Thank you to Michelle Styles for inviting me to share my call story with The Pink Heart Society blog readers.
Over two years ago, I submitted my manuscript to Harlequin Romantic Suspense (HRS) via the slush pile. A full manuscript request, two revisions, and a year and 3 months later, I was waiting to hear back from Harlequin.
I had read that HRS was increasing their word count and I had assumed that when I heard back about my book, it would be either a rejection or another request for revisions to make the book longer.
I was cleaning up the kitchen and getting ready to start dinner when I heard the phone ring. It was a 212 number I didn't recognize. I thought the call might be from a contractor we'd hired to install a new front door in our home. I answered and the person asked for me. She identified herself as Shana Smith from Harlequin and she said they wanted to publish my book. For one small moment, I thought it might be friends of mine playing a joke, since earlier that week, I had entered the Harlequin New Voices contest (http://www.romanceisnotdead.com/) and they had read my submission.
I can't recall all the details of the conversation, though I did manage to scribble down some notes on a pad of paper. I'm pretty sure I sounded incoherent when answering and asking questions.
The most frequent question I am asked is, "What's the book about?" Hiding His Witness is about a woman on the run who witnesses a crime and the detective assigned to her case who must keep her safe from the two men who want her dead - a deranged serial killer and her former boyfriend, the head of an organized crime ring.
The year wait for my book to be published flew by quickly and I'm excited to see my book in print. Sometimes I still can't believe I'm a Harlequin author!
Thanks so much for reading.
A 3rd generation Harlequin reader and the 1st in her family to write professionally, C.J.'s 1st book with Harlequin Romantic Suspense will be published in 2012. You can visit her website at http://www.cj-miller.com/.
She lives in Maryland with her family. When she isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, exercising, and reading. C.J. believes in first loves, second chances, and happily ever after.