Confessions of a Harlequin Editor: Ann Leslie Tuttle

Harlequin Editor Ann Leslie Tuttle gives us a run down of all the things she loves in this week’s… Confessions!

Ann Leslie Tuttle1. Embracing Unpredictable Developments.
I’ve been an editor at Harlequin Books since 1997 and married for that same length of time.  But I relish those moments when life throws you a great curve ball and suddenly catapults you into an unexpected direction.  That happened to me when I moved from Virginia to New York City to begin a career in book publishing; when I had my daughter, who is now 5; and most recently when I learned that I’ll be representing Harlequin N.A. at the Australia and New Zealand conferences in August—countries I’ve always dreamed about visiting but never imagined actually seeing.  Just like these unexpected twists, a manuscript really stands out for me when an author takes a tried-and-true premise and then twists it into something completely fresh and vibrant.

2. Learning New Things.
Since I’ve become a mother, I’m fascinated by how many new things I am introduced to each day, week, year.  It’s not just about becoming a parent but all that goes with it.  From discovering new and classic children’s books to actually seeing the city through a different set of eyes.  The hustle of Times Square, the noise of street traffic and the sea of office buildings in Midtown might make Manhattan seem completely unfriendly to children.  But if you look beyond those sights (as I hope anyone who has a family and is traveling to RWA will this summer), New York offers a wealth of great parks for children to play; fun live theater be it a marionette performance in a log cabin (yes, log cabins do exist in Manhattan) or seeing a favorite book (e.g. Pinkalicious, Charlotte’s Web or Curious George)  brought to life onstage; and great museums to tour (who knew the Metropolitan Museum of Art offered a free story time for toddlers every weekday?).  Similarly, a romance stands out for me if the author writes about what she knows and, without being pedantic, she actually engages my interest enough to teach me something in the course of my reading it.

3. Meeting Amazing People.
The great thing about being in New York is that you are constantly meeting amazing and interesting people with a shared passion to live/work in a city that is the epicenter of the arts and culture.  Not surprisingly, a romance needs to feature aspirational protagonists with fully fleshed out back stories, emotional conflicts, and personalities to make the story memorable for me.

4. Cherishing Happily Ever After. We’ve all had those moments in life that seem so dark and hopeless.  For me, a great romance not only transports me away for even a few minutes but also gives me a sense of hope that the moment will pass and that there are happier times ahead.  As we all know, this conviction is an enduring hallmark of the romance genre and just one the reasons I am so passionate about acquiring and editing great romances for Harlequin Books.

And there you have it – another fab installment from a fantastic Harlequin Editor! If you have any questions for Ann Leslie, post them below! 🙂