Focus on Sheila Hodgson & Medicals!

Sheila Hodgson, Senior Editor for Harlequin’s Medical Romances, has probably read the equivalent of five years of medical school! I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s always asked to diagnose matters of the heart as well…. 🙂

This post originally appeared in the Harlequin Community Forums.

Sheila Hodgson, Senior Editor, Harlequin Medical Romance

What most distinguishes Medical Romance from the other lines (especially lines that may be similar to yours)?

Medicals is pretty unique and it’s USP (Unique Sales Point) is that these are compelling and dramatic romances set in today’s medical world. Gorgeous doc heroes are our trademark.

What is your biggest submission pet peeve?

I have several, but my top ones are;

Too much information and not enough story, character and relationship development and tension.

Stories that imitate rather than innovate. We look for innovation and a unique voice.

Stories that either don’t have their key focus on the central relationship and rely too much on medical drama, or stories where the medical setting is not integral enough to the story. It’s a balancing act, and one should fuel the other.

If your line was a TV series, which one would it be?

Grey’s Anatomy, House, any medical drama series with a relationship/character focus – of course Medical Romance stories focus primarily on the hero and heroine’s developing relationship.

What’s your favorite part of being an editor?

Finding and developing exciting authors and seeing their careers flourish in the series.

What’s the most recent book you’ve read for pleasure?

THE WHITE QUEEN by Philippa Gregory.

Why did you become an editor?

I have always loved reading, am fascinated by language, adore romantic movies and gorgeous heroes. I studied literature too.

Do you have any hobbies?

Yes, reading, movies, traveling, cycling, swimming and I love to cook.

What type of character/plot are you DYING to see?

Would love to see some more really sexy, contemporary Medical set romances and anything that brings an innovative angle.

What’s the one question you wish people would ask and what is your answer?

I’d love people to ask what makes the perfect Medical hero, and I’d say a guy with the charm and boyish sexiness of McDreamy, the Maverick gorgeousness of Doug Ross (George Clooney) in ER and the brooding brilliance and individualism of House – all with a highly contemporary edge!

To find out more about those heroes, check out the Medical Writing Guidelines, the latest Medical lineup, or the Spotlight on Medical Romance on the Harlequin Community!