In June, it’ll be seven years since my first book was published. I had almost given up on getting published (self-publishing was in its infancy back then) when I heard about a new imprint opening at Harlequin. Carina Press were reading anything and everything. They needed to fill a number of slots before their launch. I figured: What have I got to lose? After submitting, I eagerly checked the executive editor’s posts about how many manuscripts were being rejected and accepted…until one post where a huge number of rejections were being sent along with two acceptances. Was it possible? Could my book be one of the acceptances? The odds weren’t great, and as the days went on, that little seed of hope in my heart withered.
When I finally got the email from the executive editor, I braced myself for rejection. I had to read the email a dozen times before it finally sank in that, yes, they were offering to publish my debut novel. Then a weird kind of numbness set in. I'd been working toward this for a long time and now I was so shocked I couldn't even celebrate. When I awoke the next morning, I forgot I’d even been accepted. Then suddenly the memory rushed in, and my black-and-white world was transformed into glorious technicolor. I'll cherish that feeling as long as I live.
That first book was a huge learning experience. I was all kinds of nervous working with an editor, but Liz was, and continues to be, awesome. The biggest challenge for me was starting from scratch with social media. Things like setting up Facebook and Twitter, and organizing a website made my brain hurt. I made lots of mistakes. Was it worth it? Hell, yeah! Writing is one of the great joys of my life.
And here’s the book that started it all…
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Allegra Fairweather here. Paranormal investigator. Got problems with specters? Shapeshifters? I'm the woman to call. Just don't call me a Ghostbuster. The last guy who did that ended up flat on his back with my boot at his throat.
With my 99.5% success rate, solving the mystery of a bleeding rose that has sprung up on the shores of Loch Furness should have been an easy gig. But already I've heard the shriek of the local banshee, discovered two bodies (and then lost two bodies), and had a near-death encounter with a three-hundred-year-old ghost. And perhaps most dangerous of all, the hot pub owner who hired me now wants to show me exactly what's under his kilt.
Luckily, I'm ably assisted by my very own guardian angel. I'm grateful for his help—but he's also drop-dead gorgeous. A bit distracting when I've got a mystery to solve, and the clock is ticking...
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Janni Nell writes fun paranormal mysteries. She is currently working on the first book in a new series.