Two and a half years ago, I embarked on two journeys that ended up being a hell of a lot harder to achieve than I initially thought.
The first – getting published – I’ve talked about a lot online.
The second – getting pregnant – I’ve only talked about to a few close friends.
Both have been stressful and heartbreaking in their own way. Both have taught me lessons in patience, perseverance and trust – not that I’m any better at those things than when I first started. If I’d had any doubts about which of these two challenges hurt me more, the day I got both a rejection letter and my period settled the question. I could face an agent’s rejection in a reasonable, professional manner. My body’s rejection, though…I still can’t think of words to describe that disappointment.
I’ve worked my fingers (and other bits – ha!) to the bone (ha! again), and suddenly in the last few months everything has changed.
I’m pregnant. And I’m getting published.
Or, as they would say in Britain: I’m chuffed.
For your sake and mine, I’ll spare you the details of how I got pregnant (open a romance novel – it was just like that, I swear) and focus on the publication deets.
This summer I went to RWA’s national conference in Anaheim. I actually got to go for free because I volunteered the year before and won my conference fee in a giveaway (thanks, RWA! You rock!).
At the conference I pitched one of my contemporary romance novels to Angela James, Executive Editor at Carina Press. I was so nervous I thought I’d puke. She seemed nice and welcoming, but when I mentioned that the hero is a professional rugby player she really perked up. She showed me one of the pins on her name badge – a rugby ball with the New Zealand All Blacks’ logo.
Holy crap. After having a dozen people (including my beloved rugger-bugger Smarty Pants) suggest that I change my hero to a football player in order to appeal to Americans, I finally found someone who saw the potential in a rugby hero!
I stumbled through my pitch and, when I finished, Angela smiled and said, “You had me at ‘rugby hero’. I just let you go on so you could practice your pitch. Send me the full.”
When she handed me her card, she said, “Who knows – this might be your story of how you just needed to get your book to the right person.”
Which meant that she could say “I told you so!” when she emailed me to say that Carina Press wanted to publish my book.
At that point, I was about 11 weeks pregnant and we’d only told our parents. Suddenly I had a whole lot of good news to share.
I’ll be sharing more details about the book (including, hopefully, the title since we’re in the process of brainstorming a new one) in the coming weeks. It’s tentatively scheduled to come out next summer, so I’ve been editing it with my fabulous editor Deb Nemeth. What fun!
But I also want to let you know that I’m having a week of giveaways next week to celebrate. You’ll get extra points if you follow me on different channels, so get a head start and:
- subscribe to my blog (put your email address in the “Subscribe by email” widget on the right-hand side of this blog)
- follow me on Facebook
- follow me on Twitter
And thank you all for being so supportive of me through this process! Even though you didn’t know it at the time, your comments and involvement on this blog helped keep my head up at times when I was truly losing hope. You guys are amazing, and I can’t thank you enough!
So that’s it. I’m getting published and I’m pregnant. The hard work’s over and now I can just kick back and enjoy the…um…fruits of my labor, right?