Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Writer’s Life Is Never Dull, Especially with a Global Romance Market

My guest today, is the wonderful Annie West. I'm so glad to have her again on my blog. I asked Annie West if she would explain a bit about the global market as an author for Harlequin.

I remember reading many more Harlequins when I was younger and Presents, at the time, were my favorite of the Harlequin line. The thing I enjoyed the most was reading books by authors not from the United States. I loved the expressions native to their country, the scenery, the way they used the English language.

I'll admit I was in love with all things Australian—so much so that I visited and actually considered moving there. Then love got in the way. I read many Australian authors, not just Harlequin. It's a wonderful country and like ours, there is so much variety in people, landscape and in its vastness.

Annie shares what it’s like to have her books released to various foreign markets.

There are several distinct sides to my writing life. There’s Annie as hermit, head in the clouds and fingers on the computer keys, typing in the new story. We’re all familiar with that one, right? That’s what writers do – they write.

Well, yes, but they do other things too. Like right now. Even as I type I’m itching to revisit my draft manuscript as my crit partner has raised some issues about it and I want to check out the details. Can I really shorten that first chapter? How on earth am I going to work the change I need in the second half? I’m torn…I want to write this (and since Sia was kind enough to provide a date to post my ramblings, I have to deliver) but part of me wants to get on with the book.

I’ve discovered in the 3½ half years I’ve been writing for Harlequin that spreading yourself between multiple tasks is part and parcel of what writers do. On an average week I’ll have the book to write, a blog or two to prepare or an article to research, sites I want to visit, maybe proof copies of my previous book to check, a little work to critique for someone else, prizes to send out, promo to do, a competition to read for, research that may require contacting some experts or researching on the net or in a library, sundry queries to answer (the ones from my editor get priority) and maybe notes to jot down on the next story brewing in my head. In between that, if there’s time, I do like to read as well, and spend a little time with my family. As I still have a day job life can get very busy.

But life gets even more interesting when you write for a global market.

One of the joys of writing for Harlequin is finding out that your books are bought and read all over the globe, from the English language markets of the USA, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada to South Africa, the Philippines and India.

Then there are the translations. I found out the other day quite by chance that I have two books out in Brazil, with very hot covers indeed. I recently received a translation into Polish, another into Czech (complete with name change – in Czech I’m Annie Westova), as well as Russian, Greek, French, Korean, Japanese (including a manga comic book edition) and numerous others.

Wow! I sit in my home in Australia and am stunned by how far my stories travel. Most of the time I have no idea which book has been translated or when. I find out when a foreign edition lobs into my post box.

But writing for readers who don’t necessarily share the same cultural background can be interesting too. I still find it fascinating that so many readers find Aussie heroes hot! Well, yes they are, but to me they’re not exotic at all.

There are Issues of language. I tend to stick to Aussie English which is almost the same as British English, so if you see ‘colour’ instead of ‘color’ or ‘grey’ instead of ‘gray’ in my books and you’re used to US English, they’re not typos, that’s just the way we spell.

There decisions on what phrases to use. In a recent book I described something as ‘big as Uluru’. I could have used another simile (as big as the Empire State Building, or the Eiffel Tower) but as my character is Australian I figured I could be excused from using something typically Aussie. By contrast, in a book later this year, where the heroine is half Greek, half Australian, she describes something as being ‘as rare as snow on Santorini’, since she knows Greece well. I like to use some Australian phrases if I have an Aussie character, but I’m always conscious of the fact that a lot of readers won’t understand a really local phrase. I aim to make the story understandable to as many as possible.

I don’t have much swearing in my books, but are times when a hero has been so upset by something he’s exclaimed with frustration, fury or fear. Times when ‘oh, bother’ just doesn’t ring true. At such times my heroes have been known to curse, rather mildly. But not all readers appreciate the use of certain phrases. What characters can get away with in Australia may not be so acceptable elsewhere. It can exercise the mind, finding ways for them to express their feelings in a way readers will relate to.

