I'm so super excited to have Love Inspired author Sandra Orchard with me today!
She's here to talk about her start in writing for that particular Harlequin line and her new book out: Shades of Truth.
So...please meet Sandra:
My love affair with Harlequin’s Love Inspired romance began while on vacation. A used bookstore clerk introduced me to the then Steeplehill line. It had never occurred to me that Christian romance would be up front in those Harlequin racks. Gasp!
I read that first book in one night. I loved that I could read it in one—albeit long—sitting. Before long I’d bought out the LI books from every used bookstore I came upon, so I became a subscriber. What fun! Four new novels delivered right to my mailbox every month.
Observing how characters grappled with many of the same emotions and issues I was experiencing inspired me in countless ways. Then Harlequin launched the Love Inspired Suspense line. Still my pounding heart!
The extra plot elements and faster pace won me over immediately.
I started thinking that I’d enjoy writing books like these. After all, they say to write what you know, and I always have bad guys trying to do me in, and heart throbs tripping over themselves to go out with me.
Okay, I’m just kidding.
Actually, my husband, tired of the piles of books lining every available shelf, suggested I start writing instead. Little did he know what he’d gotten himself into!
My enthusiasm for the Love Inspired line must have beamed through my first query, because the editor requested the full. I was over the moon with excitement. Every book on writing that I’d read had warned me to be prepared for rejection, and this was my very first query!
The request came on my birthday no less. That had to be a good sign, right?
Well, no. The rejection—as encouraging as it was—came six weeks later.
Not to be deterred, I pressed on. I signed with an agent who urged me to add the romance the editor had said was lacking. And I learned a new lesson—having an agent simply means you get your rejections faster. Ugh!
But I was determined to persevere. Of course, aside from my immediate family, no one knew about my secret occupation. I’m okay with rejection, but it’s easier to take when you don’t have to explain it to well-meaning friends who don’t understand the publishing business.
My big break came in 2009 I won the Daphne DuMaurier contest.
The manuscript that won had already been rejected by a previous editor, but I met with Love Inspired’s new editor, explained that I’d improved the story significantly and asked for permission to resubmit.
She didn’t buy the book.
But…she read the entire manuscript and explained exactly why it didn’t suit their line. And she said she liked my writing. Yee!
I immediately applied everything she told me to another manuscript and sent off the new and improved version.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Thank you, Sandra! I LOVE hearing how authors begin their writing path!
Big city detective Ethan Reed is working deep undercover at a Christian youth detention center. The kind of place he spent some harrowing time in as a kid. Ethan’s mission: ferret out who’s recruiting resident teens for a drug ring. He expects help from the lovely, devoted director of Hope Manor. But Kim Corbett won’t tell Ethan anything— even when she’s threatened and attacked. When Ethan discovers what Kim is protecting, his guarded heart opens just a bit wider. Enough to make this the most dangerous assignment of his career.
She’d also love for you to connect on her Facebook Page and join in the conversations about characters on her blog
Shades of Truth is in bookstores this month, or click here to order directly from Harlequin, and use coupon code FREESHIPAFFO to receive free shipping until Mar 31st.
GIVEAWAY: Sandra is generously offering a free EBOOK of her new Love Inspired Suspense book Shades of Truth to some lucky commenter. Anyone who comments here from now until Thursday, March 29 11:59pm EST will be entered to win. Winner will be announced here on Friday's blog.