I was in a charity shop in town earlier today, browsing the book racks as I’m prone to do, when the first book I picked up was a Harlequin Romance novel…nothing strange about that, except for one thing…this book was one that had been a free gift in a magazine. Now the real odd thing about it was the author who had written the book many years ago, was the same American woman who taught me to write romance online before I began getting romance novels published myself.
She published a lot of romance novels back in the day but doesn’t appear to be writing that much herself now. Just thought that was odd picking up that book today as her name isn’t all that well known in the UK.
The other strange thing is, the book was a freebie with the now defunct magazine, Woman’s Realm. That was the first magazine I ever submitted a short story to. I actually received a hand written reply from the editor at that time [as rare as hens’ teeth!], informing me she was so sorry [with the word ‘SO’ underlined several times], but they did not accept unsolicited stories and she wished me luck placing my story elsewhere. I didn’t even know what the word, ‘unsolicited’ meant back then! This was in 1999. I don’t know why, but for some reason I took it in my mind that the editor liked the story and that it might have had some merit…whether or not that was true, is debatable, but that first ‘nice’ rejection letter kept me submitting short stories and articles to magazines and websites. I achieved some success over the years, but later progressed to writing romance novels, which I still do today.
It was almost as though by pulling that romance novel from the shelf at the charity shop today, I was being reminded of my journey as a writer so far…