05 December 2006

Michelle Styles: Happy to be here

Carrie invited me to join in with blogging for Unusual Historicals and as my setting tend to be unusual, I am very happy to join in.

For those of you who don't know me -- I am Michelle Styles and I write for Harlequin Mills and Boon Historicals. My first novel -- The Gladiator's Honor was published in May in the UK, In July inAustralia, and in September in the US. It will be published in January in Italy and Germany. It was the first time HM&B H have published anything set in ancient Rome. But it won't be the last.
My second novel for them, A Noble Captive, again set in the same time period, is published in Jan 07 in the UK and can be purchased now from the Mills and Boon website. I don't know when it is schedule for North America.
In April 07, I have Sold and Seduced out in the UK and in July 07 The Roman's Virgin Mistress comes out in both the UK and North America.
In October, I have Taken by the Viking coming out in the UK and then to round the year out, I have a Victorian one set in the Northeast of England with a self-made man for a hero.(my deadline looms for this one!)
Harlequin Mills and Boon is very much committed to this time period and other unusal settings. The senior editor, Linda Fildew had long wanted to buy a book set in ancient times, but no one submitted a strong enough manuscript until me. And you don't want to know the number of people in the business who told me that Rome would NEVER sell. The top notch agent who told me her gut instinct was -- no, Mills and Boon would not be interested. Believe the editors as they have the power to buy. If the romance is strong enough, and it meets their guidelines...
They have now bought another writer --Lyn Randal whose debut Warrior or Wife appears in February 07. But it is not just Roman times they are interested in. Another new writer, Michelle Willingham has her debut, Her Irish Warrior appearing in May 07.

For Harlequin, Regency and Western are the backbone of the programme, but they are not the only part of the historical programme. They are actively looking for strong romances set in a wide variety of places and times. Part of the problem is getting authors to submit manuscripts that meet their requirements. Many times, authors like to play it safe and submit Regency because that is what they think will sell. But really the editors are intersted in all time periods.

Anyway, I am very pleased to be blogging here as I love unusual settings for historical romances both as a writer and a reader.

If you want to know more about the unusual settings Harlequin Historical has to offer, do be sure and vist the Harlequin Historical Authors' blog From what I know, HH has a strong line up.


Eliza said...

Hey, Michelle!

It's great to have you on board! Hopefully we'll all be able to learn from your experiences as you share them -- you will share them, won't you? ;-)

As far as different eras, I started Helen Dickson's Bellhaven Bride, which is set in 1939, and released by Harlequin this past June.

As far as writing goes, I'm more into contemporary historicals (how's that for an oxymoron?), but I'll read anything, as long as it holds my attention...and sometimes when it doesn't.

Again, good to have you on board!

Michelle Styles said...

Eliza --

I am very glad to be on board.

I am quite happy to share my experiences. Why reinvent the wheel?

I know what you mean by contemporary historicals. HM&B Historical would love to publish more, but it is really a case of finding a strong enough ms...that meets their guidelines.

Eliza said...

I'm a particularly lazy person, and I'd rather do my research than get my butt kicked by not doing things the "easy" or "right" way to begin with -- particularly when it comes to writing and publishing.

To be sure, I'll be picking your brain as questions arise.

Jacquie said...

Welcome and major congrats on your sales. We're really racking up some good books on this blog!

Anyone got a Mayan story? Seems to be doing well for Mel Gibson.