|Holly, Ella and Ethel|
When I sold my Everything But… trilogy to Avalon, I was thrilled. I mean, it might not seem hard to find a home for a book that features a Hungarian grandmother who cursed her own family to bad weddings and spends three books trying to break that curse, but after a few attempts, the trilogy was shoved ‘under the bed.’ Then I met an editor from Avalon and she asked if I had any books I'd like to send them. And…well, long story short, she bought them. I was thrilled.
Avalon was a small publisher. They published hardback books for libraries. Beautiful books. I grew up in the library. Or rather, more specifically on a Bookmobile. The staff was wonderful. They knew I read a lot, and made sure to bring along a host of books they thought I’d enjoy.
Nana Vancy, that Hungarian grandmother, did in fact break the curse at the end of book three. I’ll confess, I’d become a bit nervous about how she was going to manage it…frankly, I didn’t know. But I figured it out…or rather she did. And it turned out Nana Vancy was a hit with readers. That first book in the trilogy, Everything But a Groom, was on of Booklist’s best romances in 2008. And I heard from readers who loved Nana Vancy and the Salo family.
When I wrapped up the trilogy, I found, I missed the Salos. So, one afternoon, I called up the editor at Avalon and said, “Uh, would you be interested in another Everything But… story? You see, Nana Vancy’s bored now that the curse is broken. She’s going to try her hand at matchmaking…to the tune of The Twelve Day of Christmas.”
She bought it.
And Avalon bought the next two books as well. And everything but the last book was released.
Then…Avalon was sold to Montlake Romance. I was so hoping they’d do right by this last book, Everything But a Dog. You see, of all the stories, it hits closest to home. Oh, the entire series was set here in Erie, PA. Yeah, I know, it’s not a setting that’s used often in romance, except in my books. But I love my city. We sit here on the shores of a Great Lake. And more than Erie, this book has my dogs in it. Now, in real life, my dogs are named Ethel Merman and Ella Fitzgerald and I changed their names in the book because they were afraid that the…wait for it…wait for it…PUParazzi would hound them otherwise! (You can groan…my kids all have!)
Well, not only is Montlake releasing Everything But a Dog in December, they’ve also have or will release the earlier books in the series as eBooks and paperbacks before that date! I loved that the series was so popular in libraries, and I’m thrilled that they will be available to a whole new group of readers now.
People say write what you know. Well, I’ll confess, I don’t know any Hungarian cursing grandmothers and their large comedic family, but I do know Erie. I know what it means to fall in love with joy and laughter. And with this last book, I do know a bit about dogs.
You know, when I first wrote this very sweet humorous series, I was disappointed that it was rejected and I tucked it away. And yet, here I am…six books later. The last book is due to be released, and the other books will be getting a new life as eBooks and paperbacks. Sometimes life surprises you. And in this case, for me, this surprise has been a wonderful ride!
Everything But a Groom, 11/20/12
Everything But a Bride, 9/4/12
Everything But a Wedding, 11/20/12
Everything But a Christmas Eve, 11/20/12
Everything But a Mother, 10/16/12
Finally the grand finale,Everything But a Dog