Spotlight On: Love Inspired
The Spotlight session on Love Inspired featured senior editor Melissa Endlich and associate editor Elizabeth Mazer. Love Inspired, which debuted in 1997, offers heartwarming inspirational romances through three lines: Love Inspired (contemporary romance), Love Inspired Suspense, and Love Inspired Historical.
For this line, the word count is 55,000 – 60,000 words. Endlich (right) doesn’t want artsy stuff like rock stars, celebrities and sports heroes, city settings, and corporation-type story lines. They want to see Amish romances, plots dealing with cowboys and ranchers, and single parents.
Love Inspired Suspense
Here the word count is the same, but stories need an equal mix of romance and suspense. The editors want to see heroes and heroines in professional roles—not amateur, cozy-mystery-type sleuths. Endlich and Mazer suggested authors add new twists to their plots, such as bounty hunters or mistaken identities.
Love Inspired Historical
Word count increases to 70,000 – 75,000 words. In the past year, the line bought manuscripts from 10 debut authors. The editors are actively seeking historicals, offering huge opportunities for debut and published authors. Writers have a wide variety of time periods to choose from. They’re looking for anything from Regency to Old West to Americana. This line allows foreign settings, too. (Photo: Elizabeth Mazer, right)
The Love Inspired lines encourage series because readers get invested in the characters or setting. The main reading demographic is generally Midwestern and Southern women who are about 50 and older, although LI is courting younger readers. Feedback from non-Christian readers shows sweet romance is making a comeback.
All editors acquire for all lines. With six on the editing team, all submissions are read. Turnaround is 60—90 days, sometimes a little longer, depending on the busyness of the editors. If no response in 90 days, follow up. If your proposal or manuscript has been requested, be sure to write Requested Material on the envelope. To receive notice that your submission has been received, Endlich recommended including a postcard with the submission. LI doesn’t accept email submissions.
Don’t forget—LI is the only publishing house that accepts submissions from unagented writers. To learn more about LI, visit harlequin.com and read the writer’s guidelines.