Please forgive the delay between part 1 and part 2 of this journey. My deadlines are very tight, and I’m not a fast writer. If it has been so long that you forgot how my journey started, please read Part 1 before going on. Or read it again, as the case may be.
I left you hanging as Larry and I were about to take off to Pleasanton, CA for a hot rod show. I’d just been offered a shot at maybe selling my first ever, cozy mystery series if I would turn it into a romance series, and of coming up with, and maybe selling, a second romance series set in a Montana pie shop, if I could make the story more complex. The catch was, both proposals had to be to the editor ASAP.
When the editors at Grand Central offered me this opportunity, they wanted first to see the pie shop books. That meant totally rethinking my original story. A series needs more complications, serious conflicts, and lots of fun characters. Plus, one way or another, the characters in each book need some connection to the pie shop and to each other. So, before leaving home, I consulted with my critique group and my plot buddy, Jami Davenport, and we came up with some really fun possibilities. I took lots of notes.
Then a streak of good luck. Since Larry had just completed the ’34 Ford, 3 Window Coupe (think ZZ Top’s hot rod), the new motor had too few miles on it for a long, freeway-speed road trip. Although we took a lot of ribbing for towing the car to the show instead of driving it there, being able to be in our full-sized pickup was a Godsend to me. I fired up my laptop and my imagination and wrote and plotted as he drove with his favorite 50’s music playing in the background.
What I needed was at least 4 five page synopses for each series. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I hate writing synopses. But using the incredible Jennie Cruzie’s rough outline as my guide, made the process so much easier, and by the time I was on synopses 4 of one series, I was starting to find the whole process easier and easier. And I ended up with some pretty decent synopses. I plotted 4 stories for the Big Sky Pie series and 6 stories for the Port Wedlock series.
The editors loved, loved, loved the series. And this time no committee got to have a say. The offer I received had me and my agent squealing with joy. Can I just say, she has stuck with me without a sale for about 3 years at that point. Incredible lady. Grand Central wanted all four books in the pie shop romances for their FOREVER line–that is their paperback and e-book releases. They wanted all six–and as many more as I want to write–of the Port Wedlock series for their FOREVER YOURS line–which is their e-book only romance line. There was a catch, however, with the PW series. The offer was for joint-accounting and that means that I would not be paid any royalties for those books until all of the books earn out their respective advances. My agent and I decided to accept the 4 book offer and only sell two of the PW series for now.
Then we got another great surprise. They editors wanted to release the books really, really fast. They liked the books that much. After so many rejections, for my books to find a home with editors who are enthusiastic about me and my writing, well, this is an amazingly wonderful outcome.
To top it off, they gave DELECTABLE a great cover. And you can even pre-order this book on amazon right now at: http://tinyurl.com/o7va7v2
The book is releasing as an e-book on Sept 3rd, less than a month away
The cover is adorable cover, don’t you agree? The book is fun, too! And sexy. And there are recipes for the pies that are made in Big Sky Pie’s kitchen. Montana never tasted so good!!