Behind the Scenes: Beneath the Covers

Claudia’s story almost didn’t happen.

My “Ladies of the Pen” series was about to go the way of the Duvall sisters’ series. A three book series stopped at two (but I’m not bitter or anything).

My editors weren’t sold on the idea of a trilogy about three writers. They didn’t think that writers were interesting enough…which is why unlike “The Black Stockings Society” there’s no logo or mention of the trilogy name. They just didn’t think it was a strong series idea. Fortunately, the first two proposals intrigued them enough to allow me to write Suzanne and Noreen’s stories, but they passed on Claudia’s. Twice.

First when I offered the series idea and then after I’d finished PAGES OF PASSION and was ready to tell Claudia’s story.

They didn’t like my proposal and said ‘No.’

This is nothing new for me. I had every intention of continuing the Duvall sisters’ series, but it got axed after two books. I still get readers asking about them, but there’s nothing I can do. The series didn’t sell well so Harlequin wasn’t interested.
But this time I wasn’t backing down. I really wanted to complete this trilogy. Claudia deserved to have her story told. (And I wasn’t going to suffer years of readers asking me ‘What about Claudia?’) So I decided to put forth another proposal idea.

Again…’No.’ But this time my editor gave me a few suggestions, effectively leaving the door open. I knew an opportunity when I saw one, so I took her ideas and started to brainstorm. I took out a big yellow notepad (yes, I still write in longhand sometimes) where I scribbled down possible scenarios. Then I took a long walk and listened to some of my favorite music before I returned to my notepad. I circled ideas that seemed promising.

Then I sat in front of the computer and pieced together a new premise—what if two ex-lovers, who’d almost married, were forced to work together on a show for singles?

I fleshed out the story then put it in an email and hit send.

Then I waited.

And got the green light!

That was a great day. And this is another one: The Ladies of the Pen trilogy is finally complete and Claudia and Peter’s story is available for readers to enjoy.

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