Isn’t THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE the perfect debut for an author named Jennifer Snow? But don’t worry–her next book is What A Girl Wants–no Christmas required! Jennifer sold her first book to Harlequin Heartwarming just this March, so it’s wonderful to see her first book out in the same year!
Growing up, I was very fortunate to be raised in a family where my brother and I were never told we couldn’t do something. From a very young age, my parents instilled in us that we could accomplish anything we set our mind and our heart to, therefore at sixteen, I decided I was going to be an author.
I had always written short stories and poetry, so in high school I decided to try to write a novel and I did. It was a lovely sweet teenage romance and I thought it was the best piece of fiction ever written, so naturally, I submitted it to Harlequin Romance. But not only did I submit my novel, without a clue how to do so…I also pitched them a new series line. When I think back on it now, I marvel over my lack of fear and possibly common sense, but either way—off it went.
I remember getting the rejection letter because it was summertime and I was sitting on my front step with a few friends when the mail courier arrived with the envelope. I was so excited I couldn’t breathe and when my friends asked what it was, I remember saying, “Harlequin wants to publish my book!” I was so naïve back then. 🙂 What was actually inside though was almost as good. The letter was a rejection, but a very positive, helpful one that said my writing showed promise, but they didn’t currently have a Y.A. line and in order to write for the adult lines, I would need more life experience. It went on to provide some helpful writing resources, and they encouraged a future submission.
Flash forward a couple of years—okay sixteen years— and here I am: loving my new home at Heartwarming. My latest submission to Senior Editor Victoria Curran happened through my agent at FinePrint Literary—Stephany Evans—in February 2013. Within just a few weeks, I got “the call.” Of course I missed it, and the call I’d been waiting sixteen years for went to my voicemail! However, later I appreciated this because it meant I got to play it over and over and let everyone I know listen to it (several times) and even play it for the lady at the bank. Then a few days later, I was fortunate enough to talk to Victoria and we discussed my submission, The Trouble with Mistletoe.
In March, I received my revisions and we worked through those fairly painlessly. I had gone through revisions prior to submitting it and Stephany and I had purposely targeted the Heartwarming line, so we kept the language clean and the story sweet, avoiding a lot of revision notes at that stage. The notes I did get from Victoria were amazing and really helped to strengthen the manuscript. After working with several smaller presses, I knew how the editing process worked, but I hadn’t expected such care and attention that I received from the very busy Senior Editor.
The thing [about getting a contract with a big publisher] that surprised me the most would definitely be the attention given to the authors. Whenever I email Victoria, a response is always quick, and helpful. Her notes are detailed and clear and she will walk me through processes that are new to me. The working relationship I cherish with her definitely makes the various rounds of editing easier.
Because the revisions weren’t extensive, we were essentially finished The Trouble with Mistletoe by July/August and then came the delight of seeing the beautiful, festive cover. Everyone agrees that the Heartwarming covers are some of Harlequin’s best and mine certainly didn’t disappoint. And the new design for 2014 looks wonderful!
My first year as a Harlequin author has been nothing short of amazing—far beyond what my sixteen-year-old self could ever have imagined. At the RWA conference in Atlanta this year, I was lucky to meet Victoria and some of the other staff and also some of the other authors. And of course the Harlequin party was the highlight of the conference for me: pink socks for dancing and two dessert bars!! I can’t wait for next year’s conference.
I have also joined the Heartwarming Authors blog and through the daily posts, I have made some wonderful, supportive friends and learned a lot. I am so happy and proud to be a part of this fabulous new line and I couldn’t have asked for a better publishing experience.
Thanks again Victoria Curran and the Harlequin staff!
We’re certainly delighted Jennifer got the life experience and came back to Harlequin! And hmm, a teen line is an interesting idea once more… 🙂 But we do take our commitment to our authors very seriously and it’s a great place to work from this end as well!
Happy reading–and writing!