Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Visiting the Harlequin Offices!

As regular visitors know, I dreamed about becoming a published author long (long, long!) before I sold my first book - A Perfect Distraction - to Harlequin SuperRomance. What you may not know is that I also dreamed that one day I would be able to visit my publisher's office.

Earlier this month, that dream came true!

My husband and I were visiting Canada, because he was giving papers at conferences in Ottawa and Kelowna, and we made a special stop in Toronto, so that I could spend the day at Harlequin head office. And what an amazing day it was! I had such fun meeting everyone and finding out what happens behind the scenes.

First, I was welcomed by my editor, Victoria Curran, and the rest of the wonderful editorial team for SuperRomance and Heartwarming. As you can see, they made me feel so special by popping open champagne and making Mimosas/Bucks Fizz (that's another one for my Two Nations Divided feature - every Friday on Facebook). I brought them a special tin of Biscuiteers biscuits from England, which were made to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday.

 Next I was given a tour of the various production areas, where I met the fabulous people who work so hard to turn the manuscript I send them into the book you hold in your hands or get on your ereader.

These lovely ladies run the copy editing and proof reading departments for all of Harlequin. Yes, even the offices in New York and London! Their teams ensure that books are printed with as few mistakes as possible.

Shane showed me how my book cover was built up from the base template, adding my name and title, back cover copy, the bar code and finally the cover image. This was fascinating for me as in my marketing career, I'd had many dealings with packaging development. Only in those days, it wasn't all computerised!

Then, it was on to the Art Department to meet the guys responsible for our gorgeous covers. They try hard to match the authors' vision for the hero and heroine and create a cover that will pop and sell!

Time for lunch! It was great to be able to spend time getting to know all the editors, as there is rarely time to do that when we meet at conferences. Especially when they edit other lines than SuperRomance.

After lunch, I got to meet the lovely ladies responsible for the Harlequin Reader Service. Many of you loyal SuperRomance fans use the Reader Service to receive your books, so it was great to meet them and learn about what they do.

The tour continued with, among others, the legal department and the executive floor. Nice office, Craig!

Last, but definitely not least, was a stop in Diane Moggy's office to see the famous peregrine falcons nesting on the opposite building. Unfortunately, this was the best photo I could get with my cell phone of the four chicks.

The whole day was amazing and special, truly a dream come true. Many thanks to Victoria for taking time out of her busy schedule to organise the visits to all the departments and to take me around to meet everyone. And to all the wonderful people at Harlequin who made me me feel so welcome!

Is there a place you'd love to visit? Have you had a visit dream come true?


Rachel Brimble said...

Wow! I'm so jealous - would love to think I'll make a visit there one day! Looks as though you had a great time :D

Anna Sugden said...

It was a very special day, Rachel. I was so thrilled that the stars aligned to allow me to go. I had a fabulous time!

dstoutholcomb said...

how wonderful!

Anna Sugden said...

Thanks dstoutholcomb! I wasn't understating that it was a dream come true for me - it really was one of the things I always dreamed of - along with a reader coming up to me and telling me how much they loved my book and being nominated for a RITA (still waiting, but ever hopeful for that last one!).

Trish Milburn said...

Looks like your post got put up twice and I commented on the other one, though looks like most of the comments are here on this one. my comment:

Cool. I really want to do that someday, hopefully when they're actually doing a cover shoot for one of my books. I need to use my shiny, unused passport.

Anna Sugden said...

Oops - don't know why it did that! Uggh technology is picking on me today!

Thanks for stopping by, Trish - I hope you get a chance to visit too! Such fun!

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