Continuing on with yesterday’s tale (scroll down and read Part 1 first if you need to catch up) …
Jazzed on Starbuck’s coffee and my excitement about meeting up with my agent and editor, I entered the Woolworth building ten minutes ahead of schedule. The building itself is magnificent. Hard not to gawk at the interior with its vaulted ceilings and Gothic-style ornamentation. Marble and bronze everywhere. Humorous gargoyles here and there. It’s really something to behold. No wonder tour groups kept flowing through the revolving doors. Except security ushered them directly out. Security is tight. No more tourists. A 9/11 issue. Even I had to explain why I was there. “I have a meeting with Harlequin.” Ah, yes. That felt good. *g*
Amy, my super-duper, super-chic agent arrived and my enthusiasm doubled. She has a great energy, plus she used to work as an editor at MIRA so she’s knows a lot of people at Harlequin. Her confidence and comfort helped to put me at ease.
We zipped up the tiny gothic elevator and emerged on the Harlequin floor. The reception area is contemporary chic with huge posters on the walls celebrating certain Harlequin releases. Very cool. Hey. I wonder if they revolve those? I’m going to imagine that they do, and that someday soon an Evie poster will be hanging there. How great would that be?
But I digress.
People were hard at work in their offices. I know because everyone’s door was open and I was curious, so of course I peeked! Amy did indeed know a lot of people, and while she chatted with a past co-worker at MIRA, I got acquainted with Keyren Gerlach (my new editor since Abby Zidle moved over to Pocket), and her co-workers. All I’m going to say is, their workspaces have a lot of personality! Keyren had pictures of her adorable black cat on display. A cat lover! Oh, and there was this cardboard cutout of ‘Viggo’… I instantly knew we were a great match. Plus, she’s really sweet and funny and she likes to perform (singing, acting). Did I say a great match? How about awesome! I’m counting my lucky stars because it means we probably operate on a similar wavelength, which means she’ll ‘feel’ my stories, my characters somewhat like I do. I look forward to her thoughts on book two. I’m sure her edits will help to make the story really shine!
Next we hopped over to the office of HQN editor Tara Parsons, another delightful soul, and after a short, informal chat, Amy, Keyren, Tara and I left the offices and walked down Broadway toward a restaurant they’d chosen for lunch.
I’m going to pause here and finish up my tale tomorrow. But I want to say that the energy in the Harlequin offices was of the most positive nature. The atmosphere, the people. And everyone is so nice. Then again, I’ve attended several workshops and panels over the years spotlighting Harlequin and I’ve always been impressed with what I thought was a positive vibe, a team vibe. They live, breathe and love books… and are very supportive of the people who write them.
Tomorrow: my food adventure, my goober pitches, and the surprising response.