May 10, 2019

Let's drink to us...!

I had the strangest head-spinny moment last week. I got a promotional badge from Mills & Boon to help me celebrate a career milestone. My next Mills & Boon release (SHOCK HEIR FOR THE KING – May 2019) will be my fifteenth title for the romance-publishing powerhouse. 

My debut novel was released in August 2017 I wrote about ‘getting the call’ over here on the Harlequin blog at the time, and I could never have imagined, when I held my first M&B, that I’d be celebrating my fifteenth Harlequin title less than two years later. There’s something very strange about having your dreams come true, and writing for Harlequin Mills & Boon has been a guiding light in my life for almost all of it. I suspect like most of you, I found romance novels young, and fell head over heels for them. 

To celebrate this milestone, I thought I’d do a little listicle of some of the things I’ve learned since my debut M&B was released. 

1. The reader is key.Writing for Mills & Boon is my long-held dream but it’s also an incredible legacy to be a part of. I don’t know if there’s any other fiction imprint that is so beloved by its readers. It’s such a huge responsibility (a wonderful one) and respecting reader expectations is so important. Every Harlequin I write has my heart, my soul, and is a story I passionately want to tell, but as I write it, I also think about what I as a reader want to feel when I pick up a Mills & Boon Modern, what experience I’m looking for. I make sure I write a story that really delivers on that. 

2 – The editorial process can be tough but always, always makes for a better book – and I would say Mills & Boon editors are some of the best on the planet. If writing for Mills & Boon is becoming a part of a legacy, then editors are the biggest caretakers of this. They are brilliant at making sure every story really lives up to its emotional promise, giving the reader everything they could want in a category romance. 

3 – It’s hard work.

Really hard work, and also really rewarding work. It’s a constant juggle. Often times I’m plotting one book, writing another, editing a different one, and managing the self-published side of my career as well, and it can be exhausting. But I never, not for even a second, take this for granted. I am so blessed to get to do this for a job. 

4 – The community of M&B authors is phenomenal. From the minute I signed with Mills & Boon – actually, before (I'm looking at you, Amy Andrews!) – I’ve had the most amazing encouragement and support. Truly, it is a collection of kind, generous, intelligent and supportive women.  

5 – Readers of Mills & Boon are the actual bomb. Just, wow. I had been publishing indie romance novels for over three years before my debut Mills & Boon was released, and I’d met some truly special readers through that. Mills & Boon readers are a whole new level of devoted and passionate. I love chatting to them online, and love chatting romance with them. 

Finally, translation copies are just the coolest thing ever. I will never forget how it felt to hold my first foreign language book in my hand! Yippeeeee!  

So right now, you can imagine me drinking an imaginary glass of champagne – but I don’t want to faux-drink alone. Tell me what’s awesome in your world right now? What goals are you smashing out of the park? What’s making you smile? Let’s do a big ol’ group cheers at our collective awesomeness, LoveCats! 


  1. Super-duper congratulations on your milestone, Clare. Go you! :-D

    I'm celebrating the fact that I've written the first chapter of my next book, and the sparks and emotion are flying! That's definitely putting a grin on my face.

  2. Hurrah! That's the best feeling in the world! <3

  3. Woohoo Clare I am thrilled to bits for you and I do love your stories they are amazing and just what I love from M&B story both the Dare and The Modern/Presents they make me smile and pull me into the stories, I do have most of your Indie books as well and they are on my huge list to read :)

    For me at the moment things that make me smile are my family and books that I have to read and the wonderful friendships I have made through reading romance :)

    Go yo, you rock

    have Fun


  4. How wonderful, Helen. I absolutely love how family-focussed you are, and your gorgeous grandkids. They are very blessed to have you. <3 Happy mother's day, I hope you're spoiled!

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