Thursday, September 22, 2011

Executive Editor with Whiskey Creek Press - Torrid Books Romances the Rock!

By the name Torrid, you can probably guess that the division of Whiskey Creek Press is dedicated to steamy romance. Executive Editor with Torrid Books Jan Janssen has a background in journalism, but was always a very strong English student as well. She’s an avid book-lover and reader and wants to see hot manuscripts!

Since March 2003, Whiskey Creek Press Torrid has published sexy and sensual romances in all genres. They have been named the Publisher of the Year by Fallen Angel Reviews and Top Ten Best Publisher in the annual Preditors and Editors Reader's Poll four consecutive years!

Torrid has several Epic Ebook Award winners amongst their ranks of authors, and their artists have also won various awards for their cover art, including the Dirk Wolf Award and the Epic Ariana Cover Art Award.

Awards URL

Chiseled in Rock: From what I understand, editors in general are inundated with queries. Do you have a method for sifting through them?

JJ: I always go through my new author submissions in the order in which I receive them. If an author has already successfully published with WCP Torrid, I will pull their submissions out of the pile and give them preference as in-house authors. But I always try to get back to all authors on submissions within our 3 month time-frame.

CIR: NYT Bestseller Brenda Novak said to us at a conference a while back that all the publishers are looking for ‘hot,’ meaning erotic elements, in fiction. Do you agree that this is happening and why do you figure if so?

JJ: Yes, ‘hot’ erotic elements are certainly at the top of a lot of editors’ lists. Of course they’re at the top of mine, because we publish only Torrid romance! Why this is happening is simple, I think. Sex sells! It seems every day that there’s a new erotic romance epublisher popping up hoping to break into the erotic romance market. They know readers can’t seem to get enough of it. Our society is more open about sex these days, and most women have always loved romance (even if it was in secret!). Now they’ve graduated to more explicit, sexier reads.

CIR: Why did the owners of Whiskey Creek Press Torrid decide to create two different publishing companies?

JJ: Whiskey Creek Press is actually a single publishing company, with two separate divisions, General and Torrid Books. We share many resources.

The split was made almost at the inception of Whiskey Creek Press, for a couple of main reasons. First was the fact that despite the popularity of erotic romance, not everyone is looking for it, so they’re not happy seeing the more explicit covers when they browse for books. Hence the Torrid website. The second, and biggest, reason is that our erotic romance submissions were growing by leaps and bounds. It just made sense to separate that part from the rest of the company, with a separate Executive Editor and Senior Editor to handle the extra work load.

CIR: Where did the name of the company come from? It always makes me think of Willie Nelson’s Whiskey River.

JJ: Now that I can’t tell you. :) Although I’ve been with the company since its start-up in 2003, the company was already named, by the original owner, when I came on board.

CIR: Canada, your stomping ground, is fairly liberal in its legislation about sexually oriented businesses, compared to the U.S. anyway. Has this helped or hurt the erotic romance market there? I would think the taboo nature boosts sales in the states.

JJ: I think it’s all a matter of taste. Although we are more liberal about sex in Canada (mostly!), I think that what generates all sales is personal preference, on either side of the border. I honestly can’t say if the liberal bent has hurt sales or hindered them. I do know that we have many Canadian authors, so we certainly like to write erotic romance! lol

CIR: Are you a hockey fan?

JJ: As a teenager I was a rabid hockey fan! Back then there were only 12 teams and the season was shorter. (Dating myself here, although I’m not old enough to remember just the ‘Original Six!’ lol) But with the expansion, and all the things life throws at you, hockey slipped on my popularity list. :)

Interview conducted by Gusto Dave.


Chiseled in Rock said...
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Patricia Stoltey said...

Great information in this interview, Dave. Thanks so much to Jan for sharing with us.