more about Carrie...|
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I can't imagine a better job than being a fiction writer. I get to set my own hours (being a night owl, that means I'm typing this at 3:07 a.m)...wear whatever I choose (although answering the door in a ripped T-shirt and pajama bottoms can be rather embarrassing)...never put on heels (furry leopard-print slippers are my friends)...and, best of all, make up stories all day long. True, there are a few drawbacks. Bad reviews, self-employment tax and rampant run-on sentences with extravagant adverbs must be taken into consideration, but did I mention the part about making up stories all day long? Not just anyone gets to catch counterfeiters, plot a tiara heist, be a blonde bombshell one minute and Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome the next, hire butlers, research chocolate recipes and deploy love potions...all in a day's work at the computer keyboard. Ahhhh--what a life!
My career began as a perfect demonstration for How Not to Become a Romance Writer. I dug a romance novel out of a box of books donated to the library where I was working, the first Harlequin I had read since I was thirteen. It was a revelation--styles had certainly changed. Then I read found an article about how easy it is to break into the business--and believed it! Problem was, the magazine was so out of date that when I used its guidelines my first query letters came back marked "Return to Sender."Using an old broken-down electric typewriter that skipped spaces, locked keys and occasionally got stuck in high throttle, I wrote a couple of chapters of a book about a mermaid, which was turned down by Harlequin (after I tracked them down) for being too unusual. Obviously, I was before my time--although the fact that I'd sent in the original typed manuscript, complete with XXXs and whiteouts, might have had something to do with the rejection. Meanwhile, I had "discovered" Romantic Times and found a request for novella submissions. I typed one up, ignored the small detail that the deadline had passed months before, and sent it off. It turned out that my timing was impeccable--the novella submissions had been shuffled from New York to Canada, and I was on top of the pile.. I got The Call before I knew that what The Call was. Didn't matter to me that the telephone line was buzzing and I could barely hear what the editor was saying! Harlequin wanted my novella HIS MISTRESS for a limited release line, Stolen Moments
My first editor told me I had a Temptation voice, which was no coincidence because I'd started reading the series books by Jayne Ann Krentz, JoAnn Ross and Vicki Lewis Thompson. Temptation bought FANCY-FREE, which was published in 1995 and went on to be a RITA finalist for Best First Book--it was fortunate I'd finally gotten up to speed and joined Romance Writers of America just in time to enter! I've now sold more than twenty books and am currently writing for four of Harlequin's lines--Temptation, Superromance, Duets and Blaze. I'd rather be called an equal opportunity writer than a split personality. *G*
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