Emmy Grayson submitted her story to Presents through Submittable, and that’s where London-based Presents editor Charlotte Ellis discovered her contemporary voice filled with passion and emotion. Her two-book deal will bring her first published books to Harlequin readers. Congratulations, Emmy!
Harlequin: Tell us a little about yourself. Our readers want to know!
Emmy Grayson: I’m a PR pro by day and romance writer by night. I married my ex-husband last year (second time’s the charm!). We just welcomed a baby boy this past spring and live in the Midwest countryside with our four pets.
H: Why did you want to become a romance writer?
EG: I’ve loved reading ever since I can remember. I devoured every Nancy Drew book I could get my hands on, but my favorites were the ones with Nancy and her boyfriend, Ned Nickerson. After I started sneaking more romance books, like A Rose in Winter by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, I realized I wanted to write the same stories I loved reading.
H: What were the major steps in your journey to becoming a published author? Was this story the first manuscript you submitted?
EG: The best step I ever took was joining a critique group. My critique partners helped me grow as an author. They wouldn’t let me give up, including the days, weeks and sometimes months where I felt like I wasn’t writing anything worth reading. The second major step was following publishers I loved on Twitter, which is how I found out about the Harlequin Presents writing contest last summer! I’ve submitted manuscripts, and been rejected multiple times, over the years. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of persistence to keep going, but it’s worth it!
H: What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
EG: Never give up! My first rejection letter was from Harlequin thirteen years ago. I’ve submitted to magazines, book publishers and contests over the years and received plenty more rejection letters. It was hard, but I used that time to write, connect with other writers and improve. Every rejection was worth it to get The Call!
H: What did you do when you got the call?
EG: Waffled between staring in shock at my computer screen and saying “Oh my goodness.” It didn’t set in until a few minutes after I got off video conference with Charlotte when I started dancing around the kitchen singing “I’m getting published.” My husband and I celebrated with a brunch, a lovely walk with our son around our local botanical garden and a glass of wine!
Now let’s hear from the editor, Charlotte Ellis!
“Emmy came to the Presents Team’s attention during the 2019 Presents Pitch, and we were immediately captivated by her strong, empathetic heroine, her powerful, brooding Spanish hero, and the warmth and intensity she writes with. And loved the glamorous vineyard setting! We requested three chapters, then the full manuscript…and the rest is history!”Charlotte Ellis, Harlequin Presents Editor
All the best, Emmy! And stay tuned, readers, for more great I Got the Call stories from our debut authors!