Monday, May 10, 2010

Introducing....Sophie Crane!

Oh, am I ever excited about this - as of last Friday I'm a split personality, and my "newer" half writes dark dystopic fiction for Harlequin Luna! Yep, with the help of my amazing agent Barbara Poelle, we've got a three-book series that will debut next March.

Here's the deal report from Publisher's Marketplace:

Fiction: Debut
Sophie Crane's AFTERTIME, set in post-apocalyptic America, where a woman wakes up in a field missing her memories and badly scared, realizing that somehow she's just recovered from being a zombie and must find her 2-year-old daughter in a desolate land populated by small bands of humans who are no longer the top of the food chain, to Adam Wilson at Luna, in a three-book deal, by Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Agency (world).

And you all know how much I love my web designer, right? Well, check out what she's put together as a "place-holder" until she can build my new site for real:

My new Harlequin editor is Adam Wilson, and I can hardly wait to roll up my sleeves and get to work on this. At the risk of getting a little sloppy, I have to tell you that I never dreamed this day would come, because I submitted each of my four earliest books to Harlequin/Silhouette and received rejections. I now understand many of the problems those earlier books were burdened with - they truly weren't ready for publication - but over the course of those early years I slowly accepted that my voice would not fit with the romances I was trying to write.

Fast forward a decade and several more books. I read all kinds of things, and I write all kinds of things too. Right before my Stella Hardesty series sold, I had written a women's fiction novel that I really loved. I submitted it to the Golden Heart contest, which is the Romance Writers of America's highest honor for unpublished authors. I didn't place, but I looked forward to the judges' comments, hoping for an affirmation that I was on the right path. When my scores came, I found out I had placed in the BOTTOM 25%. I was devastated. Of course someone has to be in the lowest quadrant, but I had been trying so hard for so long and it was far from my first effort...on that day I decided that while I would never leave RWA, I would give up on the idea of ever writing a romance.

Funny how things work out, though. I believe that if you write the proper way - which is to say, without holding back - the stories that you are meant to tell will be impossible to suppress. It's kind of like the oil stain on my old kitchen's ceiling: I did everything I could think of to obliterate it, from scrubbing to sanding to priming and painting over it, and it came back every single time.

So while I pretended I would never write another romance, they crept and elbowed and inveigled their way into my stories. And while I don't think anyone would call AFTERTIME a traditional romance, and while the romance is far subordinate to the rest of the story, to me it is a true and legitimate one and as real as I can possibly make it.

Dare I say it...I am proud of it. Damn proud.

Just moments ago I got my first "welcome" note from a fellow Harlequin author and it gave me a real thrill. I love all my publishers and I am honored to work for them, as they are the finest anywhere. But with this new series I join a group of writers who I never thought would be my colleagues, and I'm just so happy to be there.


Eric said...

Great News! Congratulations. Very well deserved. You are, however, going to be just about the busiest human being on the planet at this rate.

LR said...

That was really inspiring, Sophie. Just goes to show that if you hold on and hold out, you'll find your way.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Congratulations, Sophie. This is great news. And I love the website placeholder...creepy and interesting all at the same time.

Gary Corby said...

Wow, congratulations Sophie!

What's your secret? How on earth are you writing quick enough to do so many books?

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Woohoo! Congratulations.

There's no stopping you now.

Rachael Herron said...

I *love* this post.

Pamela Cayne said...

Not only is this wonderful news, but your story of how you got here is perhaps even more so. I think your lesson of "write without holding back" should be repeated far and wide.

And yeah, I have the same question Gary does--what is your secret? :)


Chris said...

Congratulations! What a fascinating premise!

bagstasher said...

I'm so proud of you! I didn't realize all of the history from your post...having looked up Adam, even better news since he seems to truly love amazing writing...and that's you!