Thank you to Kylie for inviting me to share my call story with the blog readers 🙂
I submitted my manuscript to Harlequin Romantic Suspense (HRS) in June 2010 via the slush pile. I sent a query letter, synopsis, and the first three chapters. A full manuscript request, two revisions, and a year and 3 months later, I was waiting to hear back from Harlequin.
I had read that HRS was increasing their word count and I had assumed that when I heard back about my book, it would be either a rejection or another request for revisions to make the book longer.
I was cleaning up the kitchen and getting ready to start dinner when I heard the phone ring. It was a 212 number I didn’t recognize. I thought the call might be from a contractor we’d hired to install a new front door in our home. I answered and the person asked for me. She identified herself as Shana Smith from Harlequin and she said they wanted to publish my book. For one small moment, I thought it might be friends of mine playing a joke, since earlier that week, I had entered the Harlequin New Voices contest and they had read my submission.
I can’t recall all the details of the conversation, though I did manage to scribble down some notes on a pad of paper. I’m pretty sure I sounded incoherent when answering and asking questions.
My book has been penciled in to the Harlequin Romantic Suspense schedule for September 2012.
It took me three years, help from two amazingly talented critique partners, one mentorship (with the fabulous Kylie Brant), and over a dozen manuscripts (many more partial manuscripts and scenes) to get to the call that my book is going to be published.
The most frequent question I am asked is, “What’s the book about?” Double Witness, the working title which may change before it is released, is about a woman on the run who witnesses a crime and the detective assigned to her case who must keep her safe from the two men who want her dead – a deranged serial killer and her former boyfriend, the head of an organized crime ring.
The story takes place around Christmas, my favorite time of year. I enjoyed crafting the story against the backdrop of the holiday season. It allowed me to incorporate some of my family’s holiday traditions into the book.
What are your favorite holiday traditions?