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Friday, June 17, 2005

A "Next" Step...

Just thought I'd share my great experience with you on my online Next pitch I had yesterday with editor Jennifer Green of Harlequin.

What was so great about this pitching opportunity was the fact that I had twenty minutes (okay...it was only supposed to be ten!) to really flesh out my story, the details, the emotions, the conflicts, the characters, etc. to Jennifer and she provided me with some excellent feedback! It was almost like getting an oral revision letter. She pointed out the strengths of the story and she pointed out what didn't work for her as an editor looking at the story. She thought the idea was fresh and original and had a lot of potential to it.

Things about the Next line for anyone interested...is that Jennifer was really stressing that this line isn't about romance. It's about the heroine's journey. Her life lesson. Where she's "at" at this point in her life...something that propels her to change. The endings aren't about a happily ever after with a man or a romance, but it's about a satisfying ending for the reader. I thought this was very important as we write these older heroine stories that might be targeted certain places that as wonderful as it is for the heroine to find that love of her life, that often times, with older women at changing points in their life, sometimes it's that recognized "love of self" that's even more important.

So...all in all, a great experience! I'm refreshed and excited and ready to make some revisions (and cut some pages since I went over the word count...duh!) and then I'll send in the requested full manuscript.

Definitely, if you have something to send in, Jennifer is a very fair, forthright and open editor.

Good luck!
Marley = )

posted by Marley Gibson @ Friday, June 17, 2005


  1. At Friday, June 17, 2005, Blogger Dorothy said…

    Interesting, Marley! So no romance, huh? Mine has romantic elements but not much of them...maybe Jennifer might be the one to send a query to after all. I've been debating whether to approach NEXT with my mss...actually, I'm procrastinating and really should sit down and print everything out. The more and more I hear about NEXT convinces me even more that it would be right for my mss...of course, the editor has the last word. Man, wouldn't that be the coolest thing if they took it on. Anyway, thanks for the report...sounds very encouraging!


  2. At Saturday, June 18, 2005, Blogger Kathy Holmes said…

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Marley, and for the insight into where NEXT is going. I hope romance can be a part of it, though, because I like to throw a little of that into life. :) But I am excited to read that it's about her life lessons because I also think that is key.


  3. At Saturday, June 18, 2005, Anonymous MHGibson said…

    Don't get me wrong...she didn't say romance COULDN'T be in there, but from what she said, a romance doesn't have to be in there...it doesn't have to make the heroine complete. In fact, it almost sounded like she would prefer that the heroine just find herself and maybe the "idea" of her next love. I think above everything, these stories are about the heroine's growth, what she learns and how she can learn to love herself. Certain, that can be done through a romance. Just in my particular place...she didn't know if it was necessary.


  4. At Tuesday, June 21, 2005, Blogger Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said…

    Marley, which book did you pitch? Four Wines? You are a dark horse, young lady! I didn't even know that you were pitching. Good for you to have that feedback right away.


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