This week my debut novel, “Colorado Christmas” goes on sale in North America, making this a very special Christmas for me!
It’s been quite a year (and a bit) since I got The Call in person at the RWA conference in San Francisco.
Although I was overjoyed that a twenty year undertaking had finally been realized, in some ways it didn’t feel quite “real”.
It started to get real around the time, “Colorado Christmas” was listed on Amazon. Up until then, I couldn’t help thinking it could all fall in a heap. Not that I didn’t have confidence in Harlequin or my wonderful editor, Paula Eykelhof, or even the belief in the evidence of my advance check – it was just that somehow, until that concrete proof that my book was actually in production and people could order it—it was still all a little surreal. Like I might wake up and find it was all a dream.
It’s been an interesting journey since the 2006 Romance Writers of Australia conference where I met Paula Eykelhof and pitched what was then called, “Judge Becky and the Scoundrel” to her (very badly I might add, since I forgot the rest of the story after the elevator pitch!)
Fortunately, Paula’s 25 years in the business helped her see through my tangled tongue to the essence of a story that showed potential for the Harlequin American Romance line. She patiently worked with me on the ms and several revisions for two years and then at the RWA San Francisco conference, Paula and American Romance editor, Kathleen Scheibling, gave me The Call in person. Believe me, after 20 years, I thought that day would never come and it took a moment for the info to sink into my brain!
After getting the longed-for Call, I thought that I was nearing the end of the journey to publication. Little did I realize how much more is involved in bringing a manuscript to publication standard. I’m still not sure of the difference between line edits and copy edits, am still finding my stories are riddled with head-hopping and clichés, and a hundred other writing no no’s, but with Paula’s guidance, I’m getting there.
There’s also the difference in language between English Australian and English USA and I don’t mean just the spelling. Paula often queries me on things like – “rugged up” (meaning dressed warmly) “wrapped the baby in a rug” (no, I didn’t mean a floor rug, I meant a blanket!) She was particularly alarmed that in book #2 the hero is nursing a baby. Hey! What’s wrong with that? Australian men nurse babies all the time! (nurse, means hold, in OzSpeak).
I eagerly awaited my author copies, but in the meantime, A Top Pick review from Romantic Times had my head swollen bigger than a watermelon and I received some lovely fan letters from readers on Harlequin’s direct marketing list – but still not sign of my author copies!
But they eventually arrived and were duly sent off to friends and relatives who’d supported my career over so many years. I read my very own copy and was surprised how much I enjoyed it.
Even my husband liked it: “Apart from spoiling it with all that mushy stuff”. Any wonder I write romance? (grin)
Still, he did love Louella (the very naughty pig) and asked if she’d be returning in any other stories. Well… no… she wasn’t but then I ran it by my editor and she thought Louella deserved an encore performance. So Louella is back in book #2 of The O’Malley Men series, “The Sheriff and the Baby” (the one with the “nursing” hero (wink!).
It’s interesting hearing from readers what they liked about the book, each one so far has remarked on something different which surprised me. Some enjoyed the light-hearted moments, others the romance, or the quirky characters and yet others remarked on impact of the… well, I can’t tell you about that because it would be giving away the ending! So you’re just going to have to read the book and tell me your favorite part of “Colorado Christmas”.
I hope readers will enjoy Colorado Christmas and want to read more of the O’Malley Men series and subsequent books of mine. I love writing for Harlequin American Romance and I love my fellow authors!
Write and tell me what would be the best thing you could imagine getting for Christmas and I’ll choose a winner to receive an autographed copy of “Colorado Christmas”.
Till next time - happy reading everyone!
CC’s debut novel, COLORADO CHRISTMAS is on sale now in North America. You can check out a review or order it through Amazon or eHarlequin via her webpage www.cccoburn.com