Path to Publishing by Jan Meredith:
I pounded out my first romance novel in the late 80’s on a manual typewriter, and I do mean pounded. You have to really want to get those words down to labor over one of those things, let me tell you. The beautiful, big electric job I later bought was a dream, and I finished two more manuscripts—one of which I burned because it was that bad.
Life stepped in and my writing was put on hold as I went back to public work to help support my family, but my characters were always there, in the background, reminding me they had a story to be told.
In 2009, now an RN, I decided to give writing another shot. I was heavily into the paranormal genre at that time, reading the Twilight series and anything by Sherrilyn Kenyon I could get my hands on. Sadly, writing a supernatural novel wasn’t nearly as easy as reading it, so I decided to give contemporary romance another shot. In February of 2010, Harlequin Mills & Boon was doing an editor’s pitch contest for their Medical Romance imprint. All I needed to enter the contest was a two-paragraph blurb. Okay, I was a medical person, big on the concept of write what you know, so I sat down, wrote out the blurb and sent it in, figuring that was the last I’d hear of it.
Much to my surprise, my blurb was one of the six chosen to pitch to the editor of the medical imprint. I did a ten-minute online pitch, ending in a request to submit the first three chapters of the book. Total surprise! Total panic—now I had to write those chapters. Those chapters garnered me the most awesome two-page feedback letter from Flo Nicole, editor of the medical romance line, with the request to set this story aside and send something else. A rejection, yes, but the best one any writer could hope for.
My characters didn’t want to be put aside, demanding I finish their story. I took the editor’s advice, revised the chapters and began researching potential publishers to submit to. I sent them out to three, all of which requested the completed manuscript.
One of those publishers was a new boutique publisher with a business model I found intriguing. Everything they had to offer was exactly what I was looking for, and the only one of whom gave me immediate advice about what the chapters needed. The editor was Heather Howland and the publisher was Entangled Publishing.
While working to complete the book, I enrolled in several writing workshops with Savvy Authors, one of the best decisions of my career. I also participated in NaNoWriMo Smackdown with Savvy Authors and Entangled Publishing, working with Heather Howland and her assistants. The experience was awesome!
One of the workshops I was doing required the first chapter of a work in progress. As I only had the one, I sent the first chapter of Playing Doctor in. I received a direct message from the editor doing the workshop, asking if I would consider submitting the book to her. At this point, I was struggling with how to end my book—did I make it a full length contemporary or end it as a longer novella? I decided to go with the novella, ending the story with an approximate 33k word count, sent it to my critique partner, tweaked it again and struggled with what to do. I was, in my heart, writing for Heather Howland and her awesome new imprint, Brazen, but the word count was falling short of what that imprint required. In the end, I submitted to both editors, never dreaming that two days later, Total-e-bound would offer me a contract. What to do? It was an offer to sell, but something held me back.
Then I got an email from Tarha Seplowin, Heather Howland’s assistant editor, informing me they wanted to take my book to acquisitions. The excitement I had been waiting for hit! A week later, Heather came back with an offer of contract and I accepted and signed to publish Playing Doctor under their Ever After novella imprint.
During edits, Entangled came up with the awesome idea of separating their novella imprints, creating a sexy new Flaunt imprint and on November 25, 2013, Playing Doctor released in the initial launch of the line.
PLAYING DOCTOR/Entangled Publishing/FLAUNT/ ~34k/120 pages
Contemporary Erotic Romance
One of 6 novellas included in the launch of the sexy new imprint, FLAUNT
Release/Launch date: November 25, 2013
When a fellow RN jokingly predicts that Beth Roberts will meet a tall, ripped and totally lick-o-licious stranger who will fulfill her deepest desires, it’s supposed to be from across a crowded room, not giving CPR to a wedding guest. Given her tragic love life, Beth has no desire to become involved again, but who could have predicted the ponytailed doctor with the mischievous smile would break through her defenses?
Dr. Gabriel North blamed himself for his wife’s death. Now, after two years of battling guilt and meaningless hookups, he’s ready to move on. When he sees the sexy brunette at his friend’s wedding, his attraction is swift and strong, and he wastes no time in pressing his advantage. One night with the woman who makes him feel alive again isn’t enough. She believes in the physician, but getting her to trust the man is going to take more than medical school has prepared him for.
“Thank you for the drink.” She picked up the glass, took a cautious sip.“Water and lemon. I didn’t know your preference, and it seemed the safest choice.”Beth watched as he lifted his glass to his mouth and drank deeply. She swallowed as if the cool liquid was sluicing down her own suddenly parched throat and wondered how the simple act of water sliding past his lips could appear so erotic. And the way he licked it from his lips—not a regular old dart-and-swish, mind you, but a leisurely swipe of his tongue, and she could almost feel the rasp of it along the seam of her…Heat, dark and rich, infused her sex. She shifted in her chair and tipped her hips down in an attempt to relieve the ache building there, only to find it heightened the sensation.“It’s not very comfortable, is it?”Blinking, Beth watched Gabe’s mouth curl into a slight smile. When she looked up, a glint of amused hunger brightened his eyes.He knows. He knows what he’s doing to me. How freaking embarrassing! And how incredibly hot.She cleared her throat. “I’m sorry?” Was that her voice, all breathy and sultry?He paused, studied her for a moment, and then said, “The chair…it’s not very comfortable.”Relief washed over her, quickly followed by a touch of disappointment. Had she misread him? “No, no it isn’t.” To prove it, Beth shifted again and crossed her legs. She groaned inwardly when the change of position rubbed her thighs and the needy territory between them together, intensifying her little problem.“Sometimes,” Gabe started thoughtfully, turning his glass in small half circles on the tabletop and drawing her attention there. His broad thumb streaked the condensation on the glass and then paused to slowly circle one small area. Beth scrunched down a little and squeezed her thighs together. “Sometimes, you have to find just the right…spot.”Clench!“Yes, well,” Beth clamped her fingers around her glass. Her toes curled inside her shoes. She shifted slightly, dragging her gaze up from the motion of his thumb on the glass. Warm, observant eyes looked back at her, full of promise and possibilities. Well. Maybe she hadn’t misread him after all. “Fortunately, I won’t be sitting on it for long.”“Fortunately,” he agreed solemnly.
Available for purchase:
Jan Meredith has loved reading humorous, spicy romances since her teens. In 2012, she decided to write one of her own. What began as a two-paragraph blurb for a writing contest eventually became, Playing Doctor. She lives in South Central Kentucky, near Mammoth Cave National Park with her husband (her former high school sweet heart) Tommy. She spends her weekends working as an Infusion Therapy nurse, and her weekdays writing and plotting her next book. She has two sons, Phillip, also an RN, and Justin, a student at Western KY University, studying for his BSN in nursing.
You can learn more about her at her web site.