How Harlequin Medical Author Amy Ruttan Got Her Call!

Another fabulous Harlequin Medical Romance author was discovered through their Fast Track contest a few years ago! See how Amy gathered her courage and came out with a dream come true!

Hi, I’m Amy and I’m an author for Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance. I got my call in 2013 and my call came about because of a Fast Track.

Harlequin Mills & Boon is having a fantastic opportunity to get your writing in front of editors with 24 Hrs. in M&B 1 Chapter in 1 Day. Can I just say that opportunities like this are golden. I should know. I took a chance back in August 2010 when Mills & Boon ran their very first Fast Track.

I was terrified.

Writing for Harlequin has always been a dream of mine. I saw the announcement on the Community thread at eHarlequin and I was intrigued. I mean, I love Grey’s Anatomy, but could I write medical romance? I wasn’t so sure. Until that little voice in my head said, “Don’t be a ding bat. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.”

 The voice was right. It usually is.

The Fast Track was a chance to bypass the slush pile, get in front of an editor and possibly get feedback, which is just as a good as a mound of milk chocolate eggs. Sorry, it’s almost Easter and I have that on the brain.

Anyways, I bit the bullet and subbed one chapter and a rough synopsis. I waited a bit. Unlike this opportunity where you can hear in twenty-four hours (unless it’s a weekend), I waited a month. Which isn’t bad in the grand scheme of things. It’s in fact, fast.

I braced myself for a rejection, because I’m not a doctor. I have NO medical experience. Instead of a rejection, it was an R&R. They wanted me to revise my first chapter and send in a partial.

The R&R was full of such helpful info to keep in mind going forward. Since I hadn’t done any more writing on it, I wrote my brains out and by Christmas I sent in the partial.

I also started reading Medicals like mad, just to see what the line wanted. What I could get away with. *whistles innocently*

I waited for a few months then I got the request for the full. Again, full of information on how to improve, but *GULP* I hadn’t gotten past the partial. I contacted the editor who requested the full and she said “Take your time. Make it shine.”

So I did. And I waited. In 2012 I started working with an editor revising the full …a few times, but again each revision improved my voice, improved the book. On a bitter cold January morning in 2013, I got the call. Or rather the email asking when was a good time to call as I was in Canada and she was in England.

The rest as they say is history. The feedback was what I needed. The editors really want to find new voices. When these opportunities come up, hey what’re you waiting for? Polish it up and submit.

You have nothing to lose and if you don’t try, you’ll never know.

Best of luck to all the aspiring medical authors entering and if I can do it, I know you can!

Thanks, Amy, for the encouragement–and the perseverance!  Amy’s last book was out in February–doesn’t it look fantastic?

Check out what else she’s up to at her website   or on Twitter as @RuttanAmy. 

And don’t forget to send your chapter in!

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