The years with Harlequin/Silhouette turned me from an isolated loner into part of the amazing writing community. I joined RWA, attended conferences, survived my first computer, connected online. I got an agent, paid estimated taxes, spoke at local and regional writing events.
I also learned that although writing is an art and a passion, it is also a business. Publishing companies exist to make money. Editors may love, be indifferent toward their writers, or even hate them, but bottom line is that they have to answer financially to their bosses. Just because I’d sold one book didn’t mean I’d sell another. I did. In fact, before I stopped writing category romances, I’d seen nearly 30 published. I’d also gotten my share of rejections and finally came up against a senior editor (she’s no longer in publishing) who didn’t like my voice. I’d sent a story to my editor who’d forwarded it to the senior editor along with a buy recommendation. The senior editor scrawled, “But she still can’t write” on the recommendation. Somehow that wound up being sent to my then agent who let me know. I’d written a handful of romances for other publishers and could have focused on them I guess, but as when I’d hit the confession wall, I needed to move on.
Historical romances were strong then and my agent suggested I shift to that genre. “But I’m not into history,” I whined. “You live in a National Historic Landmark,” she replied. “Shut up and write.” After kicking a few walls, I went to the local museum and started poking around looking for something to grab my interest.
I was living where gold was first discovered in Oregon and had been raised in California’s gold country but that wasn’t what I was drawn to. What about the Native Americans who watched miners spread over land that had always been theirs? Walking through the hills around the little town, I imagined I was one of those Native Americans. I had to write their story.
Vella Munn has been writing since dirt was new and has no other marketable skills so much continue doing the only thing she wants to in life--other than gardening, being part of her family, and walking the dogs. She wrote category romance and historicals as Vella Munn (most are being republished )and currently writes erotic romance as Vonna Harper. She lives in rural southern Oregon where she avoids shopping as much as possible and counts among her accomplishments going to Alaska and Omaha Nebraska for the college baseball world series. Her latest erotic release is Canyon Shadows with Kensington Aphrodisia.