I have a little story for you. It won't take long.
I've been writing for about ten years--not long in the world of published writing. Many have labored at their craft since they were kids. Me? I wanted to be a doctor.
I am a published crime fiction author. My agent prefers I pledge my allegiance to the Romance-Suspense genre. She thinks that sells better. What do I know? I'll go her way every time. During those few years that it took me to write my novel, raise a toddler and a tween, and then wonder what to do with the thing once I typed Finis at the end, I dabbled in a little secret passion of mine: Romance-with-kink. And the kink was spanking. I longed for the days of romance novels with the no-nonsense hero and the smart, feisty heroine. Sparks flew, and once in a while, so did his hand across her bottom. But mostly the books were about the romance. You don't find them anymore. I wanted to write that kind of romance, bring back what is now considered taboo.
So, here I was, with several short stories sitting in secret files on my computer. I'd shared some on a website, got some good feedback, but I wanted more. I wanted to share what I'd done with an audience who would appreciate what I was trying to do--and I wasn't doing it like everyone else.
I'm getting to the point of this post, I promise.
I took the leap and I sent out some feelers. I had a story I was proud of, one I really labored over, one I got so entrenched in that I was terrified to share it. It was violent. It was scary. The hero was far from perfect. And, at the end of the book, I did something I discovered later no romance author ever does. EVER. I hated it. I loved it. I feared backlash, I feared retribution, I feared being tossed out into the cold, never to be allowed into the fantastic club known as romance fiction. I took a chance. I sent the manuscript to a publishing house who likes this sort of thing. They strung me along and I got tired of waiting. I searched the internet, I looked at like-minded author's books and the folks who published them. I read Alta Hensley's Traditional Love. I liked it. I liked that a small publisher was willing to publish something like that, and still publish mainstream fiction. I took a deep breath, and then I took another chance.
I sent the manuscript to a little known publisher by the name of Lazy Day. A month later, I got this:
We just got done reading and evaluating The Point of it All. We are pleased to say that we absolutely loved it. It was well written, and the storyline made the book a real page turner. We at LazyDay Publishing would like to offer you a contract to publish your book. Congratulations and welcome to our team.
It was signed Staci Helling, now Staci Taylor, owner of LazyDay Publishing
Every published author carries tales of their first time, that unmatched thrill that someone likes your work, and they are willing to attach their name to it and get it out to the public on your behalf. The author gets excited, they say yes, they read the contract, then have their business savvy husbands read it again (Thank you, baby), they sign on the dotted line, and hope they haven't turned their love-child over to uptight, strap-wielding taskmasters who will rip it to shreds and remold it into something unrecognizable. That did not happen. In fact, Staci and her team worked the book over into something better, and then pushed it out into the world with firm but loving hands. Then they let me do it again. And again.
From an author's perspective, this is the gift of a good publisher. The kinship I feel with Staci and her team cannot be put into words well, so I will simply say this: Thank you, Staci Taylor and Lazy Day Publishing for taking me on, taking me in, accepting my input, allowing me to fail and forcing me to make it better, work harder, think outside the box, and express freely. And thank you for surrounding yourself with smart people who challenge me, make me crazy, make me laugh, and ultimately make me better.
Happy birthday to Lazy Day Publishing. May you continue to shine in threes.
Jade Cary writes Romantica and Romantic Suspense, on the rocks with a twist. Bottoms up!
SITES I DIG
A FADED ROMANTIC
ALTA HENSLEY, ROMANCE AUTHOR
ART OF AUTHORITY
BASIA ROSE, AUTHOR
BLACK VELVET SEDUCTIONS
BOTTOMS UP BOOK REVIEWS
CARA BRISTOL, AUTHOR
CDD FOR LIFE/PATTY DEVLIN
CELESTE JONES, AUTHOR
THE DISCIPLINED FEMINIST
EMMA K. GARDNER, AUTHOR
FREDDY AND EDDY - A WEBSITE OF ALL COUPLES
THE HAND OF LOVE
HEART AND SOUL
THE IMPROVED CHAUVINIST
KARLA DOYLE, AUTHOR
KOREY MAE JOHNSON, AUTHOR
LAZY DAY PUBLISHING
MY BOTTOM SMARTS
RENEE ROSE, AUTHOR
SADEY QUINN, AUTHOR
SARADORA'S SPANKING FICTION
SUE LYNDON, AUTHOR
TROLLOP WITH A LAPTOP