Today is the first anniversary of my book Fated Mates being published. It was truly a labor of love. It had been rattling around in my head for so long, I'm actually surprised my lead character of Dragon didn't pop out of my head and say "WTF" write it down already. It went through so many different versions. Thinking back a lot of the scene's that I deleted, I should have saved and put into the book. The original story had a lot of Dragon back story. You read about the the war and his capture and torture and his fight to get back into the service to come to Earth and meet Liz. I can't say why those scenes didn't make it into the final book. Probably a bad decision on my part, I wanted to jump into the meat of the story.
I have to give a lot of credit to Amber Skyze for Fated Mates being published. Before "meeting" her, I simply was a school teacher from Rhode Island who had a lot of stories in her head. I loved reading erotic romances and every two weeks, I would buy one from Ellora's Cave. One day when I was going through the bio of one of the authors of the books I had just read, I noticed that she was from the same state as me. So in typical "Marie" fashion, I wrote her a fan letter. I told her how much I loved her book, asked her how she got started...and so it began. Amber was wonderful. She answered all my questions and as we got to know one another, we found out we had a huge amount of things in common in our professional as well as our personal lives. She was on the one to recommend Secret Cravings Publishing to me. She heard they were an up and coming publishing company and to give them a try. Within three days of submitting, I had a contract.
Although it turned out fabulous with SCP, Fated Mates dodged a few bullets with other publishing companies where it was submitted. The first publishing company that I sent the manuscript to, sent me a rejection letter within a few hours. It was Aspen Mountain Press. I am extremely glad that someone that day didn't like it because if they did I would be along with the hundreds of other authors fighting viciously to get their rights back from them after their massive implosion. The second company, Noble Romance, had a bit of interest with it. It went back and forth a few times with them wanting revisions, from one editor to the next editor. But when the decision came down to making one, a final editor that I hadn't worked with, gave me the rejection. I really think if it was the editor who wanted the revisions, it would have ended up there. Where would I be today? The same place as with Aspen, trying to get my rights back from a company who wasn't paying their authors their royalties.
So I guess everything happens for a reason, although I hate that phrase unless it's working for me. In this case, it totally did. I love being a SCP author. I love the editors there, Beth and Ariana are the best. Since Fated Mates, I've published two more books and have a contract of three more, a paranormal trilogy that I'm feverishly working on now. So it's been a great writing year, and I'm looking for more to come.