Friday, September 15, 2017

Getting my Glad Rags out by Michelle Styles

Today I shall be on my way to the annual gathering of Mills and Boon authors aka AMBA. It is the first I have been able to go in a while. Getting children to their respective universities or going on holiday with my husband has taken precedence. However, this year I get to go and collect my pin for writing 25 books for Harlequin. Harlequin celebrates various significant milestones for authors, marking them with little gifts. There are pins for 25 and 50 and I forget what for 75 books (however I will find out as my friend and fellow author Kate Hardy is getting her 75th memento today as well)
Picture from RWA of Joanne Rock with 2017 Author milestones
I very nearly didn’t get the pin. After my 24th, I thought this is me done.  I am not getting any joy from writing historical romances any more. So I walked away from the offered contract and started writing something new. It took me awhile (and still it hasn’t sold – I have faith that some day it will but it also got me a fabulous agent) But then I was in a used bookshop and saw several historical romances. A fierce longing rose in my breast and I realized that after all I did like writing historical romances, and in particularly I did like writing my Vikings. So I set to work and wrote what became Sold to the Viking Warrior, my 25th Harlequin. I then took time off and wrote a single title because I could. And then I wrote The Warrior’s Viking Bride, my 26th which comes out in March 2018 and I think is one of my best.  I shall be interested to see what readers think. Then partly because my mother made sniffy noises (I don't get her attitude), I am working on the next Viking which isn't finished. Sometimes it is about figuring out what works for you.

AMBA is a magical experience. The first time I went I was frightened because there were all these authors whose books I have loved and then there was me. One of the big things I learned was that no author was born published and therefore everyone remembers what it was like not to be published. There is a certain energy to being there because the attendees know intimately about the struggles, the pitfalls and unparalleled joys which come from writing romance for Harlequin Mills and Boon. In the evening, the party means that the authors get to mingle with the editors. This is always fun as I have worked with a number of editors over the years and it is pleasant to see how they are doing.
The lunch is at London Bridge Hotel and then there is a special presentation about what is happening at Mills & Boon before the party where I will finally get my pin. Then back on the train and home to the reality which is my current Viking. A long and exhausting day but oh so worth it in many ways.

Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romances in a wide variety of time periods, most recently Viking. Her next Viking, The Warrior’s Viking Bride will be published in March 2018. You can learn more about Michelle and her books on

1 comment:

dstoutholcomb said...