Confessions of a Harlequin Editor: Emily Rodmell

Confessions of a Harlequin Editor is back this week giving you the lowdown on what the Harlequin editors are really like! Emily Rodmell, Editor for all books Love Inspired, will be revealing her likes, dislikes and what she’s most excited to see in a submission! This is your chance to get to know the personalities and tastes of the Harlequin editors, so don’t be shy – we’re friendly and we can’t wait to read your books 🙂

 Emily Rodmell pic1. Animals

Whether it’s a cute puppy or a panda (shout out to Bao Bao at the National Zoo), I love animals. I keep a cute animal calendar on my desk that offers adorable new faces each day, and when I’m on vacation, you can often find me checking out the nearest zoo and aquarium. At home, I have a 17-year-old pet bird who still loves to catcall at the neighbors. So I love to see animals have a place in the books I acquire. I even started a continuity featuring K-9 dogs a few years ago (Check out the Capitol K-9 Unit starting in March), and I’m working on the third series as we speak. So it can never hurt to add a cute puppy to your story.

2. Procedural TV shows

I have zero interest in sappy shows. But give me an action packed police procedural with relatable characters, and I’ll be hooked. I love shows like Bones, Castle, The Closer, Major Crimes, Justified, In Plain Sight, Covert Affairs, White Collar and more. And I love it even more when a book arrives on my desk for Love Inspired Suspense that has a similar feel. I don’t need perfect characters. Temperance Brennan, Brenda Leigh Johnson, Neil Caffrey & Richard Castle are as flawed as they come, but I can’t look away when they come on my TV.

3. Social media

I have a bit of a social media addiction. You name it, I’m there. And while it’s not a requirement for authors to be active on social media, it sure helps. Like most editors, I try to give out tips for authors on all platforms. If you want a running tally of what I acquire, check out my Goodreads or Pinterest “Books I’ve Edited” pages (Emily Rodmell). If you want tips on what I’m looking for at the moment, follow me on Twitter (@EmilyRodmell). And for some fun insights, writing tips, polls and grammar goofs, check out the group Instagram I’m a part of with three other Harlequin editors (@NYC_Editor_Life).

4. Surprises

I don’t want to be boring and predictable. I want excitement and new experiences. If I’m on vacation, I’d rather explore a cool new city than sit on the beach for a week. While series romance has guidelines and dare I say it “rules”, I love it when authors can write something that’s out of the box but still fits the guidelines. Surprise me with how the characters fall in love and how they overcome their conflicts. Turn the tropes on their heads. Give me new and interesting settings and careers.

5. Pictures

My iPhone is bursting at the seams with closer to 2,000 photos on it. Wherever I go, I like to document the world around me. From a walk to a park to a day with my nephew to standing outside a movie premiere and watching the stars go by (my biggest celebrity sighting this year was Prince William and Princess Kate, but Julia Roberts was a close second), I’ve got pictures of it all. When you write your books, they should feel as if you’re painting a picture. I want to feel like I’m right in the middle of the town or city your story is set in, but without it being over-described. Writing is an art. So paint me a picture with your book and send it my way.

So, there you have it – an introduction to the lovely Emily Rodmell! Do you share her love of surprises? Are you a bit of a social media addict?  Or, even better, do you have any questions for her? Then get in touch by commenting below, or follow Emily (@EmilyRodmell) on Twitter!

17 replies on “Confessions of a Harlequin Editor: Emily Rodmell”

Hi Emily,

I love the idea of putting animals in manuscripts. I’m a big animal lover. And I always toy with the idea of a big city setting for a book but I seem to gravitate towards those cozy little towns. And I’m a big fan of sappy shows like Parenthood and Chicago Fire, although the gorgeous firemen are a surefire draw for me. I think one of my goals is to add a
little twist to all of my books. It makes it more interesting, even for the author.

