Since so many of you asked for the call story, here it is =)
I would start at the beginning but I can’t actually remember where I got the idea for Scandal’s Mistress. I only knew that I had a great idea on my hands and if I wrote it well, it would be the book to launch my career. In hindsight I was right, but along the way-when I was sweating over the small stuff-I never thought it would ever see the light of someone’s ereader!
Back on the 22nd of April I sent the full manuscript for Scandal’s Mistress to Angela James at Carina Press after submitting via an eHarlequin Write Stuff pitching contest. My pitch wasn’t chosen but I was invited to submit anyway and that’s what I did. And then I waited. And waited. And chewed my fingernails down and waited some more.
Then at the end of July, being as impatient as I am and with the conference looming and Angela James coming to the conference, I sent a follow up email and asked how it was going. I know you’re not supposed to but I so wanted to talk to Angela about it if they liked it (not sure what I would have done if they hated it, lol). And then a few days after that, I got an email from an editor saying that she loved it but the pacing was off and there were a few bits and pieces that needed improvement. It wasn’t a rejection, it was a revise and resubmit. I squealed like an idiot. Lucky for me I had the awesome Evangeline read over it and her list of suggestions were almost identical to the editor’s so most of the changes had already been made. Still, I didn’t get the R&R back to them until October.
Then it was back to waiting. Don’t worry, I didn’t sit on my hands during this time, I’ve been editing and writing away on the next book. In December, I got impatient again and sent the editor an email. Kind of a how are you going, did you love the changes or hate them. Then she sent me one back saying she loved the changes and had sent the book to the acquisitions team with a recommendation to accept. More squealing followed but I still wasn’t home by any stretch of the imagination.
A silly little piece of information about me? I check my emails on my phone every morning when I wake up. OCD? Wishful thinking? All of the above? Anyway, on the 21st of December, I rolled over in the morning and opened Yahoo mobile and there was an email from Angela James. When I read them on my phone, the subject of the email comes up along with the first few words reading “I’m sorry I was unable...” A few days before this there was a Twitter thread going about whether you would want bad news before Christmas or wait till after. I said I would rather know ASAP than dwell on it over the festive season but then I move on reasonably quickly after a rejection.
So with my heart in my throat, expecting the “I’m sorry I was unable to sell this to acquisitions, better luck next time” speech, I nearly squealed right out of bed when it started with “I'm sorry I was unable to make this offer via phone, but I am happy to say that Carina Press would like to an extend an offer to publish SCANDAL’S MISTRESS.” (don’t ever be sorry you didn’t call me at 4am) First person I called? My man, Doug. I was all like “guess what just happened to me?” and since it was before 7am, I think he expected it to be something bad.
I then had to keep a lid on it until I had formally accepted, and then told my family (including Kelly and Lex), and then my writing family, South Australian Romance Authors, before squeeeeing it from Facebook and any other platform that would listen. I have say huge thank you’s to everyone who helped me along the way with this story but mostly to Lex, Kelly, Amy and Zee for reading and praising and suggesting and to Evangeline for reading it like an editor and telling it to me straight! And the biggest thanks (after Doug and the kids for sticking with me) is to Lynne, who will be my editor. Thanks so much for believing in me and my story. I know it’s going to be a tough road ahead but I’m ready!
So later in the year my first historical, Scandal’s Mistress, will come out with Carina Press and be available as a digital book. I know I still have so much to learn and I couldn’t be happier that it will be with Carina, with my editor who I’m already half in love with and the other awesome Aussie Carina authors. Stay tuned for more details but in the mean time, I’ll leave you with the pitch...
Love. It’s the cruelest mistress of all. When you have it, it hurts. When you lose it, it nearly kills you. But what if he doesn’t believe in it and she doesn’t want it…
Italian opera singer, Carmalina Belluccini, has been alone with her bad luck and morbid thoughts for too long. When a man who is no angel offers her an affare, dignity and desire start to battle within her. She is no courtesan and certainly not mistress material, only, when her beautiful voice fails she finds herself in a position too difficult to refuse Justin Trentham’s protection. But what is he hiding and why is he so desperate to create the scandal of the season?