But first fill up your cups and plates at the buffet table with whatever you have been craving most – this is Speedbo after all and you’ve been working hard so you deserve it!
Now, let’s start at the very beginning… no wait, that’s a line from The Sound of Music… Ahem… Let’s fast forward past my formative years where I devoured books…
I wrote my first novel about five years ago. Back then, I wrote in complete isolation. I didn’t know the RWA existed or writer’s conferences or critique groups or any of the rest of this writing subculture. I just felt the need to write a story while I was bedridden during a difficult pregnancy – which is a whole other story!
Suffice it to say, when my daughter was born that sweet romantic novel got tucked away. But after a couple of years I pulled it out. I couldn’t just forget about it and I started editing it. Then I began scanning the internet, researching publishers and agents until I found something that I literally couldn’t believe was real – a library in a major city about an hour away from where I live was hosting a Romance Writer in Residence. I didn’t know what to expect from this but I knew I had to be a part of it. This seemed like divine intervention!
During the course of two months in the fall of 2009, I used this program as a crash course on the romance industry. In that time, I submitted a part of my manuscript to the Writer in Residence, Deborah Cooke. It was fantastic to have a successfully published author critique my work. And to top it off she thought it had potential! Seriously, I asked her – so this whole publishing thing isn’t just an online scam? She assured me it wasn’t. And how could I not believe her, she was in fact a case in point, being a New York Times bestselling author and all! And as the saying goes, she had never lied to me before! Lol
So all these people telling aspiring writers to read what they want to write wasn’t just a way to sell more books… Hmmm… Well I had been working my way through the classics for some years, but there was little chance that I would find a time machine to take me back to write along with Jane Austen, Charles Dickens or the Bronte sisters, so what should I read?
Again, the answer presented itself… Deborah had guest bloggers from all different genres of romance come by to chat and that is when I got introduced to Inspirational Romance thanks to Linda Ford and Lyn Cote. Needless to say I was hooked! I searched Inspirational Romance out on Harlequin.com and joined that friendly community forum. And I read several titles such as A Forever Christmas by our very own Seekerville writer Missy Tippens who introduced me to this remarkable blog, which added to my knowledge of writing immensely and let me meet some fabulous writers both published and aspiring of course! And that’s why I didn’t just bring a batch of cookies today, you all deserve more, so I brought a whole buffet!
Anyway, back to that book. I rewrote it more times than I care to count but it never quite fit the line I was targeting. So in the spring of 2010 I wrote Highland Hearts with Love Inspired Historical in mind, but before I sent it in I submitted it to a couple contests to get some feedback. And then I waited. And waited, until I got that feedback. And then I revised. And revised. Lol By the end of 2010, a year after I started seriously looking into publication, I sent in my manuscript to Harlequin and I got “the call” in April 2011 with the news that Highland Hearts was set for publication nearly a year later in March 2012! So you see it can be done!
Here is the back cover description of Highland Hearts set in 1748 Scotland:
Logan McAllister survived years of indentured servitude in the Americas to reach this moment. Now he’s returned to Scotland, ready to redeem the secret promise from Sheena Montgomery’s father – that his years as an indentured servant would earn him Sheena’s hand in marriage. But when he arrives home, he learns that Sheena’s father has died, his contract has been lost… and Sheena is engaged to another man.
If anyone is interested in reading the first scene from Highland Hearts please follow this link: http://amzn.to/HighlandHearts And if you would like to see the book trailer for Highland Hearts please follow this link: http://evamariahamilton.com/ But then of course please come back!
Now I know from reading this blog we all have different paths to follow on the road to publication, but the one thing that is constant for all of us is that the only way to actually get a book published is to write one! So go for it! Do what you love to do – write! And let us know where you are in your writing journey so we can cheer you on!
And if you’d like to be entered into the drawing for a chance to win a signed copy of Highland Hearts please answer the following question: since I am always looking out for new names for characters, what are some of your favorite Scottish names, both first and last names, male and female? (Winner announced in the Weekend Edition)
Thanks again for having me on Seekerville today! I’ll be checking in to respond to comments so let the party begin!
Eva Maria Hamilton spent years studying people from all different areas of academia and brings that understanding of the human condition into each of her written pieces. An advocate for lifelong learning, Eva Maria Hamilton studied in both Canada and the United States, earning a diploma in Human Resources Management, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, an Honors Bachelor of Arts Degree in History, and a Master of Science in Education.
here. Comment today for a chance to win! Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.