Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Call - Part II

Enjoy Part II of "the Call"; stories from your favorite and soon-to-be-favorite authors regarding the moment they were offered their first publishing contract. In this entry, you will find the "call" stories from the following authors;
Linda LaRoque, Rose Lerma,Carol McPhee, Candace Morehouse,and Kerry Tolen.

Linda LaRoque -- The Call

My first novel When the Ocotillo Bloom was my first attempt at writing and the story I so wanted to tell. It took me 8 years, probably at least that many rewrites, and multiple rejections before I got the call. My husband had been in the hospital over a week with a serious illness and was to be released in a day or two. One morning before making the 26 mile drive I got an email with a contract, etc. from Wings ePress. Estatic, I floated all the way to the hospital. My husband was as excited as I was. That was in July of 2006. My pub date was for November 2007. On my birthday, my editor emailed and said they had a slot open for February 2007 if I wanted it. I immediately emailed her back accepting and then danced a jig around the house.

I've written four other novels and two short stories. One short story A Heart's Desire will be published by Dark Eden Press February 15, 2008. It's part of a time travel series called The Veil. I have two time travel novels under consideration at this time with another publisher.

Immediately after Thanksgiving, my husband and I set out to tour the west end of Route 66. We'd spent the first night in Amarillo, were picked up in a limo with longhorns for a hood ornament, and ate at the Big Texan. No, neighter of us tried the 42 oz. steak. The next morning, with coffee in hand, I booted up our laptop to check emails and there was The Call from Champagne Books.

I was so delirious, it took an extra hour for me to get ready to hit the road. This has been an exciting journey, one I hope continues for a long time. I love writing and find myself venturing into realms I never knew I could visit. Visit my website http://www.lindalaroque.com/ and read excerpts of my stories.

Happy reading and writing!

Rose Lerma

I had spent weeks researching ebook publishers and reading samples of their authors work looking for the perfect home for “my baby”, Seducing Annie, a historical romance. I made a list; first, second and third choice. I learned to do that [usually with a list of ten] when submitting to “big name” publishers. I always tried, but never succeeded, in putting the manuscript out of my mind and going on to the next project while waiting for an answer. Months… and months… would go by before I’d get that reply. The letter always contained generous compliments on my writing, yet in the last paragraph there’d be that dreaded… BUT… aka, the rejection.

So I really wasn’t prepared for the speed of hearing from my first choice, Champagne Books. Just three days!!! That they loved my submission and wanted to publish my book wiped away years of misery collecting rejections. I couldn’t contain myself. Falling off my deskchair and tripping down the hallway while yelling and running to tell my husband the news is only a slight exaggeration. Then there were all the family and friends who’ve supported my dream throughout the years. I just didn’t know who to call first. Read an excerpt or review for Seducing Annie at


Carol McPhee

My call to publication came in a strange quirk of fate. I had received rejections from every publishing company contact. One day, my husband and I were traveling the Eastern Shore Region of Nova Scotia, the setting for the manuscript I had been submitting everywhere I could. We ate at a small country inn and during my husband’s conversation with the hostess, he mentioned that his wife wrote a story, which featured this very Inn. The hostess said. “I’m a publisher for Highway 7. Have her send me 100 pages. If I like them, I’ll publish the story in our online newspaper in a series of weekly chapters.” That was my introduction to being published with encouragement to persevere.

Please visit me at http://www.geocities.com/carolmcphee2003

Candace Morehouse

In August, 2006 I was fired from my job of 5 years. Rather than sit around and mope, I decided to take another look at an old manuscript I had sitting around from the 1980s. Since GOLDEN ENCHANTMENT was written on a word processor and had moved with me several times, many of the pages were missing. It didn't matter, though. I started retyping and then editing and then changing the story as it went along until I had a finished product I could be proud of.

It didn't take me long to figure out that submitting it to the major New York publishers was getting me nowhere. Rejection letter after rejection letter filled my mail box. I finally started doing some research online and found Champagne. I submitted my manuscript to both Champagne and another e-publisher but it was Champagne that sent me the magical e-mail first, just days before my birthday, notifying me that my book, GOLDEN ENCHANTMENT, was accepted! I was sitting on the back patio with my laptop reading e-mails while my son was getting ready for school. When he heard my whoops and hollers he came running - he knew instantly that my book had been accepted for publication. A celebratory dinner at my favorite restaurant and a bottle of champagne with my husband followed (of course you have to drink champagne when being accepted by Champagne!).

From that day in March of 2007 until now has seemed to pass in a haze. But working on the edits now reminds me that my book is, indeed, a reality! This last year has been the best of my life and I look forward to selling more, more, more! After all, it's all about MORE romance!

Kerry Tolan

My first opportunity for publication came when "Blade Dancer" was accepted by the fledgling IPub division of Time Warner - the editor actually called me! The contract was signed, and two months prior release IPub folded and my hopes along with it. Attempts over the next few years (yes, years) to secure an agent resulted in no responses for the most part and "not interested" in the one or two cases they replied at all. Submissions to New York publishers resulted in either no reply or a form letter rejection slip delivered either within two weeks (the mail room just returned it unread) or after six or seven months. Only later did I find out how New York mid-lists were collapsing into rubble - narrowing my chances to near zero.

So, I said "forget it" and gave up - but discovered Champagne Books through my writer's group I rejoined. They had recently opened up to genres other than Romance. I thought "With the way the New York publishers have made themselves all but unapproachable to new writers, why not consider a small press?" I submitted "Blade Dancer". I promptly forgot about my submission, but the editors at CB didn't forget about me. My writing life blossomed anew upon being accepted.

If you are going to take up writing, the key word here is perseverance. A dash of flexibility also helps. The small press is a new author's best friend in the current marketplace.