|Image by Bill Selak, via Flickr|
It was sheer chance that my first manuscript landed on the desk of an editor who not only liked it but had a space on her list for it. If it hadn’t sold, I would not have persevered, never having had a burning desire to be a writer. I wrote it to postpone having to go out and look for a “proper” job.
With my second publisher (after the first quit doing Regencies before buying my second effort), I had several different editors over the years. All were great to work with except one—and luckily she was only there long enough to drive me nuts over one book. When, years later, it became an e-book, I reversed many of the changes she had made, with the unfortunate result (okay, Lady Luck’s not always on my side) that a monkey never previously mentioned appeared on the stairs of a London mansion halfway through the book. Only one reader ever wrote to me in puzzlement...
At about the same time, my ex and I split up and I needed to start seriously making a living. Just then, luckily, Harlequin restarted their defunct Regency line; I met a senior editor at an RWA conference; she had heard my name from their new Regency editor, who was a fan of mine; and they were actively looking for manuscripts. For a while, just when I needed the work, I was writing four books a year, for two publishers.
Scandal’s Daughter. I sold it to Zebra on the basis of two short paragraphs: a sentence or two about the heroine, the same for the hero, and that they’d travel together from Istanbul to England.
She not only loved it, she suggested a couple of scenes that I’d meant to write but somehow hadn’t fitted in! Talk about being on the same wavelength.
And talking about editors who come and go, I’ve seen the careers of friends derail because the editor who loved their work moved on and for one reason or another couldn’t take them along. The best luck of my career is having a mystery editor who has stayed. He bought my first mystery, Death at Wentwater Court in 1993, and 22 years later he’s still at the same publisher and still buying my work, the most recent being Superfluous Women, with a couple more on the way.
Thanks, Lady Luck.
|Carola Dunn is author of the Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries, Cornish Mysteries, and multitudinous Regencies.|