I had been beating my head against the desk trying to past chapter three of Murder at Mass when a book arrived in the mail. At that time (before ereaders) I subscribed to the Doubleday Book Club and The Mystery Guild. In one monthly flyer they were promoting a book called Cry No More by Linda Howard. I was so dense as far as romance novels and romantic suspense went I had no idea who Linda Howard was.
But I liked the description of the book so I ordered it.
I have to tell you it’s still one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I think one of Linda Howard’s best. I was sucked right into it and couldn’t put it down. This, I thought, this is for me. I’m going to write romantic suspense. And I sat back down at the computer.
I wrote that first book in two weeks. Yup, that’s right, two weeks. I’m sure you can imagine how good it was. Luckily my husband didn’t mind that I was glued to my desk all that time. The book was written in an effort to create my own version of Diaz, the hero in Cry No More. And I thought in Quinn, the hero of my story, I had done a credible job.
But of course what did I do. I had never heard of things like backstory, POV (point of view), show don’t tell, pacing, all the things that make a book good. I was so green I made grass look brown.
I went to a book signing at Barnes & Noble and met several wonderful women from the local RWA chapter who invited me to come to a meeting and join. That’s when I really learned how much I didn’t know. Besides the writing itself, I learned that most editors buy one out of ten thousand manuscripts a year. That even if an associate or assistant editor likes your story it still has to be approved by the senior editor. That if they buy it, it can take better than a year for the book to be released and another nine months before you get your first royalties.
And that’s if you have an agent! Which, by the way, is harder to get than winning the lottery.
So my manuscript, Run For Your Life, worked its way through the critique group and in the meantime I wrote another book and another. And the rejection letters were piling up on my desk.
That’s the moment when Fate stepped in again.
Tomorrow: Desiree Holt Day Seven
Desiree Holt’s writing is flavored with the rich experiences of her life, including a long stretch in the music business representing every kind of artist from country singer to heavy metal rock bands. For several years she also ran her own public relations agency handling any client that interested her, many of whom might recognize themselves in the pages of her stories. She is twice a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award, a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award for best BDSM book of the year, winner of two Holt Medallion Awards of Merit, multiple winner of the Whipped Cream Book of the Week Award and is published by five different houses. Romance Junkies said of her work: “Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.”