As many of you already know, in late 2015 an editor from a big New York publishing house called my literary agent. She wanted to buy my 2015 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® final manuscript, in a three book deal, for her publisher’s digital-first imprint.
When my agent called me with the news, it was one of the happiest days of my life. After many years of writing on hope and numerous rejections along the way, I was going to be a published author.
I can now share more good news. I’ve just signed another contract for the same three books, still with Hachette Book Group USA, Grand Central Publishing, but this time for Grand Central’s mass market paperback line, Forever.
Although my books will still be available in e-book format, paperback copies will also be sold in bookstores and other retail outlets which order them. In the U.S. and Canada, that means I might see my books in grocery stores and Walmart. In the UK, stores like ASDA and Tesco.
I’ve dreamed of seeing my books on a shelf in a store since childhood. In today’s romance publishing industry, though, print contracts are rare for début authors so it was a dream I didn’t expect would come true any time soon.
My first book, now titled THE COTTAGE AT FIREFLY LAKE, releases in January 2017, followed by books 2 and 3 in the series in July and December 2017.
The “Firefly Lake” series is set in a fictional small town in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, an area where Tech Guy and I spent several happy vacations. Firefly Lake was also inspired by another vacation spot, Lake Placid in northern New York state. I couldn’t be more excited to share my stories, and parts of these special places, with readers.
The writer I am has been shaped by the family I come from, and a tradition of storytelling and respect for reading and book learning going back generations.
Hungry to discover the world of books, my Irish great-grandmother taught herself to read alongside her oldest son when he started school.
My grandmother contributed articles to community newspapers and Women’s Institute publications, capturing snapshots of small town life when local news made up the fabric of isolated, rural communities.
My dad wrote newsletters for various voluntary organizations, and the rhythmic clacking of his typewriter was a soundtrack to my childhood.
Although my mom wasn’t a writer, she was an avid reader and sharing books with her is one of my most cherished memories.
I hope there are bookstores and Kindles in heaven. And I hope that those who loved and encouraged me, and whose legacies have influenced my life’s path, are sharing in what one of my favourite fictional heroines, Anne of Green Gables, would call this “epoch in my life.”
I mark writing milestones on a charm bracelet. For this one, I’ve chosen a dream catcher.