Writing Secrets—Release Day

Secets-BHsmSometimes books take many paths to publication.

I wrote the novel Secrets a few years ago, choosing to explore a romance about a woman caught between the past and her desire to create a new life for herself. I wanted to submit the manuscript to a traditional publisher, but was advised at the time by another author that this publisher did not like forty-year-old heroines. Huh? So I wrote the book anyway, and I titled it “A Father at Last.” A small press published it. Well, I do read my reviews, and when one reader said the title gave too much away, I changed it to “Secrets.”

Flash forward to last year. The small press went out of business. I got my rights back. Thanks to the help of my editor Karen and my husband, I plunged into the independent publishing world. Mercer was ready for release, and it came out first. Then I published the four stories in the Ladies of Legend series starting with The Reunion Game.

However, I wasn’t ready to release Secrets. I’ve learned books do better in a series. So I decided to make it part of a new one called Bluegrass Homecoming. This new series will let me again explore my favorite theme of second chances. Bluegrass Reunion does that too, but the stories aren’t tied together. I want the Bluegrass Homecoming series to be standalone novels, but with the same characters running throughout the books.

More problems. The original book takes place in Indiana. Ah, it was simple to change its setting to Kentucky. Then I figured I needed a lead-in story. So I wrote the love story of baby boomers Howie and Grace. Ta-da! The Prequel was born. Their granddaughter Colleen takes center stage in the third book, Nom de Plume. And no, I haven’t finished it yet.

And you know what is so ironic? Since the time five years ago when I wanted to write about a forty-something heroine, “seasoned” romance has come into wider acceptance.

What about you? Will you read a romance about an “older” heroine?


  1. Kat Sheridan says:

    I LOVE the idea of older heroines and heroes!

  2. Maybe because I “get” older heroines, do ya think?

  3. Holly hafendorfer says:

    Sure I would read about older heroines!

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