My Journey to Harlequin Historical

Engagement of Convenience, Georgie Lee, Harlequin, Regency romance, romance, novel

My journey to becoming a Harlequin Historical author began with a pitch session at a mini conference held by my local Romance Writers of America chapter. A Harlequin editor was in attendance and I’d signed up for a pitch session. After finishing my first pitch for a contemporary, I still had some time left so I decided to pitch the Regency I’d written. The editor liked both stories and asked me to send her the manuscripts.

(Tip: always have a back up pitch or two in case you need it because you probably will.)

After sending in the manuscripts, I waited patiently for a response. Oh, who am I kidding? I obsessively checked my email every day hoping today was the day I sold to Harlequin. A few months after I sent the manuscript, I received a wonderful email back from the editor. While she passed on the contemporary, she was intrigued by the Regency and asked if she could forward it to the Harlequin Historical editors. I couldn’t type “yes” or hit send fast enough. While we waited for a response, I stayed in touch with the editor, sending occasional follow up emails while I worked on other books.

(Tip: Always be working on the next book while you're waiting.)

Then one day, the editor sent back the response from Harlequin Historical. They liked the story but thought it needed some work. They offered me a couple of pages of suggestions for revisions with the option to resubmit the manuscript. I dove into the revision. It took about three months to revise the book and then I resubmitted it. I continued to stay in touch with the editor while we waited for a response.

(Tip: When an editor suggests you revise the manuscript and resubmit, you revise the manuscript and resubmit.)

Engagement of Convenience, Georgie Lee, Harlequin, Regency romance, romance, novelI attended the the RWA 2012 conference in Anaheim that year. To help me relax and prepare for the excitement of my first writers' conference, I’d booked a massage for the day before I traveled. About twenty minutes before I was supposed to leave for my massage, I checked my email and there was an email from the editor. I opened it and nearly fainted. Harlequin Historical had accepted my story. I was now going to be a Harlequin author! How I managed to calm down and remain still for the hour massage is still a mystery. Needless to say, my whole goal for the RWA conference changed. I was now in search of an agent and about to meet a number of editors from the historical line. It was an experience I will never forget. My fist novel was Engagement of Convenience and I've written almost 9 more since then. It has been an amazing experience.

(Tip: Don't give up. It will happen, especially if you take advantages of opportunities.)

If you enjoyed this story then you will enjoy the stories in my novels.


Debbie Kitterman said...

WOW- I love your journey of how you became a Harlequin author!I am going to have to check out some of your work. Congratulations on not giving up and being ready for whatever came at you (have a back up) I appreciate your tips very much as I have a meeting with a publisher in July and had only planed to pitch one thing, but will have a few backups just in case. I am stopping by from #FridayFrivolity

Georgie Lee said...

Thanks Debbie and good luck with your pitch!

Michelle said...

How sticking with it paid off. Good for you. So inspiring for others who are trying and waiting.

Charlene said...

Thank you for linking up with us at Family Joy Blog Link Up Party! So glad you joined us.

Jan said...

Thank you for sharing your post and your journey with us over at country fair blog party! PLease join us again for our July party! Jan @ Tip Garden