Monday, July 11, 2011

First Sale Party: A Royal Celebration!

Anne received The Call!

I’m Keli Gwyn, one of Anne’s critique partners. Having read a number of her stories, I knew this day would come. Anne is a talented writer, and now you’re going to be able to read her work, too—in published form. :)

Anne, how long have you been writing your Regency-set romances, and what have been some of the highlights on your path to publication?

I’ve been writing for five years, almost to the day. The reason I remember is because on July 3, 2006 as I sat on a beach looking up at fireworks, I thought to myself, why not? This is America, darn it--anything’s possible! The very next day, I began writing my first manuscript with the goal of entering it in the Golden Heart. It didn’t final, but finishing it is a feeling I’ll never, ever forget.

My second manuscript did final in the Golden Heart, and the most wonderful thing about that experience was stepping away from the computer, attending my first conference, and meeting other romance writers (including you!) It was great to discover the world of RWA and all its talented, generous authors.

I kept writing, and at my chapter retreat the next year, I pitched my third manuscript to Helen Breitwieser, who offered representation on my birthday. Best present ever!

Then, this year, my fourth and fifth manuscripts finaled in the Golden Heart . . . and THE PROPER MISS’S GUIDE TO BAD BEHAVIOR won.

I shouted myself hoarse when you won the Golden Heart in the Regency Historical category. What thoughts went through your mind when the presenter, Courtney Milan, pulled the card from the envelope at the RWA® Awards Ceremony and read your name?

Do you want the brutally honest answer or the also true, but made-for-blog-post response?

Both. :)

BHA: No coherent thoughts, just a loud buzzing in my ears. Then, dread that I’d have a panic attack at the podium that would prevent me from ever showing my face at Nationals again. Finally, blessed relief.

MFBPR: I have to admit that I dreamed about that moment, probably hundreds of times, in the same sort of way one dreams about winning the lottery. You never think it will actually happen. Receiving the award from our fellow Pixie, Courtney, was really special. I’m glad I got to publicly thank you and Lisa (my other CP) and my friends and family and I hope I didn’t leave anyone out, but I was so nervous I probably did. I had so much fun meeting the other finalists and am honored to be part of that amazing group.

What a fabulous Friday that was. The following week, you received the BIG news that your Golden Heart-winning story had sold. Please share your Call Story with us.

I was doing the lacrosse mom thing, hanging out on the sidelines and chatting with parents when my agent, Helen, called. As she told me about the offer, I started pacing (which I do whenever I get excited). We both felt like Grand Central Forever was the perfect fit for me and my story. I’d had a chance to talk to the editor, Selina McLemore, at the RWA conference and was beyond thrilled to find out I’d get to work with her. My husband picked me up and took me to the local pub where I had an iced tea and a heaping plate of nachos.

And it’s a two-book contract, too! Woohoo! I’ve been happy dancing for you for days as the deal came together. Now that it has, what can you tell us about the book? Do you have a title or release date yet? Would you give us a sneak peek at the story line?

Here’s the notice that appeared in Publisher’s Marketplace:

2011 Golden Heart winner in the Regency Historical category Anne Barton's THE PROPER MISS'S GUIDE TO BAD BEHAVIOR, pitched as Project Runway meets Downton Abbey, to Selina McLemore of Forever, in a two-book deal, by Helen Breitwieser at Cornerstone Literary (World).

It’s a bit of a Cinderella story—a lowly seamstress with nothing but talent and passion dares to rise above her station and pursue her wildest dreams. And if that means extorting money from a handsome duke, then so be it . . .

I don’t know what the title or exact release date will be, but I’ll share as soon as I do.

Since you spent several years awaiting this milestone event, I’m sure you’ve learned many things. Any words of wisdom?

No advice, really. But I will say that when it comes to writing partners I wish everyone could be as lucky as I’ve been. It’s so helpful to have positive, thoughtful, and talented friends like you on this journey.

Thank you for hosting this wonderful celebration and for sharing in my excitement!

I’m sooo happy for you, Anne, as I know many are! I’ve got some virtual fare for your visitors. I invite them to help themselves to spot of tea, grab some of the delectable goodies on the table, and share in the celebration by leaving you a comment.

A Plethora of Prizes

Since Anne writes Regency-set romance, I chose several items with a Regency or British theme for a drawing. To enter, leave a comment for Anne, making sure to include your email address in the field when prompted. On the evening of July 12th, I’ll choose ten winners, one for each of the prizes pictured below.

