By Michelle Miles On Feb 15 2013, 9:00 am
The first memory I have of writing or wanting to be a writer goes back to my high school days. I’ve talked about this before—I wrote fan fiction Indiana Jones adventure comics. Those were fun. I dabbled in writing stories for a while but I’d always get stuck and stop. I dropped writing altogether in my early 20s. But I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I got a job, I got an apartment, I got a dog or two. And then a cat.
In my early 30s, I decided I really wanted to try writing again. I’d been thinking about it for years but never really taking up the pen again. I was on maternity leave with my son and told my then-husband that I wanted to take this Writer’s Digest Novel Writing course. He looked at me like I’d lost my mind. Or grown a second head. Not sure which. It cost money, sure. But I looked at it as an investment in my future. Because I really wanted to write novels.
My teacher was Teri Valentine. I made it through the course and had a completed novel that no one seemed to want. I was trying to write a fantasy romance because I wanted to combine my love of romance novels with my love of fantasy novels. I had no clue what I was doing so I shoved it to the back of the hard drive and forgot about it.
About that same time, I discovered Romance Writers of America. I joined in 2004 because I really wanted to be in a place where I could interact with other writers and learn the business and the craft. It was clear I still had a lot to learn and I wanted so badly to learn. I found a local chapter and volunteered for everything I could to get myself in front of agents and editors. I served as President and Treasurer. Next year, I will serve as PAN Liaison.
In late 2005, I’d submitted a contemporary romance to the then-new Samhain Publishing…and sold. TALK DIRTY TO ME was published in the summer of 2006. I wrote four more contemporaries but my heart was still in the fantasy world. I so wanted to write fantasy. At the time, it wasn’t a subgenre that was big. No one seemed to be writing fantasy romance or anything like it. I can’t remember when or how I discovered the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter, but I did. It was like a whole new world opened up to me. There were others, like me, who wanted to combine their love of speculative fiction with romance. How cool is that?
Meanwhile, I was still getting rejected. I’d revamped a story into a historical with paranormal elements. There was magic, time travel, jousting, knights, love, loss. I’d managed to snag the attention of editors at Sourcebooks and Carina Press but ultimately got a rejection from each of them. Then a friend asked me if I wanted to submit to her editor. As it turned out I got an acceptance. I was ecstatic!
I’m currently writing a new urban fantasy and working on a new paranormal series. I hope to have those ready for submission in the next few months.
Michelle Miles writes contemporary, paranormal and fantasy romance. To find out more about her books, visit her website, on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.