Charles Griemsman, Editor with Desire, started with Harlequin as a temp. But eight plus years later, we’re very glad he’s stuck around! He works mainly with Desire (though his Special Edition roots often show), and was eager to give his input on this interview, originally posted on the Harlequin Community Forums.
If your line was a TV series, which one would it be?
Revenge feels a little bit like our books. Desires are like soap operas. I remember being a kid and watching The Bold and the Beautiful with my grandma while she made lunch or ironed. It was an escape into a world of perfect drama. My recent experiences line editing Dani Wade’s debut Desire, His By Design (Desire, August 2013), reminded me of those heavy, dramatic hijinks. That book’s smokin’, if you ask me.
What’s your favorite part of being an editor?
I love having a ringside seat to how an author’s mind works. Sometimes I think I’m being a real pest asking for a particular revision. Then the author will come up with a one-sentence fix that works perfectly. That sort of thing never ceases to amaze me.
What does your typical day look like?
I would answer that question but there’s a very important email I need to handle first. In other words, my typical day is very fragmented—emails, meetings, production questions, wrangling marketing copy, etc. The actual reading and editing almost feel like a break from all that!
What’s the most recent book you’ve read for pleasure?
I’m currently reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. It’s about what the neighborhood where I live was like 100 years ago. There’s a reason this book is such a classic—the characters grab your heart and won’t let go. And they’re from Brooklyn, so they tell it like it is—which always makes for an entertaining read.
Do you have any hobbies?
I swim. I’ve decided that I’ll go back to swimming competitively when I’m 60, God willing. So I have time to practice. Also, I’m back in school, taking Japanese. It’s a beautiful, tongue-twisting language. I’m hooked. I combine my two hobbies by counting strokes and laps in Japanese in the pool. What a hassle.
What type of character/plot are you DYING to see?
I like where-the-heck-did-that-baby-come-from stories. Tessa Radley has a knack for these. Reclaiming His Pregnant Widow (Desire, November 2011) and Staking His Claim (Desire, December 2012) both blew my mind in this regard. Then there’s Cat Schield’s upcoming Billionaires and Babies book, The Nanny Trap (Desire, September 2013), which has a subtler surrogacy surprise in store.
The friends-to-lovers hook is difficult to execute, but when it works, it has my vote. Two recent examples stand out. Michelle Celmer’s Caroselli’s Christmas Baby (Desire, December 2012) is a delicious romp. There’s Jules Bennett’s upcoming Texas Cattleman’s Club book, To Tame a Cowboy (Desire, November 2013), which is super-cute and super-sexy.
I also like stories set in the fashion world, but maybe this is a personal quirk of mine. Again, Dani Wade’s His By Design satisfied my passion for fashion—it’s set in the world of high-end bridal design in Atlanta. Heidi Betts’s Project: Passion miniseries also hits the spot in this regard. Project: Runaway Heiress is a good example
And finally, here’s an esoteric one–I’d like to see a story where the hero is a virgin at the start of the book. It’s been done in Desire before, back in the day—see Beginner’s Luck by Dixie Browning from 1989. Can 2013’s super-sexy Desire handle a story like this? Why not.
Thank you, Charles, for giving us some insight to your likes! To keep up with Charles, follow him on Twitter at @CharlieGrim or #HarlequinDesire. If you want to know more about writing for Harlequin Desire, check out the Writing Guidelines and Community Forums.
Happy reading–and writing!