Romancing the Reader
Kate Cuthbert of Escape Publishing, the electronic arm of Harlequin here in Melbourne, invited authors Anne Gracie and Sarah Mayberry to join her in discussing romance: reading and writing romance. I, Philistine that I am, enjoyed this conversation and learnt about publishing, targeting audiences and choosing a setting. I highly recommend romance fans and emerging writers listen to this engaging discussion.
Quicklinks to guests (to save scrolling)
The podcast (audio-only version) is at the top of this post and the video of this conversaion is directly below.
Anne spent her childhood on the move when her father’s job took them around the world. The gypsy life taught her that humour and love are universal languages and that favorite books can take you home, wherever you are.
She’s been spinning stories since she first sat in a sand-pit and pinned down a pet for an audience. However ordinary people didn’t become writers — they were sensible and got ‘real’ jobs. Anne wrote her first novel while on long service leave, backpacking solo around the world. Writing is now her ‘real’ job.
Published by Berkley USA and Penguin Australia, Anne is a nationally bestselling author in the USA. She’s also a former president and honorary lifetime member of Romance Writers of Australia, a five time RITA finalist, has twice won the Romantic Book of the Year (Australia) and the National Reader’s Choice Award in the USA. Her books have been translated into sixteen different languages, including Japanese manga editions.
As well as writing, Anne has had a lifelong interest in promoting adult literacy —it started when she was at university— and, up until recently, she kept bees.
Sarah is the author of more than 30 books for Harlequin Mills and Boon. She also writes scripts for Australia’s longest running serial drama Neighbours and the Channel 10 one hour drama Wonderland. Sarah always wanted to be a writer so she undertook a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and Literature from Deakin University. She worked as a journalist and editor, as well as in communications for a major Australian retailer, but definitely prefers her day job these days. She recently won the Romance Writers of Australia’s Romantic Book of the Year Award as well as the Ella Award for Novella of the Year.
Before starting as Managing Editor of Harlequin Australia’s digital-first imprint, Escape Publishing, Kate Cuthbert worked in genre fiction, children’s books, mass market publishing, magazine, corporate, and academic publishing. She was also a book reviewer with the Brisbane Courier Mail, All About Romance, The New York Journal of Books, and Bookseller & Publisher magazine. She absolutely loves that she gets to read romance for a living.