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Monday, September 26, 2011


It's my pleasure to introduce to you Renee Rocco from Lyrical Press, Inc!

Lyrical Press, Inc. is a New York based small press publisher, offering an eclectic catalog of titles ranging from tender romances to supernatural horrors and erotica.

All Lyrical Press books are released digitally, with select titles also available in print.

Niina :  First, could you introduce us to Lyrical Press  - how and when did you get started? What made you join a notoriously difficult industry?

Renee Rocco : The idea for Lyrical Press had been a thought in my mind since about six months after I was published. I guess I always knew writing was the start of my journey, not the end. I just had to travel a bit to get where I am.

After getting published, I branched out into cover art, falling in love with that creative outlet ( I still do the majority of Lyrical's covers, although the amazing Valerie Tibbs is the other half of our art department ). I then moved on to editing, knowing I had to learn every nuance of this business in order to succeed. I talked to people in the industry, absorbing their knowledge. I watched what other houses were doing. I paid attention to what worked and what didn't. When I felt we were ready, and had a solid foundation for Lyrical, Frank and I launched the site, opening for submissions in December 2007. Lyrical's grand opening came months later, on May 5, 2008.

I love this industry right down to the very crumbs of it. I love interacting with readers. I love working with authors, editors, cover artists, formatters. I couldn't imagine not being a part of this industry. It's ever-changing. It's exciting. Regardless of the obstacles we've faced, and will continue to face as publishing evolves, I couldn't imagine not having a place in it.

Niina :  What has been the best part about working at Lyrical Press, what dreams do you get to bring to life?

R.R : Since I started as an author, for me, the best part of Lyrical is introducing new authors to the world of publishing. Their enthusiasm never fails to remind me what I love most about this industry... working with an amazing and creative group of people.

Niina : And what has been the proudest moment of your writing or publishing career so far?

R.R : Without a doubt, the day we launched Lyrical. That's a day I’ll never forget. For Frank and I, other than the birth of our daughters, Lyrical's launch is one of our proudest accomplishments. I know, that's cliché, but it's true! We nurtured the idea of Lyrical for so long, so to see our hard work come to fruition was a dream come true.

Niina :  Now, men are a rare case in writing romance / urban fantasy, what do you see men offering to the genre? Or what would you like to see?

R.R : Great question! Too often, the submissions we get from men in regards to romance are what men *think* is romance. It's not always something that would necessarily appeal to women. The submissions we're sent ( and I speak only for the submissions that Lyrical gets from men ) are romances that aren't very romantic at all. Lyrical is fine with a romance not having a HEA ( Happily Ever After ) so long as there is plenty of romance throughout the rest of the story and the non-HEA makes sense. Most times, however, what we get from men doesn't have much romance in it. It's like, they hear romance sells well, so they write something that vaguely resembles a romance, but is pretty far off base. They label it a romance and....that's about it. It falls short of what we feel our readers expect from a Lyrical Press romance. I'd love to see a submission come in from a man that truly speaks to women. Something gentler, heartfelt. Something that, when I read it, the gender of the author doesn't stand out, rather, the story itself shines through.

As for urban fantasy, we're lucky in that the submissions Lyrical gets from men are pretty in keeping with what we get from women. What prevents us from accepting a male-written UF is the same as what prevents us from accepting a female-written UF...writing that's not quite ready for publication.

Niina :  Haha, sometimes what women and men see as romance can be bit diffrent. Next question, how would you defend your genres against people who say they have nothing to offer? ( I ask this as I often find myself defending my reading material  ;) )

R.R : I'm a strange bird in that I don't defend our genres much. The way I see it is, if I still have to defend a certain genre in the year 2011, then nothing I can say will change someone's mind at this point. People will be people, and everyone has their opinions, even if their's is clouded with antiquated ideas.

I'm super proud that Lyrical is a publisher of romance and erotica. So, if someone does try to say anything negative about romance or erotica after hearing what we publish, I simply point out that romance has the greatest sales per year than any other genre, and that some of history's most revered authors wrote romance. Numbers don't lie. That's about all the time I'll allot for someone narrow-minded enough to put down romance or erotica.

It's not that I'm *not* a crusader for our genre(s). It's just that I have better things to do with my time... like publish great books and create awesome covers for said books... than fight with someone who is obviously backwards in their thinking.

Niina :  Well said! Now, what writer/s do you admire?

R.R : Lynn Kurland. She gets it right. Everything she writes, in my opinion, is perfect. Heck, she could write her grocery list on toilet paper and I'd read it!

Niina :  LOL! That's pretty good! And for the finale can you give us a sneak peek into a mind of publisher and tell what book you are currently really excited about?

R.R : Right now, I'm all about urban fantasy/romance. I'm only now reading Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series. Wow. As for Lyrical's books that I'm excited about... that's a difficult question for me to answer. I love all of our books. I'd never contract a book if I wasn't moved by it. But like I wrote, I'm exploring UF/Romance right now. I've just loaded L.K. Below's Stalking Shade into my phone ( that's where I do most of my reading ). I only read one book at a time, so as soon as I finish what I'm reading now, that's my next adventure.

I've recently finished Mary Ann Loesch's Nephilim and Death Sword by Pamela Turner. These books blew me away. They are everything I love about reading. I was drawn into the worlds these amazing authors crafted. I didn't want the books to end. For me, that's a big deal. My time is extremely limited, what with work and family taking up huge chunks of my days, so for me to want to keep going with these books is astounding.

Niina : Thank you for taking time from a busy schedule to answer few question! It's been fun to have you here, thank you. Renee Rocco from Lyrical Press, ladies and gentlemen!

Don't forget to checkout Lyrical Press Homepage and see if something catches your eye!

Lyrical Press is actively seeking erotica, romance, and urban fantasy. Only works over 60,000 words will be considered for print.

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