Today, we are digging into the I Got the Call archives to hear about the journey to publication. We asked some of our authors what the big steps were on their paths to becoming a published author. Read their stories below!
“I think like many writers, I was a reader first and romance, particularly historical romance, was my favorite genre. When I was sixteen my cousin and sister lent me all the books from their libraries. I read them all over Christmas break! There were lots of Harlequins in there, plus all the big names from the 80s and 90s. When I got back to school, I started trading/lending romance books with my friends (which we all hid in our bags since it was a strict all-girls school).
After leaving my PR job, I started doing freelance writing, mostly corporate and small business stuff, though I did jot down ideas for romance novels in various notebooks. I also took jobs as a romance ghostwriter, plus dabbled in fanfiction. However back in 2016, I met a group of friends on Facebook and we all bonded over our love of romance books. A lot of them were authors too, and I even went on to support them in various book signing events.
However, the biggest step that pushed me to write my first historical romance with the intent of being published was the Romance Includes You event back on December 3, 2020 (the date is important!). I had seen it by chance on Twitter or Facebook, I think. I didn’t know if I should do it, and I asked a good friend, who encouraged me to join. About 4 hours before the event, I crafted my pitch, agonized over it, and then just posted it at around 8 pm my time. I couldn’t sleep and logged in at 3 am and sure enough – I got a request for a partial!”
“Finding community. Joining writing organizations like the Georgia Romance Writers, The ACFW organization, and the FHLCW (Faith, Hope, and Love Christian Writers) have not only introduced me to like-minded people, but also were instrumental in learning the craft of writing and cheering me on during the time of finding my place in the publishing world. Also, an amazing critique group not only strengthened my writing, but gave me life-long friends!”
“Well, first I realized that I could actually finish a book—what a surprise! That happened in 2014, and though it took a while, and several completed manuscripts that will never see the light of day, I slowly and steadily noticed an improvement in my writing. So, by the time I noticed the Harlequin Romance Blitz in early 2018, I knew that I had to participate.
I didn’t stop learning the writing craft along the way. Through a few R&Rs with my editor, and extra help from my awesome critique partners, I discovered that most the magic in writing truly does happen during revisions and not the first draft stage.
Also, read, read, read. I knew I wanted to write for Harlequin after reading their romances and knowing that it was where I had to be.”
For more from our Harlequin authors, catch up on all our I Got the Call stories.