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?
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.