Thank you for joining me on What to Read Wednesday. Today I’m lucky enough to have 2 authors to share with you. So please don’t forget to check out the other author Laura Layne whose guest post will go up later this morning. BUT for now please help me welcome author Lena Diaz. She’s telling us her call story about becoming published. No matter how many call stories I hear from various authors I always love them. I hope you enjoy her post and the blurb for her latest book TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP.
AND, don’t forget to check out Avon Romance and Lena’s wonderful giveaway at the end of the post 🙂
Take it away Lena…
A Call Story, or Two
Thank you for hosting me today. It gives me the opportunity to answer a frequent question that readers and aspiring writers often ask me–how did you get published?
I began writing with the goal of becoming published in mid-2005. I joined RWA–Romance Writers of America–and began a long journey of workshops, conferences, and networking to learn my craft and learn the business of how to become a romance novelist.
Five years later, in 2010, I was fortunate enough to become a Golden Heart Finalist®. In the world of romance novel writing, that’s like the Academy Awards for unpublished authors, an annual contest sponsored by RWA. It was like living a dream, and I hoped it would be the springboard that I needed to finally get the attention of that elusive key to getting published with most traditional New York publishing houses–a literary agent.
Putting Golden Heart Finalist on my query letters was magic. I signed with a literary agent and it wasn’t long after that when I was sitting with some writer friends and received, not a call, but an email, from my agent. So I guess this is an email story instead of a call story. 🙂
The email told me that an editor at Avon Impulse, a digital-first line within HarperCollins, was interested in my manuscript, He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not, but only if I agreed to make some revisions. My response? Even though the story was a contemporary romantic suspense I would put aliens from Mars in it if that’s what the editor wanted me to do. In other words, YES!
Not long after that, I really did get “the call”. My agent had a second manuscript of mine on submission for months to Harlequin for their Intrigue line of romantic suspense. I’d pretty much given up on it selling since we hadn’t heard anything. So when my agent called me to chat, as she often did to strategize about my career, I didn’t expect to hear any news. She started the call in a kind of snarky, irritated voice saying, “Let me tell you what I think about Allison Lyons at Harlequin.” My heart sank a little bit and I sighed. I knew this was going to be a rejection. I sat down and said, in a resigned voice, “Okay, what do you think about Allison Lyons?” My agent then practically screamed in my ear, “I think she’s going to be your next editor!!
SQUEE! Can I just say, getting that kind of news on the phone in a real call is so much more fun than an email? I was crying and running around the house and so happy. It’s just a wonderful feeling, like you’ve been working for something so hard and for so long and you’re certain it will never happen, and then it does. It’s just amazing.
I’m very blessed to be writing for two publishers now, although it’s definitely a challenge making deadlines for both of them. But no matter what happens in my career going forward, I’ll always have the memories of my “email” and my “call” when I sold to both of them. It’s something I’ll cherish forever.
So, now you know my call stories. Is there a special moment in your life that you’d like to share? A call story or something totally unrelated to writing? I’d love to hear it!
Lena Diaz returns with another sexy, thrilling Deadly Games novel and the darkest question of all: What do you do when your freedom could cost you your life?
Detective Emily O’Malley just stumbled upon a killer’s lair—and the remains of a woman he kept locked away for years. But this killer isn’t done yet. More women are missing, and all clues point to Devlin Buchanan—the man who seems to know just a little too much. Emily’s instincts are rarely wrong, and now they’re telling her this sexy, mysterious man is hiding something big …
As a trained assassin for EXIT Inc—a top-secret mercenary group posing as an international tour company—Devlin “Devil” Buchanan isn’t afraid to take justice into his own hands. But when the hot new detective on his trail gets too close to the organization and a contract is placed on her life, Devlin does the only thing he can: he turns rogue agent and kidnaps her to save her life.
With EXIT Inc closing in and passions running hot between them, Emily and Devlin must work together to find the missing women and clear both their names before time runs out … and the key to freedom is thrown away.
Originally from Kentucky, romantic suspense author Lena Diaz also lived in California and Louisiana before settling in Northeast Florida with her husband, two children, and a Shetland Sheepdog named Sparky. A Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finalist, she’s won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense and has been a finalist for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. She loves to watch action movies, garden, and hike in the beautiful Tennessee Smoky Mountains.
*Avon is hosting a Tour Giveaway for Two Digital Copies of TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP.*