Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Waxing Nostalgic

This past weekend, I gave a workshop at the Saratoga Romance Writers of America's annual retreat, which got me waxing nostalgic. I belonged to the Saratoga chapter when I made my first book sale. That prompted me to bring a couple copies of my first-sale book to the retreat book signing – I sold one – and to write this first-sale blog.

Sorry for the tilt and glare.
It's affixed to the wall.
In a land long ago and not so far away, there was a young mother who had fairly recently discovered and fallen in love with romance novels. So, what did she do? Being a writer – tax and financial news – by profession, she wrote one, finding that fiction writing is much different than news writing. I’m sure you’ve figured out that young mother was me. My romance author dream was to sell to Silhouette Romance, Harlequin’s old sweet romance line. I sent my story, Bachelor Father off to Silhouette and quickly received a form rejection letter. But a friend in my local writers group told me about another sweet romance publisher, Avalon Books, that provided hardcover books to libraries.

I submitted Bachelor Father to them and waited and waited and waited, meanwhile starting another sweet romance, Mandy and the Mayor. I submitted the first three chapters of that book to the New Jersey Romance Writers Put Your Heart in Book Contest and finaled in the contemporary romance category.

Off I went to the NJ Romance Writers conference, my first romance writers conference, with an appointment to meet with Erin Cartwright, the very new Editorial Director at Avalon Books. I wanted to find out what was going on with Bachelor Father. I won first place in the contest. At my editor appointment, Erin was very interested in Mandy and the Mayor and disappointed that I had only the first three chapters written. Then, I told her I had another submission at Avalon Books. She said she’d look at it as soon as she got back to the office on Monday.

True to her word, Erin called me at my day job Tuesday with an offer. I’d like to say I went home with my news and my family was jumping up and down excited for me. But we’re kind of low key. Their universal reaction was, “you said you were going to sell a romance novel, so we knew you would.”

I've since gotten the rights back for Bachelor Father and two of my other Avalon hardcovers and reissued them as eBooks. For anyone who hasn't read Bachelor Father yet, the eBook is 99 cents through March 20.

A Marriage of Convenience
Brett Cahill is a typical bachelor. Someday he'll settle down with a wife and have kids--but just not yet. Then, his sister and her husband are killed in an accident, leaving him with Jake, the Korean toddler they were in the process of adopting. But in order for Brett's application to be approved he needs to be a married man and kiss his bachelor days good-bye.

Adoption caseworker Molly Hennessey is determined to place every child in her caseload in a happy home with two loving parents--the type of caring home she's always dreamed of having herself. Determined, that is, until Brett Cahill comes along and disproves her lifelong perceptions of single parents.Molly holds the power to give herself the home she's always longed for and to give Brett what he wants most--little Jake. But will she realize it in time?

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  1. Great story, Jean. Thanks for sharing.

  2. So exciting, Jean, and you're Saratoga is near my upstate NY home town. It's interesting that you've written a story about Korean adoption, as my book, I Love You More, is also about adoption.

  3. I enjoyed your post, Jean. I also enjoyed reading Bachelor Father as well :-)

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Jean. I love your family's low-key reaction to your big news. :)

  5. Thanks for sharing your writing story.

  6. Yees, a walk down memory lane is lovely but I was wondering who was telling the story till the end!