A pink graphic with 3 author photos over text which reads

On the Journey to Publishing with Harlequin Authors

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!

Elizabeth Hrib:

“The first step was actually finishing a book. It seems like the most basic of all the steps, but actually writing THE END on a project and meaning it was a lot harder than I’d expected. My story ideas were endless, as were the university lectures I was supposed to be keeping up with, so I started and stopped projects constantly. In my final year of university, I completed a project that I was proud of. It was a young adult, paranormal story, now titled The Dark In-Between. As I was trying to figure out my next move for the manuscript, I came across a publisher online that seemed like a good fit for what I had written. I submitted my manuscript to them and promptly forgot about it as I went through a cross-country move and started my nursing career.

Then one day, months later, I received an email from the publisher that said they wanted to talk about my book. They offered me a publishing deal, and I was so excited I almost threw my laptop across the room. Two years and one pandemic later, I was standing in a bookstore in Halifax, thinking about how surreal it was to see my name on the shelf along with all the other authors. And no matter how many bookstores I visit, or how many times I spot my book in a library, that feeling never gets old.”

Read Elizabeth’s original I Got the Call story, and make sure to check out her Harlequin debut, Lightning Strikes Twice.

Jennifer Wilck:

“I’ve always tried to keep the big picture in mind, setting goals and then re-setting them each step of the way. At first, it was writing and finishing stories. Then it was being brave enough to submit them to contests and critique partners, who have provided invaluable advice.

Next, it was getting published with small presses and learning how to market myself and my books. I needed to figure out what I wanted out of my writing career and the best method of getting there.

The next big step was finding my agent, who is fantastic. She believes in my writing and is one of the most supportive people I know.

And then, of course, the latest and biggest step in my journey, has been Harlequin! I’m so excited about working with Gail Chasan and the entire team.”

Read Jennifers’s original I Got the Call story, and make sure to check out Jennifer’s Harlequin Debut, Home for the Challah Days.

Lucy Morris:

“It sounds strange but after having my youngest I felt as if I’d lost a part of myself, and writing was a wonderful way of doing something just ‘for me.’ I’d always loved writing stories, but I was always afraid my poor grammar and spelling would hold me back. However, after having my kids I realised that I could achieve far more than I thought I could, and what was there to lose? 

I took it seriously, writing whenever I could and viewing it as a career change. I joined Twitter, tried to start a blog (FYI I’m not very good at blogs), found critique partners and fellow writers. I also joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association which was honestly the best money I have ever spent in my entire life, and I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone by joining a local romance writing group. A member of the group (Virginia Heath) writes for Harlequin Historical, and after I finished fan-girling she helped boost my confidence further by telling me to ‘submit it’ when I was still dithering about whether it was ‘ready’ yet.  

This is the third novel I’ve ever written and my first historical. I was previously nervous about writing a historical as I don’t have an academic background in history. But I realized while researching that I actually knew far more than I thought I did. I’ve read historical romance since I was 13 and read my mum’s books, so that’s a significant amount of time being immersed in history. Funnily enough, the first friend who read this book criticized it for having too much history, and they were right. You really have to focus on the story and characters; the history is just a beautiful and exciting backdrop.”

Read Lucy’s original I Got the Call story, and make sure to check out her most recent release, The Viking She Loves to Hate.

For more from our Harlequin authors, catch up on all our I Got the Call stories.