A few days ago on Twitter, Harlequin Books asked if we could remember our first contemporary romance. This was mine. And it wasn’t this actual book–though the story behind this one is kind of romantic.
I finished writing my first romance when my daughter was a toddler. We were snowed in most of a winter in northern Idaho–living in my parent’s basement. I know, it sounds crazy, right? But my husband and I had left a home in Virginia and it took a long time for that place to sell, so we couldn’t afford a place of our own. Being snowed in with the parents and a toddler who was completely obsessed with Disney’s Beauty and The Beast movie forced me to find my own fun. Books were pretty much my world outside of family. I read all the time. And that winter, I wrote my first book.
Oh, it was bad.
It was this wordy conglomeration of every over-dramatic book I’d ever read. The melodrama!!! I still shudder when I think of it.
But I made a copy and mailed it to Harlequin because it was my dream to publish with them. I ended up getting a two page, single-spaced rejection letter that was really wonderful. I didn’t realize that it WAS actually a wonderful thing until years later when I was trying a lot harder to publish with them and saw er, a few form letters.
But back to that first book. I have a point. Promise. Like I said, I was always reading and one time I told my husband that I wished I hadn’t lost the very first romance I’d read. I told him the name and author and didn’t think anything of it.
Years later, we were living in yet another state and my husband was working a remodeling job. I’m not sure how the conversation came up, but the homeowner told my husband that his wife had boxes of romances in the attic and my husband was welcome to look through them.
He brought home this book.
Years after I told him I wished I had it, my husband went through boxes of paperbacks in someone’s hot attic to find it for me. That’s pretty romantic-don’t you think?
So, I still have it. And the husband.
And now I have published with Harlequin myself. You should have seen my husband’s face when I got that call and turned to him to say, “FINALLY! I’m a Harlequin author!” There was whooping. And dancing. Maybe we should frame this book. 😉
The books I have out with Harlequin Teen.