‘The Big Five’! I have signed a contract with Harper Collins for two erotic romances, which will be published under the company’s digital first imprint HarperImpulse.
And even though I have had other books published, this was the first time I’d actually got ‘The Call’.....
I sent ‘Summer of Surrender’ to Harper Collins on impulse(!). I’d read so many positive stories about them, and I loved the covers and stories they were publishing – they looked like a dream team to me - but I still had those doubts about whether it was worth sending my story in. What if it was too racy for them? They hadn't yet released any erotic stories and I just didn't know what they’d think about mine! (They have released one now, by the wonderful Aimee Duffy, and more are on the way).
I hesitated, sent it off to another publisher and packed my suitcase for an early morning flight to Barcelona. But, sitting on the plane, I still wasn't sure I’d done the right thing – I wanted to be part of the HarperImpulse team. On the beach next day, with the mojitos flowing I suddenly decided that if I didn't try, I’d never know, and if it was too spicy then I could always write something a bit sweeter. Luckily my other half had his laptop with him (at the apartment not the beach!), and the story was saved up there in the cloud. So, sat on a sunny terrace in Barcelona I wrote a covering letter and hit send. Then had another mojito!
A couple of days later I had an offer from the other publisher. What should I do now? I emailed the lovely Charlotte Ledger and explained the situation to her. I got an email response almost instantly, she had just left the office and would be away for a few days. Could I wait until next week for an answer?
I waited, bit my nails. Waited. Couldn't wait any longer (I'm not very patient). Sent a very apologetic email asking if there was any news, then went out. When I checked my emails on my mobile ten minutes later she’d already replied. She had been looking for my phone number when my email had popped up, could we have a chat? Yes, yes, yes! I raced home and sat by the phone. Nudged it. Checked it was working. Filed my nails. Annoyed the cat. Annoyed my other half. Then she rang, ‘The Call’!!
The instant she spoke I knew I’d made the right decision in sending my manuscript to HarperImpulse, I’d been right to wait…. And I was so relieved that I hadn't shocked Charlotte with my scorching story! I can’t remember everything she said, but I did gather that she loved the story and wanted to publish it! My other half came up to sit with me on the bed and listen to all my ‘yes’, ‘wow’, ‘thank you’ and ‘pleases’. Then he took me out to celebrate. Since then things have just got better and better, Harper are a great team to work with – I already love them to bits and the hardest bit has been keeping the secret until now!
Next week I'm off down to London for a party at Harper Collins (me, at an author party with my publisher, wow!) and I can’t wait to meet Charlotte and the team, some of their other authors and romance readers and writers. I will report back!
So, that is my call story. I'm thrilled, excited and still a bit shell shocked. My first book with HI, ‘Summer of Surrender’ will be released as an e-book on 7th November 2013, and will be available as a paperback at a later date. You can pre-order it now from Amazon (com) or Amazon (UK) and I’ll be updating my website www.ZaraStoneley.com with more news and an excerpt soon!
And, in case you've missed it, here is the stunning cover.....