Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Call: Harlequin Historical Undone Author Elaine Golden

Pink Heart Society are very pleased to bring you Harlequin Historical  Undone  Author Elaine Golden's Call Story

I've been writing on-and-off for years, but in 2006 I decided to either get serious about writing or to get over the 'idea' of it. I'd found an incredibly inspiring online community of writers, and I began to write in earnest, my sights set on historical romance because that's what I love to read. By 2008, I was finally hitting a stride in my writing, and about that time Harlequin announced the launch of a new line of ebook shorts called Undone. This new line intrigued me for the challenge of telling a complete romance in such a brief space of 15,000 words (roughly 1/6th of the space of a single title historical).

In 2009 I sent off my manuscript and headed to my very first RWA conference in Washington, DC, ready to learn more about the writing craft. Oh, the excitement and wonder of it all! I met other aspiring authors, published authors, editors, book sellers, librarians, and academics.

Now, since my story had gone the route of the slush pile, I knew to practice patience. The slush pile is not for the faint of heart, as I learned from writers who had gone the slush route before me. So, I kept working on my other manuscripts and tried to forget about that submission.

Then, last March, I received a nice email from one of the editors who detailed what worked and what didn't about the story. My heart, having fallen to my feet when I began reading the email (after all, good news was supposed to be delivered by phone, wasn't it?), returned to normalcy when the email closed with an invitation to revise and resubmit.

Now, this was no simple revision request. The pacing was off in my opening scene, the ending needed to change, and the editor suggested three more scenes be added. All without sacrificing the story and characterization that was working. Mind you, the story was already nearing the limit, and I didn't have much room to work with. So, I trimmed, trimmed, spliced and fixed, amazed that I could make it all work. By the end it certainly was a much stronger story. So off it went, back to the editor.

And then two months later I received another email. I didn't want to open it. Again, it wasn't a phone call, so it wasn't likely to be very good news. I was convinced I'd blown it.

When I finally worked up the nerve, I was surprised to find another offer to resubmit. All of my changes were spot on, with the exception of one of the new scenes. I had another chance! Now, fearful I'd botch it up, I took extra time and care to rewrite that one scene, and finally I sent it off, expecting not to hear anything again for a bit.

Until my phone rang. That very Friday.

For most folks, a ringing phone probably isn't that remarkable. For me, almost all of my weekday calls come in on business lines, and the phone that was ringing was my personal cell. It was 9:30am, and for once I wasn't tied up in some conference call or in a meeting. I didn't recognize the number, and I wondered... But, no, that would be wishful thinking...

But, yes. A very nice British voice greeted me --an editor from the London office. THE call. The one with the good news.

I don't remember thinking much of anything as she introduced herself, but I do recall getting up and carefully closing my office door, for fear that I'd start squealing or shouting or laughing maniacally. I don't think I actually did any of those things in the end, mostly I think I chattered jibberish. She was all that was gracious and kind as she led me through all of the inevitable business questions.

When the call ended, I sat in a daze the rest of the day. I texted my hubby, of course, but no one at work knows that I write, so I had to act normal, like my life hadn't irrevocably changed that morning by a simple phone call. It wasn't easy. By the time I got home, I had to reopen the confirmation letter the editor had sent me, to reassure myself that it was real. A real offer of publication from Harlequin!

Since that day, it's been a whirlwind of activity and I've loved every minute of it. I was able to meet my editor last year at the RWA conference in Orlando, and I got to spend time with so many of the talented authors of the Harlequin Historical line. I've also sold two more Undones and turned the three into a series. A series, can you imagine? I certainly couldn't have 2 years ago when I began this process!

My debut romance, AN IMPRUDENT LADY, will be released February 1st from Harlequin Historical Undone. It's available for pre-purchase on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com, and of course at eharlequin.com beginning on the release date. The sequel, A DISGRACEFUL MISS, will be released in March. Please visit my website at http://www.elainegolden.com/ for more information about me and my books, including downloadable excerpts.


Here's a glimpse about my story:

AN IMPRUDENT LADY by Elaine Golden

Release Date: February 2011
ISBN #978-1-426-88544-0

Regency London

As a young woman, Lady Charlotte Fortney learned what passion truly was from her handsome neighbor, Daniel Walsh. When they were discovered, her father sent the lowly doctor’s son far away from his precious daughter.

Years later, spinster Charlotte is content to watch others play the courtship game—until Daniel returns from India, rekindling a desire that time could never erase. But Daniel seems to have set his sights on another woman, the one match Charlotte would do anything to prevent. He may be willing to give her up—if Charlotte gives herself in exchange….

Book one of the Fortney Follies series.

11 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your Call Elaine. Looking forward to reading your first undone. xx

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  2. Such a great Call story. Maybe one day I'll be able to post about mine.

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  3. Fantastic call story Elaine. I am really looking forward to reading your Undone!

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  4. Great Call Story - hope you have lots more to come. Caroline x

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  5. Congratulations, Elaine!! The story sounds amazing - and a series? Be still my heart. :)

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  6. So great to get your full story on submitting to Harlequin. Thanks.

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  7. Thanks, Susan! I hope you enjoy it! *bitesnailsandfrets* :D

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  8. Thanks, Nicolette! I hope to read your call story soon! Best wishes to you!

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  9. Thanks so much, Michell --Looking forward to reading your Undone too. The Roman era is so exciting!

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  10. Thanks, Kristina. I'm very excited about the series, too! Trying to finish requested edits on #3 right now! :D

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