Writing my medieval and bringing it to publication has been quite a process. I started in 1995 with an idea. The first chapter won the Wisconsin Romance Writers’ historical contest in 1997 where it garnered this quote from editor Micki Nuding, “The clean writing was a pure pleasure!”
In 1999, I queried Kensington editors, hoping to sell to Precious Gems Historicals. I’d become a “published author” with a contemporary Precious Gems by that time and hoped to translate those two Kensington sales into another one. But the lines were full and my book wasn’t complete. Lesson learned: You need a finished manuscript to query a publisher.
So my tale of a medieval knight and his fair lady was shoved aside for work on contemporary stories. It “collected dust” on my hard drive instead of in a box under the bed.
In 2004, I entered my medieval in a couple of contests and won the Great Expectations Contest, North Texas RWA Chapter, and the Southern Heat Contest, East Texas RWA Chapter.
Still no complete manuscript. I had five finished chapters.
“Finish your unfinished manuscripts,” a psychic at the psychic fair told me. That was right after I’d been rejected again from a major New York publisher, a particularly disheartening rejection.
So, in the summer of 2005, I put butt in chair and began to write the rest of the novel. When I completed the book in the fall of 2005, I submitted it to publishers and collected my share of rejections. Then in July of 2006, I queried an inspirational publisher who was starting a new line. When this project wasn’t “right” for the line, I refused to give up. In September, I submitted My Lord Raven to Resplendence Publishing and was delighted when they published it in 2008.
Fast forward to 2014 when I requested my rights back for My Lord Raven. I was busy with other commitments and again the book collected dust. Then in October of 2015, one of my other publishers shut its doors, and I was out in the big, scary world of self-publishing. I added my medieval on my to-do list and worked on other books.
Finally, this fall I gave My Lord Raven a re-read. Had my writing style really improved that much since 2008? I polished up the text. One reviewer had commented that the ending was not satisfactory, so I added a new final chapter. My editor read through it—“Get rid of this. Change this. The ending is much better.” I ordered a new cover and paid for a new descriptive blurb. My husband formatted it and uploaded to the various ebook retailers.
So now when you read My Lord Raven, you’ll know it is a historical romance with plenty of history of its own. I hope you enjoy the freshened version!