Romance is the biggest selling genre in the world. The WHOLE world. But as acquisitions editor here at Breathless Books, Assent Publishing’s Romance Imprint, I love all the subgenres of Romance. In fact, I call them Romance SUPERgenres because they add that wonderful extra layer of interest to already great Romance books. They take Romance into different worlds and different time periods with elegant variations on the traditional direction Romance encompasses. This is a great time and place to tell you what I’m looking for in these Romance Supergenres.
Contemporary Romance – As you know, all Romance novels must be primarily about love, romance, the tragedies and triumphs of passion as well as the dynamic multi-dimentional characters we can’t help but care about. What I’m looking for at Breathless Books Imprint is strong stories within the 65,000 to 80,000 word count that take me on the voyage across love’s challenges. Contemporary Romance is just that, contemporary stories that take place in the here and now, reflecting today’s sensibilities and the elements of life in our everyday word. If a Romance takes place at any time before 1970, we consider it Historical Romance because the situations and influences reflect the society and values from those times. Contemporary Romance submitted to the Breathless Books Imprint, needs to impress me, show me something I haven’t read before in the story elements as well as character development. Always remember, no matter how many elements or secondary stories take place in your Contemporary Romance, the focus must be Romance. NOTE: The Breathless Books Imprint is not looking for erotica. Yes, it’s expected that there is passion and lovemaking in a Romance, but a submissions which focuses primarily on erotic elements, is not what I’m looking for. Our Ardent Books Imprint is the place to submit your erotica. Submission guidelines are on that website.
Historic Romance – Oh yum! Giving me Romance on a historic stage really adds a delightful element to the book. The Stone Age, the Old West, the Victorian Era, Edwardian Era, Medieval Era, the Depression, the 1940’s, 1950’s, 1960’s … the fabulous, difficult and laden with taboos past! Placing a Romance within these times adds that extra punch to the story – but only if it’s written well. Simply dressing your main characters in period clothing won’t do it for us. We need the depth of color and texture that give the reader the sensation of witnessing that romance within the time period’s particular limitations. Do your research and build your Romance within it. But always remember, Romance must be the centerpiece of the story, whether it takes place during the civil war or on the Titanic. Historic Romance is one of the Romance Supergenres the Breathless Books Imprint is actively seeking.
Paranormal Romance – First, a little definition for this particular Romance Supergenre. Paranormal Romance does NOT necessarily mean vampires and werewolves. Elements that fit into the Paranormal Romance category involve any romance situation involving the paranormal or supernatural world. A Paranormal Romance can involve a human and a ghost, or two ghosts who fall in love with each other. It can involve witchcraft, angels, demons or ancient gods, and yes, vampires and werewolves. It can be about a human couple in love and struggling against the interference of supernatural characters, and of course, it can be about a human falling in love with a supernatural creature. Paranormal Romance can take place in an historic, contemporary or even futuristic setting. It must always have the paranormal/supernatural elements, but the key element, as always, is Romance. A wonderful urban fantasy or high fantasy may have romantic elements in the story, but that is not necessarily a Paranormal Romance, so do be careful about submitting. If your fantasy book has romance in it, but romance is not the focus of your book, you may want to take a look at our Phantasm Imprint for consideration.
Futuristic Romance – Love lost and found in space, explorations of the far future and how they see love and romance is what I’m talking about here. Like Historic Romance, the Futuristic Romance Supergenre requires wonderful, creative imaginings of how life will be. It will require research, powerful story layers and multi-faceted characters to make it believable. Suck me into a world that doesn’t exist yet and show me what love will be like in that time. Futuristic Romance can take place on earth, in space or on another planet, it can be a post apocalyptic in nature or simply in a far off time of peace … but it MUST BE A ROMANCE. If you’ve written a science fiction or futuristic horror that has some romantic elements, Breathless Books isn’t the imprint for you. Check out our other imprints, Bad Day Books or Farther Books for those submissions.
Young Adult Romance – Young Adult Books, and especially Young Adult Books that explore romance tread a thin line and we at Breathless Books are diligent about respecting that line. A young Adult Romance submitted to us must be appropriate for the target age of the reader. No explicit sex scenes are acceptable. Period. Young Adult romance books can be historical in nature, have paranormal elements or take place in the future. The main characters in the book can be between 15 and 18. It is understood that many Young Adult Romance books explore the difficulties of puberty and are built on the coming of age premise, but Breathless Books reserves the right to reject any submission that we deem inappropriate for young adult readers. Show me romance that fits this target reader, make it dynamic with rich story elements and wonderful characters, and by all means, thrill me with young love.
Humorous Romance – Is love funny? It can be. It’s the light side of Romance. The hapless uncoordinated man falls down the steps and falls for his beautiful landlord. The shy woman discovers a new pair of shoes that make her feel beautiful and wins the handsome co-worker’s heart. The cat lover who falls for her vet. The drycleaner’s clerk who repeatedly discovers love letters in a handsome patron’s pockets and imagines the woman they were written for, only to learn they are for her. The librarian who falls for a garbage man. The concepts are endless and when written well, can be brilliant Romance. Make me smile while I fall in love with the main characters. Romance mixed with tears of laughter is a great thing!
Assent Publishing’s Breathless Books Imprint is currently accepting Romance submissions. Send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve got my Kleenex, chocolates and steaming cup of tea. I’m ready to read Romance submissions that move my heart, bring me to tears and make me shout with delight.