Notes on The Healer

I started The Healer when my children were small. I was frustrated by how little I was managing to write as I worked part-time, ran my daughter to school and soccer and my son to preschool and swimming lessons. I decided I had to go old-school, scribbling in a notebook before I went to bed.

Vaun leapt off a cliff and into that notebook the moment I cracked it. At first I wasn’t sure if he was a Scottish Highlander or a Viking, or something else entirely. While he fought to free Athadia from her captors, Athadia started healing anyone who touched her–almost uncontrollably. I realized I had more than a historical romance on my hands.

I scribbled scenes into that notebook for about a year. In that time, I had some interest in Hustled To The Altar and we moved not just houses but towns. Finishing The Healer got pushed back many times, but the first autumn in our new home I decided to complete it for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

First, I spent October doing 30 Days Of World Building, exercises by Stephanie Bryant. I drew a map and wrote like the wind. I finished the first draft somewhere around a hundred and twenty thousand words. What a feeling!

I had an agent at the time. She read it, offered some feedback, I rewrote, added all that hotsy-totsy stuff with the villain and villainess. Other stuff came up in our lives, some really difficult, and The Healer got pushed onto the back burner again.

In late 2011, about the time I was seeing interest from Mills and Boon in London, I saw that a friend was writing for a company called Champagne Books. I asked her about them, sent a query, got a request and it was sitting with their editors when I sold to Mills and Boon. Champagne offered me a contract five weeks later. (I’ve since got it back and self-published it.)

I love, love, love this book. It’s an epic story so I’m not surprised it was an epic journey to reach publication. I want the whole world to read it and love it, but I know it calls to a special type of reader, one who wants to settle in for the long haul. If you like historical romance, if you like intrigue and double-crosses and grand tales of love that is meant to be, but must defeat great odds to get there, then give The Healer a try. Athadia will make you cry and Vaun will conquer your heart.

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