Welcome to our first ‘Call Story’ of 2015, from the wonderful Katie Meyer! After finalizing in SYTYCW 2014 with her submission Paradise Found, she’s now been offered a three-book deal for Special Edition – look out for her debut book in October 2015.
Enjoy her story about her path to publication, and follow Katie (@ktgrok) to congratulate her on Twitter!
My story starts over a decade ago, when I first decided I was going to write a novel. I bought a copy of Romance Writing for Dummies, turned my closet into a writing space, and started typing. But, like many beginning writers, I fizzled out after a few chapters. I always planned to go back to it someday, but someday got further and further away. Months turned into years, then, in the process of moving house and getting divorced, my hard drive was destroyed. My book was gone.
Ten years and two children later, my husband, seeing me glued to my kindle yet again, said, “You know, you ought to just write your own book.”
I laughed in his face. What did I know about writing? Sure, I’d started a novel before, but I had never finished one. His response?
“You’ll finish this one.”
How do you argue with that?
So, with his support, and the encouragement of some friends, I did it. I sat down and wrote out the first scene.
Then I panicked, and deleted most of it.
I’m pretty sure I did that more than once, actually. But before long, I was typing more than I was deleting. And, more importantly, I was learning. I reached out to some friends that were writers, and then I found the Harlequin Community forums. Here was a place full of women like me. People that treasured the idea of happily ever after, and were working together to accomplish their dreams.
The first time I tried writing, I’d written alone in my room. This time was different; I had new friends all around the world, supporting, encouraging, and teaching me. I had online workshops, and blog posts. And then, I had So You Think You Can Write, the contest that changed my life.
The SYTYCW contest gave me a reason to finish. A reason to push through the bad days—and there were plenty of bad days—and make it all the way to “The End”. The contest also introduced me to new friends, remarkable women that I count on for ideas, critiques, and moral support.
Once the contest ended, it was tempting to push my writing aside, but those same women reminded me to keep going, to “write the next book”. Which turned out to be really good advice, because when the call finally came, it was for a three book deal!
Now I’m learning what it’s like to be a Harlequin author, and it’s better than I ever could have imagined. Special Edition Senior Editor Gail Chasan is so incredibly nice and personable—she’s really made me feel welcome. And Carly Silver, also with Special Edition, is holding my hand and walking me through the publication process one step at a time. With them, and the wonderful SYTYCW community at my back, I’m sure to succeed.