Thursday, November 19, 2009

2010 Gig and Harlequin Horizons

So here I am, determinedly ignoring the sea monkey revolution underway in my bathtub. Those little s.o.b.'s will get theirs when I'm not so overwhelmingly tired and busy.

I had some good news. When I went to the New Jersey conference, I met some nice women from the Valley Forge sister chapter of my writing group. I hung out with some of them at different times over the weekend, and Carla Kempert, a very cool person, mentioned to the vice president, who's in charge of scheduling speakers, that I had done a presentation on women's self defense (Inserting Realism into your Kick A$$ Heroine). They were interested and contacted me. The VP remembered me from the conference, mainly because I had introduced myself to her as the reigning Possum Queen of my County. In spite of that little tidbit, I am scheduled to give the presentation at their April 2010 meeting.

I'm pretty excited. In one of my former times in this life I was a teacher for a decade. I miss the actual teaching part, the rest of the b.s.? Not so much. So I'm looking forward to doing a little teaching again, even if I break out into hives and have to renounce my Possum Queen throne.

In other news, much of the romance writing world has been abuzz with the news about Harlequin lending their name and collecting profits from a vanity/subsidy/self publishing venture. I have a feeling there is a much bigger picture here. I believe Torstar, their parent company, (who is losing money in this economy hand over fist except for Harlequin) probably set this project into motion and told the people at Harlequin to make it work. As long as it remains a separate branch from the rest, I see no problem.

Unfortunately, they are entwining themselves in the new venture and not keeping it separated like they originally stated. The most egregious part being that they will include in form rejection letters information on how to publish with HH. Not cool.

RWA has stated that "Harlequin Enterprises no longer meets the requirements to be eligible for RWA-provided conference resources". I'm not sure what other steps RWA will be taking, but I doubt Harlequin will care. I believe that only the membership will be affected by the decision, though I'm impressed that the Board acted so swiftly. I'll be interested to see what the RWA fallout is over this news.

I'm pretty sure Harlequin won't give a rat's ass. The formation of the "self publishing arm, Harlequin Horizons" is a good money making venture for an ailing parent company. Time will tell if it's a good business move.

This song's for you Harlequin Enterprises.


Susan Kelley said...

Congratulations on your gig. I know they'll enjoy it as much as we did. I think I'll stay out of the HH discussion. Kind of sad to think of all the unsuspecting authors who might get caught up in paying to get published.

Misty said...

Great song choice!!!! Over at Pubrants I just saw an answer to your question of HQ caring and now they have made the decision to rename Horizons to not include Harlequin at all. Of course I don't know if they will take the ads off eharl site but time will tell. Apparently Mystery Writers of America is going after Harl too for the MS Crit service and HH. We'll see!

Ava Quinn said...

Thanks, Sue. I don't blame you for chiming in. Looks like it way work out after all.

Ava Quinn said...

Thanks, Misty. Good info to check out. This too shall pass. Just like everything else in life.

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