NYC Angels – Editor Interview with Flo Nicholl

I’ve been shouting out to the world about the wonderful Medical Romance series currently beginning in March with books #1 and #2.

Redeeming the Playboy by Carol Marinelli and The Heiress’s Baby Scandal. by Janice Lynn

April 2in1 at Mills and Boon: Unmasking Dr. Serious by Laura Iding and The Wallflower’s Secret by Susan Carlisle

NYC Angels – Children’s doctors who work hard and love even harder…in the city that never sleeps!

You heard my take about being a part of a multi-author continuity when I wrote this blog.

Now, I have the good fortune to have Flo Nicholl—one of the editorial staff at Harlequin Mills & Boon, UK masterminds behind the project—on hand to answer a few questions regarding the process of making a fiction continuity come to life.

Isn’t she lovely?        

  1. How does the publisher decide to start a continuity?

FLO: We know our readers love linked stories and we always try our best to deliver what our readers want 😉 So, when we come to plan out the year ahead, including a major linked continuity is always a priority – they’ve been so successful in the past and we want each new continuity to build on that success!

  1. What sparked your creative juices for NYC Angel’s?

FLO: Oh, a combination of things – our obsession with US medical TV dramas, our amazing US author base, the high-octane city of New York itself… so many reasons to get excited about an NYC-set continuity! What’s more, after setting continuities in Cornwall,UK and Sydney, Australia, it only seemed fair that the US got a starring role! It’s such a globally adored city that we felt the many readers around the world be captivated by it.

  1. How long did it take to write all eight synopses?

FLO: How long is a piece of string?! The process can be quite time-consuming, but it’s ALWAYS worth it. We initially brainstorm an overarching concept and continuity arc, before turning our attention to the individual stories. Then it’s a case of brainstorming not only unique, fresh story ideas, but also (hopefully!) tailoring those stories to our continuity authors too. Typing them up can take a while, but only because we’re all crazy perfectionists and want our authors to have the best story outlines they possibly can!

  1. Did that daunting task make you more empathetic for us poor authors trying to come up with new stories several times a year? <g>

FLO: Haha, well actually, brainstorming storylines and then writing them up is one of the most exciting parts of my job! I’m no thwarted writer, don’t get me wrong – I love being an editor, but it’s always fun to flex our creativity and enjoy the challenge of setting up a compelling imaginary world. Having said that, I’ve now been involved in brainstorming five 8-book continuities and know exactly how hard it can be to come up with fresh, different storylines. So I am in constant, total awe of authors who produce innovative, exciting storylines on such a regular basis – you are all amazing!

  1. Was it hard to give your babies to the authors to grow them creatively, to breathe life into those outlines, and how did it feel reading the completed stories as they came back in?

FLO: Getting a continuity story delivered is always major news in the department, especially for all the editors involved in the brainstorming process. Because whilst we love thrashing out the ideas and writing them up, nothing compares to the excitement of seeing how authors transform them into their own storylines – putting their recognisable stamp on the characters and bringing the characters to life in a way we could only dream of! Trust us, the attachment we feel for the stories only grows when we see how well they’ve been written!

  1. Often a writer misses her characters when the book is done. Did you go through a slump once this huge (and wonderful) undertaking of NYC Angel’s continuity was completed?

FLO: Personally, yes, it’s always sad to wave goodbye to character whose hopes and dreams you’ve been living and breathing for a while! But luckily, the editing process means you get to catch up with them a few months later anyway, so there’s always that to look forward to. Oh, and plotting the next continuity, of course 🙂

Thank you so much for taking time out of your uber busy schedule to answer my questions, Flo.  Each and every author in this continuity is excited about sharing our stories with our Harlequin readership.  The UK branding is nothing short of beautiful, and speaking for myself, I am very proud and pleased to be a part of it.

Here’s the fabulous book cover for book #7 – Making the Surgeon Smile – my contribution and #8 – An Explosive Reunion by the lovely and talented Alison Roberts.

Flo Nicoll is an Associate Editor for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She joined the company after finishing her literature MA and deciding to put her chronic addiction to romantic fiction to good use. And what better place to start than Romance HQ?! Working for Mills & Boon is a dream come true for Flo – and she still can’t believe she’s lucky enough to read happy endings for a living!

Special thank you to Flo for sharing her time, and until next time, make it a great one!


