It is difficult not to want to talk about my very first book to be
published. However, I'll take this space I was so kindly offered to make some
comments on this wild ride that has been writing and getting published as a
contemporary romance author. Many years ago, over thirty to be exact, I had the
brilliant idea that I could write a romance novel. I sat down and did just
that. Boxed it up and mailed it off to Harlequin. I really didn't have to wait
long for a reply....about four weeks. I saw the envelope in the mailbox and
ripped it open thinking it had to be great news...they wanted my book and there
would be a huge check inside. Wrong.
The letter was a nice form letter thanking me but NO THANKS. I was crushed. I
took my copy of the manuscript and literally boxed it and threw it under the bed
in the guest room. I never saw it again. Long story short, I gave up on my
dream of writing. Fast forward thirty plus years and I am more mature and have
done a TON of research on the romance genre. With a gentle push (more like a
hard shove) from a dear friend, I once more wrote another manuscript and this
time...I submitted to a few agents. One agent picked it up and worked with me
for a few months before finally offering representation. That is when my real
â€˜schooling' began in the world of publishing. After almost three years, I have
two manuscripts sold and about to be published. That is the easy version. It
wasn't an easy process and it was at best frustrating and worst...a nightmare.
Much the same as giving birth for the first time.
What have I learned after all this? First and foremost...WRITE WHAT I LOVE TO
READ. Too often authors get in trouble and bring on a ton of frustration when
we forget that simple fact. If you can't love what you wrote...no one else can
be expected to do so. Second, and of equal import...TRUST YOUR INSTINCT. Let
me explain it this way. When I first jumped into publishing, I put my writing
and myself one hundred per cent in the hands of others...because they knew so
much more than I did. Well...I now know the value of listening to that little
voice inside me. When I listened to others, I found myself in deals I didn't
really like, and writing in sub-genres because that is what someone else liked
and wanted me to do...etc. When I started saying hold on...and listening to
what I knew and felt to be right...I was much happier and I SOLD. That is not
to say that I don't value the opinions and experiences of others in the
publishing world...I do. There is still a lot for me to learn. I just listen
to everyone now....myself included...and make the best decision possible.
Best advice to someone who wants to become a writer? Learn all you can
about the genre you want to publish. Write only what you love to
read. Trust in yourself and your instincts. Don't give up on your dream!
About UNDER TEXAS BLUE SKIES
J.D. Sterling, country music's sexy superstar, has come home again. He has
achieved his wildest dreams and did what he set out to do when he shook the dirt
of the small Texas town from his boot heels a dozen years before. Now, he's
returned for the final piece of the puzzle to completing his life....the girl
who holds his heart. Mandy.
Amanda Lawson has grown up. From sheer heartbreak to struggling to survive to
becoming a shrewd businesswoman, she has taught herself to never look back. She
survived once before the wild, green-eyed cowboy with only a guitar to his name
and a pocketful of dreams. He took her heart and so much more when he left her
behind with his hollow vows.
Mandy was his muse...J.D. was her dream. Despite tragedy, can they find their
way home to each other again?
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