I am excited, honored, and humbled to announce that I have found a home for my book, A Home for Christmas, with Champagne Book Group! I signed the contract this weekend and have received the go ahead to share the news.
This is a dream come true for many reasons. I've wanted to be an author since I was a child, and I've always had a love of writing. But I lost sight of that goal many years ago when I lost my mother. I had promised her when I was little that I would write her one "kissing book" (what I called romance novels back then) and dedicate it to her when I was published. She passed away in 2002, and I put my dream and that promise on the back burner while I pursued a career in an entirely different area.
In 2019, I began to revisit that dream. I was doing well, both financially and professionally, and felt it was time to refocus on my writing. I started writing Home just before Christmas, got about 2 or 3 chapters in, and then set it aside. A few months later, I found inspiration in a Hallmark television show, of all places. For my fellow #hearties, Elizabeth's writing journey in When Calls the Heart was the inspiration I needed to truly pursue my writing. I applied to multiple MFA programs in the summer of 2020 and enrolled in one of them for the fall. Having deadlines for submitting work coupled with my first #NaNoWriMo was the kick in the pants I needed to finish the book. I spent 2021 revising and editing, as well as dipping a toe in the querying pool through Twitter pitch fests.
It was on my second #PitMad that my book was discovered by Cassie Knight at Champagne. She hearted one of my pitches and I sent my query package. About a month later, on the same day I received a rejection from an agent, she requested a full. I was in the throes of doing another major edit, so it took me about two weeks to send the full back to her. But I did, on my birthday, and my one wish was for a book deal. About a week later, my wish was granted and I received an email with an offer!
This offer comes at a very poignant time for me as I'm quickly approaching a milestone I've been dreading. My mother passed away when I was only 19 years old. This December 13th is the 19th anniversary of her passing, which means that I will have lived longer without her than I was able to with her. But at least now, I can say that I've finally kept my promise. While the book is not quite the steamy "bodice ripper" she enjoyed, it is a romance and there is a kiss, so as far as I'm concerned it counts!
I really want to thank so many people. My mom, first and foremost, for believing in my writing before I even hit double digits in age. My father and siblings, for supporting my goals and my chaotic path to getting here. My husband and my daughter, for putting up with me locking myself away to write, and my constant commentary on the process (both positive and negative). Thanks to my bffs Tabitha and Kate, who have supported me on this journey for decades. Huge thanks to my ride or die friends from my first master's degree at American University: Michaela and Liz, who are convinced I'm going to be famous. To my writing community at Pitch to Published, especially Craig who has also published with Champagne and was kind enough to share his experience with me, thank you. Thanks to the writing community on Twitter as well for retweeting and commenting on my pitches and just being generally awesome!
I'd also like to thank the amazing staff and faculty at Queens University of Charlotte, who accepted me into their MFA program and have helped to shape my writing. Really huge thanks to all of my English teachers over the years, from Mrs. Bryan who first saw my potential for writing in the second grade, to Mr. Santee, who made my papers bleed in the 10th grade, to Ms. Young who has supported my siblings and I throughout our path to adulthood. And finally, to all of my coworkers at CMS, thank you for believing in me.
I can't wait to get started on this process and make this book the best it can be. I'll keep everyone posted on the release date and maybe even do a cover reveal. I'm so excited!
12/2/2021 04:26:07 am
Congrats on the publishing deal. That is exciting news. Well written and informative blog post. Best of luck!
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Book reviews, random thoughts, and writing samples from an aspiring author.