Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009 Dedicated Issue: Harlequin Teen


Harlequin Teen: Launching August 2009

Harlequin Teen: Intertwined by Gena Showalter

Harlequin Teen: Launch titles from NYT and USA Today bestselling authors

Harlequin Teen: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

Harlequin Teen: The home of Exciting, Authentic Fiction for Every Young Reader

Harlequin Teen: Elphame's Choice by P.C. Cast

Editors' Note

News

Harlequin Teen: A New Kind of Harlequin Imprint

In founding the Harlequin Teen imprint, Harlequin is showing an appropriate bit of independence. For one, the new imprint is the publisher's first dedicated to teens. For another, it's different from most other Harlequin lines in that it will feature stand-alone titles (although some authors will have short series).

Harlequin Teen plans to publish at least one title monthly, beginning in January, but is launching with several titles in the next few months. Most of the books will appear in trade paperback.

To start, the publisher has drawn on its stable of bestselling authors and is featuring two writers with "young, hip voices," as Natashya Wilson, the senior editor who's spearheading Harlequin Teen, put it. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent, the first of three in her Soul Screamer series, is being published this month. Vincent is well known: many teens "have been reading [Vincent's] Shifters series," Wilson said.

In August, Harlequin Teen is publishing Intertwined by Gena Showalter, the first of three planned titles in the Intertwined series (these will be available in hardcover editions). Wilson noted that Showalter has published "some MTV YA titles, and teens also read her adult characters."

The third book to be published in 2009 is P.C. Cast's Elphame's Choice, which originally appeared under Harlequin's Luna imprint and will come out this October. (P.C. Cast is also co-author of the House of Night series with her daughter, Kristin Cast.) Harlequin Teen will do other reissues.

As the publishing program builds up next year, Wilson plans to include a variety of acclaimed trade authors. For example, next July Harlequin Teen will publish Majix: Notes from a Serious Teen Witch, a light paranormal tale aimed at ages 10-up by Douglas Rees, author of Vampire High.

Other authors will make their publishing debuts in Harlequin Teen. Among them: Julie Kagawa whose The Iron King will appear in February. The Iron King is the first of three planned in the Iron Fey series, which Wilson believes will appeal to Melissa Marr and Holly Black fans.

 


Harlequin Teen: Elphame's Choice by P.C. Cast


Harlequin's Teen Attraction

Natashya Wilson noted that many of the line's prospective readers are already familiar with Harlequin. "There are probably hundreds of thousands of teen readers who know what a Harlequin romance is and read them, whether it's through their mothers or grandmothers," she observed.

Wilson knows this from personal experience. At age nine, while visiting one of her mother's friends in an Oregon farmhouse, she discovered Love's Tender Fury by Jennifer Wilde. "I stayed up reading it all night," she said. By age 10, Wilson was deep into Harlequin Presents and Intimate Moments. "I had the first 200 Harlequin Super Romance stories," Wilson stated proudly. "I knew all about the company and what they did before I got here."

Wilson arrived at Harlequin fresh from graduate school in 1996 and assisted Deborah Matteucci, the editorial director for the Harlequin American Romance and the Harlequin Intrigue series. She moved up to assistant editor for Harlequin Intrigue before leaving the company in 2000. Four years later she was back, under Leslie Wainger, editing the Silhouette Bombshell series, Alpha Woman and what she calls "Alias-type stories." But Wilson also read YA books widely--the likes of Lois Duncan and Caroline Cooney--and continues to. ("I'm possibly the biggest Twilight fan out there," she admited.)

 


Harlequin Teen: Intertwined by Gena Showalter


Harlequin Teen's E-Marketing Push

Suiting an imprint devoted to teens, Harlequin Teen is devoting a lot of thought and energy to marketing online in addition to social networking efforts on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and others.

The company is offering a prequel to Rachel Vincent's My Soul to Take--a novella called My Soul to Lose--as a free e-book on the eHarlequin and Harlequin Teen websites and is promoting it through e-retailers as well as traditional bookstores. The prequel is DRM-free, so that copies can be forwarded to others. At the Romance Writers of America annual national conference, which starts today in Washington, D.C., the e-book is included on a flash drive Harlequin is giving to attendees.

Amy Jones, product manager, retail single title business team, said that the effort is "good for Rachel's current base to read while waiting for book and it's good for new readers because it gives them something to familiarize themselves with her writing."

For Intertwined by Gena Showalter, the company is launching a "full viral campaign," as Jones put it. Announcements will go to Showalter's substantial fan list and in online advertising. Fans will also be able to watch an author trailer and post reviews of the book on the site. Moreover, the book will be promoted through an online game that is based on the book and centers on memory match questions that refer to the story. (Answers can be found on the book's website.) When all matches are made, the readers/contestants win books, T-shirts and other items and are entered into a contest with a $10,000 prize.