Hi Emily,
Just stopped by to say hello and tell people what a wonderful editor you have been for me. I see now why we clicked. We have a lot of the same likes and dislikes, except for social media. In that respect, I really could be Amish. Have a great day and yes, I turned in my new proposal. Remind me to add a puppy to that one. 🙂

Hi Emily, we watch the same shows! Though I’ve been watching Flash, Arrow, Agent Carter and Agents of Shield lately as well as the police dramas. I’m a geek at heart when it comes to superheroes. I love adding in animals as characters. The Capitol K-9 series was fun to work on.
Do you enjoy putting the continuity’s together?
Thank you,
Terri Reed

Uh-oh, I dig sappy. *Skull collapses on the desk with a thud.*

I like getting to know the editors on twitter, but I feel like such a stalker. Emily loves her nephew, bird, books, warm weather, pumpkin flavor, pandas, knickknacks from her favorite shows (Did you mention Lost?)…

Funny, over the holidays, I was Christmas shopping in a gift store and kept thinking, Oh, Emily would love this.

*Slinks away* I hope I’m not on any watchlist.

I love the idea of painting a picture with words. I think that might be why I’m addicted to Pinterest. All those pictures to inspire the next story. I tend to find horses wondering through my stories. Can’t imagine life without some sort of pet. Thank you for sharing.

Hi Emily,

It’s fun to read your likes. I have to admit, I haven’t spent much time at zoos since my children grew up, but I used to love going with them. They still go together. Maybe I should join in.

Anne, I have to admit, reading this – *Skull collapses on the desk with a thud.*

I immediately thought what a great opening for a story. You’re just sitting at your desk and all of a sudden a skull lands in front of you.

I guess you can see why I write suspense and why I love many of those same shows Emily listed.

Mary Curry,

Yeah, you’re a suspense writer. Imagine this, you’re an grad student, researching in the Amazon rainforest. You’re taking notes on your laptop when a skull plunks down beside you. You look up and find a sea of upside-down hanging skeletons…GO!

Hi Emily,

I’ve fallen in love with the Irish setter that’s romping around in my current WIP. Have to remember he can’t steal the show…or the story! 🙂

Like you, I love taking pictures and always keep my phone handy. But, oh my gosh, to see all the big stars must be so much fun!!!

Can’t wait to see you at RWA 2015! Thanks for all you’ve done to expand the LIS line, from the many continuity series to Killer Voices to bringing LI into social media! Thanks, too, for being such a great editor!

Hi, Emily!

I’ve enjoyed many of the shows you watch. While sappy is my thing, my husband is an action adventure guy. His interests have expanded mine and vice versa. He’s gotten good at identifying story elements in the shows we watch. It’s not uncommon for him to comment on the believability, pacing or characterization. And speaking of characters, Neil Caffrey rocks!

I love writing for Love Inspired Historical and appreciate your insights. Thanks to you, my stories end up much better than they started. I can’t wait until June when my first LIH reaches readers’ hands. It’s not long now.

Not a fan of sappy either. I love an ‘everyman’ hero, a regular Joe who’s shoved into extraordinary circumstances.

Hi Emily,
I’ve enjoyed this little trip into your world. Love the “Painting a picture with words” analogy. Sounds perfect.


I love, love Castle and Major Crimes! I always make sure my DVR is set for those. Also, Rizzoli and Isles, Perception. Fun stuff! 🙂

It’s so fun to see everyone here. I was out of the office yesterday, so I didn’t get to check in much.

Hi to all my authors who stopped by. It’s great to see you all here and to find out you love some of the same things I do.

It is true that I also have a great affinity for pumpkin flavors, warm weather and LOST. But I wasn’t sure how to relate pumpkins to submissions. Perhaps something to do with carving out a story. 😉

Terri, I do love putting continuity series together. I’m very excited about the Capitol K-9 Unit series and just started working with authors on the Rookie K-Unit series. Here’s a hint for those of you targeting LI, often if you look at continuity series, you’ll find what the editors want in stories as far as hooks and plots. Since we plan out those series, we make sure to put the good stuff in them.

I’m looking forward to RWA too. I’ll be doing a workshop on pitching again this year with Susan Litman, so if you’re targeting an editor, make sure to attend for tips on how to wow them in your pitch.


Hi Emily,
Loved what you shared, especially about animals.
Dogs and horses are my favorites to include, but I do like cat stories, too.
One day I might still write a book that fits the “rules.” Thanks again for considering my pirate novel. ( :
Blessings, and Onward,
Elva Cobb Martin,
President, ACFW-SC Chapter

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