When you write for a global market your readers, fellow authors, reviewers, staff from your publishing house etc, are bound to be awake when you’re not. My editor is in London and we have a 9 hour time difference. That means we have to tee up discussions, not just pick up the phone when we feel like it. I recently worked on a project with writers in three different time zones so it was rare to get answers to questions straight away. Often they arrived in my inbox when I was sleeping.

When I’m following a blog that’s based on US time, I have to stay up late to talk to people as they wake in the morning, and then get up very early to chat with others at the end of their day. Public holidays are completely different too which means some questions go unanswered when you least expect it.

Then there are release dates. I thought when I was published I’d see my books on the shelves and that would be when my book was ‘out’. End of story. But no. Different continents get different release dates. Forget the foreign translations, just the English language editions are enough to make my head spin.

April saw ‘The Desert King’s Pregnant Bride’ on sale in North America. In June ‘The Greek’s Convenient Mistress’ was released in the US. But this was my 2nd book out of 10 so far. It was on sale in the UK and Australia ages ago but the schedules across continents don’t always match. Meanwhile I was trying to promote my May UK release ‘Blackmailed Bride, Innocent Wife’, which is also out in June in Aus/NZ (at the same time as my Greek title in North America). Then in August my ‘Savakis Mistress’ is released in the UK (but actually it appears in July because they’ve changed the release schedule) and in August in Aus/NZ. I don’t know when that book will be released in North America and I’m already fielding queries from American readers on that one. Meanwhile August sees a re-release in the UK of my first book for Harlequin, but in an anthology, which naturally has a different title. In December ‘Blackmailed Bride, Innocent Wife’ makes it to North America and the following month a brand new title in the UK, and so it goes on.

Working out what book to promote when is a challenge, especially as they’re available on the web before they’re in bookstores, and even earlier to readers who subscribe to Harlequin. Australian—so

I adore writing for a global market and knowing people all around the world have an opportunity to discover my stories. But staying organised is a massive challenge. Thank goodness for my wall planner reminding me what I have to do next. And my diary. And those post it notes and scrawled messages…

Aussie author Annie West is a bestselling author for Harlequin Presents/Modern/Sexy (depending on which country you’re in). She gets a kick out of going to Australian writer and reader conferences where she gets described as ‘a Sexy author’! She’s won and been shortlisted for several reader awards and is just about to start work on what she hopes will be her 11th book for Harlequin. Annie loves her work, spending days fantasising about gorgeous men and their love lives. It’s a hard job but she has no regrets. Annie lives with her family on the east coast of Australia between the Hunter Valley’s world class wine country and some of the state’s best beaches.

Annie’s current releases are THE GREEK’S CONVENIENT MISTRESS (Harlequin Presents in North America), plus BLACKMAILED BRIDE, INNOCENT WIFE (June in Australia/New Zealand and December in North America). You can read excerpts of her books or enter contests to win new releases on her website.


~Sia McKye~ said...

Annie, I'm so glad you are visiting me again and with such a fascinating article!

I know there is quite the time difference between where you live in Australia and here but I know you'll be popping in with comments and answer any questions we might have.

Welcome and help yourself to coffee, tea, or a nice wine. Whatever tickles your fancy. :-)

Annie West said...

Hi Sia,

Actually I've just arrived home at the end of the day. It's dark and cold (winter here to your summer) so I think a glass of wine is in order. Thanks for having me to visit again! I so enjoyed myself last time.

When you asked me to write about what it was like having books out in an international market I didn't have a clue what I'd write about but discovered it was great fun. Thanks for asking. And of course I'm happy to answer questions - about my books, my publisher, life in Australia, whatever anyone is interested in.

I was fascinated you love Australia so much that you even considered moving here. What did you like best? What was different from 'home'?


Authorness said...

Hi, Sia and Annie Westova! I'd love to see those Brazilian covers. ;)

Annie, are you Superwoman in disguise? I don't know how you keep on top of it all! It must be wonderful knowing your stories are enjoyed all over the planet.

~ Vanessa

Sharon Archer said...

Hello, Annie Westova!

I love your new name! How cool is that!

You've written a fascinating insight into a writer's global market - what a nightmare to try to keep up with release dates though! And if you're blogging in other countries then you'd really want to know what was likely to be on the shelf there so you do have to keep up, don't you!

