Friday, December 14, 2007

Interview with Erin C. Niumata

I’d like to welcome our guest editor today, Erin C. Niumata with Avalon Books. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

What exciting new projects are happening over at Avalon Books?

We’re always excited about our upcoming books. We have several new Carolyn Brown, Holly Jacobs and Amanda Harte romances coming out as well as a few Kent Conwell mystery and westerns coming up.

Can you give us a little history about Avalon?

Avalon Books has been publishing books for the library market for fifty-five years. We started by publishing sci-fi and westerns. Nursing novels were added in the sixties which evolved into romances. Now we publish 60 books a year, 10 books every two months: 4 contemporary romances, 2 historical romances, 2 mysteries and 2 westerns.

What are your top five pet peeves a new writer makes?

*Not knowing your subject (ie writing about a city they’ve never visited)
*Ignoring editorial advice
*Creating false friction or unbelievable tension between characters
*Scooby-do endings in mysteries – the big confession instead of a good solid ending
*Too many subplots
*Trying to write too much to create drama which takes away from the main story

What are your top five pet peeves a published author makes?

*Selling to another publisher ;-)
*Writing a book almost identical to the one I just published
*Not listening to editorial advice
*Making outrageous demands
*Sending in a first draft instead of a polished manuscript

What old trend or new trend do you see in publishing for Avalon?

Avalon has a formula that works well for us but we’re always looking for something new and fun to publish. We have a few romantic comedies coming out and we’d like to publish more of them. But for now you can guarantee that all our forthcoming books are true to Avalon style.

What catches your eye in a new writer’s work?

Great writing and a new idea. In romance – when they can really capture that feeling of new love – the excitement, the anticipation – that’s hard to do so when I see a new writer who has ‘it’ I’m ready to fork over a contract and start working with them.

For the submission process, what do you want from an author ?

The first three chapters and a brief 2-3 page synopsis.

What is your response time?

For queries about 2 weeks. For full manuscripts about six months.

What new author have you recently signed?

Deborah Mazoyer and Shelly Mosley writing as Deborah Shelley, Jennifer Lawler, Loretta Rogers, Betty Archer Liddington

What new project made you grab that hidden piece of chocolate in your pencil drawer?

Carolyn Brown’s new five book series that I’m about to sign up. And a few other surprises!

Any other chocolate nuggets you can give authors looking to break into your house?

I like well written sweet romances that touch the heart and/or funny bone. Old themes with a new twist are always good to read, and new ideas are always welcome. We’re not afraid to take on new writers and work with them, we are small enough to groom novice writers with potential. We love unpublished authors and hope to make their dreams of publishing come true.
Thanks, Erin!

Thank you!

Check out Avalon Books Web site at


Loretta said...

Great interview with Erin. It was good to learn a little of Avalon's history. I especially enjoyed seeing my name listed as one of Avalon's newest authors. I know, my vanity is showing.

Shelley Mosley said...

I'm right there with you, Loretta! 8-)

Erin, thanks for the mention!