All Harlequin Teen titles will be released simultaneously in print and e-book versions, which will have identical prices. The company has a lot of e-experience and sells e-books to readers on eHarlequin.com. "While our e-book sales are a miniscule part of our overall sales," Wilson said, "they are growing exponentially each year."

 


Harlequin Turns 60: A Year of Celebration

It's befitting that Harlequin Teen is being launched during Harlequin's 60th anniversary year, which the company is celebrating throughout 2009. Besides "illustrating our mettle as a publishing giant," Katharine Orr, v-p, public relations, said, the celebration--and Harlequin Teen's launch--"illustrates our variety today. We're not just bodice rippers and historicals."

Among ways of celebrating, the company is offering 16 romance stories for free on HarlequinCelebrates.com, the special 60th anniversary site. One major event was an exhibit at the Open House Gallery in New York City that "showcased our place in popular culture," Orr said. The show was up two weeks during BookExpo America, and Harlequin may take it on tour. Via covers of books through the years, the exhibit showed how women's lives have changed professionally. Older books might feature a doctor and nurse on a cover, and the doctor was always a man, Orr said. "Now the woman can have any profession. Maybe the couple are both lawyers, or there's a cowboy and cowgirl and the cowgirl's in the dominant pose." The celebration's message, Orr reiterated: "We publish everything a woman wants to read--sweet romance, thrillers, teen, nonfiction titles. We have it all."

 


Books & Authors

Harlequin Teen 2010 Titles

The following is a partial list of titles Harlequin Teen will publish in 2010, with descriptions provided by the publisher:

My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent (January 2010)

When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies. So when teen pop star Eden croaks on stage and Kaylee doesn't wail, she knows something is dead wrong. Starry-eyed teens are trading their souls for a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld. Kaylee can't let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk. My Soul to Save is the second book in the Soul Screamers series.

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (February 2010)

Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart. The Iron King is the first book in the Iron Fey series.

Tagged by Mara Purnhagen (March 2010)

Kate is just as confused as her best friend, Lan, when she arrives at Cleary High to find the building's been "tagged" with a life-size graffiti mural. Could the culprit be one of their friends or classmates? And is it vandalism or a work of art? Then Eli, Kate's favorite co-worker at the local coffee shop, goes MIA. With Lan preoccupied with boy troubles, Kate can't help but investigate, despite the risk of being labeled a snitch. But now, she can't stop thinking about Eli--and what she will do when all clues about the graffiti point to someone she's close to . . .
 
Brighid's Quest by P.C. Cast (March 2010)

Rather than follow her father's restrictive rules, Brighid had chosen to set out on her own to make friends and form relationships with humans as well as centaurs. But now she's facing her toughest challenge. While helping guide a grieving human home, Brighid finds herself beginning to care for him. And the Great Goddess has awoken the power of the Shaman within Brighid--the first centaur so blessed in ages. Now she's torn between power and love--and the vision of a tragedy that might destroy everyone. Brighid's Quest is the second book in the two-book Partholon series.
 
Inside Out by Maria Snyder (April 2010)

Trella's life is filled with her job--testing, cleaning and making sure the pipes in her world are working. She has a few friends and crechemates--in her world, children are raised in age groups by carers--and spends her time exploring the Upper Levels (where her people are forbidden to go). But her solitary, peaceful life is disturbed when a prophet comes who claims that there is a way to make their lives better. Reluctantly Trella gets involved in protecting this prophet and finding some disks he's hidden. And soon she becomes involved in a rebellion--and even leading it!
 
The Oracle of Dating by Allison Van Diepen (May 2010)

Greek: Double Date by Marsha Warner (May 2010)

This will be the first book in a series of TV tie-in books based on the ABC Family show Greek.
 
My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent (June 2010)

This is the third title in the Soul Screamers series.
 
Majix: Notes from a Serious Teenage Witch by Douglas Rees (July 2010)

Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner (July 2010)


Author Q&A: Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter's teen novels have been featured on MTV and in Seventeen magazine and have been praised as "unputdownable." Growing up, she always had her nose buried in a book. When it came time to buckle down and get a job, she knew writing was it for her. Her first Harlequin Teen book is Intertwined. She lives in Oklahoma with her family and three slobbery English bulldogs.

Favorite book when you were a child:

In junior high, I read Silver Angel by Johanna Lindsay, and it was my first romance. The heroine was 18, I believe, and living in Regency England. She was beautiful, sassy and drew the eye of the sexiest guy I'd ever read about. God, I loved that book. It had passion and danger and in the end, true love conquered all. I was hooked.

Your top five authors:

P.C. and Kristin Cast, Stephenie Meyer, Jill Monroe, Kresley Cole and J.R. Ward. I'm so amazed every time I read a book by these ladies. They draw me in, hold me captive and paint such a vivid world I feel like I'm there with the characters.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I talk with anyone who will listen about how hot Edward is. And I have maybe kinda sorta thought of ways to win him from Bella. On the plus side, as old as he is, I wouldn't have to feel like a cougar for dating someone so young looking.

