We’re thrilled to welcome Harlequin Medical Romance author Juliette Hyland to Write for Harlequin! Juliette’s latest title The Vet’s Unexpected Houseguest is coming out in May 2022 and we cannot wait to hear all about it.
Q) Can you describe your writing process? Our readers would love to hear about it!
A) I sit at my desk, open a document and the words just flow onto the page perfectly.
This is how manifestation goes right? If I say it into being, then it shall be so!
Alright. Back to reality! My process is to start with tropes. I love romance tropes, I even teach a class called Trope Your Way to a First Draft, all about using tropes for plotting and conflict development. Tropes are the things that make readers want to pick up a certain book and are great hooks for selling to editors, too.
I find that I love writing certain tropes (best friends to lovers) and my editor helps me make sure that I am not picking the same ones over and over. (But it’s time for another best friends to lovers, right, Laurie? Right? Please!)
Once I know what the tropes are, I figure out a good conflict for my characters. Then I write the synopsis for the story. Once I have a full synopsis, it is easier for me to get the happily ever after on the page. I know synopsis writing isn’t the favorite part of any author’s process, but I find it really helpful to keep me on track.
The truth is that like most writers, I have a day job. (Where I definitely don’t write on my breaks…or in boring meetings.) So I need to be able to set the story down and then pick it back up again a day, or week, later. The synopsis gives me this ability.
Q) Your latest Harlequin Medical Romance The Vet’s Unexpected Houseguest is out this month! Can you tell us a bit about this book and what inspired you to write it?
A) Did I write a medical romance so my pittie rescue, Bucky, and golden retriever, Abby, could be in it? Maybe! I wish I had a great or aspiring reason for a veterinarian romance. But the truth is that when the team mentioned the line looking for vet stories, I jumped at the opportunity in a blatant way to get my oversized co-authors (who refuse to help with the editing) onto the page. Bucky is Kit’s companion, who like my very own sweetie pie, rolls over for belly rubs whenever a stranger comes to my door. Which is very inconvenient when my hero, August unintentionally breaks into her home. And Abby is one of the golden patients at the clinic. There is also a scene with a runaway lizard, that I adore and is not something I could do in a traditional medical setting.
Q) This story centers around a forced proximity romance where opposites (eventually 😉) attract. What are your favorite romance tropes and why?
A) I love forced proximity. The idea of two people forced to figure their stuff out is so enticing to me. I will gobble up any best friends to lovers or best friend’s brother/sister too. That awkward feeling of wanting something so bad but also not wanting to screw something up that is so important to you is delicious. Finally, a few years ago I would have adamantly said I was not a fan of one night with consequences, then I wrote The Pediatrician’s Twin Bombshell. It was SOOOO much fun. I have another one night with consequences out in October, The Prince’s One-Night Baby, and have devoured several other authors’ stories since then. The situation in real life would not be fun but in romance and fantasy, I adore it!
Q) What have you read or watched recently that you enjoyed?
A) When I am not writing or reading, I watch standup specials. My husband jokes that I have seen all the ones Netflix and Amazon have to offer. And he’s not wrong! My recent favorite is Taylor Tomlinson’s new special, Look at You. She talks about mental health, break ups, and life in general, in a way that is humorous but incredibly insightful.
Q) What are you working on next for Harlequin?
A) Right now I am working on my 9th medical romance that is due out in January 2023. Rules for Their Fake Florida Fling is a fake romance, grumpy/sunshine medical romance set in Orlando. I started plotting it when it was still very snowy in Ohio, and I needed to be somewhere warm, at least in my imagination.
Q) What advice do you have for romance writers?
A) The answer to every unasked question is no. The first book you submit might get a rejection (the odds are it will!), the second and the third, too. This career is full of rejection. I won’t say that hearing no is fun (it’s not!), but I would rather have one-hundred people tell me no, then assume I might hear no and not try. Edit your book the best you can, love your characters, always keep learning…but for heaven’s sake, SEND IN THE MANUSCRIPT!
Connect with Juliette on Twitter @juliettehyland