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Monday, April 30, 2012

Fast Track! HM&B Medical Romance wants YOU!

Harlequin Mills and Boon Medical Romance is holding another FASTTRACK! You can submit and have an answer in June! I asked M&B for information and here it is!

In 2010, Medical Romance fever swept through Romance HQ in London – it was the summer of our famous Fast Track. All Medical submissions sent in August were guaranteed a response in August, and wow did you keep us all busy. We read an incredible 174 Medical submissions and went on to buy FIVE authors from it: LouisaGeorge, Leonie Knight, Annie Claydon, Connie Cox and Tina Beckett.

This June, we’re looking to repeat the success:
THE MEDICAL ROMANCE FAST-TRACK IS BACK (BY POPULAR DEMAND!)
Are you a fan of the Medical Romance series?
Or perhaps you’re addicted to medical TV dramas?
Do you want to write for an excitingly unique, globally distributed series?
And – of course! - do you want an editorial response within a month?


Then this is the initiative for you!

All you need is an idea for a romance in a medical setting and the first chapter only – the rest is simple!

•    Send us a covering letter with a synopsis of your story and characters (no more than two pages) along with the first chapter
•    Fast-track submissions must be received between 1st and 7th June 2012 (12.00 midnight BST, British Summer Time)
•    Email your submission (as a Word document attachment) to
medicalfasttrack2012@hqnuk.co.uk
•    You will receive a response by email by 29th June.
•    Otherwise our normal submissions and format procedures apply (visit our ‘Submit  manuscript’ section at
www.millsandboon.co.uk)
Excited already? You certainly should be - this is a fantastic opportunity to get your writing noticed by the Medical Romance team and we can’t wait to read your submissions!
You can also find our writing guidelines or buy Medical Romance titles in print or ebook format from www.harlequin.com (a Medical Romance podcast is available here too), www.millsandboon.co.uk and www.millsandboon.com.au.

 To celebrate the announcement of the 2012 Medical Fast-Track, Fiona Lowe – along with help from other Mills & Boon® Medical Romance™ authors – give you their Top Ten Tips for Writing a Medical Romance!

1.    Find your unique voice…this is your own style. Sometimes it is right there on the page, sometimes it hides under a rock but you need to work on it so that when an editor picks up your manuscript she hears you on the page. Avoid letting your critique partners put their voice in your work. (True confession: I let that happen to me without realising until my acquiring editor back in 2005 said, ‘Your voice sometimes disappears.”)



2.    Discover plot, characterisation, conflict, emotional punch, point of view and avoiding the saggy middle. Attend writing workshops, read some ‘how to’ books and be prepared to tear down that brilliant scene you just wrote and re write it again…and again.  I know, it hurts, be brave J Medical romances are big, complex stories in 50-55,000 words.



3.    In a medical romance it is the ROMANCE that is front and centre. Remember that and use the medical scenes to drive the story forward. E.g. the characters learn something new about each other, or see a past behaviour isn’t working for them, or it changes the relationship between them.  Having your hero and heroine work together is very important because it keeps them on the page together and avoids “token” medical scenes. Your reader wants to see the relationship growing and it’s a lot harder to show this if they don’t work together.



4.    Talking about heroes, dare we say it but our medical heroes are divine and a little bit different from other category romance heroes. They’re strong, independent and focused, but they have compassion, heart and a bedside manner to die for. They go above and beyond the call of duty every time because they’re driven to heal.



5.    Louisa George, a previous ‘Medical Fast-Track’ success story, says, “Keep the working relationship equal- both the hero and heroine are professionals and independent.”  Their private lives might be a disaster, but at work they are at the top of their game. Due to the huge variety of specialisations in medicine, this opens up a huge array of settings for your books....the outback, flying doctors, ER, small town, big city, drop-In centre, the White House, Africa, sports medicine, surgery, midwifery, complimentary medicine such as Chinese medicine,....the list goes on! Think Outside the Box. 





6.    Amy Andrews who’s known for her awesome love scenes says, “Medicals accept a gamut of heat levels from closing the door to tearing it off its hinges - feel free to write the sensual scenes from sweet right through to phwarrrrr!!!” Fiona adds, “Let your characters determine the heat level. Their back story will guide you. In Sydney Harbour Hospital: Tom’s Redemption, the hero is blind. As a writer I had to channel all sensory information through hearing, touch, taste and smell.  As a result my editor said I wrote one of my hottest sex scenes ever. Who knew, right?



7.    Put a new twist on universal themes. Human beings are inherently flawed and frequently hurt and disappoint each other BUT for all of that, human beings have a huge drive to find and give love. The need for family, the need to know they are loveable, the need to care, the need to learn trust, to overcome failure, to balance duty and love...all these are universal themes. With your unique characters, make these themes your own.



8.    Read the current medical romances. The best way to get a feel for the line is to read the books. Popular themes in medical romances are midwifery, paediatrics, surgery, secret babies, miracle babies, bachelor dads, Mediterranean docs, new-found families with young children, – families with young children, billionaire and posh docs, playboys docs, royalty, aristocracy, sheikhs – duty to patients or title?  My debut novel combined three popular themes ...the outback, the flying doctors and a pregnant heroine. Since then I’ve written two more pregnant heroines, but they’ve been pregnant with a twist — a surrogate mother heroine, and in November 2012 in a Christmas book the heroine is pregnant using artificial insemination.



