It Happened On Valentine’s Day

ImageThere have been a few things I was unprepared for in this journey to my first on-sale date. Seeing the first rating up on Goodreads was one of them. First I flipped, then I tried to imagine how it was possible as the book’s not out yet, then I told myself to just calm the hell down. This is a marathon, not a sprint after all. People with writing careers need to learn to pace themselves. And that’s the goal: a career.

And then, when I should have been writing or working on the day job, I was watching television and googling. I made sure my Google alerts were set. Yep. Then I went over to Amazon to see if anything was happening.

Searched my name and the first result on the list was something I’ve never seen before. It was from Avon. But the first name on it was Eloisa James. So somebody made a mistake. But I was curious because it was Valentine’s Day related, just like Kiss Me. I read the list of names under it and there was Cheryl Harper. Since I didn’t know anything about it, I was still pretty sure it was a mistake somehow. Then I embiggened the cover and Cheryl Harper is on it. Right next to Rachel Gibson. I gasped. Audibly. I think I scared the dog. Then I fired off an email to editor Chelsey that went something like “Wha?” And also “Wha?” And then maybe a “squeeOMGthatcan’tbemecanit”.

And it is. This is a free sampler, a collection of excerpts from some of your favorites. And me. Oh holy night. February 22, you can get it for free. I’m hoping you’ll already have Kiss Me, have laughed heartily and rated it all 5 stars in every rating location you can find. But if not, maybe you’ll try this.

I will be cowering under by bed by the time this one’s out so somebody call me to tell me how it goes, okay?

And then it gets really crazy cool, like that dream you never thought would happen

All my life I’ve wanted to be a writer. When people would ask me what I wanted to do, that was my answer. When people asked my family about what I did, they’d always tack on “But she wants to write.” For a few years now, I’ve been writing, entering local contests, and winning. The winning is the key. There’s no way I’d keep going without something to prop me up. Because writing is hard. Or maybe I just mean being disciplined about anything is hard for me. But I’ve made little steps, like sending in a Valentine’s Day novella to Avon Impulse in response to a call. Since I have multiple rejections stacked up, I really didn’t expect to be included. But then I was (exclamation mark times a billion goes right here). I thought that call was going to be the most exciting writing thing to happen to me in 2012. I love the story because it makes me laugh. Read the back cover copy here. Please. Go ahead. I’ll wait. You know you want to. February 5, 2013.

And I settled in my desk chair, determined to strike while the iron was at the very least warming up. I was going to NaNoWriMo my way to another submission. I have about 30,000 words written. Then on Friday, I got an email asking if I had any more ideas for a follow-up to Love Me Tender. At that point, no. None. Nada. But it didn’t take long and I had three and I loved them all so I sent them all on Monday. The characters were so clear and I’m starting to think this hotel I dreamed up is a real place. I have been under the influence of cold medicine lately. And Monday afternoon, I had an email saying they liked them and how soon could I have the first one.

Three more books with Avon Impulse.

Four stories total including the novella in 2013.

Now all I have to do is write them.

So far the panic and the exultation and the fear and the enthusiasm have all been bubbling inside because I’m pretty sure it hasn’t sunk in. But I just read a piece of paper spelling out estimated deadlines. I think it’s real. So here we go.

Step 1: build a chart. I don’t know why. Probably the fear of failure makes any way to procrastinate look attractive. But I have one. And November 30 is my deadline, not Avon’s. First drafts don’t need to go anywhere but under the pile of the second draft in my world. Plus, I’m totally going to cheat and start a day early. My game, my rules, right? RIGHT? Don’t judge. I like Excel. And clip art. Clearly.

This is going to go quickly but I’ll put up an update soon.

When you least expect it…

I’ve been writing all my life but I’ve been trying to get someone else to call me a writer get published now for four years. I’ve been a “serious” writer for three months, although I don’t know how serious I can be given the amount of time I spend improving my brain with reality television. Research. That’s what it is. But then, when I least expected, I sent something off…an answer for a call for Valentine’s Day submissions that I wrote in two weeks (right before the deadline because I like a lot of stress and pressure motivation) and I GOT A CALL FROM A REAL LIVE EDITOR ALL THE WAY UP IN NEW. YORK. CITY. Woo. Hoo!! Now I’m anxiously awaiting edits which I will rejoice in. And a cover. And holy moly who knows what else. Right now, it’s titled It’s Now or Never. And it’s funny, cross my heart.

This call came just in the nick of time. I had reached the “all is lost, there is no hope, despair, agony on me” stage of waiting. (It really doesn’t take that long, you know?)

Welcome to my website. I think this is going to be fun.