Monday, May 10, 2010
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:
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 I submitted it to the Golden Heart contest, which is the Romance Writers of America's highest honor for unpublished authors.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.