Reading your comments about local expressions that might not be understood in another country, has made me wonder if the editing department will let me keep "hooning" which I've used in the manuscript I've just sent in. I can't wait to see now! ;)

Thanks for having Annie to visit, Sia! BTW I did like the "gift" on your front page - oooo, love a man in a kilt!

Sharon - swatting ants off the computer screen in Katherine, Australia!

Annie West said...

Hi Vanessa,

Superwoman? No way! I'm just about to veg for an hour before bed. Honestly, today was just so packed and, sadly, not with writing. But I bet when you look at what you have on your plate and all the things you have to do you'd be amazed. I think most of us pack a lot into our weeks/months/years. It's only when we pause to itemise what we've got to do that it gets a little overwhelming.

I have to confess I love the idea of being Annie Westova. What a treat! And those Brazilian editions just turned up yesterday. I'll have to scan them for my website. One in particular is just so steamy!


Annie West said...

Hi Sharon, lovely to see you here.

For those who don't know, Sharon is a DEBUT Harlequin Medical author. I've just read her first ever release and I'm a fan! Keep an eye out for 'Single Dad: Wife and Mother Wanted' as it's a keeper.

Ahem, where was I? Sharon, I love the word 'hooning'. It gets used in our house automatically, but like you I wonder if it will be kept in the copy edit stage. Though maybe they'll decide it adds a nice touch of local Aussie colour. We've had German friends visiting lately and we've had to be careful what we say as our slang is incomprehensible. It got very confusing for them when we had to explain that a galah was both a parrot and a slang term for a nong (er, idiot).

One of the things I love about reading romance is getting a taste, even just a little, of another place or time. I've travelled around the world with romance and loved it.

I can't believe you're in Katherine, you lucky woman. I've never been there. Are you gathering local colour for an outback story?


Annie West said...

I forgot to say, Sia, that I agree with Sharon. The pics on your web page are just sooo enticing!


VA said...

Annie you do sounds like a paragon of organization. Just reading the listing made my head start to spin.

I appreciate the details on how you negotiate the line between local color and wider comprehension. Made me wonder if my language was working hard enough in my own writings. Slang, as a single word is not a big stumbling block, but phrases without the background to understand its meaning in the context can be bewildering.

I am fascinated that you don't know where one of your novels will be released. Do you sign over all the rights or have separate contracts for domestic and international releases?

Aussie men have that mystique of the cowboy or Scot, they're all sexy beasts!

Kat Sheridan said...

Annie, what a great article, and you had me exhausted just reading it! What a lot to keep track of! I hadn't really considered slang or local terms being an issue, but it's a good point. I'm working on writing historicals, and have to find a balance between words that would have been appropriate for the time period, and neutral, somewhat modern terms for the same thing. Plus, I set my historicals in Britain (though the latest is in France), so I have to do a lot of research to get it right. And what the heck is "hooning"? Sounds like a useful word! And from now on, nong and gulah are going to be in my vocabulary! And stay warm! (feels funny to say that when we're in the middle of a hot summer!

Sia, wonderful job hosting. Any dark French roast available this morning? And a croissant, if you've got one.

Anonymous said...

Amazing to really think about how far-reaching the publishing market is these days and how much that is affected by the internet. Honestly, Sia, the main concept I gleaned from Annie's words, is that even more so today and in the global market, writing may be a passion, but publishing is definitely a business.

Julie Zimmer George

~Sia McKye~ said...

Annie, there were a lot of similarities between the two countries. Both have some awesome desert areas--Uluru, Ayers rock had an almost mystical feel but then there are places here in the US West that have that same feel of life past but still present, if that makes sense. I was surprised there was water near the base--Burnt tree? something like that. I wouldn't want to live there but it was gorgeous in the late spring. I liked Adelaide.

Believe it or not it was the birds that made it so clear that you weren't home anymore--and the kangaroos.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Ah, my pictures, lol! Thanks Sharon and Annie. Yah, I have a few I like sharing. You know, something to make you purrr.

So, Harlequin just notifies you when one of your books are released to another country? Curious who owns the foreign rights, you or Harlequin.

