Message From The Author
When I set out to write I never thought I’d try my hand at an exotically set historical, but The Surrender of a Lady demanded (of my imagination) to be told. My heroine, Jinan, was just one of those characters that popped up in my head and refused to leave until her story was written down on the page. I knew I was on the right path in succeeding my dream of publication with this book.
At the same time, I was scared it would never sell. Though there is a lot of love for harem romances, there is also a lot of trepidation to read about women who are essentially slaves. There is no sugar coating in my story. I tried to keep it as accurate (historically) as I could, because it was essential for the heroine’s character growth. A modern thinker wouldn’t necessarily embrace the enslavement, the adjustments and the treatment Jinan does, but I like to think that a lady of that time period would and learn to manipulate those around her in a man’s world so as to make it the best life she could for herself and her child.
The book was by no means a walk in the park to write, either. While I had vivid images of certain scenes that were to take place in the book, I knew nothing of the setting, culture or time period (I’d only tried writing Georgian before this). I wrote down the images in my head, but for the rest of the book I had to do a significant amount of research. This book (more specifically my character Jinan) was too special to me to screw up. The book took seven months to research and write.
When it was done, I went to my very first writers conference. I was determined to pitch the book to an agent I’d had my eyes on for a while. (A pitch telling my story in ten seconds or less with a really great hook that reels in the person sitting opposite you, kind of like speed dating.) My first pitch went terribly and about ten minutes later I had to sit down with my future agent and start the pitch session all over again. I was in a state of shock, and a little numb from my previous attempt.
I was also really nervous and asked if I could read from my paper (because I couldn’t look another person in the eye that might hate the whole premise so much they practically hissed at me). The agent was gracious and patient, told me to go ahead and after I buzzed through my two sentences, she smiled and asked me very pointed questions about the story, which I answered, and then we talked about our favorite gothics and writing contests like we were old school chums. I remember the moderators walking behind my agent trying to get me to wrap up. I kept eye contact with the agent, trying to keep the conversation going, happy for the first time that morning. Said agent asked me for the full!
Three weeks later, she called to offer representation. I accepted without hesitation.
When the book went out on submission, I wasn’t expecting an offer to come in so quickly. Not only that, but the offer came in before any rejections. I couldn’t believe my story was going to sell. My strange, exotic story that really couldn’t be compared to anything else out there, because, well, I couldn’t find anything else like it.
So now the release is here. I’d have to say, I’m more nervous than anything. I’m excited, too. And I really can’t wait for this debut initiation into publishing to be over so I can just focus on my next books. I’ll be touring all over the net for the next three weeks, trying very hard not to repeat myself and look forward to seeing some friendly faces, new and familiar.
I really hope readers love reading Jinan and Rothburn's story as much as I loved writing it.
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