Book that changed your life:

I hated to read until I discovered the Sweet Valley High books. I had to know whom Jessica was dating and how her twin sister Elizabeth was going to save her from whatever mess she caused.

Favorite line from a book:

"But you, your scent, it's like a drug to me. Like my own personal brand of heroin."--Edward Cullen from Twilight.

I've asked my husband if I'm his own personal brand of heroin, and he says yes. That's one of the many reasons I love him. Another reason I love him: he doesn't mind my character crushes--and yes, I get them a lot. He bought me a poster of Edward and hung it in front of my treadmill.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole. I could have cried when I finished because I wanted more, more, more of this amazing novel. The character growth is phenomenal. You see these people evolving and changing and you understand what drives them. It's powerful stuff.

Last book you read:

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. I loved this book. I was hesitant to pick it up because I had never read alternating first person points of view before and feared I'd be confused, but I'm so glad I did. Two teens from two different lifestyles never should have liked each other, much less fallen in love, but they do and it's a beautiful thing to watch unfold.

What are you working on now:

Unraveled, the sequel to Intertwined. The stakes are higher and the romances between my leads are heating up. Aden still has the souls trapped inside him, knows his own death is closer than ever and has all manner of creatures hunting for him. I'm having a lot of fun with it.


Author Q&A: Rachel Vincent

A recent transplant into the Deep South, Rachel Vincent has a B.A. in English and an overactive imagination and consistently finds the latter to be more practical. She shares her workspace with two black cats (Kaci and Nyx) and her No. 1 fan. Rachel is older than she looks--seriously--and younger than she feels but remains convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan. The first novel in the Harlequin Teen line is her YA debut, My Soul to Take, the first in the Soul Screamers series, about a teenage bean sidhe (banshe).

On your nightstand now:

An ARC of Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, which comes out in November. I've just started it, but have heard that it's amazing.

Favorite book when you were a child:

A Little Princess
by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I read that one over and over when I was little.

Your top five authors:

Stephen King, Robert R. McCammon, Patricia Briggs, Laurie Halse Anderson, Scott Westerfeld. I've been reading King and McCammon since junior high, and they've remained favorites. Scott Westerfeld's Uglies books were among the first YA books I read as an adult, and I devoured them in a day apiece.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth. And The Stand by Stephen King. Oooh, and McCammon's Swan Song! What can I say? I love post-apocalyptic stories. I reread The Stand and Swan Song every summer during college. They never get old.

Book that changed your life:

The Color Purple by Alice Walker. And Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. Those two books showed me what non-traditional narration and structure can bring to a novel. When I was 12. They were also the first stories that made me truly think about something beyond my own existence. They broke my heart and made me want to write.

Favorite line from a book:

" 'Better turn off your pumps, Hap,' Stu said mildly."--From the first chapter of The Stand.

Stu turns off the gas pumps at Hap's station to keep from blowing up the whole place, but as a kid, I was fairly convinced that if he hadn't done that, the apocalyptic plague might have died right there, in that explosion. I'm no longer convinced of that. Surely the infected family stopped other places along the way (it's been a decade since I've read it now, and I can't remember). But back then, I was captivated by the irony. Stu saved his friends' lives--temporarily--and damned the entire world in the process. Or so it seemed to me . . .

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

The Long Walk. I was blown away by the concept and the inherent tragedy. But King's exploration of the characters is really what sticks with me. This story inspired one of the first short stories I actually finished in high school, in which a group of kids gets to know each other as they're waiting to die. It's a very different setup from King's, of course, but I loved the thought of all those new-but-doomed relationships.

Books you've always wanted to read, but haven't yet:

The Princess Bride by William Goldman. It's been on my list for more than 15 years. How embarrassing is that?

 


Author Q&A: P. C. Cast

P.C. Cast is proud to have published in the young adult, paranormal romance and fantasy genres. She has a special spot in her heart for the fantasy series she's written for Luna and Harlequin Teen because she wishes she could live in the world of Partholon. Her first Harlequin Teen title is Elphame's Choice.

On your nightstand now:

Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

Favorite book when you were a child:

It's a three-way tie:

  • I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew by Dr. Seuss
  • The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
  • The Black Stallion by Walter Farley

Your top five authors:

Ray Bradbury, Robin McKinley, Pat Conroy, Anne McCaffrey and Charlotte Bronte.

Book you've faked reading:

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. (I even faked teaching it!)

Book you're an evangelist for:

Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury.

Book that changed your life:

There are two of them:

Dragon Flight by Anne McCaffrey and Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd.

Favorite line from a book:

It's a little more than one line from near the end of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird:

" . . . Summer, and he watched his children's heart break. Autumn again, and Boo's children needed him. Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough . . ."

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

 


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