Judi Fennell said...

I just heard that there's interest in my story from Germany, so this was a particularly appropro post. And, Annie, I'm with the others - I don't know how you stay so organized! Major congrats on all your success!

Sharon Archer said...

Hi Annie
I AM a lucky woman to be tripping around at the moment, aren't I! And I have to tell you that Katherine is fascinating. We spent yesterday in the gorge and I haven't had so much exercise in a long time!

Kate, "hoon" is a wonderfully versatile word! It can be a noun or a verb.
To "hoon" is to speed and generally drive a vehicle like a galah, er, nong... er idiot! ;)
A "hoon" is the one doing the speeding and behaving like an idiot.

Sia, I know what you mean about the birds really bringing it home that you're in a different country. I'm from New Zealand originally (I've been in Australia for... ahem, a long time) and when I came here I was gobsmacked to see a whole flock of sulphur-crested cockatoos free in a field!


Annie West said...

Wow, it's 7.25am here and I'm rubbing my eyes and wishing I'd got organised earlier to turn on the computer. So many comments! Can't wait to read them all.


Annie West said...

Hi VA! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Hah! Paragon of organisation? I doubt it. My only claim to that is that I do have both a diary and a wall planner with due dates on so (fingers crossed) I don't miss something I'm supposed to do, like a blog or a book deadline! Other than that I feel completely disorganised some of the time. There are also days when I find I have to be ruthless and will avoid email while I focus on getting words down on the page - usually when I'm panicking about how much I have to write and how close the deadline is (G)!

I think you're right about slang. A single unfamiliar word isn't going to throw people, so long as it's clear what the context is. It's when that background is missing that I lose track. I've also read books (not so much lately) where the author has gone to a lot of trouble to make references to people and things that are currently 'hot' or interesting. The trouble is that when you read it several years later it just dates the story - not necessarily bad, but sometimes it drags me out of the story.

As for the rights for foreign releases, we have extraordinarily comprehensive contracts, detailing royalties etc for every eventuality, including all foreign releases. Then it's just a matter of finding out where the story is released or even rereleased.

Ooh, glad to hear you enjoy an Aussie hero. You're right, they can be very sexy.


Annie West said...

Hi Kat,

I see Sharon has already answered your question about hoons - thanks Sharon. You must have been up with the birds! Actually, it's a word that takes me back to me teens as a lot of the young guys in my area were definitely hoons as soon as they got behind the wheel of a car.

You must have such a difficult balancing act, writing historicals and judging what old language to use and what to update. I love historical romances and do feel better if at least some of the terminology from the period is used but not so much as to make it difficult to read. One of the things I love about Georgette Heyer is the feeling, partly because of the language, that I've entered another world, but that's because I know it so well now and feel comfortable with the words.

Then too, even writing historicals I imagine there would be times when you have to think carefully about using certain words which mean one thing in Britain and another in the USA. For instance I know American 'biscuits' are rather different to what the English and we Australians mean by the word and would be used in a different context.

Good luck with all that research. Maybe a trip to France for this current story is called for?


Annie West said...

Hi Julie,

You're spot on about writing being a passion and also a business. I don't think it's been any other way, but people do have a romantic view sometimes of life as an author. I suppose we all like to focus on the creative, personally satisfying side of it rather than the mundane contract and organisation side.

Fortunately business doesn't impinge too much on the passion - it just means there's more things to be aware of and take care of.

I love the global nature of the market. Just imagine that someone in Korea or Latvia or Brazil is reading a book right now, in their own language, and that book is the story you created in your head at your computer. The story you told yourself and created because it pleased you (which, really, is at the root of why we write). It is just incredible.

I love hearing from readers and I get a special thrill when they're 'local' to me, maybe just an hour's drive away, at a place I know. But there's a different sort of excitement hearing from people who've read your books and enjoyed them half a world away. So when people contact me and say they're sitting in their garden in Finland with my book, or snuggling down in a snowstorm in Scotland with one of mine it's very exciting. Similarly when people leave me comments from places I've only heard of (or maybe not!) in the USA or Canada or Japan. I still find it incredible that people are reading my books or visiting my site from Pakistan and Turkey and Portugal and South Africa etc, etc.


