The Pink Heart Society is very pleased to bring you Harlequin SuperRomance Author Pamela Hearon's Call Story
Five little words. “That sounds like a SuperRomance.”
Those words, spoken to me by writer friend Cynthia D’Alba as we lay on the beach, are the reason you’re reading this blog today.
Hi, there! I’m Pamela Hearon, a new author for Harlequin SuperRomance. My book, Out of the Depths, will be coming out a couple of weeks from now as an August release, and I’m beyond thrilled. But it’s a bit frightening to me when I play What if … as writers often do. What if it had rained that day, and we hadn’t gone to the beach? What if we hadn’t gotten into a discussion about our works-in-progress? What if Cyndi had kept her opinion to herself?
My story was the third novel I’d written. I had “come home” with it, setting it in my hometown. It was a story of my heart, and I loved it. My agent loved it. But it was too long to be a category and too short to be a single title, and didn’t seem to fit anywhere.
And then that day at the beach Cyndi spoke those fateful words.
Now, I was well-read in the Harlequin lines. Presents, Presents Extra, American, Special Edition, Blaze, Desire, MIRA, HQN, Luna. I’d been a fan for years, but, sadly, I’d never read a SuperRomance. That evening I went out and bought that month’s releases, and with the first one, I knew I’d found a fit. I started reading every one I could get my hands on, growing more excited with each story. These characters could be my family, my friends and neighbors. They were dealing with real issues I could identify with. I called my agent, eager to tell her of my discovery. She, too, thought the line sounded like a perfect fit.
In May 2011, we submitted the manuscript to SuperRomance … and we waited. My agent and I both spoke with Wanda Ottewell in July during RWA National in NYC. She was friendly and kind, but she hadn’t read my submission yet … so we waited.
In September, we got an email from Wanda with some suggestions on how to make the story work better. I loved her ideas, so I took off and ran with them, writing a complete revision in less than two weeks. We resubmitted , and … you guessed it … we waited. October passed. November was almost over.
It was 4:30 in the afternoon the day before Thanksgiving, and I was up to my elbows in pie crust and cornbread dressing. We were leaving early the next for Nashville, Tennessee to spend the holiday with my family. The grandsons were fighting over a Wii game, with my husband acting as the designated referee in my absence. My son had arrived to take them home and was knocking on the front door, which was locked. I was yelling that someone else would have to get the door because I was too busy (did I mention I was up to my elbows in pie crust and cornbread dressing?).
And that’s when THE CALL came. As I grabbed the phone to answer it, I saw New York Caller on the ID. Intuition told me it was my agent. I paced my way through some opening pleasantries, and as she got to the news, the chaos in the background faded away. All I could hear was her voice telling me Harlequin wanted the book. I let out a squeal that outdid anything the kids could have come up with and brought the household to an absolute standstill. Of course, when I told them what was going on, chaos quickly resumed.
I actually was fortunate enough to get a second call a few minutes later from my editor. By that time the news was sinking in, and I was deliriously happy. I probably made a fool of myself in that conversation. I don’t remember much—it’s just one big happy blur.
The Call made for one of my most special Thanksgivings ever as I got to share the news with so much of my family at one time. Cheers, toasts, congratulations, and lots of hugs ensued.
And, yeah, the pecan pies and cornbread dressing were delicious!