Author Heatherly Bell recently joined the Harlequin Superromance team. Here’s her story!
On the morning of March 9, 2016 I was at my part-time job at a law firm. Interestingly, I’d been given my walking papers two weeks prior due to massive personnel changes. My cell phone buzzed and while I try not to answer it at work (uh-huh) I do need to check and make sure it isn’t one of my beloved children with one of those dire emergencies, you know, such as, “Where’s the spatula?”
But no, not one of my children. The caller ID showed a Virginia area code, and my agent is the only person I know in Virginia. A few weeks prior, we heard that Tahra Seplowin at Harlequin loved my story of sexy pilot Stone McAllister and control freak Emily Parker, then titled Love at First Flight, and thought it a good fit for Harlequin Superromance (we’d originally submitted to HQN.) With our permission, Tahra wanted to forward my three-book proposal to the Superromance editors.
I took the call, not knowing what to expect.
“Harlequin loves your book,” my agent said, “And would like to offer you a three-book contract.”
I don’t think I said a word and so my agent, bless her heart, kept talking.
I do remember saying, “Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited.”
Stunned, more like it. Speechless.
“I think I danced around the room (metaphorically) and called everyone I knew on the planet to give them the good news.”
I got off the phone and informed my colleagues, who were all extremely happy for me. Only one of them read romance, but both had heard of Harlequin. Who hasn’t? I think I danced around the room (metaphorically) and called everyone I knew on the planet to give them the good news.
Funny thing is this manuscript was entered in the 2014 So You Think You Can Write competition. It didn’t final. I kept writing other books, but all along I’d thought there was something special about this story. About this particular heroine. I just couldn’t give up on it, or her. So I kept re-writing, kept improving as I also wrote other books. I like to think the new and improved version got me my agent in May of 2015, and we went out on submission in September.
“. . . the moral of this story is to never give up. Keep writing, and keep honing your craft.”
Imagine my surprise when I wound up right back where I started. It’s been a journey, and the moral of this story is to never give up. Keep writing, and keep honing your craft.
I’m thrilled to join the Harlequin Superromance team. Some of my favorite authors have either written, and/or continue to write for this line. It’s an honor to be a part of the Harlequin team.
Look for Heatherly’s Harlequin Superromance debut, Breaking Emily’s Rules, in 2017!
Learn more about Heatherly at her website, heatherlybell.com
And say hello on Twitter @HeatherlyBelle
And on Facebook