I am trying not to squeal as I write my introduction for the amazing, brilliant, innovative, bestselling Thea Harrison! My pal, Megan Crane, introduced me to Thea’s work several years ago, insisting that I read Thea’s Dragonbound, telling me I’d love it, that Thea wrote the kinds of stories I was passionate about, stories with strong, sexual, sensual alpha heroes and fantastic heroines with awesome plots and great pacing…and Megan was right.
Thea Harrison is incredible.
I am a huge fan, and “won” breakfast with her at the RWA National Conference in Anaheim last summer through Brenda Novak’s auction. I was so star struck at breakfast it was tough to eat, so its a tremendous honor to welcome one of my personal author heroes to my blog today.
Readers and friends, may I present to you, the one, and only, Thea Harrison!
I was so excited when Jane Porter asked me to write a post for her blog. I’ve had the privilege of meeting Jane, and she is as wonderful in person as she is in her writing.
For this blog piece, I thought readers might enjoy hearing about how I first got into publishing.
When I was a young teen and we would travel deep into the country to visit my aunt and uncle, there was not much to do other than visit, play outside or read. My aunt read Harlequin novels, books by Barbara Cartland and other romances. My uncle read Zane Grey westerns.
I was a voracious reader from the time I was four, so I read everything they had. That was my first introduction to romances. As I grew older, I developed the conviction that I could write romances as well. Then when I was nineteen, I bought my first small, portable typewriter. I plotted out my book scene by scene, and chapter by chapter, and late at night, when everybody else was in bed, I wrote my first book, A Deeper Dimension.
This was in 1981, and there was no internet, of course. I had to do my research in the library to discover where to send off my novel. I mailed it to the Harlequin office in Toronto, and then began an agonizing wait.
While I waited, I wrote my second book, A Damaged Trust (later Harlequin chose a different order of publication than the sequence in which I wrote them). Finally, after months of waiting, I decided to write the Toronto office to follow up on my submission.
That was when I learned that they had forwarded my manuscript to the Harlequin Mills & Boon offices in the UK. Shortly afterward, an editor contacted me about my submission. She gave me a list of ten revisions that she would like to see in the story. I completed the revisions, mailed the new version off to her, and they accepted my first novel for publication.
To say that I was over the moon would be an understatement. I could hardly believe my luck. Still, I truly had no idea just how lucky I was until several years later, when folks at the Harlequin office told me that—at the time I had submitted—they received on average about ten thousand unsolicited manuscripts a year, and typically they took on four to six new authors each year.
I really felt like I had won the lottery! I went on to publish sixteen romances with Harlequin under the name Amanda Carpenter.
Now I’m delighted to say that I’ve signed with Samhain Publishing to digitize all of the available Amanda Carpenter books under their Retro Romance line. Samhain will be producing the books, one a month, for the next fifteen months. You can find the schedule for publication here.
A Deeper Dimension is out now and you can find it at:
To celebrate, I’m offering here on Jane’s blog seven digital copies of my first book A Deeper Dimension. The reader can pick her choice of e-book format.
For those who would like a keepsake I’m also giving away three original paperback copies of Rose-coloured Love in which a writer and her editor find their happily ever after.
This contest is international.
To enter, please answer this question: Do you remember the first romance you read? If so, who was it?
Please let me know in your comment which prize you’d like.
Jane, thank you so much for having me on your blog. It’s been a pleasure.
Thea, thank you so much for sharing with us! So happy to have you here today.
Readers and friends, for a chance to enter this fantastic giveaway from Thea, be sure to answer her question here! Contest runs through Monday night and I’ll announce winners on Tuesday. Good luck!!