Annie West said...


How marvellous about the interest from Germany in your book! Yay! You must be so pleased. That's a huge romance market. What story is it? Fingers crossed for you.


Annie West said...

OK, here's another instance where the global nature of the business impacts - one I just discovered. In the blog above you'll see a book cover in red, of a couple on the beach. That's the Aussie cover of BLACKMAILED BRIDE, INNOCENT WIFE. It's been released in the UK and in Australia/New Zealand. I mentioned that it would be released in North America in December.

I've just discovered that for the North American release the title will change to BLACKMAILED BRIDE, INEXPERIENCED WIFE. Same book, but different title. This is because they're releasing it with some similarly themed stories as a Presents Extra (mid month release rather than 1st of month release). I assume there's another book coming out at that time with a similar title, or maybe just the word 'innocent' in it. My title has been changed slightly so the books sold in different countries are the same but the names vary just a tad.


Annie West said...

Sia, it sounds like you really did some travelling while you were here. Adelaide is lovely isn't it? Did you visit the Flinders Ranges north of there? That's gorgeous country. Stark and lovely and no place like it in wildflower season after good rains.

Yes, I agree with you on the birds. I find that when I'm away from home. Sharon, the NZ birds are amazing so they've kept me enthralled on a couple of trips there. And I find it very disconcerting (as I come from a family of nature lovers) being in Germany or England or Turkey or wherever and not knowing what the birds are. Such a little thing but I feel so foreign when I realise how little I know.

Sia, we have a bird feeder just outside and get the most incredible birds on it. Like King Parrots which you can hopefully see here http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d7/Australian_King-Parrot.jpg or Eastern rosellas http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Eastern_Rosella_at_Hobart_Domain_upright.jpg


Annie West said...


Thanks for popping by again. How lovely to think of you out there at Katharine, joining the discussion. Thanks for the definitions!


~Sia McKye~ said...

Yes, I did, Annie. In some ways it reminded me of our Grand Canyon area in Arizona. The Arkaroola area.

Actually, I was fortunate, I got to do a flyover with a bush pilot. I made him laugh because my nose was stuck to the window and was doing various versions of Oh Wow, and reverent oh my god, look at that. He was a bit cocky, good looking in that rough craggy way, with the most incredible eyes, sigh...and knew he was sexy and very flirtatous with 'his yank', as he called me. He gave me a scare a time or two just dropping down unexpectedly.

There is a bird, I can't remember its name that made the most god awful racket...

Annie West said...

Sia, it sounds as if that Aussie pilot might make inspiration for a story...

My mum comes from that area and I spent a few trips there and love the place. Just stunning. Beautiful but you have to be tough to live on the land there.

Hm, a noisy bird in Australia? Not a kookaburra? Maybe a black cockatoo. When they call, if you don't know they're there you get such a shock. My faves when it comes to strange calls are Gang Gangs - a rather shy parrot, but pretty. Their call sounds exactly like someone opening a squesky gate.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Kookaburras were a bit of a shock but not the only noisey bird. You look at this lovely bird and then it opens it's mouth and your jaw drops.

Oh yah, he'd make a great story, lol! hmmm, Have to think about that one. :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh, Annie, I got tired reading your blog! You are one busy woman -- and we want you to stay busy thank you very much because we love it so much when one of your books hit the local bookstores.

I am a bit of a hermit writer, it must be said, though I do blog once in a blue moon and it's fun talking to readers. What do you love most about blogging? (Am being cheeky and looking for sources of inspiration to drag me out of my hermithood).

Michelle Douglas

Annie West said...

Sia, I love kookaburras. We get them here and it's terrific when a bunch of them get together in a tree and make a racket. They're very knowing birds too. I've been digging in the garden only to discover one's been watching and will swoop down to grab a worm right at my feet.

Good luck with turning that pilot into a book hero. That would be fun.

Are you ever tempted to write about places you've never been because you think that might be an appealing setting? Or have characters from places you're not so familiar with?

