As we go into summer I am still amazed where I find myself today for my writing career. Around this time I started querying the publishers I am now published with. Never imagining it would open such opportunities for me.
I will always be grateful to my editor at Cerridwen Press/Ellora's Cave for seeing something in my two duke books she felt warranted not only further consideration but contracts. I know once we went through edits there were some kinks in the road, but I got through them and have already received my first royalty check for Duke's Project. Duke Pretender comes out later this month. And because Helen, my editor, was willing to take a chance with me I have several other books contracted there.
I am also grateful to my editor, Pam, at Wild Rose Press. She saw something in A Man Not Her Own and she suggested some changes before she would consider it. I made those changes and she offered a contract. That book is coming out on August 1, 2008. I know Wild Rose Press is still growing and not likely to make the sales offered by CP/EC but I am glad the story of Nicholas and Marion will get published. Nicholas is my true alpha hero.
Of course, that brings me to the gratitude I feel toward my friend and critique partner. During our time with a critique group we both talked about writing erotic romances. The work she had reviewed by the group tended toward that anyway. I didn't really think I could do it to be honest. I'd struggled with love making scenes in my past works. I don't remember what specifically convinced me to try other than I know it came from her. I first started an interracial romance because that is what I had been reading myself, but then as the erotic romance world expanded and they began to include more and more gay romances I became intrigued by the notion of writing them. I had always been turned on by the idea myself (as any of my close-nit circle can attest) and was surprised that there were others out there who also felt as I did, including my critique partner. She started it. The idea that I could do it. Pointing me toward a contest given by a publisher called Amber Quill where they looked for writers to add to their roster once a year. She was going to write a gay Regency romance. I thought at first of writing a medieval one, but asked if they were interested in that time period as they had none on their website. I was told yes, they would be, they just never had any submitted. In spite of that, I wrote a gay Regency romance. Then when I realized I had time before the deadline to write something else, I wrote my gay medieval romance, The Squire. The rest is history as they say. Or my history anyway, LOL. The Squire won in the contest and comes out in two weeks.
Thanks to my critique partner I haven't stopped since. The Regency gay romance just went through edits at Ellora's Cave where it is contracted. I have two other gay romances contracted there and an interracial erotic romance, too. I'm working on another one for them that I hope to have completed by late summer so I can submit it to my editor in the fall. And of course, I am now committed to writing three new erotic romances for Amber Quill. Completely unexpected.
But I am not the only one who has found success. Two of my close writing friends found agents during this period and both have been sold to major publishers. One is my former critique partner, Kris Kennedy, who is still a close friend even though our writing has moved into different directions. The other is that same encouraging critique partner mentioned above who has sold to Berkeley Sensation as Georgiana Earl. They are each incredibly deserving and I hope it is the beginning of richly rewarding careers. Both books will come out in 2009 and I will be first in line for them.