And a very happy birthday to Crimson Romance, which launched its first books on June 4, 2012.
Firsts are always an important celebration, and to help commemorate ours, we asked our authors to tell us about how they first found out Crimson had accepted their manuscript. Screaming and crying? A common reaction in this rightfully emotional industry. Elizabeth Boyce (Once a Duchess) managed to calm her shaking fingers to call her husband, her mom, her best friends .. but none of them answered their phones. (Her sister made up for it with a bottle of champagne, George’s husband brought flowers and they broke out into an impromptu party after all).
Susanne Matthews (Fire Angel) was crying so hard, her husband on the other end of the phone thought something horrible had happened. “I guess men don’t understand the difference between sad tears and happy tears. I was shaking so badly, it took three tries to compose the thank you email,” she recalls.
“To say I almost fell out of my chair would be an understatement,” says Traci Douglass (Seal of Destiny). Chalk her up for not only the controllable tears but screaming and happy dancing around the room. Meanwhile, Nicole Flockton (Masquerade) thought the email was a rejection and erased it on her phone. Thank goodness it remained on her laptop or her screams of joy may have been just the opposite.
Peggy Bird (Beginning Again) received the good news, appropriately enough, on Valentine’s Day while watching her granddaughter play basketball. The Libra Affair’s Daco opened her email on Halloween. “It was all candy that day,” she says. “I got the best treat of my life.”
And it was a Hallmark Christmas moment for Susan Arden (Tempted by Trouble) who found writing a wonderful outlet after neurosurgery altered her life. The acceptance letter came at a time when she’d begun to doubt herself. “The news was the perfect gift under the tree.”
No, You Read It
They may be literary, but more than one of our authors couldn’t believe what they were reading. D’Ann Lindun (Mississippi Blues) admits she made her daughter read it to be sure she wasn’t going blind. That was five Crimson books ago.
The speed of the acceptance letter throws many authors who are used to the old adage that bad news travels faster. That’s why Irene Preston (Infamous) says she kept looking for the “I’m sorry” sentence in her acceptance letter that memorable Monday morning after a Friday submission.
But perhaps no one was as upset as Leslie Garcia (Unattainable) when she saw the email sitting in her box. “I cursed and pounded the table, but decided to open it. She said it wowed her. I closed the e-mail and pounded the table again. How could she reject something that ‘wowed’ her?” It took a second look to convince her this was a bona fide offer.
Taking Care of Business
But for most Crimson authors, the news came in the middle of business as usual. That’s how Elley Arden learned Save My Soul had been accepted, all while standing in the middle of a gated-off kitchen, praying her new puppy wouldn’t miss the newspaper.
Becky Flade’s big moment turned into a classic horror flick. On the phone with a business matter when she opened her personal email account, she whispered into the phone, “Oh my God” before disconnecting the call. The colleague was so worried, she down to Flade’s office and showed up at the door. Yep, she bought a copy of the book, Fated Souls.
Monica Tillery (Kiss Me, Katie) was heading out for a day trip to a new museum with a car full of kids. She told her husband she wouldn’t check email to avoid bad news ruining the day, but she broke that agreement at the gas station. BAM! there it was— and she wore a goofy smile instead of a frown.
Micah Persell (Of Eternal Life) was on a field trip with 60 high school kids, while Melinda Dozier (Breaking the Rules) read the email while her sixth graders were watching a video in class. “I jumped, squealed, and my students thought I was crazy. So, I stopped the video, announced my news, and the entire class gave me a group hug—24 12-year-olds celebrating my steamy romance.
And finally, there are those tender stories of spouses, memories and perspective these moments bring. Bobbie Roman’s spouse told her to open the email like a Band-Aid, rip it off super fast. Obviously Swamp Magic was accepted, “and I don’t fear the unknown email any longer,” she shares.
When Robyn Neeley heard that Christmas Dinner would be published later in 2013, she was on a DC train commuting home. Two years earlier, she sat on the same train and scratched some sentences on a notepad the day after her kitty passed away. Those sentences ended up being the prologue to her book. “That I found out the news on the train was a very special moment for me,” says Neeley.
“The day I received the email started out one of those terrible, no-good, horrible days,” confides Nancy C. Weeks (In the Shadow of Greed). She’d just learned one of her dearest friends was ill enough they needed to call a priest … and the day went downhill from there. The email began with “Hi Nancy, thank you for considering Crimson Romance…” and she shut it down, unable to emotionally handle another rejection. It took five hours before she returned to her desk. “The silly grin that email gave me is still plastered on my face. It’s amazing how the worst day turned around to become one of the best days of my life.”
May all your dreams come true as well.