Mills & Boon comes to India
The series that turns 100 this year, will feature an Indian hero, says Andrew J Go, director, Harlequin Mills and Boon India.Updated: Feb 05, 2008 12:02 IST
It's a double celebration for Mills & Boon. The series not only turns 100 this year but also has come to India.
Andrew J Go, director, Harlequin Mills and Boon India informs that by fall this year they will launch a modern series title featuring an Indian hero, based in India.
And will they also be looking for Indian writers? "We are always looking for fresh new talent," he says.Yet to adjust: So, will this romance fiction work in an Indian context? Aditi Bhattacharya, who's been reading the books for the last two decades, says, "The thought of Indian characters making love and wooing each other is slightly gross."
By next month, there will be new titles that will be changed every month - in a monthly magazine model.
Given such a mindset the publishing industry is curious to see how these new Indian Mills and Boon will fare in the coming years.
Rupa and Co has been publishing paperback Barbara Cartlands and also a Modern Romance series that according to Kapish Mehra, "have been doing reasonably well".
"The guy-meets-girl formula has always worked, but whether it will work in such a format, I can't say," Mehra says.
Mixed feelings: Karthika, chief editor, Harper Collins, says she is optimistic even though the genre hasn't worked unless it comes as Jhumpa Lahiri or historical fiction.
"There is romance in our films and songs but somehow in writing it hasn't worked," she says. But she is excited about the possibilities that open up for Indian publishing if this format of simplistic romance does well.
But not all publishers agree. Roli, it seems, will stay away from formula-romance even if it does well. Pramod Kapoor of Roli books feels that it is natural for Mills and Boon to come to India, given their success here in the past.
"We've never given serious attention to such publishing and we would not even if it is successful," he says. When asked why Harlequin Mills and Boon feel their venture will be successful here, despite the fact that the genre has never done really well, Go says, "We sell over four books each second.
In India, we intend to provide great romantic editorial with characters and context from all around the world."