Saturday, April 18, 2015

Call Story - Harper St George

The Pink Heart Society is delighted to be welcoming Harlequin Historical author Harper St. George with her call story today!
Thank you all for having me here today. I’m so excited to share my call story with you.
While Enslaved by the Viking is my debut full-length, my first call from Harlequin came when I submitted my novella, His Abductor’s Desire back in May 2013.
I had read historical romance since before I was old enough to be reading them, and had always wanted to give writing one a try. 
The only problem was I had two little ones at home and not much time. 
So I went to the Harlequin website, which has tons of information for newbie writers, and found the submission guidelines for Harlequin Historical Undone. 
If you haven’t read these, they are 15,000 word romance nuggets of caramel goodness dipped in chocolate—in other words, the perfect decadent dessert to read before bed mid-week when you don’t have time for something more substantial. 
For the next four months I agonized, polished, deleted, polished again, deleted some more, and basically trimmed a story to within an inch of its life until I had something that I hoped would be worth sending to an editor. Then I sat on it for two weeks convinced that it was horrible and that no one would want to read it. Finally I submitted it and was delightfully surprised when Kathryn, my now editor, sent back a request for revision just a couple months later. The revision wasn’t easy—I had written it all in the heroine’s point-of-view and she wanted me to add in the hero’s as well—but it was the boost of confidence in my writing that I needed to keep moving forward.

I wrote like a maniac and submitted it back about a week later. Finally, I got the call from my editor! Surreal doesn’t even begin to describe it! I’m not sure I was completely coherent enough to understand her first words, much less have a normal human conversation. But even better than getting offered an actual contract with Harlequin, was learning that she liked my voice and she asked to see more of my work. It was definitely a day I won’t forget.

It wasn’t long after this call that I began to think of writing something full-length. I’ve always loved reading Viking romances and Eirik, the Viking hero in Enslaved by the Viking, came to me very clearly. 
I love reading stories with contrasts and characters with darkness in their pasts. Eirik definitely had a dark secret in his past that I hadn’t read in many historical romances, much less Viking romances. He is dark, brooding, and damaged. It was challenging to take on such a character as my first full-length attempt, but I decided to give it a try. Thankfully, my editor was on board with the idea and very willing to help give me guidance along the way when I needed it. 
Months and months of how-on-earth-do-people-do-this-I-don’t-know-how-people-actually-write-books-for-a-living commenced and then it was finished. After all of that work, it was even more thrilling to get the official call the second time around. I’m not sure I said much at all, because I was in shock. This was it! This was the call that would see my work made into an actual book! It was a lifelong dream come true. Words can’t adequately express how excited and grateful I am.
I hope readers will enjoy the journey as Eirik and Merewyn search for their happily ever after. I’m hard at work now on the second book in the series.
Eirik and Merewyn's book, Enslaved by the Viking, is available now:
The moment Merewyn sets eyes on the warrior standing atop a Viking raiding ship, something inside her stirs. By all rights, she should fear him, should run from him, yet she cannot help but be drawn to him.
Eirik has never before taken a woman captive, yet Merewyn inspires a longing that calls to the darkness within him. He takes her back to his homeland as his slave, where they finally succumb to passion. And as the lines between captor and captive blur, Eirik realizes they have crossed into dangerous territory…

Harper St. George was raised in a setting filled with stories of the old days that instilled in her a love of history, romance, and adventure. She has been hooked ever since.  
She loves connecting with readers, so please visit her website and blog, and find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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