Gina Bernal is a freelance acquisitions editor for Carina Press. She comes to Carina with over seven years of publishing experience, having started her career at the Berkley Publishing Group and most recently serving as the editor of the Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs. She holds a B.A. in History and Literature from Harvard University and currently resides in the Boston area. You can follow her on Twitter @GinaBernal
Thanks so much! Naturally I'm thrilled you enjoyed it. :) How do you feel about Scottish/ Celtic stories?
I’ve always been a sucker for a man in a kilt—blame it on Braveheart or Highlander: The Series. Plus, I’m a huge Celtophile. Despite the fact that my ancestry is actually Spanish, I was a part of my college’s Celtic Society (a social/musical club) and can belt out an Irish lament, a Scots ballad and a variety of drinking songs with the best. I studied abroad in Ireland and have travelled through Wales and Scotland. And, though I’m very rusty, if you ask nicely I might play my bodhrán for you. In other words… Celtic stories? Yes, please!
Wow, I'd love to hear you sing and play. Which other recent Carina Press projects are you excited about?
So far 2011 has been good to me with the variety of projects I’ve been able to work on and see published. The Bartered Virgin by Chevon Gael is a turn-of-the-century historical that’s funny and packs a little heat. Seleste de Laney’s Badlands is an adventure-filled alternate history steampunk with one of the toughest heroines I’ve seen. I’m super excited about the back-to-back April/May publication of Carol Stephenson’s Courting Disaster and Courting Death, which round out the Legal Weapons series she started back in Silhouette’s old Bombshell imprint. This summer you’ll also be seeing a sexy contemporary with a stripper-with-smarts hero, romantic suspense debuts by two talented new authors, and a fun western historical about a bounty hunter and his troublesome bounty.
Those sound wonderful. What kinds of stories are you looking for currently?
I love character-driven books, so I’m looking for stories with strong central protagonists that make me care for them from page one. I love a tortured hero or a crazy-as-a-fox villain, but I’m equally enchanted by characters who have a sense of humor and don’t take themselves too seriously. Basically, I’m an emotional reader—if you can make me laugh or cry, you’ve got me.
What are your favorite subgenres?
I’m a big history buff and always on the lookout for new historical romances, fiction and mysteries. Unusual settings or characters are a plus. I’m seeking paranormal romance and urban fantasy featuring strong and original worldbuilding, and, like Laird of Darkness, stories that combine history and the supernatural. I’m also actively looking for more contemporary romances that are not romantic suspense and focus on the hero/heroine’s emotional journey. Outside of the romance genre, women’s fiction with family drama at its heart (a la Jodi Picoult) is a favorite of mine, as are creepy psychological thrillers.
Thanks again for being our guest here today. Okay, writers, it's your turn. Feel free to post your pitches in the comments. Gina will be reading them but not critiquing or commenting on them. She will select one, and the winner will receive a request for more. Please keep your pitches brief, a one paragraph blurb with pertinent details (title, genre, word count.) Also please leave your email so we can contact you if you are the winner.