My journey to becoming a Harlequin Historical author began with a pitch session at a mini conference held by my local Romance Writers of America chapter. A Harlequin editor was in attendance and taking pitches for all lines. I’d signed up for a pitch session and the first story I pitched was a contemporary for the Harlequin America line. After finishing my pitch, I still had some time left so I decided to pitch the Regency I’d written as an option book for my other publisher which had been rejected. The editor liked both stories and asked me to send her the manuscripts.
After sending the manuscripts, I waited patiently for a response. Oh, who am I kidding? I obsessively checked my email every day hoping today was the day I sold to Harlequin. A few months after I sent the manuscript, I received a wonderful email back from the editor. While she passed on the contemporary, she was intrigued by the Regency and asked if she could forward it to the Harlequin Historical editors. I couldn’t type “yes” or hit send fast enough. While we waited for a response, I stayed in touch with the editor, sending occasional follow up emails while I worked on other books. It is true what they say about writing while waiting. It is one of the best things you can do.
Then one day, the editor sent back the response from Harlequin Historical. They liked the story but thought it needed some work. They offered me a couple of pages of suggestions for revisions with the option to resubmit the manuscript. I dove into the revision. It took about three months to revise the book and then I resubmitted it. I continued to stay in touch with the editor while we waited for a response.
The RWA 2012 conference was held in Anaheim last year, and since Anaheim isn’t too far from where I live, I was all set to go. To help me relax and prepare for the excitement of conference, I’d booked a massage for the day before conference. About twenty minutes before I was supposed to leave for my massage, I checked my email and there among the usual the daily digests and funny dog pictures was an email from the editor. I opened it and nearly fainted. Harlequin Historical had accepted my story. I was now going to be a Harlequin author! How I managed to calm down, stay still and relax for the hour massage after receiving that email, I still don’t know. Needless to say, in that one email, and in the conversation I had with my Harlequin Historical editor the next morning, my whole goal for the RWA conference changed. I was now in search of an agent and about to meet a number of editors from the historical line. It was an experience I will never forget.
A dedicated history and film buff, Georgie Lee loves combining her passion for Hollywood, history and storytelling through romantic fiction. She began writing professionally at a small TV station in San Diego before moving to Los Angeles to work in the interesting but strange world of the entertainment industry.
Her first novel, Lady’s Wager, and her contemporary novella, Rock ‘n’ Roll Reunion are both available from Ellora’s Cave Blush. Labor Relations, a contemporary romance of Hollywood, and Studio Relations, a love story set in 1935 Hollywood, are currently available from Montlake Romance. Hero’s Redemption, a Regency novella, is now available from Carina Press.
When not writing, Georgie enjoys reading non-fiction history and watching any movie with a costume and an accent. Please visit www.georgie-lee.com for more information about Georgie and her novels.
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