I sold my first book in 1991, a novice to the business. I wrote from the gut, and knew nothing about marketing or promotion. I didn’t know one thing about agents, or about publishers, except that, at the time, it seemed Avon Books was the top of the list. Then owned by William Morrow, The Hearst Corporation, I set my sights on publishing there–what an innocent I was!
Being the self-depracating sort, I bought, literally, 100 manuscript boxes and put them ALL together and stacked them on one wall. Because, at this point, I had quite a desire to do this, but didn’t believe in myself enough to think that anyone would actually want my dear book. So I bought a copy of the Writer’s Market and studied it. I chose 10 agents and sent the first round of inquiries. To my utter shock, the responses were all positive and half of those agents wanted to see my manuscript. The other half gave me glowing praise and said that it wasn’t the type of books they represented, but gave me amazing advice. Not really knowing how any of this worked, I went with the very first agent who wrote me.
At the time, she asked me where I’d like to submit the book and I dared to suggest, “Let’s start at the top and work our way down.” So we submitted Angel of Fire to Maggie Lichota at Avon, and the rest is history. I’ll never forget that first phone call– the shock I felt that they actually wanted to buy MY book. I sold it for almost nothing, a one book deal. But I have no regrets, because I’ve learned so much along the way, and I was fortunate enough to meet and work with editor Lyssa Keusch, who I truly adore.
In all honesty, I stopped writing for a slew of reasons–not the least of which included publishing politics I quickly burnt out on. I needed my energy for other areas of my life–for one, dealing with a terminally ill father (prostate cancer), a mother diagnosed with cancer, a divorce, etc. In short, life happened.
For obvious reasons, this book holds a very dear place in my heart. After all, it started it all! So now that, after 18 books (and another on the way), I can officially call myself a veteran author, I gave Angel of Fire a much needed polish and some overdue love. It has all new scenes and even a new epilogue and a fabulous new cover from designer Ravven Glass. And now my old friend officially has a new life and I just wanted to thank all my readers for the emails along the years, the faith you had in me even when I couldn’t find it in myself through the darkest times, and most of all, for embracing me so fully upon my return to doing what I most love… writing stories for you.
May this year bring us all love, health and success.
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