I honored to introduce a longtime friend of mine, fellow HPT mate and Harlequin Romance author, Ami Weaver. She’s here today as a guest to tell us about her exciting debut, “An Accidental Family.”
Congratulations Ami! This is such a special moment for you. Thank you for sharing it with us.
The moment the stick turns pink Lainey Keeler's life is turned upside down. She's still aching from past hurts, and single parenthood wasn't planned, but, marveling at the tiny life fluttering inside her, Lainey knows she'll do anything for this baby—on her own.
Firefighter Ben Lawless is tormented by memories of the friend he couldn't save, and a pretty pregnant woman living on his land is an unwelcome distraction. Still, as Lainey's determination and spirit tempt him out of the darkness, he wonders whether he can have the family he's convinced himself he doesn't deserve….
Ami has graciously agreed to giveaway a copy of her debut to one lucky commenter. Believe me when I say I’ve read some of her stories in the past and you don’t want to miss out on this book. I’m just dying to read it. At last the postman has arrived with it and it's next up on my TBR pile.
Thanks, Jennifer! I hope you enjoy it!
Ami, could you tell us a little about “An Accidental Family”?
Sure! Lainey Keeler is determined to make her flower shop work on her own to prove to her uber-successful family she’s not a black sheep. But an unexpected pregnancy and meeting Ben (who is battling demons of his own) throws her off her course and forces her to reevaluate what she really wants from life.
How did you get the idea for this story? Did the heroine come to you first? Or the predicament the H/h find themselves in?
The first line came to me first, actually. I wrote that down, and eventually the book evolved from there, but it took a really long time (this book took years). In the original draft, the hero was the father. But given his conflict, that wouldn’t have worked.
To actually hold your very first book in her your hands must be a dream come true. Would you mind sharing some details about your path to publication? How long had you been writing before receiving the “Call”? Any major challenges along the way?
I’d only written a handful of full manuscripts before I sold. A few partials in there, too. I started writing romance about 10 years ago but it came and went as I had more kids and less time. But I got serious about publication a couple of years ago. So family and young kids were a challenge as was this particular book. There was a time when I couldn’t even turn on my laptop without panicking. I couldn’t make it work, couldn’t figure out why, and I stopped writing for awhile. I’d just freeze up. It was no fun. I entered it as a lark into Mills&Boon’s New Voices contest and freaked when it finalled. That pushed me to rework it and I entered it in the Golden Heart as well, where it finalled under another title. The editor who read it for the Golden Heart remembered it from New Voices and bought it from there.
Every writer I’ve ever talked with has a particular place in a book that they find challenging, what part would that be for you? Beginnings? Middles? Ends? How do you conquer these problem areas?
Beginnings! For sure. The exception was An Accidental Family. The first three chapters came easy. The rest was like pulling teeth on an angry lion. But generally, I have to edit the beginnings the most, because I’ve learned to just kind of start the book and it always changes later. This used to cause me stress. Now I know it’s just how I work. Accepting your process, even if it’s messy, is key. It was for me. Otherwise, if you’re like me, you’ll grab chocolate instead of writing. Which is bad on many levels.
With a family to care for and other life demands, how do you make time to write? Do you have daily word/page count goals?
All four of my kids are in school now, so I go to a coffee shop in the morning to work. (Fewer distractions!) I write pretty quick and on a good day I can easily get 2k in a couple hours. If I need to, I make up time on weekends. If I’m editing, I set a weekly goal, that I’ll get through X amount of chapters by Friday. (I always try to pick Friday, no matter what day I start and adjust the total accordingly.) Editing is a little harder to quantify with pages and words, especially when I’m taking stuff out and adding things in and it can be a wash.
If there was one thing you wished you’d have known before you got published, what would it be?
That selling isn’t the end of the journey! Oh, I knew it wasn’t in theory, but until I sold I had no idea what a change it really is. Working under contract is very different from writing what you want, when you want--even setting your own deadlines. Don’t get me wrong--I’m very grateful. But it was a bit of a shock that the pressure ramps up.
What’s the title of your next book to hit the shelves? When can we expect it?
In The Line Of Duty, September 2013!
You can find Ami via her Website here.
Or on Twitter: @writerlygirl
Thank you for sharing the exciting details of your debut. It sounds absolutely wonderful.
Readers, please don’t forget to comment. I know Ami would love to hear from you. And for everyone who comments, they’ll get entered for a chance to win a copy of Ami’s debut. I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of anything better than a free book. J