#AskTheEd with Violet Gaze Press
In the latest edition of our #AskTheEd series, Brittany Borshell talks us through what is important to her when acquiring romance novels at Violet Gaze Press.
As an editor, what's the first thing that draws you to a story/author?
A strong voice. Sometimes a book will have a good, interesting plot, but if I can't get out of my own head and step into the main character's, I struggle to continue.
We all love a fluffy HEA, but what tips a book over the edge from romantic into cheesy?
I believe sincerity is important and to have that you need good, developed characters with depth. If you believe in the relationship then a normally cheesy situation will have enough emotion behind it to stay romantic. Make sure the actions stay consistent with the characters and that their development and the relationship's development stays organic.
What are your biggest bugbears when reading a submission?
I won't be bothered by a poorly worded cover letter, as long as it's polite, but please don't try to explain the entire plot to me in your synopsis with every character name and secondary plot point. Pitch it to me as if you only have limited time to make your case, because you do! And a simple spell check is helpful!
Once an author's finished a manuscript and is ready to send it in, what are the key points that should be included in their query letter, and is there anything that shouldn't be left out of the synopsis?
Please tell me anything that sets you apart as an author, and books or authors who are similar to your own works. It helps me visualize how to market you as an author and makes me excited about you as a person and your manuscript.
What do you think is the next trend in romance publishing and is there a specific subgenre that you think is making a comeback?
I believe Indie and self published romance authors are the future of Romance. Readers no longer want to wait for their books and there is a huge market for stories that bigger publishers just don't want to publish. I am seeing a big demand for romances that have characters people can identify with. Multicultural, lesbian, etc and also a big call out for darker romance.
Has there been as big an attempt to diversify editors, and those working behind the scenes in publishing, as there has been to embrace diverse authors?
This isn't something I've seen significant steps being taken towards among the big names, especially with the most recent news in romance publishing. Everyone is now saying they want diverse authors but there is still a big disconnect between the call for these authors and what books are actually being put out. I think it's a problem in publishing that diverse authors are being held back, perhaps by the lack of diversity in those working behind the scenes.
How often do you get to read new manuscripts and submissions?
I have been focusing on building up Violet Gaze Press's backlist, with Rebel Carter's first three books being released quite quickly. I thought it was important to have successful authors on my books before I expected anyone to trust me with their manuscripts. I am happy to say we are now opening up submissions for new authors and I hope to be reading new manuscripts very soon!
What's the one thing you wish authors knew about your job?
I am working nonstop for you, as an author. I am totally invested in your success. Every single book I've put out I've shed tears over and proudly display in my own home.
And what are you looking for right now?
I absolutely want to bring out books by diverse authors, that bring something unique to their stories and we are looking for all sub genres of romance. Paranormal and space romance are a personal favorite!
Who are your favourite diverse editors and publishers? How can we ensure this is a change, and not a trend? Let us know in the comments and on the social media discussion of this article using #AskTheEd.