This month, I’m thrilled to be able to bring you an interview with Rhonda Merwath who is here to tell us about an exciting new opportunity to work with Hallmark publishing, the new publishing arm of the Hallmark channel – the people who brought us  Angel of Christmas  and Date with Love on Netflix.

Hi Rhonda, welcome to the RNA blog. Please tell us a bit about yourself and about Hallmark Publishing.

Hallmark Publishing is the new ebook imprint for Hallmark. I’m an acquisitions editor, and I’m actively searching for authors.

Hallmark publishing is accepting submissions at the moment. What are you looking for? What rights would you want to take?

We’re seeking chaste romances and cozy mysteries, set in the US, that are suitable to be adapted into Hallmark movies, so we’d be looking for publishing (ebook, print) and film rights. The head of Hallmark Publishing, Stacey Donovan, can answer any questions on this if potential writers are seeking more information. We accept proposals and pitches from agents who want to submit on their authors’ behalf. Otherwise, query us with a manuscript and synopsis.

Following on from the previous question, what are you definitely not looking for?

We don’t want anything too dark or heavy in tone. No heroes or heroines who are snarky or unlikeable. Nothing with sex–our material is chaste.

What advice would you give someone submitting to you?

Watch our movies!! They’ll be a huge help to show tone, characterization, and plot that we enjoy and want to publish. And if you have questions, feel free to email or tweet me anytime!

You’re a writer and a freelance editor as well as an editor for Hallmark. If you could describe your working day in just three words, what would they be?

HAHA, I like this question. Okay, I’d say coffee-addicted, flexible, fulfilling.

What do you do in your spare time? (Assuming you have some spare time!).

I do have a little! I hang out with friends, try to read for leisure when I can, spend far too much time on twitter, and seek out new wine to enjoy. 😀

What’s your favourite romance novel of all time?

Ohhhhhhh I don’t even know how to answer this! I will tell you one of the books that I fell in love with hard was Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Nobody’s Baby But Mine. I ugly cried and laughed the whole time I read it.

We often ask industry professionals to look into their crystal ball and predict the ‘next big thing’ – what do you hope to see more of in 2018?

Ooooooh! Well, I can say that I hope to see MUCH more diversity–not as a trend, but as something vital to our industry. I want those diverse submissions, and we need them.

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Thank you for your informative interview, Rhonda.

The full submission guidelines for Hallmark Publishing can be found on their website.

Rhonda Merwarth has a Master’s degree in English and a Bachelor’s degree in English, creative writing. She has several novels published in Young Adult and New Adult fiction with Simon Pulse and Kensington (more details at her author site). She has also taught college-level English composition for several years, and edited first-time authors, multi-published authors, and NYT and USA Today bestselling authors

Rhonda is a professional, experienced manuscript editor, starting her career at Siren Publishing and then spending over 7 1/2 years acquiring and editing for Harlequin’s digital-first imprint Carina Press. She currently is a freelance acquisitions and developmental editor for Hallmark Publishing.

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Rhoda Baxter writes feel good stories about strong women and nice guy heroes. She especially likes it when they make her laugh. You can find out more about her award nominated books and mentoring services on www.rhodabaxter.com

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