I am thrilled to announce that on Friday the 13th of December I was offered a two-book deal with Harlequin Mills & Boon for my ballerina/footballer story – Love en Pointe. Needless to say I’m over the moon, and the wonderful messages that people have left me on Twitter, Facebook and on the Harlequin Forums has been surreal. I’m so grateful.
Part of the tradition in the romance writing world is the “Call Story” – that is the story of how you came to receive that fateful call from an editor to say yes we want to buy your book.
In 2012 I had a very big year, I married my best friend in the whole wide world after being together since we were 19 years old. On our honeymoon I took along a bunch of steamy books because I thought that’s what one should read on a honeymoon. On that trip I rediscovered my love of romance books, I even managed to find a newsagent in Fiji who sold Mills and Boon. I must have read at least 10 of them in that two weeks. A tiny flicker of inspiration started on that trip, and I decided that I wanted to write a Mills & Boon book.
After months of scribbling a little here and there I wasn’t getting anywhere. I kept writing a little bit, scrapping it, writing something else and never making it more than a couple of pages. The problem was I was trying to write and edit at the same time.
Then, on day one of NanoWriMo in 2012, without any idea what to write I decided to jump in with two feet. About two and a half weeks in I was regretting it big time, but this weird and wonderful story about a ballerina and a footballer was unfolding and I couldn’t stop it. This is where my first manuscript, Love en Pointe, was born.
I didn’t make 50k, but in February (while trying to deal with losing my grandfather) I finished it. I sat on the damn thing til May while I learned to “edit” and wondered what on earth I was doing. I happened to see that the lovely Nicola Marsh was holding a pitch contest for Harlequin KISS on her blog and it was closing that afternoon. Like with Nano I thought ‘what the hell’ and pitched my story. To my absolute shock I got a request (in fact I was so shocked I accidentally deleted the email and then had to retrieve it to respond to the editor).
3 rounds of revisions and about eight months later my story was looking better (and so different I wasn’t quite sure how I got a request in the first place) and I submitted the final changes a few weeks ago. Cut to Friday, I had the day from hell at work (I work in corporate communications for a bank and it’s pretty darn insane) and I collapsed onto the couch with my husband while we ate takeaway because I was too exhausted to cook. I saw the editor tweet that she had a special call to make and I promised myself I would not get excited, I didn’t even point it out to my husband who was sitting next to me. But I put my phone on the coffee table in front of me (just in case) and stared at it until it actually rang…I may or may not have magical powers.
I then babbled like an idiot to the editor, cried, called my mum, cried again and then my husband dragged me out for a celebratory champagne…and here I am
The tentative date for Love en Pointe (or whatever it will be names, not sure I get to keep the title yet) is August 2014, I have another round of minor revisions to do. Then I have to write another book because they have generously offered me a two book deal…I can’t quite believe it.