Two copies of Emma, the A&E version starring Kate Beckinsale
Two copies of Persuasion, the BBC version starring Ciaran Hinds
Two copies of Becoming Jane starring Anne Hathaway
Two varieties of English tea with a cute teapot spoon
Two floral tea bag holders (U.S. made, sorry, but still cute)

Note: Offer void where prohibited.
Prizes will be mailed to U.S. addresses only.
Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

First five images are from istockphoto.


Elizabeth said...

Congratulations, Anne!! It was so exciting to cheer for you at the GH ceremony and now a double sale! Talk about using that Pixie Power!
:) Liz

Amy Atwell said...

I'm still cheering here in FL. Anne, you've waited so patiently, but a 2-book deal with Grand Central is well-worth the wait. So deserving of this AND the GH win. Keep us posted--you know I'm going to want one of your debut books. And thanks, Keli, for sharing the news in such a lovely interview!

C.J. Redwine said...

Yay!!! I'm super thrilled for you, Anne. :) Another Pixie book to add to my shelf.

Annette McCleave said...

Fabulous news and a fabulous interview! Congrats, Anne!! I'm so excited for you. Can't wait to pick up your first book in the store.

Diana Layne said...

Congratulations, Ruby Starcatcher! How exciting!

Vivi Andrews said...

Many, many congrats, Anne! What fabulous news!

Obe said...

Congratulations! It couldn't happen to a nicer person. I hope you enjoy a long successful career. Three cheers for Anne!

Avery Beck said...

Huge congrats on your sale, Anne! What a year it has been for you.

Aislinn said...

Yay, another of my Regency sisters has sold! Congratulations on both this and your GH win.I can't wait to read your book.

aislinn at aislinnmacnamara dot net

Theresa Ragan said...

Congratulations, Anne! This is a grand celebration. Enjoy the ride. What fun!

Anonymous said...

Yay, Anne! I'm so excited for you!

Cecilia Grant said...

Yay yay yay! When Keli posted on Twitter last week that a good friend had great news, I was hoping hard it would be this :) Can't wait to read those books!

Cynthia D'Alba said...

YAY Anne!!! I am SO MAJOR THRILLED for you! A two-book deal is SO awesome and with a wonderful company too. As you demonstrated with your own story, Sell! but sell WELL! and that you did.

Congrats and I look forward to reading your books.

Cynthia Justlin said...

MAJOR CONGRATS, Anne! I am so thrilled for you! I cannot wait to read you book. It sounds awesome. Well deserved success, my Ruby Sis. :)

Lynn Raye Harris said...

I can't possibly get anymore behind on things than I already am, but Anne, I am SO thrilled for you! Never think I wasn't paying attention in NYC or that I didn't have a mini-stroke at my table when you won! I'm only sorry I didn't get to see you personally while we were there. Huge, huge congratulations!!! Pixies rule!!!

Terri Brisbin said...

Anne - Huzzah to you!! Best wishes for much success!!


Vanessa Barneveld said...

Whoo-hoo! Congratulations, Anne! Nice girls *do* finish first! I can't wait to read your books.

Nan Dixon said...

Anne Congratulations!
Well deserved!!

Shelley Coriell said...

So thrilled for you, Dear Anne! It's great to see good things happen to talented, hard-working authors. Hugs and happy writing!

Leigh LaValle said...

Congratulations, Anne! I can't wait to read it!! What great news.

Anne Barton said...

Hi everyone and thank you so much for celebrating with me! I'm incredibly touched by all the good wishes.

And I think we can all agree that Keli is a hostess extraordinaire! Wow! This is so elegant compared to my normal fare (chicken wings and sweet tea). Thank you, Keli, for the lovely party and for being such a wonderful friend and CP. :)

Elisa Beatty said...

Happy dancing for you, Anne!!

I've loved the title of your GH book since I first heard it, and I just KNEW it was headed for a sale!!

I hope they don't change the title....

Really can't wait to actually read it!!

Susan Anne Mason said...

Anne!!! Woo-hoo!! I am so incredibly thrilled and happy for you!

Congrats! Enjoy this special time in your writing career. You deserve it. I just knew your time was coming - just as I knew Keli's was, too!

The Pixies continue to dominate!!

Now we just need to get Louisa (who is so close) and Cindy, too, off and running! Must save pennies for books!

So excited for you!


Valerie Bowman said...

Oh, Anne, I'm sooo happy for you. And happy for myself since I will get to read your books. : ) Wonderful, wonderful, well-deserved news! Congratulations!

Keli Gwyn said...

