Timeline of a romance novel

If there’s one thing you will need to acquire on your journey to publication, it’s learning to wait. Note, I didn’t say ‘patience’ because that would imply you can wait without becoming annoyed/cranky/addicted to checking your email fifty billion times a day…and we’re not asking for miracles here. But learning to wait is important because you will be doing a lot of it.

Now, relative to others I have spoken to on Twitter, forums etc. my journey was rather quick…especially considering I was submitting to a bigger publishing house who’s known for delays due to the huge volume of submissions they process. In fact, I know some people that have waited over six months (and some even a year) to hear back on a single submission. However, I thought some of you might be interested in a break down of Love en Pointe’s timeline, from writing the first word until the fatefully day that someone said ‘yes’.

Timeline of a romance novel – first word to ‘the call’ and beyond

1st November 2012 – Decided that NaNoWriMo was a great idea. Started writing Love en Pointe.

15th November 2012 – Decided that I was insane to start Nano. Feeling like a hermit, exhausted.

 30th November 2012 – Finished Nano with just shy of 35,000 words. I was damn happy with myself.

 20th February 2013 – First draft of Love en Pointe (and my first ever novel) is finished! Celebratory drinks.

12th March 2013 – Start editing…it sucks.

31st March 2013 – Entered into Romance Writers of Australia contest (Got TERRIBLE feedback, I’ll do a post on this in the future).

14th May 2012 – Saw a tweet pointing to a pitch contest with Harlequin KISS over at the blog of the fabulous Nicola Marsh. It was closing that day, so I decided to throw my hat in the ring. This was my pitch:

Teaching ballet to toddlers was not exactly what Jasmine Bell had in mind when she embarked on a career in dance; however, after a horrific car accident shatters her leg and her self-worth, Jasmine reluctantly hangs up her pointe shoes.

Grant Farley is a brooding football player with a wild-child past, who lands in Jasmine’s studio when he is sentenced to undertake ballet lessons for discipline. Good-girl Jasmine knows he’s trouble, she’s had guys like him before, but when sparks fly in the studio Jasmine can’t keep their student-teacher relationship professional.

When Jasmine falls hard for the tough guy with the heart of gold, Grant’s dark past reveals itself and Jasmine feels like she’s stepped back in time. Grant must convince Jasmine that he’s mended his ways and has the strength to mend her heart.


15th May 2013 – Received an email from the editor at Harlequin KISS saying I didn’t final in the top three, but they thought my idea had potential and they wanted to see the full manuscript. *I got so excited I accidentally deleted the email and had a heart attack before finding it in my trash folder.

19th May 2013 – Madly finish editing and submit to Harlequin KISS.

30th May 2013 – Received an email from the editor with a request to revise and resubmit.

31st June 2013 – Submitted revisions.

5th October 2013 – Received an email from the editor with another request to revise and resubmit.

22nd October 2013 – Submitted revisions.

8th November 2013 – Received an email from the editor with another request to revise and resubmit.

2nd December 2013 – Submitted revisions

13th December 2013 – Received ‘The Call‘ from London.

Now I’m working through the latest round of revisions (minor tweaks this time) and will submit my story in January. The tentative date for publication is August 2014, which will be a few months shy of two years since I wrote those famous words “Chapter One”.

I hope you found this interesting, and for all those aspiring authors out there I hope it gives you some insight into one possible road to publication. This isn’t the only way, it’s just the my way :)

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