Readers who have stopped by here in the past may have seen me talking about my current HQN contract. Well, I'm delighted to announce that I've finally completed THE BURLINGTON MANOR AFFAIR and it's now with my editor. I say finally, because there was a bit of a glitch in the midst of writing it, both on the personal front (health issues) and practical issues with the book itself.
I thought I'd talk about the practical issues here in case other authors find themselves in a similar quandary. Let me explain…
BM was originally conceived as a single title novel, and when my editor saw it she loved the outline and partial. Harlequin subsequently offered a two book contract. I was thrilled! We chatted about the second book and I (who likes a good challenge) wondered if I could have a go at writing BM as a two book series. It's a popular trend that many authors are doing really well. My editor approved the 2 book outline and off I went.
Well… (deep breath before confession) I couldn't make it happen... it just wasn't right for the book. I felt awful about it. BM is a complex erotic romance with a mystery/suspense sub plot, ie big and substantial, but when I tried to make the story span two books it felt like a two parter in all the wrong ways. I gave myself a hard time for it, and for a long while too. So many authors can do this well, I thought, surely I could rise to the challenge? I'd done linked books and loved working that way, but this was different. It didn’t feel right for me, and especially not for the story…
So, I braced myself and went to my editor and 'fessed up. I suggested I write it as one book after all, and put in some new ideas later on for the second part of the contract. Bottom line, I was convinced it wasn't right for the book, so I had to do it. I was sure this was a horrible faux pas for an author, admitting I couldn’t do what I thought and said I could deliver…. My agent was hugely supportive, but even so I cringed as I waited for my editor's response.
A huge cloud lifted when she understood my feelings about the book, and respected me for braving up and asking for flexibility with the contract. I'm eternally grateful for that. She recognised that I was being honest about what I thought was going to result in the best book for her and for the readers.
Now that BM is done and in, I know I did the right thing for the story. A relationship story over a series of books is not my forte, hands up, I admit it. But Carmen and Rex, the protagonists in BM, knew it even more than me to begin with. ;)
So, at this point I can share that the book is currently scheduled for April, and I've seen gorgeous cover concepts. Photos will be shot soon and hopefully I'll be able to share as soon as it's finalised.
I always say that writing teaches me new things every day, and that’s been truer than ever this year.
More news from me soon!