So… A few months ago a good friend of mine (Ally Carter) said, “Maggie, I think you should write a category romance.”
“A what?” I replied.
“A category romance,” said Ally. “You know from Harlequin.” And although I often read romance because I am all about the love and the Happily Ever After, I am embarassed to say I hadn’t read a category romance in years. But because Ally is a little bit psychic (don’t tell her I told you..actually she probably already knows) and because she’s sold a BILLION books I decided I’d listen to my dear writer friend. I got on line and ordered a couple of these little treats.
Oh. My. Goodness.
They are like mini-milky way chocolate bars! Fast, addictive and sweet! The books are four dollars, I can read them in a few hours, and they are REALLY GOOD! Before I knew it I had consumed a whole bag…wait…that was the chocolate…I had read a whole dozen.
Then, because I am a writer…I started thinking about characters. Two characters. Then I started surfing and I found a contest! Not just any contest but a big contest…at Harlequin. I was in the midst of my 5th rewrite (which felt like my 20th rewrite) on my contemporary romance and I wanted the freedom the joy of writing new characters. So I did. I sat down and let these two fabulous characters spring to life. Wrote a one page synopsis and shipped it off to the UK with barely a moment to spare.
Flash forward four weeks. And I get a phone call. A phone call with a 44 prefix. Now I have friends in London but usually they don’t call at 8:15 am…. This phone call was the lovely Joanne Grant! Telling me that although I wasn’t the bride, I got to be a bridesmaid in a flashy little dress. I was a runner up!! Out of 544 amazing entries! Wow! Talk about thrilled, excited, astounded! What fun to dash off this lovely little chapter (that practically wrote itself) and then become a finalist! I get the honor of a critique by Bryony Green, an amazing editor. And every writer loves working with amazing editors!
I am humbled. And honored. And thrilled. Thank you Joanne. Thank you Bryony. Thank you Harlequin. And thank you to my good friend, the psychic, Ally.