Hi everyone. So much for the promise-to-self to Mayke It Happen at my blog this month by posting daily or at least three times a week. Life gets so busy. When it’s not sapping my time it seems to sap that mental energy so needed to keep up with everything!
Okay, everything happens for a reason, right? Well, my newest online friend and I literally met by a total fluke. Leigh sent an e-mail. I responded, apologizing in case I’d forgotten whatever it was that she congratulated and/or thanked me for. She replied and stated she might have reached me in error, especially since she was a new rose in The Wild Rose Press’ garden and was still getting the hang of our loops’ ropes. I “heard” her wonderful accent in her text, visited her lovely website (www.leighdansey.com) and offered her a spot in the bloglight. Coolest part of all? Leigh is from the gorgeous land of New Zealand. Now I have a friend there, too. (I can always veer by on my way to visit my Aussie cousins, some future day…)
Thanks so much for inviting me to guest on your blog, Joanna. As a newly published novelist it’s an exciting time for me. It took me several years to finish “Kincaid’s Call”, with many stops and starts. I subsequently (2006) entered the MS into the New Zealand Romance Writers Clendon Award, where it was highly commended, and then I submitted to Harlequin’s UK office. It took some months before the rejection letter arrived, softened by two pages of great feedback. The feedback was valuable but Harlequin suggested I didn’t re-submit to them even after reworking. I had a lot going on at that time, and the MS was filed away in a drawer where it remained until the Christmas holidays of 2009 when I decided my house needed a declutter.
I pulled it out, sat on the floor and re-read the story of Nathan Kincaid and Kate Summers. I fell in love with my hero and heroine all over again, did some re-writing and promised them their day was coming. I wasn’t very familiar with e-publishing but I browsed some websites and in February 2010 submitted to The Wild Rose Press. Acceptance came fairly quickly and Kincaid’s Call was released 12 May, much sooner than I expected. I held a little launch party with family and friends yesterday morning which was very cool. I’d kept my promise to Nathan and Kate – it was a great day. I’ve been very impressed with the team at The Wild Rose Press who answered all my queries swiftly and professionally.
My journey to being a published romance novelist has been a long one. I submitted my first partial to Mills and Boon in 1989, followed by several more, mostly receiving good feedback, sometimes just a rejection slip. Along the way I had short stories and some children’s literature published, and established and ran my own niche magazine for about seven years. Like most other women, there was also a family to raise and that darned wolf always howling at the door.
Workshops at the Kara School of Writing run by multi-published NZ authors Daphne Clair and Robyn Donald were the catalyst to my finally finishing a novel instead of abandoning the MS around chapter three. Persistence is commendable but I have to say I have regrets about not being disciplined enough to reach this important milestone earlier. I urge other aspiring writers to put aside dedicated time for writing – just a little bit every day. Don’t put it off indefinitely like some of those gifts we tuck away for ‘best’. Now is the ‘best’ time for writing or working towards whatever other dreams you have. Give yourself that gift.
Wonderful, sage words, Leigh—many of which I plan to take to heart at a time when I need them most. Love when a publisher gives you something to work with or some reason for a “no.” Makes all the difference, doesn’t it? And are your sure you haven’t read other interviews at my blog? You answered all the questions I usually ask without me having sent them, lol! Thanks so much for stopping by and best of luck with your brand new debut release!
And thanks to all of you who checked in today. I’ll be visiting with author Karen Michelle Nutt a week from today and hopefully chatting about pet peeves later this week! And check my Reviews page for Michele’s feelings on NO MATTER WHY!
Until next time,