“What was it like to win a contract with Harlequin?”

newadultboxsetThis month Harlequin E is very excited to introduce you to three bright new talents in our first New Adult Romance Box Set:  Jo Watson, Amber Lindley and Sarah White. These three writers, along with the three writers we are publishing next month, are the winners of the Harlequin and Wattpad contest for New Adult Romance series authors. We asked Jo, Amber and Sarah to tell us a bit about the New Adult genre, and what it was like to win a contract with Harlequin!

Jo Watson, author of Burning Moon

When I was eight I won a coloring-in competition. I was thrilled, not only to win, but also to beat my arch-rival-art nemesis. (I took coloring-in pretty seriously) But winning the SYTYCW competition has been so much better. Not only do I get to publish a book that I’m proud of, but I also gain five friends in the other winners and some amazing Wattpad fans.

I enjoy the freedom that New Adult gives me to really dig my writing claws into what it means to be an 18-25 year old living in this mad crazy world. Life is hectic! We laugh we love we cry we fail we fall and we get up again—and this is what I love to write about. (But I’ll always serve it up with a thick dollop of generous humor.)

In my book, Lilly decides to go on her honeymoon alone- since her fiancé was MIA at their wedding. What would you do if your fiancé dumped you in front of 500 wedding guests?

Amber Lindley, author of Girls’ Guide to Getting It Together

As someone who hasn’t self-published or entered the publishing world by the traditional means, the prospect of releasing my first book is incredibly daunting.

Girls’ Guide to Getting It Together was one of six winning manuscripts from Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write (SYTYCW) contest held in conjunction with ebook community Wattpad. I joined Wattpad with dreams of a publishing contract, so when I saw adverts for the SYTYCW contest posted on the website, I knew I had to enter. Of course I expected that putting my work on the internet would lead to millions of views and a publishing contract right away, when in reality, it took lots of hard work just to get one person to read it.

At first I was unsure if my story fit into the New Adult genre, but I did some research and found that my contemporary romance tale written in the first person POV of my lovable twenty-something heroine might be what they were looking for. I’ve become very passionate about New Adult since then, and the ways a YA narrative can be used to explore more mature issues.

Winning the contest was a huge shock, and I feel incredibly lucky to be in this position and to be writing in a genre that I’m very passionate about.

Sarah White, author of Rookie in Love

I am so excited to write in the New Adult genre.  The characters in the stories are at an exciting and often tumultuous time in their lives—on the cusp of adult life, while still holding on to the dreams and commitments of their childhood.  It’s the transition into adulthood captured in these stories that makes readers feel they’re on an emotional rollercoaster of the most passionate and intense feelings.

My first New Adult romance book enraptured me.  I remember wondering how I could not have known there were books out there that could keep me so ready to turn the page.  Those first few weeks I stayed up late at night reading long after my husband and kids went to bed.  It felt like my quiet time to dive into someone else’s life and experience.  This genre is so fresh and enticing, it’s hard to imagine ever growing tired of it.  If you check back in with me a few years, I’m sure you will find me still loving New Adult stories.

Winning the Wattpad contest has been such a fun adventure.  Rookie in Love was my first New Adult story and to have such positive feedback from the Wattpad audience was so encouraging.  To me, winning has shown my boys that they can do anything they put their minds and hearts to.  It also gave me a larger audience to share my stories with.  After all, it’s the readers who really fuel the excitement in a story.

The Wattpad audience has been very supportive.  I love reading their comments, and how they are so ready to connect to the characters and share their experience.  Since joining in September 2013, I have been honored to have almost 10,000 Wattpad followers.   The Harlequin contest on Wattpad was an amazing opportunity for new writers and I am very grateful to have been a part of the experience.

About Harlequin E New Adult Romance Box Set Volume 1:

Three determined heroines, three wildly different men, all at one incredible price— $4.99. Share their joys, their frustrations, their adventures in these delicious new books:

Burning Moon by Jo Watson—When her fiancé dumps her ten minutes before she’s supposed to walk down the aisle, Lilly goes a little…crazy. She also goes to Thailand. On the trip that was supposed to be her honeymoon, Lilly gets arrested, sets herself on fire, and maybe—just maybe—finds new love.

Girls’ Guide to Getting It Together by Amber Lindley—Inspired by a confidence-boosting guide she finds in a magazine, Megan decides it’s time to transform her life. But she can’t even manage to buy a bra that fits or cook a real meal. What are the chances that number six—”Ask a guy who you think is way out of your league out on a date”—is going to lead to anything but disaster?

Rookie in Love by Sarah White—Madeline’s family has her whole life mapped out for her. She’ll forget about her youthful dreams, marry a junior executive at her father’s company and produce some photogenic grandchildren. But, on the night of her twenty-first birthday, she meets Jackson. And Jackson changes everything….

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Comments ( 2 )
  1. Bips
    June 23, 2014 at 3:50 pm
    Reply

    It was a great contest but it was only opened to a few countries. Wattpad has writers from hundreds of countries. Asian countries were not included. Is there a reason for his ?

  2. Amy
    June 24, 2014 at 10:05 am
    Reply

    Hi Bips,

    Unfortunately legal rules prohibited opening the writing contest internationally, but definitely something we hope to expand in the future! Authors from any country can still submit the Harlequin and Harlequin E through regular channels at any time, too.

    Thanks,
    ~Amy from Harlequin

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