I found writing sweet Romances a real struggle. It was more than just knowing when to shut the door… the underlying themes simply didn’t resonate strongly enough. Instead of coming up with a shiny new idea that I just had to write, I came up with ideas that needed to be adapted to fit. By the time I’d trimmed them, toned them down and bent them into shape, they were mere shadows of their former selves, and my initial interest in them had waned.
Something wasn’t right. I found that whilst I could write Sweet, my heart just wasn’t in it. Such a bummer when each rejection was encouraging and asked for another submission. Even though I was one great big ball of doubts, the eds continued to see potential. They seemed to think I could do it, and I owe every editor I’ve ever worked with my sincere thanks for their honesty and wisdom. My CP’s too. All of them. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I’d just sent off another Sweet sub when the shiniest idea EVER caught my attention. I chose to write it without making a single concession. It’d be my kind of story, told my way, and if it set my computer screen on fire and/or was universally unloved then so be it. Being true to the story, and myself, was suddenly imperative. (or else, really, what was it all for?)
Writing became fun again! I adored writing that story, almost died with relief when The Sisters liked it, and subbed it with the highest of hopes. Whilst waiting to hear back about it, I enjoyed wild success from So You Think You Can Write – a full request from another senior editor at a different Harlequin office, then a revise and resub, and a request for another ms after the first was rejected. These new stories were in the same vein as the one I’d refused to compromise on, and I’d begun to think I’d found what I was meant to be doing. Hot, heartfelt, kind of risque and not even close to what you’d expect me to write if you met me IRL
So I finally had it all sorted, or so I thought! Care to guess what happened next? I pitched a sweet story to Entangled, got a full request, and went on to sell it. Swings and roundabouts my friends… lots of both! Ultimately the first hot ms I wrote – the one that brought the joy back to writing for me - was rejected by yet another senior editor at yet another Harlequin office after just 85 weeks. It came with brilliant feedback which I have since applied, and who knows, I might yet manage to make it saleable. I hope so since I love that story.
And here we are today. I’ve sold three books to Entangled so far – two Sweet (which will be heated prior to publication) and one a little too hot (which I’ll pour some iced water over during edits.) I have several more under consideration – including a series based around the one that requires iced water!
My journey has taken a lot of twists and turns and although I’ve made some odd decisions along the way, I have no regrets. I’m doing what I love, and as of the 15th of next month, I’ll get to share what I love with everyone. I don’t think it gets any better than that!!