Some days you wake up and you expect an ordinary day. The sun is up, blinding you on your drive to work, your boss leaves his briefcase in front of the microwave again and you feel mean moving it, but you're going to die (worse case scenario), er, fall asleep at your desk if you don't have hot water for tea. You know eight long hours are separating you from another day when you can get home and relax. Today is probably not the day you're going to win the lottery, but you can dream. Average day, right?
Here's what happened next. I opened my email, because I was waiting on cover art for Wildwood Spring and I half-expected third round edits, because my Breathless editor is super fast--so super fast, that we have a projected release date of February 28, 2014. Wow! Five months before the dreaded 19+13 birthday, but we're thinking book release, not birthday!
Instead, I had cover art for The Wrong Brother's Bride. This is it:
Is that not utterly beautiful? You bet it is. And I don't think I need to remind you, this is one of my very favorite books I've ever written and I'm in love with this cover.
And then I also got this:
So perfect for Wildwood. Snowy manor, hot man. Yep, that'll do nicely. February 28, people! It's the White People Almost Kissing collection from yours truly.
But that's not the big news. For a couple of weeks, Renee, the CEO of Lyrical, was hinting at a big change. Change can be scary, but I was kind of thinking maybe she'd absorbed another company or merged or something, because the email addresses were suddenly changing and my editor said, if you have anything to sub make sure it comes to my personal email.
Erm, I was kind of right:
Kensington Publishing purchased Lyrical Press. Lyrical is going to be an imprint of eKensington now.
Pick your jaw up off the floor. Take your time, though, I know exactly what you're going through.
When I got the news, I was almost speechless. It was a trial to say, "uh-huh, uh-huh" in agreement to anything going on around me. Aliens are attacking? Uh-huh. The earth has cracked and we're all gonna die? Uh-huh. The tea I'm drinking tastes like bog water? Uh-huh.
I got up from my chair, went to the bathroom and bawled like someone near and dear had just died. I cried when I got the offer for the contract on Convict, and with Bride. I cried when I got cover art for both too. I leaned against the bathroom stall door (we have good cleaning ladies, no worries), and sobbed. My make up was gone within a minute. Oops.
I'm so dumbfounded by the way 2013 has gone and how it ended. When I started writing Convict at the end of 2008, I swear, I'd forgotten or maybe never even learned all the rules about writing. It was a good idea with a not so good writer behind it, but I was so lucky because I had a lot of help learning or relearning the things that make a novel good. Then when I packed it away in 2010 because I just couldn't handle another revision right then, I honest to God thought I was done with it. It was the gateway novel that spurred me on to write other things. I considered pulling it out in 2011 to rewrite and pitch at ORACon, then I got so busy with the Weta contest, I knew I'd never have time. So it waited.
If I hadn't been slightly bored after I finished The Siren's Sentinel, I wouldn't be flabbergasted by Renee's news. I'd be thinking, man, those lucky ducks (or I knew I should've pitched when D'Ann hosted Lyrical on her group blog!).
Funny thing is, when I pitched it and got the offer for the contract, I just kept thinking what a miracle it was. This book that was stuffed into the dark recesses of my flash drive opened a door for me. Before I subbed Convict, I honestly thought I'd never write historical romance again. Not because I don't love it, I really, really do, but you know I've been writing some pretty wacky stuff the last couple of years.
When the news broke that Kensignton purchased Lyrical, I was shaky, I had tears, I had to go to the bathroom so my poor co-worker wouldn't think I'd completely lost it. I was lightheaded and giddy.
One little decision turned into this huge, huge thing. Stuff like this doesn't happen to me, you guys. I told Renee, "I'm nobody" and she said, "You're somebody."
God, I'm crying again. This is like the Cinderella story. Little Missouri author who put everything into learning self-publishing takes a risk and expects a 'no', but gets a hand up. I mean, if the ratty jeans and too big shirt I'm wearing changed into a ballgown right now, I don't think I could be anymore surprised and pleased. Renee sent along the new .epub formats for Convict and Bride. They look so amazing.
Kensington. Linda Lael Miller publishes with Kensington. She's one of my my absolute favorite romance authors. Oh my God. Pinch me. Go on, because I must be dreaming.