Guest blogger Robin Kaye
Independent businesswoman, Rosalie Ronaldi’s life would be perfect if she could just figure out how to keep her nosy, pushy, Italian family from trying to marry her off.
Nick Romeo, Brooklyn’s Donald Trump without the comb over, thinks independent women are an urban myth, until he meets Rosalie and realizes they’re no myth, just a pain in the ass. He’s finally met a woman who is looking for the same thing he is, a commitment free relationship and is shocked to discover that all he wants to do is take care of her... Before too long, he's moved in, cleaned her apartment, stocked her refrigerator, and adopted her dog.
I just want to thank Janet Mullany for inviting me to visit the Wet Noodle Posse. What a great group! Thanks for having me.
Since it’s time to enter the Golden Heart, I thought I’d blog about my call story, though, to be honest, it’s more like an email story.
When people ask what it was like submitting my manuscript, I have to tell them I only made one submission to a publisher, and that was because I won a contest and the final judge requested the full. I’d sent the manuscript out to a few agents and started my collection of rejection letters. But when it comes down to it, I’m one of those published authors most unpublished authors hate. I’m not saying I didn’t work hard, because anyone who has written a manuscript knows it’s a whole lot of work. But I’m one of those authors whose stars lined up perfectly and allowed me to stumble into publication.
When I entered Romeo, Romeo in the Golden Heart, my only goal was to score in the top 50%. I entered and promptly forgot about it. I figured I’d get my scores in the mail when they showed up. I had no idea when they were going to announce the finalists, because in my mind, I had about as much chance of finaling as I had of showing up on the cover of Playboy. And if you’ve ever met me, or seen my picture, you know that would never happen.
You can imagine my surprise when poor Trish Milburn called to tell me I’d finaled. I think it was a Sunday morning, and it had been a horrible week—my husband, a true Domestic God, was out of town on business, and I was stuck home alone wrangling my three kids, two dogs, three-legged cat (who insists on being fed at 4:30 AM) and Puff the magic bearded dragon. I saw a call coming in from Tennessee and immediately thought someone had died. The only people I know in Tennessee are my brother-in-law and his family, and the only day he ever calls is June 3, his and my husband’s birthday. Since it wasn’t June 3, I figured someone must have died.
You can imagine how thrilled I was to be wrong! I won’t bore you with the conversation. Suffice it to say, it was terribly embarrassing on my part, and for Trish, I’m sure it’s something she’s worked hard to block from her memory. It would be inhumane to make her relive it.
The call/email came when I arrived in Dallas for Nationals, and I will forever be grateful to Steve Jobs for coming up with the iPhone. I’d waited in line for four hours the month before to get my greedy little hands on one. Because of that, I was able to receive the email from Deb Werksman of Sourcebooks saying that she’d read Romeo, Romeo and “LOVED it.” She asked if I would be attending the conference and if we could meet.
I had never heard of Soucebooks. They were new to romance, so I had no idea what to expect. Deb and I sat down at the restaurant and she immediately began quoting her favorite lines from Romeo, Romeo verbatim. I remember wondering about her sanity. I mean, what editor does that? Now that I know Deb very well, I can attest to her sanity and to the fact that she has an amazing memory. I wasn’t aware that she’d requested the manuscript from RWA. When I entered, I’d been in the process of rewriting the manuscript. I’d entered a rewritten synopsis and first 50 pages, and spent the time since then rewriting the balance of the manuscript. When I mentioned this to Deb, all the blood drained from her face. “What did you do to it?” she asked. When I explained the changes I’d made, she smiled and called me a genius. That’s when I handed her my phone and asked if she’d call my mother-in-law and inform her—she was so unaware.
By the time we finished our meeting, Deb had assured me an offer would be forthcoming. We got up to leave and she gave me a hug and a kiss goodbye. I spent the rest of the conference with my head in the clouds. I ‘knew’ I didn’t have a prayer of winning, and that was fine with me, because, hey, I’d already sold Romeo, Romeo. When I went on to win the Golden Heart, I figured that conference was the best on record. Every other conference would pale in comparison. Not only because I won, but because of the friendships I’d made with the rest of the GH finalist.
I encourage everyone to enter the Golden Heart. Even if you’re like me and think you don’t have a prayer of winning…enter anyway. It’s the best $50 I ever spent, that’s for sure.