Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Year of Firsts!

I’ve come full circle. 

A year ago today, I sent off my first submission to Harlequin, as part of their So You Think You Can Write competition.  Nerves were an understatement, but three months later to the day, Kathleen Scheibling, senior editor of the American Romance line called me and changed my life. 

What a wonderful year of firsts…

December 13, 2011 – My first submission to Harlequin.  Actually, it was my first submission to any publisher.

My First Sale - March 13, 2012 – BETTING ON TEXAS made it to Harlequin’s American Romance Line.

First Celebratory Dinner – There was champagne, chocolate, flowers and Chinese food.  It was a night I’ll never forget!

First Blog – Fellow American Romance author Marin Thomas grabbed my hand and led me here.  I love visiting with all of you every month.

First Contract – I never saw a document more beautiful!

First Advance Check – You mean they pay me for doing what I love?

First Revisions – No author is perfect.  Our editors find the flaws and steer us in the right direction.  My editor is a dream come true.

First Art Fact Sheet (AFS) – This should have come with a warning!  This is a database where an author enters the fine details about their book, from a character’s physical traits, clothing, scenery, etc., which in turn allows the art department to create our amazing covers. 

First Title Change – For years, my book was known as Double Trouble.  The name had been previously used by another author (shame on me for not doing my homework) so I had to come up with another one.  BETTING ON TEXAS was born.

First Dear Reader Letter – I’ve read hundreds of these, yet when it came time for me to write mine, I had so much to say I didn’t know where to begin.  

First Dedication – Words can’t describe how I feel.  Thank you mom and dad!

First Line Edits – Editor extraordinaire, Kathleen Scheibling, read through and edited each line of my manuscript.  This was the final time for me to make any major revisions to the book.

First Copy Edits - A Copyeditor goes through the manuscript with a fine tooth comb and ensures every comma, every letter, every everything is in the right place.

First Author Alterations (AA’s) - This is the author’s final read through to double check for errors.  A proofreader at Harlequin simultaneously reads the manuscript and changes are made if necessary, before another proofreader runs through it again.

First Pre-Order – Nothing compares to the feeling of seeing your book become available for pre-order at all major booksellers.

First Book Cover – Squee!

I enlarged this puppy to a 16x20, framed it and hung it in my foyer.  People can’t help but notice my cover when they walk through the door.  Obnoxious?  Nah – just proud J

First Proposal – Fellow American Romance sister, Laura Marie Altom, guided me through the right and wrong way to submit a proposal (I am forever grateful!) – Things are much different when a contest isn’t involved.  There were many rewrites…and lots of rum! 

First Multi-Book Contract – The sequels to BETTING ON TEXAS, HOME TO THE COWBOY (August 2013) and LEGACY OF A LONE STAR (early 2014) are coming to a bookshelf near you!

Soon I’ll have my first review, first sales ranking, first time I hold my printed book in my hands and many more firsts I’m sure I don’t even know about yet.

If you had told me exactly one year ago today that I would have three Harlequin books under my belt with so many exciting opportunities ahead of me, I would have said you were crazy. 

I’m living my dream and I wouldn’t trade it in for anything. 

Thank you for coming on this journey with me, I hope you stay for the next one.  The next time we meet, it will be 2013.  Have a safe and wonderful holiday season and a Rockin’ New Year!

Amanda Renee
Betting on Texas (March 2013)
Home to the Cowboy (August 2013)
Legacy of a Lone Star (Early 2014)

Cover Art Copyright © 2013 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.


Scarlet Wilson said...

Congratulations on your year of firsts amanda. Here's to your next first - holding your book in your hand!

Amanda Renée said...

Thank you, Scarlet! Have a wonderful holiday!

Megan Kelly said...

That's terrific news. Congrats and welcome to the family. :)

Laura Marie Altom said...

Awwwww!! Thanks for the shout-out!! Couldn't be happier for you about your AMAZING year of firsts!!!

Amanda Renée said...

Megan, thank you so much! I'm still in awe of all my fellow authors :)

Laura Marie - You rock! You've been there every step of the way for me and I can't thank you enough!

9:33 AM

Laura Marie Altom said...

Thank YOU for being such a fun new friend and Y & R sister!! :-)

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS!It is always so wonderful and very inspiring to read success stories. I can FEEL your joy!I wish you continued success.

Khaleda Ali

Linda Warren said...

Yay for you!!! Congratulations! And welcome to this wonderful craziness.

Amanda Renée said...

Khaleda - Thank you for your kind words!

Linda - Thank you. It's been a blast!