Charles Griemsman started with Harlequin as a temp, But eleven plus years later, he’s stuck around and Harlequin is thrilled that he did. He works mainly with Desire and his roots were in Special Edition.
His favorite part of being an editor is having a ringside seat to how an author’s mind works. There have been times when he thought he was being a real pest asking for a particular revision and then the author will come up with a one-sentence fix that works perfectly. It never ceases to amaze him.
Please welcome Charles Griemsman to the blog. Now let’s get down to the fun part of getting to know him.
What lead you to a career in editing Romance?
I started as a temp at Harlequin eleven years ago. I had a background in corporate PR writing and editing. In my first week, someone mentioned a Cathy Gillen Thacker title, “The Virgin Bride Said, ‘Wow!’” and I was like, “Wild! What’s that?” (I ultimately tracked down a copy of the book and read it. It’s since been retitled for reprints, btw.) But what really hooked me on Harlequin was reading my first Susan Mallery. It was a category book, a Special Edition, and my immediate reaction was, “This is pretty cool. I get this!”
What are you looking for at this time? OR What’s hot in your world/the market?
Right now, for Harlequin Desire, which features dramatic stories of rich, alpha heroes and the women who tame them, baby and pregnancy stories are hot. I also would like to see submissions featuring characters of all different backgrounds. The only requirement is that the hero be loaded!
What are you favorite 3 books? How about three favorite authors? And even that changes monthly. Also, I’m pretty much excluding romance so that I don’t play favorites! So, Jean Rhys, Phillip K. Dick and…Jackie Collins.
What tips can you give writers for a successful pitch or query? Keep it relatively brief—ideally, you should be able to pitch your story in one or two sentences. Also, if you’re pitching to me, be prepared for follow up questions on story conflict. (See my answer about pet peeves later.)
What’s your weirdest pitch experience? Honestly, I can’t think of one. Seriously. If you’re nervous pitching your work, there’s nothing weird about that. Nerves can cause all sorts of things to happen. I can relate.
What’s your favorite thing about attending conferences? Meeting the authors and learning the story behind the story.
What’s your guilty pleasure? Clothes shopping. I really like the out-there stuff but I’m not sure if I’m the best model for it!
What’s one of your pet peeves? Low-conflict romances!
What’s the best advice you ever received? And didn’t follow? Use fewer exclamation points.
What are your favorite 3 romantic movies? AND/OR favorite movies ever? Why?
- Blade Runner—Sean Young and Harrison Ford are so hot together!
- The Crying Game—Talk about star-crossed lovers. I need to go back and watch that again.
- Almost anything with Pam Grier. I like her portrayals of strong, indomitable women facing big obstacles.
Thank you Charles! I think we all need to go watch some movies now.
For more information on Harlequin Desire please go to their website here.