I have learned a great deal since I made the decision that this writing gig was actually, truly meant to be my career. As much as I have already learned, so I know there is much, much more.
One thing I am in the process of learning is to let go. What do
es that mean, precisely? It means, even though I may love the characters and the plot, that does not mean everyone else will. Especially if I can’t seem to finish the damn book so that I can even offer it up to my publisher for consideration.
One of my publishers has purchased the first book in a new series I’ve titled the Tough Love series. The first book, which is scheduled for release on June 30, is about an FBI agent who has no interest in finding love, but discovers that he doesn’t always get what he wants. Or maybe he does, and just didn’t know he wanted it in the first place.
The book – and the series – starts at a wedding, specifically at the hero’s FBI partner’s wedding. A couple years ago, when I first started writing this series, that wasn’t where it was supposed to start. In fact, it didn’t even start with Jack and Kennedy’s story at all. It started with Cullen and Sabrina’s story – the couple tying the knot in the beginning of Naked Truth. So what happened?
I loved Cullen and Sabrina’s story. I still do. I love the way they interacted, the obvious sexual tension between them, which they both refused to acknowledge. I love Cullen’s personality most of all, the way he pushed Sabrina away and then got pissed off at himself for doing it, and he was such a lousy communicator that Sabrina kept thinking he was angry at her. There is one particular scene in their book, where they are hiding out in a stall in a men’s public restroom and thanks to Sabrina’s stiletto heels, they end up stumbling into one another’s arms and, well…
That scene alone was probably the reason I held onto that book for as long as I did. Even after I wrote Jack and Kennedy’s story, finished it, edited it and edited it again. And again. I still kept insisting Cullen and Sabrina’s story should be the beginning of the series.
Despite that one particular scene, I found myself falling more and more for Jack and Kennedy’s story. Their story had been seamless, had been so easy to write. The words just tumbled onto the pages, the climax had been right, straight from the beginning. The ending was perfect. The hook sucked you in from the first page. It was ready to go.
So why wasn’t I offering it up to publishers? Because Cullen and Sabrina’s story was supposed to be first, and it wasn’t done. Every time I went back to it, I found something that didn’t quite work. The build up, the climax, the bad guys … one thing or another caused issues and I knew it wasn’t ready. So therefore, neither was Jack and Kennedy’s story.
Then, one day back in February, I read a recently published author’s story about how she’d presented the first two books in a new series to her publisher. They’d rejected the first book but wanted to sign the second. She took the deal.
Shortly thereafter, I was perusing Amazon and came across a book that was being marketed as a prequel. There were several books in the series already available, and the very beginning was just coming out, a novella, designed to provide a little backstory to the series.
And then I came across an invitation to a Twitter pitch party. I had already had some success with a blog pitch party and a couple of RWA contests. I had several manuscripts that, in my opinion, were ready to go. I was in the fourth year of my five-year plan to get published. I decided I would participate in the pitch party. I just had to decide which book to pitch.
So I sifted through the various Word documents saved on my computer, read the first few pages of each, determined which grabbed my attention and held it – and which were done, edited, ready to go. Cullen’s story, as much as I loved he and Sabrina, was not ready.
But Jack’s was.
So I pitched it. And Crimson Romance liked it. Offered me a contract. Are releasing it on June 30. The first in the Tough Love series, even though it isn’t, not really. But that’s okay, because once the series is wildly successful, I’ll just go back and dust off Cullen and Sabrina’s story and then I’ll offer it up as a prequel.
And then we’ll all find our happily ever after.
Like this blog post? I bet you’ll like my books. You can purchase them through the buy link above. And if you do, please leave a review on whatever website through which you purchased them. Thank you!