I am so excited to host Louisa George today. She was recently signed up as an Author with Mills and Boon and is here to tell us about her writing journey and her debut book. So, I hand you over to her.
My Publishing Journey
(And why no opportunity should be wasted)
Hello! Thank you so much for inviting me here today.
I wish I could tell you my journey to publication was smooth and easy, that my first ever manuscript was snapped up in a three-way bidding war that reached six figure sums. That I now sit on a sunlit verandah overlooking golden sands with a waiter serving me cocktails while I dictate to a half-naked sun-kissed Adonis. Alas, reality is a downer coated with hard work and persistence. That’s why we write fiction, right?
Rewind to three rejected partials and a couple of years, to August 2010. I’d been submitting to contests and editors for about three years. The contests had brought some good success, the editors had all sent standard rejection letters. Mills and Boon held a Medical Fast Track guaranteeing feedback on a medical romance manuscript of any length. I entered four chapters. Within days an editor rejected them. She loved my voice but didn’t like the story. Could I send her anything else? Gulp! I didn’t have anything that hadn’t been rejected.
While I began plotting a new story I quickly scribbled a first chapter and entered the New Voices contest in September 2010. I didn’t final. I didn’t get into the top 40 list of possibles. I thought my writing must really suck. But in the back of my head I had that editor’s words. Send me something else.
I emailed her and asked if I could send her my New Voices chapter, heavily revised in light of reader comments. She said yes. She liked it. Could I send more? I wrote more. She liked it, but it was too dark. Could I revise the first three chapters and then send her the full?
It was Christmas, then our summer holidays (I live in New Zealand, things are upside down here), I wrote in between camping and providing taxi service to my sons and sent her the full. She liked it, but it was still too dark (take the heroine’s scars out). She sent four pages of revisions, single-spaced in tiny font. I interpreted her words as best I could, completed the changes, sent them back. She sent more revisions, then more, then tweaks. Then once her senior editor had read the story, more revisions (the heroine needs scars, could I put some in?). Then finally –finally- in July 2011 I got The Call!!!!! They wanted to buy my book plus contract me for another! Since then I’ve been given a further three book contract. It’s like a dream, a big wonderful scary dream and I keep pinching myself.
I feel I was so lucky to have attracted that editor’s attention, but you know- I just took all the opportunities presented to me. I submitted to contests and tweaked my story to feedback. I grasped any contact with an editor I got. Most of all I wrote. I wrote every day. I analysed the genre. I read books from new authors. I attended courses and conferences. I wrote. When I didn’t have time I made time. I wrote and I wrote. I believed in the dream.
And from this side of the publishing fence I can honestly say the hard work was worth every second. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Sure, having a first manuscript accepted would be wonderful, but in those hours of rewriting and analyzing and living my hero and heroine’s journey I learnt so much about craft and story, about myself and my determination.
The hard work doesn’t stop on this side of the fence, I’m learning so much more about the publishing business, about writing to deadline (eek!). And I’m still waiting for that sun-kissed Adonis…
Louisa’s Debut Book
One Month To Become A Mum
Some things in life are worth waiting for…
Jessie Price has lost her only chance at motherhood – it’s a constant hurt, until she meets sinfully sexy single dad Dr Luke McKenzie and his gorgeous little girl. Luke’s intoxicating kisses and his daughter’s adoring hugs have Jessie longing for the impossible. But she’s a temporary locum, the clock’s ticking – and there’s only a month to make all her wishes come true…
About Louisa George
I was born and brought up inYorkshire,England. And yes, many hours were spent on the brooding, bleak Yorkshire Moors dreaming of Heathcliff and other dark, tortured heroes! I read avidly from a young age, and it seemed a natural extension that I would pen my own stories and poems (the early ones are locked away in a drawer where they should stay for eternity!).
Then followed years of studying, nurse training and marriage, two kids and well…. life took over and writing was put aside as a lofty dream.
We emigrated to Auckland, New Zealand in 2002, to feed our passion for travel. It was a place we had never visited and knew no-one – what a thrill! We soon felt very much at home. It is a wonderful place to bring up children…. and to follow your dreams.
Strange things happen here. While doing chores I began to get strings of poetry writing itself in my head, then story ideas would suddenly formulate out of nowhere, characters were telling me their stories and demanding I wrote them! I decided I either needed to visit a doctor or get some therapy! In the end I did neither, but instead I enrolled in an evening class in Creative Writing and have been writing poetry and stories in snatched moments of spare time ever since.