Celebrate my birthday with me and my hot heroes
In honor of my birthday I am giving away 8 prizes
Leave a comment and I will choose 8 people to win their choice of one of my books
Today is my 80th birthday, a milestone for sure. It hardly seems possible that I have been writing romance novels for twelve years, publisher for ten, and have more than two hundred titles out there for my readers. It’s a career I started as a hobby, sort of, after all my other careers and finally retiring from the last one I had.
I always wanted to write. I loved making up stories even as a kid. But my life was so busy that I never really had the time to devote to it until I retired. Funny thing is, I always thought I would write mysteries. My mother and sister read them—Ellery Queen, Agatha Christie, Emma Lathan, Mignon Eberhart, Rex Stout. You get the drift. AS I readied myself for retirement my staff took great pleasure in helping me plot The Book that I would write as soon as I got settled.
In 2004, I finally sat down to write The Book, the greatest mystery of all time, except a funny thing happened on the way to completion. I got three chapters written and couldn’t seem to get beyond that point. I thought, well, crap! And then I read my first romance ever, a romantic suspense by Linda Howard called Cry No More. I thought, damn! This is for me. This is what I want to write.
I sat down and wrote like a fiend and Target was finished in three weeks. Yes, three weeks. Note: it actually took five years to get that book published, and others came before it. So now I had a book and no idea what to do with it. When I found San Antonio Romance Authors SARA) I was sure I hit the jackpot. I learned all the things I didn’t know about writing a successful book and discovered the ongoing battle to get a book published when you are one in every ten thousand that actually is contracted.
But I learned a lot from SARA. Delilah Devlin told me my story really started on page 32 (way too much backstory), Elle James showed me how to structure a plot. Linda Carroll-Bradd taught me about dialogue tags. And so many others in SARA who encouraged and guided me and celebrated with me when I got that very first contract.
I didn’t start out writing erotic but again, I can thank my SARA friends who told me when Ellora’s Cave had an open submission call for themed Quickies (15K). Imagine my shock when Cupid’s Shaft was contracted. I think I stared at the email for an hour just to make sure I read it write.
My journey since then has taken a lot of twists and turns and there are so many others to thank for helping me make it: The Wild Rose Press (and the wonderful Rhonda Penders) who published me when nobody else would; Kelli Collins and Diana Carlisle, two of the best editors I have ever had (and I have to add Paige Christian at Kensington to that list); all my friends at SARA who encouraged me. Margie Hager, my long time beta reader. Shirley Long, a reader who has been with me since my very first book. The wonderful Frauke Spanath at Croco Designs, web and graphics designer extraordinaire who puts up with my disorganization and makes everything so beautiful. My new PA, Nicole Kuhn, who does so much to make sure my promotions get out there and work. Sharon Slick Reads, whose reviews taught me what makes a book readable and special.
I know I’ve forgotten someone, which always happens when you start naming people. If I left you out I’m sorry but you live in my heart. Believe me.
Last year was a great year for me, with the launch of my first series with Kensington (my New York publisher), the launch of my paranormal series with Decadent, and the launch of my Kindle World, The Omega Team, with Amazon.
This year promises to be even better. Kensington has given the go ahead for a new small town romantic suspense series. My Kindle World (The Omega Team) has three more launches scheduled. (see the link to the video below) I am in the process of writing the first in a four-book military romance series for Totally Bound which will go mass market. And thank you to all the people who have invited me to be part of box sets, also.
This year I am also deep into the planning, with my four co-hostesses, for the fifth Wild Wicked Weekend, our fun convo for romance authors and readers. Check it out at www.wildwickedweekend.com
I want to thank everyone who reads my books and helps me promote. You all are what make it work for me. I hope to be doing this for a long time yet, at least to fulfill all the contracts I’ve signed (grin!).
Below are the links for my newsletter and my app. Both are free and easy ways to keep up with me.
Huge thanks to Delilah who has been with me from Day One for letting me babble on her bog today.
Oh, and that first book I wrote, Target? Not only did it finally get contracted and released as the first book in a four-book series, but I am I the process of revising all of them and they will be re-released this year and next. Watch for them.
The Omega Team video: