This month marks a special anniversary for me. Not today but very, very soon, I'll be celebrating ten years since the day I sold my first book to Harlequin for its Presents line. Yay! I still remember that day vividly. I woke early and thought I'd check the inbox for the inevitable rejection. You see, I'd received rejections before, even 'good' rejections and learned to expect them. Even if this time I'd been asked to make revisions to the manuscript. I couldn't believe it possible I'd actually sell a story to my favourite series line. The silly thing was that when I found a message from the London office (where Presents stories are edited) I skimmed it several times looking for the 'but unfortunately it doesn't meet our requirements'. It took me a while to notice the message was headed 'Acceptance'. Even then I had to grab my husband and make him read the message in case I'd got it wrong. It was such a long-held dream of mine I couldn't believe it.
The ten year anniversary has crept up on me suddenly. At first it seemed a very, very slow process, with the long lag time between acceptance and proof reading the edited version of that first story, then waiting and waiting till it appeared in the shops - almost a year after that email! For those of you wondering, here's my first book for Harlequin.
A Mistress for the Taking was originally drafted as The Mistress Makeover. About a woman who, because of her past, had bad body image problems. It took a very special man, a real alpha, honourable hero, to help her change her life, even as she changed his. I loved that book and still do. One of the nice things about the rise of digital publishing is that it's still readily available!
Over the ten years since that first sale I've had 25 books published with Harlequin plus another two accepted for publication next year. In addition I've done a little self publishing and plan to do some more. Here's the first of my HOT ITALIAN NIGHTS novellas, 'Back in the Italian's Bed'.
I discovered writing novella length stories was a real treat. So far I've published two in this series and am planning more. It was enormous fun too, having the final say on the covers and titles for these - something I don't with my longer stories.
In these ten years I've been lucky to have books translated into many, many languages, and be contacted by readers from all around the world. I LOVE hearing from readers. Hearing their reactions to the stories that started in my head makes them even more real to me. One of the special treats too, has been getting manga or comic book editions of my books. Here's one that's already been in print and is coming out as an English language illustrated book. Seeing someone else's interpretation of my characters and story is absolutely fascinating!
And here's my latest story, 'Seducing His Enemy's Daughter'. It only struck me today as I wrote this, that this book, like my first Harlequin Presents, is also set in Sydney, on the Harbour - a location I don't use often in my stories. I wonder if subconsciously I was returning to familiar territory for my 25th story?
To celebrate my tenth anniversary I'm have a very, very special book giveaway. Next week, on the date of that anniversary I'll be drawing lots of prizes, including books and gift vouchers. If you want to be part of the giveaway, you'll need to make sure you're on the subscriber list for my occasional newsletters. To sign up, just visit my website and follow the link at the bottom of the page, or visit my Facebook page and click the button to sign up for my newsletter.
What are you looking forward to celebrating? Have you any suggestions on good ways to mark a special occasion? It would be nice to come up with a different, new way to mark the occasion, apart from my mega giveaway.