Talk About Clueless!
Some people write a book, send it off to an agent, and within a week are deciding between several lucrative offers. It does happen. Rarely. For most of us, going from unpublished wannabe to published author is a long and arduous process. Most of us, myself included, start out totally clueless about the world of publishing.
Once upon a time, eighteen years ago, I had a dream. We all dream, but I’m one of those people who hardly ever remembers her dreams. Not this time. This dream was incredibly vivid. It starred people I didn’t know. I had no idea why my subconscious was dwelling on these strangers. Yet night after night their story unfolded like the chapters of a book.
I’m not one of those authors who knew from a very young age that I wanted to grow up to write books. I hadn’t written any fiction since my freshman year of college when we all had to take a semester of Freshman Comp. I had enjoyed writing throughout junior high and high school but never considered it a career choice.
This dream wouldn’t leave me alone, though. It started invading my days. I couldn’t stop thinking about these characters and couldn’t wait to go to bed at night to find out what happened next. Finally, I decided to sit down and commit their story to paper.
A few weeks later I had a 50,000 word romance that spanned thirty-five years. Hey, I’d written a book! I should get it published. Remember the title of this article? Talk about clueless! Little did I know at the time how unpublishable that novel was. I’d written a family saga crammed into the length of a category romance. Not that I knew the definition of category romance at the time—or much of anything else, such as point of view. You would have gotten dizzy from all the head-hopping in that book!
I soon learned New York was not interested in my Great American Novel. After pushing my baby out of the nest, she quickly flew back with a beak full of rejection letters. Some people would have given up at this point, but I’m stubborn. I had fallen in love with these characters, and I knew that given the chance, some publisher would, too. I just needed to find the right publisher.
What I needed to find was a clue. So I headed over to Barnes & Noble, handed over my VISA card, and walked out with an armload of how-to-write-a-novel books. Through stubborn determination, a good deal of networking, and attending countless workshops, and writing conferences, I began to learn how to write a novel.
Ten years later, I sold my first book. Not the dream book but another. Over the years, though, I’d occasionally drag out that first effort and tinker with it. Those characters had a special place in my heart. Eventually, I turned that 50,000 word romance that spanned thirty-five years into an 85,000 word romantic suspense that took place over the course of a few months. Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception became the second book I sold, first published in 2007. It went on to win the Winter Rose Award for Excellence in Romance Fiction, the More Than Magic Award, and the Laurie Award. I’ve since received the rights back and have reissued Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception as an ebook. It’s also available as one of the ten full-length novels in the Romance Super Bundle, a boxed set of contemporary and historical romance and romantic suspense by ten authors, now on sale for only .99 cents.
Life has delivered one sucker punch after another to Emma Wadsworth. As a matter of fact, you could say the poor little rich girl is the ultimate poster child for Money Can’t Buy Happiness—even if she is no longer a child.
Billionaire real estate stud Logan Crawford is as famous for his less-than-platinum reputation as he is his business empire. In thirty-eight years he’s never fallen in love, and that’s just fine with him—until he meets Emma.
But Emma’s not buying into Logan’s seductive ways. Well, maybe just a little, but she’s definitely going into the affair with her eyes wide open. She’s no fool. At least not any more. Her deceased husband saw to that. Besides, she knows Logan will catch the first jet out of Philadelphia once he learns her secrets.
Except things don’t go exactly as Emma has predicted, and when Philadelphia’s most beloved citizen become the city’s most notorious criminal, she needs to do a lot more than clear her name if she wants to save her budding romance with the billionaire hunk someone is willing to kill for.
Since selling those first two books, I’ve gone on to publish others, both traditionally and independently, under my own name and my Emma Carlyle pen name. I write romance, romantic suspense, mystery, chick lit, women’s fiction, and non-fiction. The moral of my story is that if you have the burning desire to write, the willingness to learn, and the stubbornness not to give up, you can succeed.
Happy writing and happy reading!
Lois Winston/Emma Carlyle
Romance Super Bundle Buy Link