I decided to write a little bit about my writing journey today seeing as I am enjoying the status of becoming a new Harlequin Superromance author. My first novel with them will be available January 2013, yay!
To say I am happy would be a gargantuan understatement!
The thing is, this success did not happen overnight by any means and no matter what happens with regards to my future career, I will always shout the benefits and advantages of the quality small presses out there. For me, they are worth writing for and they are worth learning from.
Too many aspiring writers view small press as a last resort. They write their stories and then submit to every agent going, every big publisher that takes unsolicited submissions, every mid-list publisher until they say, “Fine, small press it is then.”
Then wonder why they get rejected from them too.
For me, writing is a craft – a huge robust learning curve that you have to open your mind and heart to if you stand any chance of making it. Reputable small presses are run by people who love books, love writers and especially love readers. They want to deliver good quality stories that will appeal to their genre readers and more than that, they want them to come back for more.
So why would they accept a story that you tossed at them as a last resort? They won’t. They know they deserve more respect than that.
I started writing short stories about ten years ago and gradually moved on to longer and longer novels, until I found my happy place at around 85-90,000 words. I went from being multi-published with the likes of The Wild Rose Press and Lyrical Press to my position now of being a Harlequin Superromance writer, hoping to secure a series of books. Yet, I will endeavor to write novellas for the people who molded my success as often as humanly possible. Why? Because I won’t forget the people who believed in me from the start.
You can do this too – if you believe in yourself and are willing to soak up as much knowledge and experience as possible. The editors I have worked with have taught me SO much and I know I wouldn’t be anywhere near the writer I am today without them.
Embrace small press – I do!
Rachel’s latest release is a “Love’s Debt” a Victorian romance novella, available Sept 5th from The Wild Rose Press.
Love’s Debt by Rachel Brimble
To keep herself from the depths of poverty, Milly Shepherd needs to be appointed manager of the Red Lion Tavern. The elderly owner is in failing health and has promised her the job permanently if no one more suitable applies. Milly will fight with her entire being to make the job her own.
Joseph Jacobs needs to supplement his income to pay off his father’s creditors and save him from debtor’s prison. Though the job as manager of the local tavern looks promising, Milly is favored by both the owner and customers. Instead, Joseph swallows his pride and agrees to tend bar.
As they work together, their attraction grows, their goals cross, and both Millie and Joseph find they must face their fears …the question is whether they face them alone or together?
“No, I take it from here.” His jaw tightened. “I mean it, Milly. I don’t want you in there.”
“Why are we arguing about this? I thought we’d built a trust between us.”
His gaze darted over her face, lingered at her lips. “This has nothing to do with trust.”
“Pride. If I haven’t got that…if I’ve stooped so low as to put a woman at risk, then there’s no point in going on at all. I won’t do it, Milly. I won’t expose you to whatever is behind that door. If you can’t stay here, then go back to the tavern. I’ll see you there shortly.”
His face was set, his shoulders stiff and Milly’s irritation grew. She poked a finger into his chest. It was like iron. She swallowed. “Have you heard the saying, pride before a fall?” He nodded. “Good, because if people don’t reach out to other people, Joseph Jacobs, they fall further than ever with nobody there to catch them.”
She raised her hand. “Go. Do what you want. I’ve got more important things to worry about that a man full of so much pride, he looks fit to burst.”
Turning, Milly gripped her bag tightly in her hand and strode away. She did not look back, and she didn’t stop walking. Her stupid heart had let her down. Made her get involved in a man’s life and begin to care about him. Well, the buck stopped there. No more. If Joseph Jacobs ever needed her help again, he could take a long walk off the dock.
HUGE HUGE Thanks to Rachel, a most wonderful woman, writer and friend. She’s an inspiration to me and I couldn’t possibly agree more than I do with this beautifully articulated post. Small presses are amazing gifts and opportunities for a new author. I sing the praises of mine long and often Thank you Rachel for sharing with us today. Congratulations on your new and upcoming titles. I cannot wait to read them!