A week ago my life changed.
Last Wednesday more than 2000 authors and industry professionals gathered in Atlanta GA for the National Romance Writers of American conference. It had been several years since I'd attended a national conference so I was a bit anxious about my attendance. My angst was compounded by the fact that a week before the conference I received an email from an editor to whom I'd submitted a revised, complete manuscript, asking me if I'd have time in my schedule to meet her for coffee. Needless to say, I made sure I had the time!
One appointment I looked forward to was having dinner with a dear friend. I'm blessed to say this is the kind of friend that, while there are times when life sometimes keeps us from keeping in contact as frequently as we'd like, once we talk or see one another, we pick up right where we left off.
So, after a delightful dinner off-site, we returned to the hotel and made our way to the lobby bar, where, let's be honest, is where everyone congregates. There I re-connected with a couple of people, including one of the Publishers/Acquiring Editors of BelleBooks. Following a little more conversation she invited me to submit a manuscript that was rejected by Senior Acquisitions at another Publishing House.
My original intention was to forward the manuscript the week following the conference. However, the next afternoon I found myself with a window of time and I decided why wait? So, in for what was for me, a gigantic leap of faith, I forwarded the manuscript.
Boy am I glad I did!
On Friday evening -- yes, a little more than 24 hours after submitting the manuscript! -- BelleBooks made an offer for the sale of my very first book! Courting The Coach is scheduled to be released December 2014.
Needless to say, this development was unexpected, long-hoped for and dreamt of, and all the more exciting because it took place at the conference so I was able to share the news with so many of my writing friends and collegues.
Frankly, a month before the conference I was ready to toss in the towel. I had been working toward this dream for so long that I had begun to despair that it would remain that - a dream and little more. I can admit there were times in the past when perhaps I didn't give the writing my entire focus and dedication. But I always came back and continued to try.
I have no idea why or even how I continued to pursue this dream of a writing career. Just as I know one contract does not a career make. But I have every intention of continuing to write and publish books now as I did before this amazing development.
There are so many people to thank for believing in me and supporting my dream with their words of encouragement and faith. First and foremost is The Craftsman and our children. They have always been my best and biggest cheerleaders. Other family members and friends have supported my endeavor, so many that it would take an entire blog to list them all. For right now, I hope that all of you know how much I appreciate everything you've done to assist, mentor, believe and encourage me in so many way.
Last but not least, I have to thank my critique partner, Christine Glover. It's a little ironic that the first book I'm having published is Courting The Coach. You are without a doubt, the biggest blessing in my writing career and could neither imagine nor want to continue on this endeavor without you.
I'll keep you posted with all developments as we all continue on this new direction in the publishing world.