This week we imagined that a magic lamp showed up in the mail room addressed to DARE editorial. After being delivered to our side of the office, an attempt to polish off a few smudges released a being with phenomenal cosmic power, the ability to grant our every heart’s desire, and a stylish goatee.
The genie of the lamp did mention that in spite of his immense, unimaginable omnipotence his offer came with one single caveat. Each one of our three wishes (and we only had three each) had to be about a DARE submission. We racked our brains not wanting to waste a single request, all while he tapped his fingers and hovered from desk to desk. Finally, at long last, we told him what it was we truly wanted.
First up was Carly Byrne, who had a few expectations for her dream DARE submission:
• A fun, fearless heroine.
• One hot, rugged hero.
• An even hotter location! (take me away from rainy England!).
Kathleen Scheibling was next, who knew exactly what she was looking for right down to which smoking hot Australian the lead should be modeled after:
• A hero who doesn’t need to be taught that independent women are incredibly attractive – he already knows that. It would help if he looked like Chris Hemsworth.
• A heroine who runs her own company.
• A glamorous setting – big city luxury, or take me away to the Almalfi Coast!
For her wishes Patience Bloom had a number of plot points that could be three separate submissions, or all one exciting story!
• Even though we have a lot of them, I love a sexy workplace romance.
• A modern dating story where maybe they don’t know who the other really is.
• I adore a good enemies-to-lovers romance.
Finishing things off was Katie Gowrie, who was looking for both the novel and the tried-and-true:
• I always love reading about heroines in traditionally male-dominated fields (engineering, finance, architecture, etc.)
• I’d love to read a DARE story set during a luxurious train journey, in which a hint of old-world glam shines through!
• And, okay, so maybe this isn’t totally new and unique, but a fresh and daring take on a holiday snowbound romance would be fun! I love this trope—forced proximity, Christmas, magic in the air (or is that the sizzling chemistry between them?)—perfect for a very sexy story.
As soon as the final request left our lips there was a violent puff of bright blue smoke and he was gone, and with him our collective dream of a magical blue man who could address our every need. While he was imagined, we know that the people who submit to Harlequin DARE are very real, as are our editors’ wishes.
If they tell us anything it’s that Harlequin DAREs star alpha males and alpha females. These are two strong, bold people whose relationship is steamy, electric, and never, ever easy. We need that spark, but a lot of the time it can come from the collision and conflict between the couple.
Once you have the basics down, see what you can come up with that’s new! Who is our independent heroine? Maybe she’s the boss and the one who’s used to calling the shots (and not used to losing control). What’s an untapped setting that’s able to provide the perfect backdrop to a sizzling romance?
If your wish is to become an author for Harlequin DARE your first step to having it granted is making the editors’ wishes come true, so start writing!