Once Upon a Time...
I decided to publish a book.
The decision came about after reading one too many "wall bangers," you know, the book you just can't finish because it's just...bad. I told my ex-husband at the time that I could write something better to which he replied, "Yeah, right." (This a big part of why he's now my ex.) You should know something about me--I'm stubborn. His words were the verbal equivalent of waving a red flag in front of my face.
So, just to prove him wrong, I wrote my very first book, and it sucked. I still gave it to a local bookseller who thought it didn't suck. (She was very kind.) Unbeknownst to me, she gave it to a publisher friend of hers at Avon Books. I will never forget the letter I received from them. I mean, I didn't even know my book had been submitted. And it wasn't a form letter, which I later learned was a Very Big Deal. Anyway, the letter said thanks, but no thanks. My book sucked. I needed to work on my grammar. (Grammar? Whaaa?), but that I had talent and so keep writing.
Remember how I said I was stubborn? I didn't give up. I hired a copy editor. I brushed up on my grammar. I joined a critique group. I went back in a fixed that first book. (Still sucked.) And then I sumbitted the revised book to HarperCollins. Meanwhile, I wrote a second book. That one I submitted to Romance Writer's of America's Golden Heart Contest. It's sort of like the America's Got Talent of publishing.
I made the finals.
What's more, that editor at Avon remembered me. Even more amazing, the editor at HarperCollins loved my first book. Not enough to publish it (Hah!) but she saw a spark, and when she heard I'd made the finals of the Golden Heart with my second book, that was all it took for her to offer me a book deal. The rest is history. Well, I left out the part about how that editor told someone to call me with an offer and they forgot and it wasn't until months later when she saw that I wasn't on the publishing schedule that she realized I hadn't been called. Proof that editors are human.
Forty books later, yes, forty, I'm still writing. These days I'm working on my very first young adult novel called THE FARM. I'm super excited about it because 1) I've always wanted to write a YA horse story. 2) The book centers around the world of horse shows, something I'm intimately familiar with and that I can't wait to share. 3) I needed a break from writing romance novels. I also take on editing gigs (I'm super good a grammar now!) and beta read upon occasion.
I hope you decide to give my books a try. If you're looking for a "clean" romance, give my NASCAR series a try. If you love steamy romances, anything Harlequin will do. If you prefer historicals (ala Bridgerton), I have those, too. Whatever you read, I hope you love it. Truly. My readers are why I write.
That, and to keep proving my ex wrong.