Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My first romance novel comes together!

After days spent getting to intimately know the characters in my first contemporary romance novel, SECOND HARVEST, I was finally ready to start writing in earnest.

I'd like to say that at that point the book poured out of me, but it required some practice before I could easily place myself in my hero's and heroine's heads, so that they would react and behave "in character." As harvest time in the story approached, I had to once again refer back to the books I'd found on New Zealand vineyards and wine production. Fortunately, I found the process to be totally fascinating. And as I wrote I was delighted to discover that the vineyard a magical setting for a romance, albeit a reluctant one, and even I cheered as the two former enemies began to fall in love.

I made my deadline with a couple of weeks to spare, printed out my "baby", and lovingly sent it on its way to New York. Then began yet another wait (if you have hopes of becoming a novelist, be sure to develop a generous measure of patience!) Days, then weeks, passed without a word back from my publisher. Naturally my imagination went wild: Did they like it? Did they hate it? Was everyone in my editor's office taking turns tearing it to pieces? Were they so disgusted with my manuscript that I was going to get a call demanding that I return my advance? What the @#%&*! was going on?!

I'd become convinced that a special corner of hell must be reserved for agents and editors who kept writers waiting half a lifetime before letting them know if their "baby" was going to live or die, when the phone finally rang. It was my editor's assistant, informing me in a sweet voice that SECOND HARVEST was absolutely wonderful and had been scheduled for publication the following September. In fact, she informed me, they were already talking to my agent about signing me to a contract to write the second of my three book proposals -- the one set in Japan.

In that one deliriously happy moment, all my anger and resentment toward my publishers disappeared. There was a song in my heart and once again all was right with the world!

(Next: My second romance, FLOWER OF THE ORIENT, is born!)


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