What do you get when you mix a Cinderella tale with a dash of Little Women a dollop of romance and a whole lot of Girard humor? A novel called THE GLASS SLIPPER PROJECT a story about four women and one eligible bachelor who’s the key to solving their financial troubles. I had lots of fun writing this story and was proud of the end product.
Unfortunately, it was released to the sound of one hand clapping. Few readers bought it. But undeterred ( I was in my creative zone and having a blast) I wrote the sequel TAMING MARIELLA a fun spin on The Taming of the Shrew with a mix of, yes you guessed it, romance and Girard humor. Just like the first book, I had lots of fun writing it. But that didn’t matter because sales for that book were even worse. Silly me, I didn’t get the hint and drafted a proposal to give the youngest sister Daniella her own story. Who could resist?
My editor. In a very caring tone she said, “No way. Try again.” I don’t blame her. Publishing is a business and the series wasn’t selling, so I moved on and started a different one.
But I’ve never forgotten the Duvall sisters—their loyalty, their fights, their loves. Evidently, I’m not the only one. Over the years I’ve received numerous emails asking about them and lately the emails have increased (thank you eBooks!). Many readers have been asking me about Daniella’s story.
“Is there going to be a story for her?” they ask and I respond by saying, “Where were you before?!!” But no really, I knew that my story needed time to grow an audience. In publishing it’s all about velocity of sales and if something doesn’t sell fast within six months or less it’s considered a failure (category novels basically have the life span of a magazine–four weeks). For some, my two low selling books were potential career killers. My agent at the time, spoke to me in low tones over the phone, as if my career was on its death bed (but I knew I could always come up with a new name and start again–Writers don’t die we multiply!–so I wasn’t too worried). Anyway, I never saw this series as a failure and the renewed interest in it from readers makes me know I was right.
How did I know? Let me mention again how much fun I had with these sisters. I completely enjoyed the company of the strong, quiet Isabella; the vain, sexy Mariella; sweet, fun Gabriella and spunky Daniella. Oh and let me not forget the men—Alex, Tony and Ian. I especially enjoyed the little town of Hydale in upstate New York. When I first crafted THE GLASS SLIPPER PROJECT I was still trying to adjust to writing short category romances. I’d come from writing single title novels that had allowed me the freedom and scope to delve into many characters and subplots. The new guidelines felt as suffocating as like trying to paint a landscape on the head of a pin. But I persevered and pressed on (and it proved great training considering the word count was cut even shorter).
So, thank you readers for keeping these sisters alive. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to revisit all of them again, but your interest keeps them going strong. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to convince my editor to Daniella’s story a chance.