Hey, hey, here we are at the last installment of Ask the Acquisitions Editor with CK Wagner, acquisitions editor with Omnific Publishing. I'm so glad you've all been enjoying it as much as I have. If you missed any of the earlier posts, you can find them here:
Nick: Are you looking for fresh ideas? Is another vampire story a turn off or turn on?
CK: We are definitely looking for fresh ideas that embrace our “Romance without Rules” tagline. This is bearing in mind, however, that there is nothing new under the sun. Every story will have elements that have been done before, but the way those elements are mixed and matched (and told through an engaging sense of voice) can create a special X-factor that does set a story apart and make us want to give it a platform. I do initially groan when I see a vampire/werewolf query, only because as a consumer I’m quite done with that for now. But as an editor, I would never reject it on that basis alone. Even if the current market for it seems exhausted, those stories continue to be told because people continue wanting to read and write them. So basically the same expectations apply: If the story is told in a fresh and non-formulaic way, we will consider it. We actually have a vampire novel in our current publication queue that’s pretty cool.
Donna: Do you accept women's fiction? Its hard to tell on the submissions list.
CK: I generally say yes, but it depends. Our “Romance without Rules” tagline reflects that we are not interested in formulaic, old-school romance, and I would argue that much of what we end up publishing as a result of that is women’s fiction. We look for strong, smart, and independent heroines who can save themselves. And a story doesn’t have to be sexy to be romantic (some of our best books fade to black), but we do require that a romantic relationship be at the core of the story. Our hero doesn’t need to be an alpha male who rescues the fair damsel in distress, but we should see growth in his relationship with the heroine and believe in the substance of their emotional connection. The emphasis can still be on the woman’s personal journey, but her love interest should somehow be central to that and ideally result in a happily ever after (or at least happy for now) ending.
Thanks a million gazillion, CK!