Browsing through my new-ish copy of Writer’s Market the other day (no, I really was), I noticed that Mills and Boon publish 600 of their romance-oriented titles every year. That, a quick calculation reveals, is about 12 books every week – which kind of surprised me; I knew they published a lot of books, but almost two a day? Crikey.
Anyway, I idly started thinking about submitting something to them, and wondering if any of the stories knocking around the attic of my mind might be dusted off and polished to a Mills and Boon-y shine. Of course, in the way the universe has of making events converge, last night on BBC4 there was a programme called How To Write A Mills and Boon – the BBC iPlayer link is here.
It’s worth a watch – regardless of whether you’re thinking of sending stuff to them – as the novelist Stella Duffy has a go at writing a book for them, and despite having had about a dozen novels published, she finds that it’s not actually as easy as you might think; like writing for comics or soap operas, it shouldn’t be looked on as something that’s easy or somehow beneath one’s dignity. Writing within any confines is, after all, a challenge.