Oh, just realised my bad typing. I MEANT to say that GangGangs sound link 'squeaky' gates!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Yes, I have been. It requires some good research to get the feel of the place. Lots travel sites have videos which bring another level of knowledge to a place. I think it's part of stretching as a writer.

Think about it, how many regency authors have actually been to England? And none of us have lived in regency England and yet we can write about it. So it can be done and done well.

Kookaburras sound very much like our Crows, Ravens, and BlueJays which all are very knowing birds and very observant ones. Can't say as I've had one brave enough to fly that close to my foot, lol!

Annie West said...

Sia, I agree, that's why I'm so impressed by historical authors. Good ones not only tread that difficult line between historical fact and acceptable fiction but they also transport us to a time none of us have been to and a place they may not have visited.

As you say, lots of research is the way to go. I find it interesting when I write about places I've been to how much I rely on a sense of what the place was like, rather than the intimate details. Sometimes when I research those details just to check I'm surprised at what I find. A lot of the time I don't get to use what I've learned in the text or it would be full of facts that don't move the story forward!

The research I love is when I get to talk to people about their work or their home or their language or whatever. Often it's tiny details they provide that I hadn't asked for that really make a difference to me and that I find myself using. For 'Blackmailed Bride, Inexperienced Wife', I had marvellous help from some Italian-Australian friends that made the setting come alive for me.


Annie West said...

Hi Michelle,

I almost missed your post! How lovely to see you here. (Michelle is one fantastic Harlequin 'Romance' author).

Thanks for the lovely comment on my books. Now that's made my day!

As for blogging - I'm not really an expert. I don't do nearly as much as some writers and don't even have my own blog. Sia, I think you're terrific running this site. I'd find that daunting!

I tend to be a bit of a hermit writer myself and sometimes I'll just pull the plug on the email and the web when it gets too distracting and I need to write. I do enjoy blogging, though, Michelle. It's such fun to meet up with other readers and writers in particular. It broadens my horizons. I'm always learning things or hearing things that spark my interest and imagination. Also it adds to that sense that I'm part of a wider community of romance lovers. Of course it's also a great way to let people know about your books (unless they look at what you've said and run a mile!). It's one of the ways I find out about other books I want to dip into to.

I've met a few people on blogs that I've run into again and again and friendship has developed from there. That's always such a brilliant plus.


Annie West said...

Sia, I have to pop out for a while, but I'll be back later. So if there are any more questions or thoughts to share, I'll definitely be responding!


~Sia McKye~ said...

That's fine Annie.

As to your thought on my blog. I did alot of observing before I started one. I knew what I wanted and used a workable promotion platform I knew would be successful.

What many don't realize, I only started this blog the end of January '09. March was the month I launced Over Coffee as it is now--more or less.

I love my blog and in the beginning it was very time consuming and I had little time to do my own writing. Learning how to set it up, how to do pictures, how to make it an inviting place to be. Getting guests and them making the experience enjoyable for all. Making sure my guests weren't hearing crickets instead of having participants. All time consuming but worth it. :-)

I can't abide Hosts that invite someone to their blog and then leave them hanging there with one or two comments and no support. I like to draw authors out a bit, so readers can see the delightful person behind all those wonderful books. I also encourage the authors to publicise their presence here. Comments draw search engines. One thing I have learned with this blog, for every comment, there are at least two to three viewers that don't leave one. Comments draw people even if they don't comment themselves.

So, books still get 'air' time and frankly, I've found many good books on other blogs.

I've also made some good cyber friends here that I hope to meet in the future. Like you Annie and another favorite Aussie, Anna.

Anonymous said...

"...writing may be a passion, but publishing is definitely a business."

Always has been.

Doyle Chastain

sherrie_super said...

Wow Annie, all this AND a day job? I'm in awe! Great article.

Anonymous said...

Sia, what a wonderful way to run your blog -- and you have made the atmosphere very welcoming. Am applauding you and cyber-shaking your hand (if one can one do that?)

Annie, I love how you describe making cyber friends -- that has to be a definite plus! Thanks for the inspiration and the great post!

Michelle Douglas

Annie West said...

