Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Writer's Wednesday: THE CALL with AMANDA BERRY!

Ooooh - we just LOVE call stories!  Please welcome brand new author Amanda Berry to the PHS!

Thank you to the lovely ladies at the Pink Heart Society for inviting me to blog with them.

When I first picked back up writing in 2000 I thought I’d write a Harlequin Temptation. I started a couple of books, joined a critique group and found out I had a lot to learn. Before I started writing again, I read tons of craft books and felt more comfortable with writing in general.

In 2006, my husband took an opportunity to work in England, giving me the opportunity to leave the workforce. I wrote two books while in England, both paranormal romance. I also took a class from Katherine Garbera on Writing the Selling Silhouette Desire in February. During that time, I wrote the first scenes of L.A. Cinderella and a synopsis.

Meanwhile I finished up my second manuscript and started submitting it to contests and agents. When November came around, I was looking for something to write for NaNoWriMo and decided to write L.A. Cinderella. In the spring, a friend mentioned the Marlene was low on category romance entries. I polished up the first few chapters and sent it in, figuring I’d get some good feedback.

L.A. Cinderella ended up being a finalist and eventually winning first place and a full request from Patience Smith, the final judge. I spent a month polishing the manuscript before sending it off.

I went to Nationals and got a few requests for my paranormal romance, so I queried agents again. On the Friday before Labor Day weekend, I was getting my kids ready to go to their grandparents, so I could attend a Write-in. I picked up my cell phone and noticed I’d missed a call. From New York!

My hands shook horribly while listening to the message from not an agent, but Patience Smith. I dialed back and she offered to buy L.A. Cinderella for the Silhouette Special Edition line.

I floated into the Write-in and couldn’t write a page. I did, however, e-mail the agents that had my paranormal and asked if they would like to represent me with this sale. I got a call from Becca Stumpf, the Prospect Agency.

It’s an amazing nerve-wracking experience. You never know when the opportunity will come along that will help you sell. I’m grateful for all the help I received along the way. The Marlene prize also included a critique of my entry by the Pink Heart Society, which was very helpful in cleaning up the full before sending it in. So thank you very much to the Pink Heart Society for being part of my journey.

After an exciting life as a CPA, Amanda Berry returned to writing when her husband swept the family off to England to live for a year. Now she’s hooked, and since returning to the states spends her writing days concocting spicy contemporary romances while her cats try in vain to pry her hands off the keyboard. Her Marlene-award winning contemporary romance, L.A. Cinderella, debuts from Silhouette Special Edition in June 2010. One thing she requires of all her books is a happily ever after. Amanda lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children. For more information, please visit


  1. Amanda --
    That is a lovely call story.
    I am so plaesed the PHS played a small part!

  2. That's a great call story. Congratulations too on wining the Marlene. Which of the amazing writers from the Pink Heart society did your prize critique? Or were you lucky enough to get crits from several Pink heart authors?

  3. Thanks, Michelle. I'm glad too.

    Actually, Alice. I'm not sure who critiqued it. It was done anonymously through the contest coordinator. But if I hover over the changes made I can tell, but I don't want to out her if she doesn't want to be outed. :)

  4. BTW I'm in the UK currently and it's bed time. I'll swing by in the morning as well.

  5. Amanda, that was a fab call story. Well done you for submitting and then getting on with another manuscript. I think that was the only thing that kept me sane with all the waiting involved. And I love your title - L.A. Cinderella. Congratulations!

  6. Wow, what a great story! I feel like I was right there. ;)

    I love stories set in Southern California. They make me homesick. Major congrats on your red carpet debut.

  7. Amanda, how horrible to have missed the call that turned out to be THE CALL!! Lucky for us you carried on and continued writing, as we'll be ready when the others come out. Good luck with not only this book but all future releases.

  8. I love your call story Amanda! I remember that day quite well. *sigh*

  9. That is a great story-and now you've made me homesick for the UK :)

  10. Wow, Amanda, what a great story!! It's exciting--and inspiring. And I can't wait to read the book.

    Three cheers on your debut.

  11. Wonderful story, Amanda. Best of luck with your release.