Wednesday, October 11

Defining Moments Aren't Always Pretty

When Liz asked us this week if we wanted to do a theme week, around defining moments, I was all for it. I thought, hey, I can talk about The Call or maybe The Next Call or maybe...but then I thought, you know, defining moments aren't necessarily bright, shining, beautiful moments.

Sometimes a defining moment is dark and dreary...and about picking up and moving forward.

I had one of those defining moments earlier this year. In May, my editor at Superromance called my agent to say Yes, they did want my next series proposal. Cue the trumpets and send the confetti flying!

Two days later, Harlequin announced they were closing my line and four others. My editor was losing her job. My bright, shiny new series? It wasn't going to be a Superromance series. I was....orphaned.

Now, you might think that's not such a big deal. After all, I have another publisher. I've self-published a few books. I'm a self-proclaimed happy-hybrid-author. I was before they announced the line closing, anyway. But when that announcement came, it took a little air out of my happy-hybrid-author balloon. Not just because of me, but because I've loved Superromance books for as long as I can remember. My entry into romance might have been through purloined Harlequin Presents, but Superromances (once I found them) were the reason I kept reading primarily romance fiction. Those authors were my favorites, they were who I aspired to be. One day. Someday, in the distant future. When my agent called in 2014 to tell me I'd sold to Superromance? I was elated! I had achieved a huge goal. I'd had a defining moment. That call is still a defining moment. But when I learned they were closing the line? That, too, was a defining moment. Part of me wanted to curl up. To pull the covers over my head and hide from the news. Not only was I not going to be part of the Superromance family, the family itself was...going away. What should I do now? What about all those amazing authors, those great stories, those friendships? What about the series I wanted to write for them? What about, what about, what about?

I lazed and hid in the 'what abouts' for...a couple of weeks. I didn't think about that new series, or the books I had coming out, or...really anything. I just marinated myself in the turmoil that the announcement created in me. The line I loved was dead. The stories I wanted to tell...were dead. The stories I've loved for more than half my life. . .were dead. Was I, too, dead?

This is the point where you're wondering who gave me a come-to-Jesus, what happened to make me stop marinating. There wasn't a big moment, a great conversation. I opened my WIP file one day and wrote a little bit. And I wrote a bit more the next day. And the day after that. And the day after that. A part of my brain was still marinating in the orphanage, a part of my brain didn't want to write at all, but I knew that I had to get all that marinating gunk out of my head, and getting it on to paper seemed like the best option at the time. So I wrote about loss and pain and aggravation and fear. I wrote because that is what I do. I write. About great, wonderful, bigger than life love. And I write about loss.

I am a writer when things are going my way...and I'm a writer when things aren't going my way. I've had happier defining moments (that call about my first sale to Superromance is one of them!), but I think, as painful as this defining moment is, it's one of my favorites. Because I'm still writing.

Not only that, but we Superromance authors forged ahead on a project we'd been considering before the big announcement. We wanted to put together an anthology, featuring some favorite Superromance Small Towns. We had Harlequin's permission...and then the news came that Superromance was going away. We could have packed up our anthology suitcase and gone on with our lives. Instead, we decided to make the anthology a celebration of everything Superromance was, everything it still is...everything we helped to make it.

That anthology releases next week. Here's a little bit about it:


This autumn, warm your heart with ten fall-themed novellas from some of your favorite USA Today bestselling, national bestselling, and award winning Harlequin Superromance authors. 

Foreword by Brenda Novak.

Pre-order the Falling for You Anthology: Amazon  B&N  KOBO  iBooks  Google Play

It Was You by Tara Taylor Quinn:
He has no problem respecting the fact that she is off limits…until the one night he does.

The Right Man by Heatherly Bell:
When one long planned dream day veers wildly off-course, she must decide between the perfect wedding or the right man.

Her Hometown Cowboy by Claire McEwen:
Falling for him wasn’t part of her plan.

Meet Me in the Middle by Jo McNally:
She’s used to playing it safe, but when her old crush comes cruising back into town, she might have to risk it all.

Outsider in a Small Town by Kristina Knight:
She may hold the keys to his heart…and his future.

If I Fall by Kris Fletcher:
What goes up must fall…in love.

Finding Harmony by Janet Lee Nye:
Jericho was the last place she wanted to be, but it was becoming the best place for her.

Perfect Fit by Angel Smits:
She never forgot her first love…and though he never measured up, neither did he.

Home to You by Dana Nussio:
Can a woman who ran from home and a man who never had it ever hope to discover that home really is a place for hearts?

Can’t Help Falling in Love by Lisa Dyson:
She’s career-oriented. and he’s the one who just broke her boss’s heart.

Pre-order the Falling for You Anthology: Amazon  B&N  KOBO  iBooks  Google Play

11 comments:

  1. Like every other Harlequin writer, I was heartbroken by the cuts--that one specifically. Not only because I have friends who wrote for it but because--aside from my own )--Superromance was my favorite Harlequin line. It was the one that took me through the beautiful expansive door to Women's Fiction. I'm excited about the new anthology and excited for your new beginnings, but sorry at the same time. Thanks for sharing this defining moment.

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    1. thanks, Liz! Superromance was (and is) a very special place!

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  2. As an avid Harlequin reader (I cut my romance reader teeth on Harlequins and I loved the Superromances), I'm heartsick about the loss of that imprint. I hate that this happened to you as well, but your grace and eloquence about the closing is inspiring. Can't wait for the anthology to show up on my Kindle--I already pre-ordered before I wrote this! Hugs, sweetie.

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    1. Aw, thanks, Nan, I hope you love the anthology as much as we all enjoyed working on it!

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  3. As my parents used to say when we kids met with defeat and challenges: It builds character. Congrats on having lots of character! ;-)

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  4. I think the most profound of our defining moments come out of the bits that don't go our way. You've made it through this dark time shiny and bright. You are an inspiration!

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    1. Thanks, Maggie...and I agree -- that which doesn't break us, makes us stronger, right?

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  5. Great post! Superromances have been one of my favorites. I really miss the Intimate Moments line, too. But I will keep watching for books by the authors I love to read. Best of luck to all of you!

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  6. Superrromances were one of my favorites, too. Congrats to you for picking up and continuing to write. You're a smart, tough cookie, Kristina.

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