Honestly, I stared at a blank screen for a long time, not sure how to start this post. I wasn’t sure if I should jump in with my excitement and blast you with my good news, if I should just sort of drop the news in a quick post without many words, or if I should write a heartfelt post about all the people in my life who’ve supported me and who’ve helped me and kept me going over the last few years.
And…well, I’m still not sure!
For some reason, none of these feel right…so, I’m just going to share the story.
Toward the end of last year, I finished with all of my edits on What the Heart Wants. On the suggestion of my dear friend, Lisa Regan, I decided to try submitting the manuscript to publishers. Lisa is a huge fan of What the Heart Wants, and because of her excitement and encouragement, I thought, just maybe, someone else will like it too. I started with my top three choices in publishing. The first sent an immediate rejection. Seriously, I don’t even think they read the first page. The second sent a rejection with a very encouraging note about how much they liked my writing but didn’t think the romance came together well enough. The third sent a rejection along with a kind note telling me they enjoyed my writing but couldn’t publish What the Heart Wants.
Now, back to that second rejection. The note was so encouraging; I decided to ask for some advice on how to improve the story. With a reply to my questions, I was asked to submit something else. What the Heart Wants was my only finished, unpublished manuscript, so I had no choice but to submit Dangerous Embrace.
Nearly six weeks later (April 2018), I received an email from a different editor with the same publisher. It was a rejection letter for Dangerous Embrace, but it was the nicest rejection letter I’ve ever received. She loved Dangerous Embrace! Unfortunately…or maybe it’s fortunate, she was looking to grow her list with contemporary romance, not romantic suspense. After the exchange of several emails, I submitted 30,000 words of my very first contemporary romance and a proposal for a series.
Bookouture sent me an offer in August.
We signed a contract for a three-book series in September.
And…alas…Accidental Groom and the Accidental Love series was born.
Was it hard to whip out a contemporary romance when my brain seemed hard-wired for romantic suspense? Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard. I already had the characters in my head, and I had the first scene thought-out before I submitted my ideas to Bookouture. These particular characters and a version of this story came to me a few years ago. I wrote the idea down to look at much later, but it continued to linger in my writer’s brain for a long time.
Now, on to the best part of this story.
I’m absolutely over the moon to work with Bookouture. Remember, they were one of my top three picks for publishers. Am I sad about those other rejections? Hell no! I’m thrilled. Bookouture editors showed an interest in ME! They turned down what I thought was my best work, but they still wanted me and my writing. Publishers don’t do that.
Yes, I’m VERY excited!
But mostly, I’m thrilled to work with such a fantastic and author-friendly team.
Yes, you better believe I’m willing to try writing contemporary romance when they ask.
On that note, watch for Accidental Groom in April 2019 from
Dana Mason and Bookouture!