Today we have the fabulous tale of Maxine Sullivan, a newbie Desire author who made a fabulous decision to pitch in a very unusual way which led to her first sale! (And check out her first cover below - humona humona!)
I currently live in Melbourne, Australia but have traveled to New Zealand, the UK, and USA. In my own backyard, I have visited and lived in many places in Australia, including spending many years in Darwin in the tropical north, where some of my books are set. Therefore I find it very fitting that I sold my first manuscript on January 26th 2006, which is Australia Day in my country. I am married to Geoff, who has proven his hero status many times over the years. We have two handsome sons and an assortment of previously abandoned animals. Romance novels offer such wonderful affirmations about love and relationships that I can't imagine not wanting to share my stories with others.
If anyone had told me a year ago that in 2006 I would sell four books to Silhouette Desire and one single title book to another publisher, I would have said they were crazy. But on January 26th this year my dream of being a published author came true. I became an overnight success – after twenty years. J
And it almost didn’t happen, but I’m so thrilled it did. You see, I’d been feeling incredibly disheartened about my writing. The emotional rollercoaster of years of submitting manuscripts and being asked by editors to revise, only to receive a rejection later on was getting harder to take. Nothing was working no matter what I did.
And then I made a decision and for the first time ever I truly meant it. I could give up writing or I could go back to writing for the sheer love of it. I chose the latter and somehow that was the turning point.
Of course that still didn’t stop me from trying to make my own luck. I would still enter contests, and still send in manuscripts, but now I had no expectations. I would see what came of it all, but I wasn’t going to stress about it. I would just continue with my writing.
And it was one of those contests that led to my first sale. Having decided to enter the Desire Pitch Challenge on eHarlequin.com, I submitted a couple of sentences about one of my manuscripts and won the chance with 9 others to do an online pitch to the senior editor of Silhouette Desire, Melissa Jeglinski. During the pitch, Melissa asked a couple of questions about the story, then said to send her the full manuscript.
Two weeks later I was having my morning coffee when I received an email from my agent asking me to call her before I went to work. I froze. I told my husband and he said to get on the phone. I said I couldn't and that it was probably a rejection anyway. Talk about fear of success!
Anyway, I bit the bullet and picked up the phone. My agent said she had some good news for me - that the senior editor had called her and she loved my manuscript and wanted to buy it. I was stunned, then I told my agent that I had to tell my husband. I threw open the study door to tell him but he was already waiting on the other side and had heard me talking. So we were laughing and talking and I was saying I couldn't believe it. I'm not one to scream and shout but you can bet I was happy, if not a little numb.
Now, ten months later, I haven’t stopped smiling. With that one call from an editor every word I’d ever written was validated for me. I’ve since sold another three manuscripts to Silhouette Desire. It took me a long time to get here, but as an author friend recently said - God’s timing is perfect. I’ve got to agree.
Maxine’s first book, “The Millionaire’s Seductive Revenge” is due for release in
For more, check out her website!