Welcome to the American Rose Hour. Oh-h-h! Wait a minute. I have to get this hoop skirt—ouch—rearranged in this chair. There, that’s better. There are some good things to say about hoop skirts; for instance, that large expanse of material hides my large expanse of …. Well, you know, ladies what it can hide. Sargeant-Major Delicious wanted to make an appearance, but I told him he would be too much of a distraction for me to type.
Happy Birthday, WRP!!!
My name is Allison Byers, and I am an editor for the American Line. I’m approaching my two year anniversary here at WRP and have enjoyed every moment, and I must say there has never been a dull moment. I’ve enjoyed working with all my authors.
The American Line covers The French and Indian war; Colonial America; the Revolutionary War; the war of 1812; the War Between the States; the Reconstruction era; the dawn of the new century and anything in between. These are the struggles at the heart of the American Rose story. And who doesn’t like a good romantic struggle every now and then.
The central romantic relationship is the key driving force, set against an historically accurate backdrop. These stories are for those who long for the courageous heroes and heroines who fought for their freedom and settled the new world; for gentle southern belles with spines of steel and the gallant gentlemen who sweep them away.
With all that in mind, I would like to tell you what my ideal submission would be. Let’s skip the routine manuscript format, since most of us have done that when we previously submitted or entered contests. I want to write about everything else. Or in other words: Allison’s Top Six Submission Ideals. (I would have had ten, but The Major interrupted me.)
1. I want a story that draws me in from the very beginning—that magical hook that is mentioned many times, but it’s true. Make me want to turn that page and find out what is going to happen.
2. A hero/heroine whom I care about. If your hero or heroine is in trouble, I want to care what happens. I especially dislike immature heroines, or wishy-washy heroes. Charlie Brown is great as a cartoon character, but not as a hero. I don’t like heroines who swoon-give her some fortitude and attitude.
3. Show me the story, don’t tell. If a character is mad, show me the anger. Did he slam the door, throw something across the room. I want to be able to feel that character’s emotion.
4. POV. For historicals, I prefer having two pov’s – the hero and heroine. In really long stories, I , personally, like reading from the villian’s pov.
5. Give me conflict. The conflict of the story should not be solvable in two pages or be one that can be solved by the two characters sitting down over a cup of coffee and hashing things out.. Each character must grow and change within the story.
6. Finally, have a clean manuscript. Please, proofread for those typos, misspelled words, and commonly misused words, i.e. there and their.
Well, that’s about it for the moment. I’ll be back in a few to give you some ideas for an American Story. Plus, I really need to stand up. I think this hoop is cutting off the circulation to my legs.