Friday, May 1, 2009

What Cactus Editors Want

What I look for in a Cactus Rose submission is originality, characters that remain in my head when I’m doing other things, and writing that shows me the characters and what they are going through. Please make sure you have edited your work taking out passive language, ly words, and then/that. No head hopping. Nothing irritates me more. I like showing over telling in a story. I want deep POV and getting into the characters so I can root for them, be disappointed right along with them, and love the other character as much as they do. Give me a satisfying read and you’ll be a Cactus Rose author.

Patricia Tanner, Senior Editor Cactus Rose

What I would love to see a greater variety of settings that are west of the Mississippi. While I dearly love cowboys and ranches there are so many wonderful settings in addition to these. I'd like to see some doctors, lawyers, preachers, farmers, teachers, loggers, gamblers, judges--etc--as leading men.

Eve Mallary, Editor Cactus Rose

I'm looking for historically accurate stories that boast "to die for" heroes who love their heroines with fierce passion and intensity. I enjoy all heat levels from sweet to hot, as long I feel the underlying emotion. The attraction must be immediate and apparent, and romantic and sexual tension should drip from every page. I love cowboys, but I'd also like to see some pioneering stories. Think Little House on the Prairie, only romance. Native American stories interest me, as well. We see a lot of mail order bride stories. How about a schoolmarm? A soiled dove? A woman homesteading on her own? Whatever the plot, though, if I'm swept away by your characters' passion for each other, I'll be hooked. And please don't headhop; it's my personal pet peeve ;)

Helen Andrew, Editor Cactus Rose


Lauri said...

I must say, again, the editors here at the Cactus line are the best around. Their passion for seeing each story 'pops' is unending! You ladies rock! Thanks for all you do to make our stories as captivating as possible!

Me :) said...

I hate head hopping too! I started reading a book recently and had to put it down due to the sheer amount of jumping around

danie88 said...

um this probably sounds like a dumb question and im gonna blame it on how tired i am but... what exactly is headhopping?

Tess Thieler said...

I love the Cactus Line! Even though I live in Pennsylvania, I was born in Texas and cowboys are in my blood. To this day, I'll choose to watch a western movie over anything else first. As a new WRP author, this line definitly intrigues me. "Think Little House on the Prairie and add romance"... to me that describes my very favorite TV series of all time - Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Romance was woven in nearly every episode. I look forward to being inspired to write for this line. :) Happy 3rd B-Day WRP! May you have many, many more.
~Tess Thieler

danie88 said...

oh wait... i think ive finally registered what it is... :P lol

i need coffee...

Amber Leigh Williams said...

Thanks so much for clarifying! I hope to work with this line one day soon!


Tanya Hanson said...

I've been seeing (from other publishers) a lot of head-hopping where the hero POV smooshes into the heroine's (or vice versa) if it's the same scene. The POV usually stays there until the scene closes. But I guess I'm used to the scene breaks. WDYT?

Unknown said...

Congratulations, Cactus Rose Editors. Reading "What editors want" gave me some ideas and motivation, too. Not that I need much motivation--I love this writing business--and if you have an editor like Eve, even editing can be satisfying and soothing and sensible. (I singled her out because she's the only one I've dealt with on major editing.)I've heard nothing but good about all the Cactus editors. Celia

Patricia Tanner said...

Lauri, thanks!

Ann, Head hopping pulls me out of a story faster than anything.

Danie, Head hopping is when the writer has a sentence or paragraph in one character's thoughts then switched to the other character's thoughts and back again in a short amount of time. To pull the reader into the character's Point of View and draw the reader deeper into the story. You should stay in one Character's POV for a scene or at least half a scene.

Tess, looking forward to seeing something from you.

Amber, we'd love to see something from you, too.

Thanks for hanging with us this morning Tanya!

Deborah Schneider said...

I'll be on a panel this weekend with Amanda Quick (Jayne Ann Krentz) and one of the things I know I'm going to be asked is how my experience with TWRP has been different from my first book with a bigger NY publisher.

In a nutshell - Attention to detail. Helen made sure my book was polished until I think it glows. I have a gorgeous cover, and best of all we have editors and a publisher who communicate with us all the time.

Happy Birthday Wild Rose, and I know there will be many, many more to celebrate!

Silver James said...

Patricia, headhopping is one of my worst "faults". I want to know what everyone is thinking! LOL! I am getting better about and I promise to have that issue resolved if I ever submit to Cactus.

Mary Ricksen said...

I loved Little House On The Prairie. And the Cactus Rose line!!

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday Wild Rose!

Sandy Sullivan said...

Happy Birthday TWRP!

I haven't been picked up yet by this line, but I've been talking with Eve about one of my stories. I have to say, everyone that I've dealt with from the Cactus Line to the Wayback Series and The Flower Basket series, have been wonderful. You girls are all so helpful with your suggestions without making me feel like I'm not worthy!

Keep your eyes peeled Eve. You should be seeing mine again real soon!

Sandy Sullivan