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26 Responses to NYC Angels – Editor Interview with Flo Nicholl

  1. Great interview! I’m very excited to read all the books in this continuity. Going to tweet your link!

  2. Tina Beckett says:

    I loved that we got to peek at each other’s storylines when we got the story bible. It made me anxious to read all of them as well!

    • I know, Tina – it was completely necessary to know what had gone on before and after our stories. It was great being able to chat with everyone to work out some details.

      Like O’Mally’s bar! 🙂 I noticed it was even mentioned in the on-line read going on at Harlequin website right now.

  3. Interesting blog on how these types of books are created. Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork!

    • Kathy – I was amazed that essentially one person had to come up with eight different storlines plus one story arching throughout all of the books, to be finished at the end. It seems incredible, doesn’t it?

  4. Robena Grant says:

    I really enjoyed the interview. I’ve often wondered how the storyline was decided. I suppose it’s in some ways like writing for a TV series where a room full of writers toss ideas around and then sculpt the long range story arc.

    Looking forward to these great reads. Oh, and congrats! on that awesome cover.

    • Hi Robena – yes, by George, I think you’ve got it! 🙂

      No wonder all of those TV writers are hooked on cocaine. LOL.

      And yes, I am definitely happy about the book cover. I hope the US version is that same guy. Fingers crossed!

  5. Kady Winter says:

    Fabulous interview Lynne! As a romance newbie, I’m loving learning about how things work in this world. Thanks for the insights!

    • Hi Kady –
      You’re welcome. I’m glad you found the blog interesting. Flo is a wonderful editor, and she put together some amazing stories for this continuity.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  6. Hi Lynne! Congrats to all of you! (I love your cover!) And thanks for the interview and inside info. What a great feeling its got to be when all is done. 🙂 Best wishes!

    • Hi Robin –
      I can imagine the editors popping some bubbly once all the books have been written by the authors and accepted. They couldn’t have done a more fabulous job on the packaging, could they?

  7. Hi Lynne,
    Love the cover, the hero is gorgeous!! I think continuities are great fun to work on and to read. Thanks for the interview. It’s interesting stuff, behind the scenes.

    • Hi Charlene –
      Yes, I found the continuity experience to be a blast. Some people save up all the books and refuse to read them until every last one has been released. Isn’t that interesting?

  8. I’d always wondered how continuity stories were put together. Thanks, Lynne, for the peek into the process with Flo!

    • Hi Christine – Until I worked on one, I always wondered, too. The bible is huge with a full overview, then it breaks down into each story and has a physical description for each character portion.

      When it came time to write the story arc in my book, I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to go into those other character’s heads or not. I did. Found out, no their POV was reserved for book #8 author. LOL Live, do, learn.

  9. Laura Iding says:

    I’m excited about this series too and it was great hearing Flo’s insider information on how the “Bible” is created. I had a great time working with all the other talented authors.

    • Hi Laura – it’s always nice/fun to work closer with fellow Medical Romance authors. I found the extra-communication so helpful when writing my story.

      I’m glad you liked catching a glimpse at behind-the-scene when putting a continuity together. It is a BIG process!

  10. Great interview!

    I just went and ordered the first two.

    But was bummed when the U.S. covers weren’t anything like the U.K. covers. Why can’t we have the same covers?

    • Hi Jennifer!
      How wonderful of you to order Carol and Janice’s books. I agree that it is confusing to have such different covers for US versus UK editions. The branding for the UK covers is gorgeous, and would be so pretty on the US ones, but…???

      Wish I had an answer for you. Anyway, so glad you discovered our continuity, and I hope you’ll read all 8.

  11. Dee J. says:

    Great interview! Very interesting to see how gets put together. And, yes, Flo is lovely!

    • Hi Dee J!
      I was happy when Flo agreed to answer my questions. I would love to ask about 20 more, but…in order to be polite I held back. LOL

      Lynne? Hold back? (I can read your mind, you know)

  12. Sam Beck says:

    I’m very excited for this series! Really enjoyed getting a behind-the-scenes peek at how something this huge comes together. And, okay, about the other character POV…who knew? 🙂

  13. Great interview, I am quite intrigued by this whole very different approach to storytelling – but why not?

    • Hi Beverly,
      It definitely is a different approach from what I’ve been used to, but it taught me a lot. I can take a thumbnail story and make it my own. Never knew that before.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. Thanks for stopping by.