we do. So, thank you to all of our wonderful Presents authors for writing for us and thank you, readers, for reading! You’re both keeping us busy and we love it!
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Emails: With emails taking up so much of the editorial team’s time, we often long for days of old before they were ever invented. So we invented ‘Retro Day’! We dressed up in platforms, legwarmers and put on far too much eye-shadow and banned all emails to see how we could cope without them. It was an amusing exercise, particularly when commuting to work in costume! One thing is for sure…emails do make our lives easier, they are just rather …plentiful.
Emotions: Despite reading manuscripts almost every day, us editors are still prone to shed a tear when those happily ever afters come our way. Regardless of whether it’s a first read or an author’s revisions, we root for the hero and heroine to find their happy ending. After the Presents authors have ruthlessly pushed them to their very limits, reading the resolution gets us welling up for all the right reasons!
F is for…
Fact-Checking: Unfortunately, we don’t always have the answer to everything. For the times when doubt creeps into our minds during an edit, we have some firm favourite fact-checking resources to fall back on. There are several online tricks that help us work out if it’s possible for the heroine to be swept away on a private jet and arrive in whatever exotic location the hero chooses by the next morning, or to ensure a term of endearment used by a sizzling Greek tycoon isn’t in a tense that he would use when addressing his elders. You see, even in a world of high fantasy romance…some things still need to be rooted in reality!
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Fantastic Reviews: It’s never a surprise to us that our authors are so well received by readers and reviewers. Nonetheless, it’s wonderful to see them get the recognition that they deserve for their hard work and dedication!
Fizz: Though every day should be a celebration of all things romance, the London office likes to seize an author visit as an opportunity to whip out a bottle and pop the cork of some fizz to help celebrate our brilliant authors. You see, I told you that we work hard and play hard too! It’s always wonderful to meet the fabulous people behind the stories that keep us so busy and to celebrate the many achievements of our authors as part of a team that helps to make them happen.
Stay tuned for more of our behind-the-scenes at Romance HQ A-Z list – coming soon!
And in the meantime, tell us: what’s your favourite fizz (or tipple of any kind, really) to drink? And what would you say is your ultimate distraction?