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?
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
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!