Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Writer's Wednesday - THE CALL with Ann Lethbridge



Oh happy day - one of our most favorite things here at the PHS is when we get to share a brand new call story with you! So today curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and some shortbread and meet Ann Lethbridge, a new author with Mills and Boon Historicals!

First I want to say what a thrill it is to join Harlequin Mills and Boon as a writer. I still can’t quite believe it, though I am sure it will feel real as soon as I see my book.

Getting the call from a publisher is a bit like having your eighteenth birthday party all over again. It’s very exciting and scary at the same time.

The arrangements for my party started early. My agent submitted my book to Joanne Carr, (now Joanne Grant) as she was then, at Harlequin Historicals in the Spring of 2006. Now and again Scott Eagen, my agent, would hear from Joanne, that she was extremely busy, but hadn’t forgotten me and was still interested. In June 2007 we heard back from Joanne that she liked the story but that she felt some additional work was required before she could make an offer.

It was at this point that my heart picked up speed and my mouth dried. I set to work on making the changes. Because I was going to be in England the following month to visit with my family, I arranged to drop the revised manuscript off with Joanne at her office in Richmond. What a thrill. And when the receptionist asked me if I was one of their authors, I got a funny little prickle at the back of my neck. Like one of those premonitions we authors give our characters. Of course I owned up and said, no, I was still a wanna be. Joanne was lovely and she took me for coffee, we had a lovely chat, and she gave me some really cool books from the Historical line and a couple of other lines and off I went on the rest of my holiday.

Editors, of course, are busy people and I tried really hard to forget about The Rake’s Inherited Courtesan, and get something new ready. I think I only phoned my agent once a week to see if he had heard anything. (Just joking)

By early 2008 I thought probably it wasn’t going to fly, so I almost fell off my chair when Scott called in April to say that Joanne would like a couple more minor changes, which I did in four days and sent them in. Her response came by return mail. It was a yes. Yippee.

And the party just kept going and going, well past midnight and into the wee small hours of the morning, because almost in the same breath Joanne asked if I had ideas for more stories. We sent her three more at the beginning of June and she said yes to all of them. I can’t remember being so astonished. After so many rejections, having three books to work on right away, and knowing they were on the right track was just amazing. Then came the icing on the cake. Joanne asked me to write one of the Undone’s as a prequel to my book.

I don’t think I caught my breath for three days after the first yes, and I was certainly smiling every day for a week after each new piece of good news.

My story for Undone, which is a short Regency e-book, The Rake’s Intimate Encounter will be out in January 2009 and you will find it at eharlequin.com. Just look for the Undone imprint under e-books. The cover, shown here, is just how I imagined it when I did the Art Fact Sheets. My first full length Regency, The Rake’s Inherited Courtesan, will be out in April 2009 and can be preordered from Amazon.

I hope I haven’t made you as breathless with excitement as I have been these past few months. I must say I am still beaming.

You will find me at my website http://www.annlethbridge.com/. Drop in and say hello.

7 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Ann! I love to read people's call stories.

    I hope you have a long and successful career.

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  2. Monique, thanks so much. It certainly feels a bit cinderellaish (is that a word?), when your dream comes true, especially when I get to dream about handsome men all day.

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  3. Congratulations Ann! I adore historicals and can't wait to read it!
    Sue Child

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  4. Ann, congratulations on your publishing success. You are a talented writer and your success is well-deserved!!!

    Mary

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  5. THis is so exciting. Love to hear about it.

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  6. Mary and Susan, thanks so much for coming by.

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