Sia, I had no idea your blog was so new. Wow! That's really impressive. I think you're so wise to spend the time making it an inviting place to me. That's what makes the difference. And, believe me, as a guest I'm thrilled to have you dropping by. I've had the experience of blogging somewhere where I was introduced and left to sink or swim. A little disconcerting.

So having developed expertise it doesn't take you as long to post as it once did? That's heartening.

As for those who read and don't comment - that's normal I think. I know I often read blogs but don't always comment, especially if I'm in a rush. But it's great to find out what others are doing.

As for staying in touch - definitely! It's great the way you can meet people over the web who have a lot in common with you even if they're a long distance away.


Annie West said...

Hi Doyle,

Yes, but I think it's something that doesn't get talked about so much.


Annie West said...

Hi Sherrie,

I'm so glad you liked the article. I was afraid it was a bit of a ramble.

It's a part time day job so I'm not really so awesome and I definitely don't feel like I am!


Annie West said...

Michelle, I've met some great people over the net and it's been fun when we finally catch up.

Glad you liked the blog!


Anna Campbell said...

Annie, I'm very late commenting but it's been one of those days. I'm flying to Washington tomorrow for the RWA conference and of course everything decided to be urgent at the last minute. Anyway, just swinging by to say what a fascinating blog. I always get a thrill when I see a foreign edition of one of my books - I love the idea that I'm talking to people all over the world. I love the fabulously exotic places the Harlequins go! And it's wonderful to see the takes on covers and titles that the different cultures choose, isn't it? Keep writing!!!!

Hey, Sia, thanks for having Annie back. She's always great value, isn't she?

Annie West said...

Hi Anna,

I'm jealous of you heading off to the RWA conference tomorrow. I'm sure you'll have a ball. What fun it will be, though I'm sure you'll be ready for a rest when you get back.

Aren't translations terrific? I think your Russian edition is just gorgeous. And yes, seeing how they focus on certain aspects and themes for different countries is fascinating.

Happy travels.


~Sia McKye~ said...

Anna, RWA is in my country and I can't go, darn it. So much that has to be done here at home with contractors and such. Safe travels.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Annie, it doesn't take me long now to load and schedule. When I first started, it was a minimum of 2 hours per article. Now it's maybe twenty minutes (unless blogger has tech difficutlies) and when I get the articles early, like I always do with yours, it makes it so much easier.

I've been able to have time now to write--just not on Mondays and Wednesdays. I look at those days as my job days.

Like you, I've met so many people on the net and really hope to meet some of them at a conference someday.

I've really enjoyed your article. Very interesting and informative.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Annie, this is late and you are probably long asleep, but just wanted to pop in and say great blog! It is so fascinating to see the way the various titles are distributed and even the fact that they change your name. LOL (I always write grey not gray and spell check gets mad at me...and I'm American! LOL)

Great insight! thanks~

Thanks, too, to Sia for hosting!

Annie West said...

Sia, believe me, I appreciate how much effort you put into hosting. It's lovely of you to do it. I do some blogging here and there and a couple I load myself but I'm not so quick. I seem to start fiddling once I'm on blogger. It's always a relief when a post is loaded ready to go.

Yes, I think going to conferences and catching up with people you've corresponded with on the net is marvellous. So exciting!


Annie West said...

Hi Nancy,

Thanks so much. It's lovely to hear you found the blog so interesting. They're all things I didn't have a clue about before Harlequin published me and it's been a learning curve! Enormous fun though.

How interesting that you spell grey not gray. I didn't realise any Americans did that. I think the lines are getting blurred in spelling with so much cross fertilisation between countries. I grew up spelling gaol, not jail, which is still official Aus spelling and UK spelling I think. However I notice more and more jail getting used here. Who knows how it will be spelled in another 50 years!

Thanks for popping by.


~Sia McKye~ said...

Annie, I thank you for being my guest Over Coffee again and with such and interesting article.

Thanks to all who stopped by. I enjoyed the comments and the laughter!

Annie West said...


It's been such fun visiting you again, and hearing from so many others. Thanks everyone! And thanks, Sia for having me here again.

All the best,