Anne, I've been happy dancing for days and am glad the news is finally out. Now I can tell people the reason I've been wearing that ginormous grin. :-)

Congratulations once again!!! I know this is cliche, but I don't care cuz it's true. It couldn't have happened to a nicer person. You're the best, and I'm privileged to know you.

Lisa Connelly said...

Annie -- you rock! i'm having so much fun wathcing all these great things happen for you -- you deserve every one of them!

Lacie Nezbeth said...

Congratulations, Anne! What a fun and exciting story! I can't wait to read your books!!!

Marlo Berliner said...

Absolutely thrilled for you, Anne! Your story is inspiring. I'm so happy to be a part of WritingGIAM and know so many talented writers! Wishing you many, many sales!

Keena Kincaid said...

Congrats, Anne! I'm so excited for you. Great interview, too.

Bev Pettersen said...

Congratulations, Anne. Wonderful news. Celebrating with you and can't wait to read it. LOVE the title!

Louisa Cornell said...

I frightening everyone at my table when you won the Golden Heart, Anne! Jumped up and screamed at the top of my lungs (which for an opera singer is saying something!) Can't tell you how thrilled and excited I was for you that night because it truly was one of the most well-deserved wins it has been my privilege to witness. You have worked so diligently for this. You EARNED this!

Please keep us posted and I cannot WAIT to see that first cover !!

You did us proud, Anne!

And Keli, you put on quite the tea! Lovely!

Jen McQuiston said...

Congratulations Anne! So excited for you, for the GH win but also for the sale. We all SOOOOO want to follow in your footsteps!

Pam Hillman said...

Whoo-hoo! I heard about this in Seekerville, but didn't know about the party until now!

CONGRATULATIONS ANNE!! This is so exciting and I can't wait to read the book. I like a heroine with a little spunk, and yours sounds like she has it in spades!

phillman at netdoor dot com

Greta said...

Congratulations, Anne! What a great story.

Carol J. Garvin said...

Congratulations, Anne! What an exciting time. I'm so happy for you! Winning the GH, then getting an agent plus a two-book deal... wow! This is a year to remember, for sure! Blessings to you. May you have much success in your new writing career.

Loved the interview, too. Thanks, Keli.

Cynthia Herron said...

Jumped over from Twitter...It's always exciting to hear good news! Congratulations, Anne, and many blessings!

Marnee Bailey said...

Congratulations, Anne! That's great news. Very excited for you and can't wait to see them on the shelves!

Anna Steffl said...

Congratulations on both the contract and the win! A double high five!

Helene Young said...

Congratulations, Anne!! Fantastic news on both winning the GH and your two book contract!! Pixie power :-)

Terri Tiffany said...

So happy for you Anne!!! That is awesome news. I love hearing when another writer sells! Thanks for doing the interview Kelli!

Anonymous said...

sorry im late--but i had a good excuse ;( SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy for you anne. you and keli deserve your success. and as for the prizes---I already own every dvd LOLOL! Im a historical freak too.


Keli Gwyn said...

Thanks to everyone who's stopped by to share in Anne's celebration.

I've held the drawing. The winners are:

Amy Atwell and Diana Layne, who will each receive a DVD of Emma.

Aislinn and Cynthia Justin, who will each receive a DVD of Persuasion.

Nan Dixon and Elisa Beatty, who will each receive a DVD of Becoming Jane.

Laci Nezbeth and Louisa Cornell, who will each receive two boxes of tea and a cute "teapot" spoon.

Cynthia Herron and Terri Tiffany, who will each receive a floral teabag holder.

Congratulations to all the winners. I'll be in touch. ~ Keli

gail sumter said...

The virtual party was wonderful. Thanks for letting me attend, the first of many to come parties to celebrate your current achievements and those to come in the future. There was no doubt in my mind that you would succeed, but I can't understand what took the publishing world so long to figure it out. Love you, Gail

Sarah Simas said...

HI Anne and Keli!

I know I'm late, but really wanted to say CONGRATS! to Anne! I knew you gals were destined for awesome things last year when I interviewed ya! ((hugs!))

Missy Tippens said...

Woo hoo!!! Anne, I just heard the great news!! I'm so very happy for you!! :)

Anonymous said...

There is no late to a first sale party. You party until the revisions come in or until the advance check comes and then you go party again!!

Congratulations Miss Anne. You so so so so deserve this.

I will be standing in line (virtually) for your book.

Hug, hug and double hug.

Vicky Dreiling said...

Anne, I'm so thrilled for you - and welcome to Forever Romance! Email me at, and I'll ping Robyn to get you on our Yahoo loop.

Mega congratulations!