Anne Marie is a Texas girl, born and raised. Romance is her passion. She loves to read and write about men and women falling in love, overcoming life’s obstacles, and living happily ever after. She writes spicy Contemporary Western novels as well as Regency Historicals.
Married to her high school sweetheart, Anne Marie and her husband spend their leisure time working (actually playing) in the yard and renovating their 1956 custom-built house on a one-acre lot in the middle of the city. They have two grown children, three white rabbits, two mischievous cats, and one sweet puppy dog.
When not reading or writing, Anne Marie enjoys puttering around in her flowerbeds, going to garage sales, collecting antiques, and watching old movies.
I started reading romance novels in the sixth grade. Granted, they were teen romances, sweet and innocent, ordered at school from Scholastic. Sweet and innocent until eighth grade, when the bookmobile brought us the novel called YOU WOULD IF YOU LOVED ME. All the girls in my parochial school passed this book around. While the good sisters herded us to chapel, we giggled into our prayer books, wondering: Would she or wouldn’t she?
From there, I advanced to the romances of Georgette Heyer. Yes, her stories were sweet and innocent, but I was hooked on the Regency Period. That is, until the bodice rippers came along and revolutionized the romance industry. Attending Catholic high school, I learned to position my novels inside text books, looking for all the world like I was absorbed in biology and American history. My friends and I devoured Rosemary Rogers’ SWEET SAVAGE LOVE, and of course, we knew exactly which pages contained the juicy parts and read them over and over again. Kathleen Woodiwiss’ THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER and THE WOLF AND THE DOVE were also favorites.
Many years have passed since I was a giggling school girl, but one thing hasn’t changed–with every book I read, with every manuscript I write, I still wonder: Will they or won’t they reach their happily-ever-after?
PERSONAL MILESTONE: “THE CALL aka THE EMAIL”
Instead of receiving THE CALL, I received THE EMAIL, but it was thrilling all the same. I’m kind of glad it was by email, because as soon as I read it, time stopped. When I could breathe again, I reread it. Immediately, I started screaming, calling for my husband at the top of my lungs, and literally jumping up and down repeatedly. If it had been THE CALL, I would have dropped the phone, or worse, deafened the editor by my loud shrieks of joy.
Here’s how it all came about. In September of 2006, I finalled in a contest and scored an editor request. Yes! But I put off sending the manuscript until the following April. This was to Harlequin. While I was in happy-writer-mode, I also decided to query and submit to a small publisher I had discovered online and had a very good feeling about. I chose one of my favorite stories to submit. Although it had been rejected by a larger publishing house, I still believed in it.
I also submitted several stories to Woman’s World Magazine, because I had taken an online class and thought I might enjoy writing short (which I did to my amazement, but that’s another story).
In May, I sent in the requested partial and detailed synopsis to Wild Rose Press, and the wait began. In early summer, I decided to start working on a website. That was fun and creative. I also took part in a writing challenge, trying my hand at writing a historical.
But as time passed, I became discouraged. My happy-writer-mode morphed into unhappy-writer mode, and I was plagued by the doubt demons. Receiving three rejections from Woman’s World certainly didn’t help. I was seriously questioning my writing abilities and wondering if I should just give up.
Then on November 5th, I received an email from the Wild Rose Press editor saying she had never received my three chapters and synopsis; she asked whether I was still interested and if so, to please send them to her. Of course, I was still interested. I replied that I had sent them, they must have been lost in cyberspace, and I was resending them to her. She said if I didn’t hear from her within thirty days, be sure to contact her.
Two days later, she emailed me saying she had read the three chapters in one sitting, I had her hooked, please send the rest of the manuscript. WooHoo!!!
I took a couple of days to polish the story one last time, then sent the entire manuscript to her on a Friday evening. All weekend, I had a bubble of excitement bopping around inside of me. I tried not to think about it, but of course, that was impossible.
On Monday, I didn’t get around to opening my email until after lunch. When I opened my account, there it was:
THE EMAIL CALL!!!
The editor said she had read it over the weekend, had truly enjoyed it and would like to offer me a contract with The Wild Rose Press! Immediately, I started bouncing off the walls and jumping up and down and screaming at the top of my lungs.
I called my mother first and told her. My sister and her daughter were with Mother, so I told them. Naturally, they were thrilled. Mother invited me to lunch to celebrate, but I had already eaten lunch with my daughter, Carrie, who was on her way to school. I called Carrie and told her. Then I called my son, Gene. I think that must have been when I finally sat down and replied to the email: Yes, I would be thrilled to sign the contract!
After that, I was still literally hopping up and down. I decided to go see Mother and Linda and her daughter at Peppers, the restaurant just around the corner from my house. In celebration, I had a piece of carrot cake and iced tea. (Yes, I’m such a party animal.)
All afternoon, I was floating. I don’t think my feet ever touched the ground. I called my brother and uncle. I called my sister-in-law, Belinda. I announced it on the loops. I emailed friends and family. I kept wanting to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming.
For dinner, my husband took me out to eat at a new place, and we both loved it. It was the perfect setting for a celebration. He was so proud of me. I was so proud of me. He’s been telling everyone the news ever since.
I mailed the contracts two days later. I went to the post office where I always mail my manuscripts and contest entries, so I could tell the lady who works there. She was very happy for me.
My editor (I love the sound of that) sent me the paperwork to go through. She said we’d begin edits after Thanksgiving. I asked what sort of edits, and she assured me it would be mostly line editing; the storyline was fine. Whew!
I’m thrilled Wild Rose Press wants to publish my book. The more I learn about them, the happier I am. I’m going to learn a lot, get my name out there, and have fun all the while.
Oh, I forgot to add: I received THE EMAIL CALL exactly one week before my birthday. I couldn’t have asked for a better gift. It was the best birthday ever.
Happy Writing!!! Anne Marie 🙂