The road to publication can be hard, bumpy, and full of potholes and detours. Especially ‘back in the day’ when authors didn’t have as many options as we do now. I’ve been writing for longer than I care to admit with just a couple of traditional contracts to my name. But as most of you know, authors aren’t waiting on someone in New York to deem their writing worthy with a traditional contract. Writers are taking their careers into their own hands and turning out unique and exceptional product without the big houses in the Big Apple.
But let me back up a second…all the way to 2000. The new millennium brought a great many changes in my life–some good, some bad. I suffered the loss of my twins to miscarriage, got pregnant again, had the baby, and sold my first book. (Not quite in this order.) Yup. Lots of upheaval. But a book! I was over the moon. All of my hard work was finally going to pay off. I was getting in (almost) at the ground floor with a up and coming, brand new publisher. I could just see myself as one of their top authors. It was fantastic!
But it didn’t happen that way.
I worked for *months* on the extensive rewrite to what I thought was a fun and scathingly brilliant story about a man who is forced to get married in order to inherit his family’s fortune. For reasons that had nothing to do with the business of books, the house went under and my rights for Can’t Buy Me Love were returned to me. Big sigh.
Fast forward to today. The changes to Can’t Buy Me Love were so vast that I now have two versions of the same story. And like any writer I love them both. I spent a great deal of time crafting both stories and they are both a worthy read. But which one should I put forth?
Then it hit me–why should I choose? I already said that I love them both. Why not let the reader have the opportunity to read them both? But that meant even more changes. And so All You Need Is Love was born.
The heroine was easy to name, but the hero’s name eluded me. I decided to hold a contest of sorts and allow the readers to help me pick a name for my hero. So be watching in the next few days for the beginning of the Name My Hero Contest. Because every great hero deserves a great name.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while you mull over your entry. The name has to go with McFarland, his last name. And it needs to be a strong name, he’s a romance hero after all.
Next week I’ll start taking suggestions for the name and allow readers to submit their entries until July 1. At that time, I’ll pick my favorite three and allow you to come back and vote for your favorite. Voting will continue until August 1. At this time, the voting will end. The name that gets the most votes from the readers will be the hero of All You Need Is Love. And the name of everyone who participated will be ‘tossed in a hat’ and a ‘winner’ will be chosen at random.
What’s the winner get? The thrill of helping name my newest hero and a reader’s survival pack including fabulous Amie Louellen swag and more.
A complete list of rules and contest prizes will be available next week. Until then, here’s the blurb and cover for All You Need Is Love to inspire you!
Three months to get married. It’s every bachelor’s nightmare, especially when there’s millions at stake. Thanks to his aunt’s kooky will, that’s exactly where ‘John’ McFarland finds himself: get a wife or lose it all. At least he only has to stay married for a year.
Small town girl, Claire Campbell is struggling to make it in big city Dallas. So when ‘John’ proposes what choice does she have? She has no place to live and no more money put aside. As ‘John’s’ wife, she’d have a year to get on her feet. A year and one million dollars!
But when ‘John’s’ brother, Devin, returns home with his own wife in tow, the stakes climb even higher. Now John has to deal with his wayward sibling, Devin’s Brazilian bride, in addition to his own wife and his aunt’s pampered pooch. To make matters worse, he might just be falling in love with Claire. All in the name getting what is rightfully his. The guy who said All You Need Is Love surely didn’t have millions on the line.