Confessions of a Harlequin Editor: Carly Byrne

Hello!  Carly ByrneI’m Carly Byrne, Editor on the Harlequin Presents series, but I also acquire for Harlequin Romance, Historical and Medical. Since writing a university dissertation celebrating category romance, boldly applying for a job at Harlequin’s London office (even if the closing date had passed…) and spending the past seven years getting paid to read romance for a living, I have never looked back!  It’s no secret that I love my job and am passionate about romance, authors and publishing but here are some things you might not know about me…

I’m a new and first time mum!

Most days before and after work I am engaging in a battle of wills with my terrible toddler!  I even win…occasionally(!)  Having my daughter has definitely changed me.  Aside from the usual mum complaints – lack of sleep, messy house, food-smudged clothes – I have a new empathy for all things baby related.  This makes reading and editing stories about pregnancy, babies and families a whole new experience – I just can’t seem to hold back the tears!

I’m a TV junkie!

The more emotional, outrageous and sensational the show is the better!  From high school teen melodramas to political scandals to zombie apocalypses I love nothing more than spending an hour (or two) in an alternate world. They can also provide great sources of topical story inspiration!

I Heart a Beefcake!

This makes me the subject of ridicule among my friends and colleagues, as this couldn’t be further from the actual man in my life, but I do swoon over a bit of muscle! Whether it’s Arnie from the 80s (guilty crush alert!), the man of steel Henry Cavali or the current Poldark I come over all of a flutter! Maybe it’s all the romance I read, but I can’t help but think of what’s going on beneath the strong exterior and what stories lie there…

I’ve travelled to some far flung places!

Pre baby, I have been lucky enough to travel to some interesting places such as Hong Kong, China and the Philippines.  I enjoy taking the path less travelled and really enjoy seeing new exotic locations in stories.  There are so many glamorous, aspirational and beautiful places waiting to be explored – take me there!

My perfect night of indulgence would include…

…some kind of meal involving pasta and chorizo – yum!  Washed down with a lychee based cocktail (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!) shared with a good book!  Eating a hot meal is a challenge these days with a small tyrant to chase after so that definitely has to feature.  Every woman needs a touch of glamour in her life and drinking a sparkly drink from a nice glass isn’t a bad start 😉  And I think we can all agree that nothing is more indulgent than immersing yourself in a great read!

Follow @CarlyMByrne on Twitter, and if you're a member of the 'We Heart Arnold Schwarzenegger' fan club too, let her know 🙂