WRITE A NEW CHAPTER TO YOUR ROMANCE WITH A PERSONALIZED
By: Jennifer Isaac
Ever wanted to star in a romance novel, to be the ravishing heroine
swept away by a dazzling hero of your choice? Now's your chance.
Mike Pocock, publisher of Love's Next Door, has developed a personalized
romance novel filled with love, passion and lots of humour. "The way it works,
you co-author your own novel by selecting the names, features and places to
personalize," says Pocock.
"You can include a spouse or significant other, friends, relatives,
co-workers or Hollywood stars. Readers can put themselves in the leading role
and even include a pet."
Upon completion of a character questionnaire, which includes queries on 30
details such as your nickname, hair and eye colour and favourite drink, you can
then order your personalized book.
For $29.95, plus shipping and handling, you'll receive a 10-chapter,
160-page, professionally-bound novel.
The plot is the same in each book: The heroine -- a magazine editor who has
become homesick for her small-town roots -- moves back home. She quickly takes
up her old habit of playing practical jokes on her next-door-neighbour (the
hero). The only problem is, he's got a girlfriend (the villain), who is
The idea for the novel struck Pocock while he was lying on a
California beach last year. "I was on holiday, enjoying a glass of wine with the
sea breeze gently blowing and I said, this is right out of a romance novel," he
says. "The funny thing is, I really don't consider myself a romance afficionado
Pocock took a year to develop the story, which was launched in October 1999.
"Everyone likes to think of themselves as romantic at heart," he says. "This is
a perfect romantic gift."
Originally, he thought the book would appeal mainly to women. "As it is,
we're seeing a 50/50 split, with men buying the book, too."
Don't scan the pages searching for steamy sex -- there is none. "The love
and passion in the novel is warm and fun," Pocock says. "There's nothing
explicit. There's just a lot of heavy breathing and rolling around."
There's also a lot of sales in the romance novel industry. Harlequin
Enterprises Ltd. -- which publishes the immensely popular Harlequin romance
series -- reported annual earnings of $87.6 million in 1998.
That translates to 160 million books printed in 24 languages and sold in
more than 100 countries. "Romance is what keeps people going," says Catherine
Orr, vice-president of Harlequin. "It's the adventure, the surprise element, the
'if I'd only taken that left turn, what would have happened." She says
romance novels have always provided a great outlet for fantasy, though stories
now tend to be more realistic. "It's not unusual to have stories of two
single parents juggling their relationship with each other and with their kids,"
she notes. "The stories always touch your heart."
Pocock agrees. "Sometimes you're laughing at the story, other times you've
got a tear in your eye," he says. Rosie O'Donnell has wiped away a teardrop or
two. So have Donny and Marie, Valerie Pringle and Dini Petty, who have all had
"You'll find it's a fun, light-humoured book that will be cherished and
remembered forever," he notes.
For more information on a personalized romance novel, check out
www.romancebyyou.com or call toll-free 1-877-659-4844. Orders placed before
midnight Monday can be guaranteed delivery by Feb. 14.
Excerpted from Love's Next Door, Book By You Publishing:
Alexandra brushed her warm, wet lips against Tristan's neck.
"Stop that!" he pleaded, glancing again at Caroline to see if she was
watching. His girlfriend's eyes glared back at him from their table. She hadn't
missed a thing. The glance spoke volumes -- the rest of the evening was going to
Alexandra, once again, moved her lips ever so slowly along his neck. "That
bothers you?" she said, in a soft, sultry voice...
Reprint courtesy of the Calgary Sun.