I call this one ‘the book I rejected myself.’
I’d been working with the editors at Harlequin Mills & Boon since placing in the Instant Seduction contest in 2008. I had completed, submitted, and had them turn down half a dozen manuscripts. I knew my editor was eager to help me make the jump from ‘close’ to ‘published.’ She suggested I send her three ideas and we’d cherry pick the best. I did and she asked me to take the hero from one set up and the heroine from another and run with it.
Since I hadn’t envisioned that, it took me a while to find my feet. She was patient, looked at a few chapters, tweaked my direction, offered revision suggestions. Finally she sent me an email with exciting news. She was having another baby and I’d be moving to a different editor. Would I like to take one more stab at revising this current story, or start something fresh?
I was fairly disheartened and wound up speaking with her on the phone. I said I thought I should start over with something fresh if I was changing editors, and there was a funny pause on the other end of the line. I realized she thought I was really close with one. She said, “Okay, but promise me you’ll keep Aleksy on the back burner. He’s a wonderful hero.”
I hung up and realized, after literally hundreds of rejections from editors and agents from New York to London, I had just rejected myself.
It lit a fire in me. I was so mad at myself, I determined that my next book would be The One. And it was. I wrote No Longer Forbidden? which turned into my first sale. A few books later, I put together a proposal that included a freshly revised copy of Aleksy. They bought it quite promptly and here it is. Happy reading.