Once upon a time Michelle Klayman was a little girl who loved to tell stories. She made up story lines even when she couldn’t read, relying on the pictures to guide the plot. Fast forward to her school days when reading was made into a chore, and her attention turned to acting in plays and becoming engrossed in motion pictures. As the years progressed, her love of reading returned and moved outside the classroom. She dove deeply into all genres of fiction with a few biographies folded in along the way.
While in law school, she discovered Romance novels and thought they’d be a good way to free up her brain after she left the library every night at closing: midnight. What she thought would be a good sedative turned into an obsession, and she found on many nights she had to force herself to go to sleep – at 4 a.m. If only questions about Johanna Lindsey’s books had been on the bar exam.
Michelle practiced law for many years before undertaking the business of her passion. Boroughs Publishing Group opened its doors on December 15th 2011.
Let’s get to know Michelle Klayman just a bit better.
What are you looking for at this time?
We are now accepting submissions in Women’s Fiction, including the badly named Chick Lit in all sub-genres, except inspirational. Also, we’re looking for Historical Romance, Fantasy Romance, and NA, YA, LGBTQ+, and multi-cultural in any subgenre of Romance except inspirational. We adore series and have found they’re a great way for readers to fall in love with an author and the world she creates.
What’s hot: Be on the lookout for BPGtv. In the near future we’re starting our own YouTube channel. We can’t wait for everyone to get up close and personal with our authors while getting the inside scoop on what’s coming next.
What are you favorite 3 books?
ACK. This is the most difficult question. There are the obvious: Gone With the Wind, Sophie’s Choice, and The Chosen. And, The Color Purple. And, To Kill a Mockingbird. And Invisible Man. And Interview with a Vampire. (Love early Ann Rice.) There are a number of fabulous books/series that have roped me in over the years. I loved Robert Ludlum’s stories – The Bourne books were addicting. All the Harry Potter books. The Black Dagger Brotherhood. I gobbled up the early John Grisham novels and the early Chaim Potok’s books. I loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Anything by Eudora Welty. And Mark Twain. Reading James Joyce is a labor of love, but worth it. As is Dickens. Love Agatha Christie. Another favorite is …And Ladies of the Club by Helen Hooven Santmyer, The Art of Racing in the Rain had such a powerful ending, it took me a hour and a half to read the last six pages because I was sobbing that hard. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. Anything by Isabel Allende. How Stella Got Her Groove Back. The Joy Luck Club. And most of all, Winnie the Pooh.
What tips can you give writers for a successful pitch or query?
Be calm. Be friendly. You have what we want. Publishers, editors and agents are searching for the next great book all the time. It’s why we take pitches. Be succinct and informative (not a contradiction in terms, really) about your story/series. Make us drool. The more conversational, warm and easy-going you are, the more likely we’ll believe you’re someone with whom we can work.
What’s your weirdest pitch experience?
The author sat down and burst into tears before she said a word. She was that nervous.
What’s your favorite thing about attending conferences?
Getting to meet new people. The excitement of everyone’s hopes and possibilities is energizing.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Binge watching an entire series.
What’s one of your pet peeves?
Gossiping/mean spiritedness. Remember what you learned when you were three? If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
What are your favorite 3 romantic movies? AND/OR favorite movies ever? Why?
Another ACK. In no particular order:
- Pride and Prejudice – the Colin Firth version. Need I say more?
- Sliding Doors – because there is always a chance you will find the one you were meant to love.
- Sense and Sensibility – The Emma Thompson/Alan Rickman version. Col. Brandon pacing outside Marianne’s sick room. “Give me an occupation or I shall go mad.” And, when Elinor Dashwood (Emma Thompson) learns that Edward Ferrars (Hugh Grant) is NOT the Ferrars brother who was recently married and therefore is still available – the expression on her face and that gasp/sob she makes after having held in her feelings for so long…perfection.
- Love, Actually – Soooo many great scenes. A particular favorite:
Natalie: He says no one’s gonna fancy a girl with thighs the size of big tree trunks. Not a nice guy, actually, in the end.
PM: Ah! You know, um, being Prime Minister, I could just have him murdered.
Natalie: Thank you, sir. I’ll think about it.
PM: Do. The SAS are absolutely charming. Ruthless trained killers are just a phone call away.
- Notting Hill – because it’s the ultimate fairy tale with some great lines:
Anna Scott: Wait, what about me?
Max: Sorry, you think *you* deserve the brownie?
Anna Scott: Well a shot at it at least huh?
William: Well, you’ll have to fight me for it, this is a very good brownie.
Anna Scott: I’ve been on a diet every day since I was nineteen, which basically means I’ve been hungry for a decade. I’ve had a series of not nice boyfriends, one of whom hit me. Ah, and every time I get my heart broken, the newspapers splash it about as though it’s entertainment. And it’s taken two rather painful operations to get me looking like this.
Anna Scott: Really. And, one day not long from now, my looks will go, they will discover I can’t act and I will become some sad middle-aged woman who looks a bit like someone who was famous for a while.
Max: [long pause] Nah, nice try gorgeous, but you don’t fool anyone.
William: Pathetic effort to hog the brownie.
I’ve been meaning to watch Sliding Doors and now I am going to have to get this in before next March when I see you. Also, I loved that scene in Notting Hill – LOVED! My favorite line from that movie was “I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” Thank you Michelle for taking the time to answer our questions.
Michelle will be taking pitches at the conference. For more information on pitch appointments and critiques, please go here.