Interview with Author/Loose ID Editor-in-Chief Treva Harte


I’m very happy to present an interview with author and editor-in-chief of Loose ID publishing, Treva Harte. Many thanks, Treva!

Ciar: Treva, writers thinking of subbing to Loose ID will kill me if I don’t ask this question right away–what are you currently looking for in your subs? What’s the book that you really wish someone would do?
Treva: Well, we’re always looking for something that sells. Fortunately we seem to be cooking on that front. We keep building speed as time goes by which is a good thing, since the alternative won’t make us money.

We’re looking for things that are well-written, have a clear voice, and have something unique to say. I keep a fairly open mind on what to accept. For example, we almost accidentally backed into the m/m market and that’s doing well. I think we want to keep finding new markets that will speak to new and established LI readers and keep on doing well with what we do already – cross-genre, very spicy, often paranormal stories with some I/R, romantic suspense, historical.

Ciar: There’s something (to me) that ties all Loose ID books together. They’re unusual, they stand out, with fresh plots and interesting characters. How would you summarize what makes a great Loose ID book?

Treva: I was looking at some of our books recently and thinking, “Wow, there isn’t a book here that I wouldn’t want to read.” Then I thought about that and said, “Idiot, you’re the Editor-in-Chief. Of course it will reflect what you like.” That’s not necessarily true, honestly. But all the books, even ones that aren’t my first choice, have something in them that makes me-and hopefully everyone–interested. I come from a romance background—I read it for many, many years so I like there to be some romance in the story. I like hot sex. I like characters that make me love them even if they’re difficult. I like to read things that aren’t the same old, same old, since you can get that elsewhere. I like to see our editors and authors work to make something shine.

Ciar: Were you a writer before you were a publisher? What are you working on now, and how do you find time to write?

Treva: You bet I was and am. I’m writing a were trilogy and the second in the series, Stay, is due out soon from Loose Id. (I currently have others out at Changeling Press and Liquid Silver Books.) Stay includes lots of sex while figuring out, literally, what being Alpha means. Nothing more Alpha than the Alphas in a wolf pack.

I don’t know how I find time but I have to. Sometimes, sadly enough, it’s the only thing that keeps me from running, screaming, from RL.

Ciar: I see a lot of Loose ID books in Borders. There seems to be a fairly substantial POD trend these days. Do you think that will continue?
Treva: Probably, unless it fails to make enough money. Authors love it. Bookstores are going for it since they are interested in finding new ways to get readers. Hopefully readers love it as well.

Ciar: Can you offer some guidance to our blog visitors who write? What would you consider the keys to writing success? What’s the kiss of death? I’m fairly open about my neurotic fears, challenges, etc. Do you agree with most folks that it’s best to have an online persona that’s less, well, real?

Treva: Oh Lord, help me. I have a blog that I write on when time and inclination strikes at the same time. That would be – oh, one or twice every few months. That is a kiss of death—you need to write regularly to gain a readership there. I’m probably the last person to discuss blog success with, but I think anything you do that makes the reader want to read more would work. Be controversial, funny, sincere, unusual. I tend to shy away from sharing a lot of personal stuff (at least I think I do) because online Treva is a lot more fun and interesting than RL me. But that’s me and, see above about my blog success rate.

Ciar: What makes you proud? Personally? Professionally?

Treva: My family being happy. Publishing a really good book. Writing a really good book. Surviving until the end of the day with some sense of humor intact.

Ciar: Does it matter to you if your authors write for other publishing houses? You have a good reputation for suggesting other spots if you must reject a book for some reason. So many ebooks, so many choices? What’s it like to try to stand out as a company?

Treva: If our authors write for other places and that increases our readership, go for it. There are plenty of books out there that are wonderful but we don’t sell. Find a place that does, for heaven’s sake! I’m more hesitant to recommend other epubs than I used to be because the market changes so rapidly that I’m no longer sure if I’m recommending the right thing.

I think you stand out as a company by starting with a well thought out business goal, then provide a good product and finally by continuing to deliver.

Ciar: In your opinion, is it deadly for a writer to genre-hop?

Treva: Uh. I dunno. I write whatever suits me. It works for epubs. Conventional wisdom says you can’t with print pubs, although they seem to be loosening up and following epub leads a lot more lately. It’s probably best to start with some clear sense of yourself as an author and your writing voice. If that means genre hopping, make yourself happy. If it means mapping out the market and playing to your biggest strength—well, that’s probably smart. So far I haven’t been that smart for myself.

Ciar: Any crystal balls hanging around the house? Your thoughts on the future of epublishing, of romance publishing in general? Trends?

Treva: Not really. I think there are a few obvious trends. A lot more epubs will launch and very few will make real money. Romance publishing in general right now is looking for money-making models but I don’t know that print is flexible enough to emulate epubs, who can grab onto popular trends quickly. Print may have to come up with a whole new way of winning readers back.

Ciar: Can you tell us one favorite non-Loose ID book you love?

Treva: I have lots. I love mid-period Nora Roberts, much of Elizabeth Lowell, Roberta Gellis, Linda Howard, Jennifer Crusie (I’m looking at the oodles of books and bookcases I have right now) …and too many more to mention. I love my critique partners’ stuff too (kisses, Kate Douglas and Shelby Morgen) and my LI business partners and Angela Knight and Diane Whiteside, but I must admit my personal friendship might get in the way there. Like I said before, I’ve been reading romances a long, long time.

Ciar: Oh, you named my personal fav—Elizabeth Lowell. Finally, please tell us anything you’d like about yourself, your family and friends, pets, personal tastes…

Treva: I have three jobs, two children and one husband, which seems to be the right mix, although sometimes it may be a bit too much. In RL I’m too busy to really think about what I’m like. I do have a website, blog and Yahoo group where I sometimes entertain:
http://www.trevaharte.com
newsletter: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TrevaHarteBlog: http://trevaharte.blogspot.com

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4 thoughts on “Interview with Author/Loose ID Editor-in-Chief Treva Harte

  1. Angela James says:

    I read three books from Loose Id recently, in my glom of futuristics, and I enjoyed them all very much, Treva. The stories were, as you said, unique and fun!

    I think there are a few obvious trends. A lot more epubs will launch and very few will make real money. Romance publishing in general right now is looking for money-making models but I don’t know that print is flexible enough to emulate epubs, who can grab onto popular trends quickly. Print may have to come up with a whole new way of winning readers back.

    I agree with this, I think you stated it well.

  2. Shelley Munro says:

    Great interview. I read quite a few Loose Id books because they’re a bit different. That’s what I’ve always looked for, and thank goodness I can find it at e-pubs 🙂

  3. Ali says:

    Loved this interview! Great questions you asked, Ciar 🙂

  4. treva says:

    I think LI tries to be a bit differeent — in a good way. And thank you.

    Treva

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