Presenting…Marsha Zinberg, Harlequin Executive Editor Having worked for many years at Harlequin enabled me to persuade some fellow workers to share their story. I’m delighted to present Marsha Zinberg, Executive Editor, Feature and Custom Publishing at Harlequin.
Her extensive knowledge of Harlequin authors and titles is based in part on her tenureâ€”she’s celebrating her 25th anniversary with the company in July.
She began as an assistant editor with Superromance and from there worked her way up the ladder to Senior Editor of Superromance, a position she held for 7 years, before becoming Senior Editor and Editorial Co-ordinator of Special Projects.
But I should let her tell you about what she does in her own wordsâ€”I know I will never get it all straight!
“I am responsible for limited continuity projects, all backlist programs: Reader’s Choice, The New York Times Bestselling collection, The Diamond Collection in honor of Harlequinâ€™s sixtieth anniversary, etc., the Anthology program, the NASCAR program and the More Than Words program. I also handle all Direct-to-Consumer only projects.
“What I love about the diversity of the programs I manage is the opportunity it affords me to acquaint myself with rising stars and new voices within the company. I’m able to offer themâ€”as well as authors with whom Iâ€™m more familiarâ€”projects that are outside the familiar series world. These projects, because they are unusual or sometimes innovative, allow authors to really flex their writing muscles and grow in new and surprising ways!
“I am always on the lookout for authors with particular knowledge of the NASCAR world and the ability to craft a romance that fits comfortably in that world. At present, we are producing NASCAR stories that are shaped by a bible, but authors able and willing to write this specific type of story are people I would be happy to be in contact with.
“In addition, I like to pepper our anthology program, which features novellas, with new voices, because these stories are often seen as â€˜classics with a fresh twist.â€™ Itâ€™s often an authorâ€™s home editor who brings these up-and-comers to my attention.
â€œI treasure the associations Iâ€™ve developed within the writing communityâ€¦.some of which go back more than twenty years. Theyâ€™ve certainly enriched my life and enhanced my store of knowledgeâ€”whether of geography, esoteric occupations or interpersonal relationships! And I feel fortunate that I am in a profession in which I can continue to learn no matter how â€˜routineâ€™ the assignment may initially appear.
With the number of titles Harlequin publishes in series, the strength and creativity of the author base and the increased flexibility and scope of the formats available, the publishing and reissue opportunities have continued to grow over the years.
I have been in this business so long I remember the days when no one could understand why anyone would ever reissue a series romance, much less publish titles outside of the series program!
We’ve come a long way, Baby….
And when it became clear that those little one-off ideas had become an ongoing part of Harlequin’s business, Marsha stepped up to coordinate and build that program.
Marsha shared that when she’s not on the job, she spends as much time as possible with her large extended family, and her two grandsons, who are 2 Â½ years and 3 1/2 months old, respectively. And sheâ€™s very excited about an acquisition contracted for the end of July: a new granddaughter! Thereâ€™s also volunteer work, flower arranging, gardening, theatre and decorating to keep her busy. I might add very busy!
Of course, Marsha is always reading something, and she added that she never underestimates, either in art or in life, the advantages of a well-constructed, complex plot and excellent characterization.