I embarked on my writing journey January 1, 2006. During the next two and a half years I pounded out five historical romance manuscripts. Why historicals? The research is a blast. Plus I get a kick out of using words like addlepated, gewgaws, and smitten.
Contest fever grabbed me early on. I submitted 36 contest entries during those early years, receiving a wealth of helpful feedback from my generous contest judges along with a few finals. The most exciting was my double final in the 2008 Golden Heart®, a national contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America®. That led to my first blog guest appearance and introduced me to the wonderful world of writers online.
At that point, I learned how much I had yet to learn and spent a year studying craft. Armed with my newfound knowledge, I took a look at my stories to see which of them showed the most promise. I loved them all, but Miles and Elenora told me theirs was the story I should pick, and I listened. I’d rewritten it once, but I knew it needed more work, so I got busy.
That rewrite proved my characters were right. Miles and Ellie’s story won several contests, earned me requests from editors and agents, and led to my offer of representation. Rachelle Gardner made her offer on the eve of Christmas Eve in 2009. Talk about an amazing Christmas present!
I’d love to tell you that Rachelle sold my story right away, but I still had work to do. After spending several months making my story the best I possibly could, I sent it to Rachelle and held my breath. To my delight, she liked it and was ready to submit it, which she did. Six weeks later we had two offers, and I got a contract for Christmas.
On July 1, 2012, my debut novel was released, eighteen months after my contract offer. July is my birthday month, and I can’t think of a better birthday present than holding my debut novel in my hands. It was a thrill. You can watch a video of that milestone moment below. I hope readers enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.