9.    Send your book out into the world.  That is a big and scary step. You love it to bits and a part of you always goes with any submission, but the only way to get published is to put it out there so polish up that first chapter and send it to the medical fast track!



10.   Bounce Back.  Rejections are very much part of the arts community. It is rare for a first manuscript to be accepted but what is amazing is that at Harlequin, editors DO give feedback !  So give yourself an indulgent day or two and then go back to the computer. Take on board what an editor said, re look at your work and keep writing.



I once read a quote that said ‘Luck is preparation meeting opportunity.’ The preparation is the only part of the process you can control. If you follow the ten tips you will write a book filled with action-packed drama, where a dynamic hero and heroine work together saving lives and in the process they work through the issues that had them putting their life on hold, and finish with them finding true love and their happily ever after.

Easy? No, but absolutely do-able. Good luck!
Cheers

Fiona

Fiona Lowe is an award-winning, multi-published author with Harlequin and Carina Press. Whether her books are set in outback Australia or in the mid-west of the USA, they feature small towns with big hearts, and warm, likeable characters that make you fall in love. When she's not writing stories, she's a weekend wife, mother of two 'ginger' teenage boys, guardian of 80 rose bushes and often found collapsed on the couch. A current RITA finalist, you can find her at her website, facebookTwitter and Goodreads.


So friends what do you think? Will you take a chance and send your babies...er...chapters out there? Why not try it. After all you'll be hearing back within thirty days!
Want to know more? Ask away...

30 comments:

  1. Hi Nas!

    What a wonderful opportunity for a Medical Romance writer. Unfortunately that's not me, but great for those who have that ms ready. Good luck!

    Thanks for the how-to...

    Denise

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Denise,

    Thanks for popping by!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a tasty opportunity. I wish I had something brewing in that genre.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow. Now I wish I wrote romance to submit!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Leslie and The Golden Eagle,

    Why don't you try writing a medical romance? Get a medical romance, read it and see what comes out when you use your talent and put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

    For any questions...ask away!

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a great opportunity! I don't write in this genre, but I bet they'll be flooded with stories!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Such fabulous points made my Fiona in her article!
    It can be applied to most romances I reckon too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is a wonderful opportunity! I hope lots of writers take advantage of it. Don't let fear of failure keep you from pursuing your goals! You CAN do it!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Friends!

    Above Amy Andrews, the writer of steamy romance amid the medical drama commented!

    Ask questions!

    Wendy S Marcus is another crackling hot writer whose books are garnering many reviews and her first book is a finalist in the National Readers Choice Award! And she's offering to critique your WIP here
    http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com/Bidding.taf?_function=detail&Auction_uid1=2508282

    ReplyDelete
  10. HI,
    As the other authors have said, this is a great opportunity so if you have been thinking about writing a book, this should be a great impetus to open the computer, fix the page to 25 lines exactly with 2.5cm/1" margins and get cracking.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's wonderful for you to share this opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great opportunity for romance writers. Wish I wrote that. If I did I'd take that chance. Good luck to those who go for it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Friends,

    Medical Romance author Fiona Lowe jusst visited above! And she's the one with these awesome writing tips! You should check out her SYDNEY HARBOUR HOSPITAL: TOM'S REDEMPTION where she wrote a blind hero with amazing sensory details!

    ReplyDelete
  14. fabulous opportunity! Thanks, Nas for allowing the authors to share their tips.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This sounds like a huge opportunity for romance writers.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is a great opportunity! I wish I had something for them!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. What an amazing opportunity for writers everywhere to fulfill us readers expectations and give us new and unique medical romance books!

    Thank you Mills and Boon for this golden chance. And thanks to all these fabulous authors for their writing tips!

    Riya

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Nas! What a great opportunity. Thanks for telling us about it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hello Nas,

    Thanks for letting all aspiring writers out there know about this golden opportunity.

    I like the tips from this authors, too.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Laura,

    Thank you so much for coming along to read this post!

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a great opportunity for those who write medical romances!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Fantastic tips and a wonderful chance for those who write medical romance!

    ReplyDelete
  23. It really is a great opportunity- I wouldn't be published now if it wasn't for a similar fast track they did in 2010- that got my work in front of an editor, and although she didn't buy that story she asked to see something else and bought that one!

    Very best of luck to all who enter!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Lynda,

    Thanks for reading along!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Helo Talli!

    As I remember you had a plastic surgeon anti- guy in your last story! Try a medical hero and heroine story!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Louisa!

    Friends, see a FastTrack success story right here!

    Louisa George's One Month To Become a Mum is a fabulous debut book!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I didn't realize this was its own genre! I had no idea. Thanks Nas!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Fantastic tips. And this is a great opportunity for people who write in the genre.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This sounds like a great opportunity, and I love the tips!

    ReplyDelete

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