Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Writer's Wednesday Call Story -- Vicki Essex
Lots of romance authors will say they owe their inspiration to hot guys; I’m probably one of the few who can say I owe my first published book to hot, sweaty guys.
See, the idea for what would be my first published book came to me while watching an Ultimate Fighting Championship match with some girlfriends.
“You should write a mixed martial arts romance,” my friend Denise said as she drooled over our favorite fighter, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. I'd been writing for a couple of years, and after a handful of rejections I was struggling to come up with something new, something I could really sink my teeth into. On top of that, I discovered mixed martial arts and romance novels had something in common: I was constantly defending the sport’s legitimacy, popularity and success, almost as frequently as I had to champion the romance genre’s validity to those who dismissed either or both as being “trashy” and “low brow.”
A few months later, my manuscript made the finals in the Toronto Romance Writers Golden Opportunity Contest. I felt like I was on the right track. And I owed the TRW a lot for being on that right track—they’d given me much needed support and encouragement since I joined three years ago.
Then, just before the Labour Day Weekend, I was called into Victoria Curran's office once more.
I steeled myself for the worst, anticipating yet another night with a large deluxe pizza and a bottle of cheap merlot to ease my heartache.
Victoria, steely eyed, leaned forward, her face a study in sobriety. “We want to buy your book.”
“ARE YOU SERIOUS?” I think I blew a few eardrums with that shriek.
I was ecstatic. I was floored. I was disbelieving. I think some days I’m still in shock. Me, a published author? I think someone must’ve clocked me good and I haven’t woken up yet.
Maybe those hot, sweaty guys did more than inspire me.
Vicki Essex has worked at Harlequin Enterprises for more than four years. Her first book, Her Son's Hero, will be available from Harlequin Superromance July 2011.
Visit her at www.vickiessex.com.