For those of you that visit the Playground on a regular basis, you know Lynn Raye Harris. We celebrated with her earlier this year when she managed to final in the Golden Heart and win the Harlequin Presents Instant Seduction Contest in a week's time. A fellow HOD chaptermate and Honorary Playfriend, she hangs out with us almost every day. Lately she's been a little scarce as she battled through the revisions on her winning book for Harlequin Presents. All the hard work has paid off because on Monday, Lynn got THE CALL. Spanish Magnate, Red-Hot Revenge will be released in the UK, August 2009! Her official call story will be posted next week on the iheartpresents.com blog, so be sure to check it out.
Today, she's going to share a little about her journey and her love of the Presents line she's now a part of. Take it away, Lynn...
Every October, our chapter has a retreat. Last year was my first year to attend; I’d moved to Alabama and joined Heart of Dixie only a few months before. Y’all, HOD is inspiring. The meetings always make me want to write, and I just knew the retreat would be a fun and amazing experience.
Saturday afternoon, sometime after lunch but before the Murder Mystery party we were having later, I was sitting around talking with a few people. I remember that the Instigator was there, and Kelley St. John. They were discussing writing for Blaze. Somehow, in the conversation, Harlequin Presents came up. And I said, “I always wanted to try and write one of those.”
About a month later, Kelley forwarded a contest announcement: Harlequin Mills & Boon were having a contest to find new writers. The entry was a first chapter and two-page synopsis and the prize was an editor for a year.
The Instant Seduction competition opened on Jan 1 and closed at midnight on Feb 14. I sent my second entry, titled “The Spanish Magnate’s Revenge,” only hours before the deadline.
A month later, I got the call that I’d won. My Spanish magnate had beat out 600 other entries (including another one of mine) to take the top prize. Thus began my year with an editor.
Writing a book suitable for publication isn’t a cinch even with an editor in your corner. It’s hard work. There are revisions (I went through two rounds) and no guarantees you’ll succeed. What if you write a great first chapter, but can’t pull an entire book together to save your life? How many chances do you get?
These were the kinds of questions I asked myself as I wrote and rewrote. But the hard work paid off and I got The Call six months after I won the contest. You can look for those details at the I Heart Presents site next week as I share where I was and what I was doing when that magical Call came.
It’s a dream come true to be a new author for the line I first discovered as a twelve year old. I sure am glad my grandmother bought that box of Harlequin Presents at somebody’s yard sale. Who knew I’d end up writing for them many years later?
Thanks for sharing your story, Lynn. Now its time to PARTY! The chocolate fountains are flowing, the gorgeous, tan and mostly nude waiters are here to grant your every wish, the champagne and margaritas are just waiting to be sipped (it's 5PM somewhere), and the DJ is spinning fabulous dance hits. Let's hit the floor and celebrate Lynn's news!