Today’s Path to Publication story is fellow Clean Reads* author Wendy May Andrews
*(Astraea Press changed their name to Clean Reads)
Without further ado, here’s Wendy…
I have been an avid reader since I learned how around the age of four. My aunt got me hooked on Regencies when she introduced me to the books of Georgette Heyer. I was reading multiple books each week like most avid readers. It’s really an addiction. While I had written during school, it never really crossed my mind that I would be capable of producing such a thing as a finished book.
After I got married, my husband had a hard time understanding my book addiction. I could get lost in a book and he would feel quite ignored. Finally, one day, in frustration, he asked, “Why don’t you write one of those books instead of reading them all the time.” At first I scoffed at the idea, but then it took root and I decided to give it a try.
I wrote to a favorite author, Eloisa James, asking how one goes about becoming an author. In hindsight I realize that was a silly question as each person’s path is different, but she graciously wrote me back with some suggestions, including the advice to join Romance Writers of America. I did and have been learning ever since. RWA is a wonderful organization that offers classes and articles to help you grow as a writer.
My first efforts, Tempting the Earl, actually got published in 2010 but that small press was bought out and my momentum was lost. I wrote several manuscripts in the meantime but struggled with finding a publisher willing to publish my clean/sweet romances. I will admit that the sting of rejection interrupted my writing several times.
Finally, I gave myself one more year to work on it. My writing was taking up too much time if it was only going to be a hobby. I started writing a new manuscript for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) November 2013. I started with a fantastic title idea and proceeded to write the book. Ironically, as the book developed that title no longer fit and The Duke Conspiracy was born. When it finally was finished, my critique partner helped me find a list of publishers who were accepting Sweet Historicals. That is when I learned about Clean Reads (formerly Astraea Press). The acquiring editor, Stephanie Taylor, had one revision suggestion and then she offered me a contract. It has been a thrilling ride ever since.
Now that I have found Clean Reads, I’m hoping to polish up my unpublished manuscripts and submit them as well as finish this year’s NaNoWriMo manuscript and finally write the story for my fabulous title. Really, there are way more ideas than there is time.
Miss Rosamund Smythe, the only daughter of a baron diplomat, is finding the Season to be a dead bore. After her stint at spying while in Vienna with her father, she wants a higher purpose in life than “just” being a wife.
His Grace, Alexander Milton, the Duke of Wrentham, wants a quiet life with a “proper” lady as his wife after the tumultuous childhood he had. His parents had fought viciously, lied often, and Alex secretly wonders if he was even his father’s son.
Rose and Alex grew up on neighboring estates and have been best friends since she was four years old but a family feud has torn their friendship apart.
At a Society event Rose overhears a plot to entrap Alex into a marriage of convenience. Her loyalty to their old friendship as well as her knowledge of the conspirator, Sir Jason Broderick, causes Rose to overcome her aversion to Wrentham in order to warn him of his danger. Alex’s complicated childhood has caused him to despise all forms of deception so Rose avoids telling him how she knows so much about Sir Broderick.
When Rose is abducted by Sir Broderick to prevent her interference, Alex must deal with his own conflicted feelings to help her rescue herself. Can they claim their happily ever after despite the turmoil?
About the Author:
Wendy May Andrews has been reading whatever she could get her hands on since the age of five. She has been writing for almost as long but hasn’t been sharing those stories with anyone but her mother until recently. Wendy lives in Toronto with her own real-life hero. When not writing or reading, they love to travel wherever the mood takes them.