This week The Pink Heart Society brings you one of the very latest authors for the Blaze Line. Please give a warm PHS welcome to Lori Borril!
An Oregon native, I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area just out of high school and have been a transplant Californian ever since. By day, I'm a data analyst for an insurance company where I've been employed for over 20 years, and when I'm not there, I'm spending most of my time at little league fields cheering on my 10-year-old son with my husband of 18 years.
THE ROAD TO PUBLICATION
My first brush with the publishing industry was six years ago when my son started Kindergarten. I'd written two hysterically funny short humor articles on parenting that I'd submitted to magazines such as Family Circle and Parents.
Unfortunately, I was the only one who found them hysterically funny, and after a slew of badly photocopied form rejection letters, I gave up. It wasn't until about three years later when my husband quit his full-time job to go into business for himself that I gave writing another try. His new job gave him much more free time to help with the house and our son. Suddenly, I had a lot of time on my hands, began reading lots of fiction, discovered romance, and after pouring over dozens of romance novels, decided I would try to write one of my own.
I was one of those stupid people who thought it would be easy, but even though reality hit me hard and fast, by the time I realized it wasn't going to be a walk in the park, I'd become stubborn and determined to learn the craft. So I joined RWA, took some writing classes, bought every book on the craft I could find, and hooked up with two awesome writers, Kira Bazzel and Leeanne Kenedy, who showed me the ropes and kept me sane.
I think I was about a year into it when I wrote the first version of Private Confessions. It had started out as a novella targeted to no market in general. At that time in my writing career, I felt I needed to get in touch with my voice and my own style as a writer, and I was finding the Harlequin guidelines too much of a distraction. I was spending so much time worrying about what I "can" and "can't" write for this line or that, that I wasn't focusing on the things that would really get me published, like voice and personal style. So I threw away the rules and just wrote something for myself. When I sent it out to my CPs, both came back telling me it was a Blaze and that I should query it there.
The irony was that it was 20,000 words too short and I was at a place where I'd convinced myself I wasn't ready for Harlequin. Seriously--this is no joke--I queried it to Blaze with the intent of getting rejected so that I could tell my loving CPs "See? I told you so. Now can we forget about Harlequin?"
And of course, what I got was a request instead.
It wasn't until over a year later that I got the call from Kathryn Lye that they wanted to buy the manuscript, and even though I've got a copy of the book in my hand, it still doesn't feel real. Unfortunately, they haven't given me the luxury of letting it all sink in.
Despite the fact that they've got a second requested full on their desk, my next release will be Book #2 in their "Million Dollar Secrets" continuity series coming out in August, 2007. Like so often in my life, I'm finding myself thrown into the deep end right from the start, which will either make me stronger or kill me. I'd been asked to do it back in August and told I'd receive the bible (the document that tells me what my book is about) soon after. Well, it was only just before Christmas that I got the green light on the story line and was free to start writing--and the book is due February!!
So the moral of the story is if you're an aspiring writer, get good at writing books! Even if those early manuscripts only make it as far as your closet, that experience will come in handy.
Lori's Blaze debut, Private Confessions, is on shelves in February 2007! And avaiable online now.
You can find details on her website, or watch her get ready for her August release on her "Underneath It All", part of the Harlequin Blaze "Million Dollar Secrets" continuity series starting July, 2007!