Robena Grant on her Path to Publishing:
My path to publishing has been rather rocky. I wrote two novels in 2000, and I thought they would magically be picked up by one of the big six publishing houses in New York (probably the big twenty back then.) By 2002, frustrated with rejections, I partnership-published with an Australian press and it cost me a small fortune. I don’t think I ever made back my investment.
I’d never been to a writers conference, had not heard about RWA, and I didn’t read romance. I know! Go figure. But some kind soul set me straight. I signed up, found my local chapter, Los Angeles Romance Authors, and I never looked back, even though it took until early 2013 to get a romance novel published.
During those ten years, I learned that my style of publishing did not count within the realm of RWA. I was published, but I wasn’t. Undaunted, I studied hard. I volunteered. I even did a stint as President of the chapter. Romance novels became my best friends, I devoured them, but that only added to my confusion. I was a fast writer, and I used to joke that I’d written one book in each sub-genre of romance. Sometimes I crossed genres and made a stew. I was a marketing nightmare.
By 2009, I still had not found my niche. However, I had learned the craft of writing from the best. I often said, when I got published I’d do a workshop at RWA National Conference and title it: Everything I Know about Writing, I Learned from Jenny Crusie. I got close to publication with a contemporary and swallowed my disappointment like a giant pill, choking as it went down, when the final decision was no thanks. So, I decided to write a romantic suspense. Why not? I hadn’t tried one of those. After the first book was finished, I sensed the possibility of a series and wrote all three books. I felt that I was close. You know that feeling. It’s like falling in love; you just know.
I entered the 2012 Golden Heart in December 2011, with book #3. In January 2012, I figured why wait around, I’d never final. I submitted the first book to The Wild Rose Press, and got a contract. Then I became a finalist in the GH. TWRP had first right of refusal on any books with ongoing characters. So guess what? Yep, I not only had my first contract, I had three contracts. Later in the year, I submitted one of my favorite writes: Gone Tropical. It released for Kindle on December 27th with a worldwide release set for April, 2014.
Four books in one year! What a journey!
And what can you take from these ramblings? Never give up. Never give in. You’re never too old. Keep reading, keep studying, keep on believing in your dream and it will happen. Tenaciousness wins out. I’m the perfect example. *grin*
Title: Gone Tropical
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date Published: KDP 12-27-2013 Print and all eBook 04-11-2014
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Word Count: 76,436
Amy Helm arrives in Australia on a tip about her ex-husband, Steven Fray, alias Stuart Firth who absconded with five million dollars from her father’s business. The FBI agent’s trail has gone cold. Who better to catch him than a psychologist who has known him intimately?
Ex-LAPD, solitary P.I. Jake Turner has been hired by Amy’s estranged father. Amy is furious. Sarge, Jake’s Aussie partner, claims to be ex-army, but Amy smells Australian Federal Police. When Jake orders Amy to stay in Sydney while they tail Firth, her hackles are raised. Just who in the hell does he think he is?
A game of catch-me-if-you-can, set against the backdrop of the Australian rainforest, a fake marriage, a drug cartel, a barrier reef island, and a cyclone, creates a dizzying ride of fear and romance. But it’s one Amy won’t soon give up.
His voice was deep and steely. “What part of undercover don’t you get?”She narrowed her eyes. “I was using feminine wiles, and—”“Shut up,” Turner whispered, and abruptly turned his back to the lobby.The same bald-headed guy she’d seen earlier spoke with the waiter. Tension coiled through Turner’s body. They were so close, the warmth of his breath fanned across her forehead. He stood taller, like he was on tiptoes or something, his chest puffed out. The bald guy walked past, ignored them, but continued to scan the lobby. He looked like he’d taken a beating.She thumped at Turner’s chest. “Shut up?” she asked. “Where were you anyway? I’ve—”He moved closer, his face expressionless, hazel eyes cold. “Be quiet for a minute. Please.” He gripped the hand that had done the thumping. “Play along.”Her heart raced, and she was unsure if the burst of adrenaline was because of his closeness, or the insinuation of danger. Soap, deodorant, and light citrus after-shave, tickled at her nostrils. Then it struck her, he’d showered and she’d sat down here like an idiot, for hours. About to tell him what she thought of him, she inhaled and realized she liked his scent. The tinkle of china on the glass tabletop disturbed the moment. Jake released her hand, and turned.“So, what was—?”“Darling,” Turner said. He turned back to her, his hazel eyes softened, smoldered, so they looked almost green. “You haven’t had breakfast yet?”Amy shook her head. Darling? She didn’t even know his first name, but he seemed to have a game plan, which was more than she had. And he’d made no comment about her bagel choice. Maybe if she played along, they could be partners. God he smelled sexy. Maybe they could be even more.
Available for purchase at Amazon.
Robena Grant writes contemporary romance about ordinary women thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Travel and discovering new places brings her great pleasure, and she often includes these discoveries in her stories. She is Australian by birth, lives in Southern California, and has two grown children. Robena may be contacted at: www.robenagrant.com
The author is offering one randomly drawn commenter an ebook of GONE TROPICAL. (Format is winner's choice.)