Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Wednesday's Q&A with Warner Editor Melanie Murray

I am delighted to present a Q&A from Warner Editor, Melanie Murray, who graciously agreed to guest spot on Agent Wednesday today, since Michelle Grajkowski wasn't available this week.

1) The Girls Kick Ass line has been the topic of many discussions since Reno. Can you give us a little more information about what you’re looking for in this line? Maybe some of the upcoming titles and authors?

"Girls Kick Ass" is a phrase we use to describe our upcoming urban fantasy novels: Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn (11/05), Those Who Walk in Darkness by John Ridley (7/05), What Fire Cannot Burn (1/06), Working for the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow (3/06), and Doppelganger by Marie Brennan (4/06). These books all have strong female heroines who can take care of themselves (and a hint of romance). Think Laurell K. Hamilton crossed with Kim Harrison. We're definitely looking to do more of these books: with the werewolves and vampires, but with unique, original characters, too.

2) Many category authors have trouble moving to single title, often receiving the comment that their submissions are "too category." Can you explain from your perspective what that means?

From our perspective at Warner, we want our romances to have developed characters and a plot with conflict; a story that is sweeping and complex and original and has other elements besides the hero and heroine. We love stories with multiple characters, told from multiple points of view. When we say "too category" we usually mean that the novel has a "small" feel.

3) What is the best thing about being an editor?

For me, it's working with authors on their stories, and watching a manuscript become a published book. It's always exciting to get those finished books!

4) Warner Forever is a really terrific program for romance authors. Can you explain a little bit about what makes Warner Forever unique?

I would say the size of our program makes us unique. We're publishing two titles a month at Warner Forever, and are therefore able to give our authors attention and care that we wouldn't were we publishing more. And also, all of Warner Books is very behind the romance program, so we are able to utilize the advertising and marketing resources of a terrific publishing house. And of course, I think our breadth of genre makes us unique. We'll do anything, really, from regency historical to paranormal to light, funny contemporaries, as long as the story is terrific and the characters are three-dimensional and interesting.

5) How would you describe your ideal author (besides writing amazing stories, of course)?

My ideal author? Now that's a tricky question! My favorite authors to work with are those who are self-motivated, who are comfortable with networking and self-promotion, and who aren't afraid to be a little imaginative with their stories.

6) What kind of self-promotion do you recommend authors do?

Meet your local booksellers. Put yourself in front of them, and introduce yourself! Definitely maintain a website, too.

Thanks, Melanie!

Melanie's Q&A will be archived on my website at the end of the month. Stay tuned Friday for author Q&A with YA author Mary Kennedy and please submit your questions for Agent Wednesday next week with Michelle Grajkowski. Paranormal author Kerrylyn Sparks will be doing an author Q&A next Friday, so please submit questions for her, either by posting to the comments or emailing me at


At 9:56 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

More great info, Steph! And Melanie, your answer about what makes a story "too category" makes more sense than any answer I've ever gotten to that question. Thanks.


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