10 Things Only a Romance Editor Knows

The following is adapted from a post in our archives.

Working in the romance fiction industry requires some very specialist skills. Read on for the Harlequin editors’ top 10 list!

1.) Our internet search histories are not for the fainthearted (or children).

2.) It can be weird when the author uses your name for the heroine…especially when things get steamy!

3.) Apparently, editing romance doesn’t qualify us as relationship counsellors. As anyone who’s ever had to sit through a romance editor dissecting their boyfriend’s “emotional conflict” will testify…

4.) Looking at scantily clad beautiful people is part of the job, seriously. It is RESEARCH!

5.) We are well-versed with undergarments most people have never seen, including chemises and kirtles.

6.) Going on holiday to Europe can be interesting when all you can say in the language is “I love you”…

7.) We have to say/edit/discuss things that would make our mothers blush…and we have to say them with a straight face in a business context! Best question? Is that even anatomically possible?

8.) We’ve seen many a grand romantic gesture on paper…so it takes a lot to impress us!

9.) Editing Medical Romances gives you a false sense of confidence in your own ability to deliver a surprise baby, given the chance.

10.) We can sniff out a potential romantic plotline in anything.

What have you learned from reading and writing romance? Let us know in the comments!

6 replies on “10 Things Only a Romance Editor Knows”

Harlequin has many different roles I have found. The book ‘The Law and Miss Mary’ I found very good to read but Hannah’s Beau was way too much junk. Also the Substitute Bride was good. I’ve been publishing books for twenty years so looked to Harlequin to do my most recent one, ‘THE ROYAL PRINCE, MY LOVEHEART, MY KNIGHT. CORNELIUS WINTERBALM II’ Too long a title I know. The other title I had was used by someone else. I love books and have a big library of my own. Thanks for your ideas and excellent reads. Sharon

My dad used to say, “the older I get the harder it is to embarrass me. Which means, I’ll be able to embarrass you for years and There’s nothing you can do to make me blush.” My first published romance in the borderline erotic side of things sure changed that! #thingswebothlearned #amwritingromance

I know that romances are supposed to be from the females point of view but I have been working on a small town romance since February and am pretty happy with it, but more than half of it is from the males POV. Is that an instant rejection?

Hi Raine, it depends on the category you’re hoping to submit to, as each has specific guidelines. Many of our category romances require alternating POVs between the hero and heroine, but not all. I’d encourage you to check out our writing guidelines to find out: https://harlequin.submittable.com/submit. Thanks!

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