Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thursday Talk-Time with Kathleen O'Reilly

Join us in welcoming Harlequin Blaze Kathleen O'Reilly, a woman who has seen the rise and fall of an empire or three and lived to tell the tales. Here she gives us her experience with...

~ Dead Lines ~

My first book came out in December 2001, a Harlequin Duets. It got fabulous reviews and I was all aquiver with excitement. My career was off to a great start!

My second book debuted in January 2002, a Berkley Seduction. It got great reviews and I still sell a couple of hundred electronic copies annually.

My third, fourth, fifth, six, seventh, and eighth books were published by Harlequin Temptation. Great reviews, they’re still being reprinted in several foreign countries.

So what do Harlequin Duets, Berkley Seduction, and Harlequin Temptation have in common? They’re all dead imprints (AKA ‘lines’), kicking up daisies in that great book wasteland in the sky. I don’t feel personally responsible anymore; it took several years to get over the pressing guilt, but I’ve moved on – to Harlequin Blaze (knock wood, all you Blaze writers).

You’d think my psyche would be wounded, trampled under the evil auspices of the publishing business, but ha, I’m a mother of two. My psyche is just fine, thank you very much. As an author, you have to be tough, you have to be prepared, you have to realize that too many variables are out of an author’s control. But it’s harder than you think.

When I started writing for Temptation, I didn’t believe that I could write for Blaze. I told my editor that Blazes were about nipple rings and washing-machine sex. I couldn’t write that. I write what I write what I write, and I didn’t think it was Blazey-enough. However, my editor at Harlequin had more confidence in me than me. I proposed a series, Blaze bought it, and voila, here I am with three Blazes hitting the shelves this spring, and believe it not, all the reviewers are talking about how hot and steamy they are. Which just goes to show you that there are times when you have to tell the little voice inside you to shut the heck up, and you sit down and write.

Lines or imprints will come and go. Jennifer Crusie wrote for Harlequin Temptation, Suzanne Brockmann wrote for Meteor Kismet, Nora Roberts wrote for Silhouette Intimate Moments. The lines go, the authors remain.

I’ll remain, too. I think Blaze will survive a good bit longer, and when it retires to the great book wasteland in the sky, I’ll find a new spot, because, as God as my witness, I’ll probably be dead-lined again.

So are there any lines or any authors that you’ve seen abandoned that you wish were still around?

If you’d like to ensure the survival of the Blaze line ;), I encourage you to pick up a copy of Beyond Daring, the second book in my Red Choo Diaries mini-series, on shelves March 1st.

For more check out Kathleen's website and blog, or as she calls it, the Diary of a Mad Romance Writer!


  1. Hey Kathleen -- great blog! Since I've only been with Blaze (so far), I'm kind of hoping it will be the same as Desire or Supers, around forever. ;)

    Loved your blogs, and also love we've been Amazon sisters for several weeks (Untouched has been paired with Beyond Breathless at Amazon) -- I was pretty happy about that, since I love your books.

    Love the Beyond Daring cover...looking forward to it...


  2. I miss Temptation. It was sad to see it go given it's 20 year history (20, right?)

    Every so often I hear rumors about HQ shutting down or limiting Harlequin Historical - which I hope never happens. I adore the HH line, and there are some really great authors over there. I do my bit by buying all HH titles that I want new, and praying to every deity that I can think of.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Did a bad typo so I deleted my first reply. But I miss the temptation and Bombshell lines the most

  5. I was crushed by the demise of Sil. Romance...then's so sad to see a favorite line hit the dust.
    Best of luck this time, Kathleen!!!

  6. I miss some of the lines that have gone away.

    I also hope that the Blazes are around for a long is one of the lines I read the most.

    Wendy: I am with you on the HH...I love the historicals...just wish they would do more westerns...guess westerns aren't selling as well now as they once were. I have noticed that my local store doesn't carry as many of the Harlequins and Silhouettes that it used to.

  7. I think the Historicals are going to be around for quite some time. They went through a nervous bit, but there was a big brouhaha about it from booksellers and nobody ever said anything again....