Friday, December 11, 2009

Classic Romance Something New

So... A few months ago a good friend of mine (Ally Carter) said, "Maggie, I think you should write a category romance."
"A what?" I replied.
"A category romance," said Ally. "You know from Harlequin." And although I often read romance because I am all about the love and the Happily Ever After, I am embarassed to say I hadn't read a category romance in years. But because Ally is a little bit psychic (don't tell her I told you..actually she probably already knows) and because she's sold a BILLION books I decided I'd listen to my dear writer friend. I got on line and ordered a couple of these little treats.

Oh. My. Goodness.

They are like mini-milky way chocolate bars! Fast, addictive and sweet! The books are four dollars, I can read them in a few hours, and they are REALLY GOOD! Before I knew it I had consumed a whole bag...wait...that was the chocolate...I had read a whole dozen.

Then, because I am a writer...I started thinking about characters. Two characters. Then I started surfing and I found a contest! Not just any contest but a big contest...at Harlequin. I was in the midst of my 5th rewrite (which felt like my 20th rewrite) on my contemporary romance and I wanted the freedom the joy of writing new characters. So I did. I sat down and let these two fabulous characters spring to life. Wrote a one page synopsis and shipped it off to the UK with barely a moment to spare.

Flash forward four weeks. And I get a phone call. A phone call with a 44 prefix. Now I have friends in London but usually they don't call at 8:15 am.... This phone call was the lovely Joanne Grant! Telling me that although I wasn't the bride, I got to be a bridesmaid in a flashy little dress. I was a runner up!! Out of 544 amazing entries! Wow! Talk about thrilled, excited, astounded! What fun to dash off this lovely little chapter (that practically wrote itself) and then become a finalist! I get the honor of a critique by Bryony Green, an amazing editor. And every writer loves working with amazing editors!

I am humbled. And honored. And thrilled. Thank you Joanne. Thank you Bryony. Thank you Harlequin. And thank you to my good friend, the psychic, Ally.

xoMaggie Marr

15 Comments:

Blogger Lacey Devlin said...

Congrats Maggie!

December 11, 2009 at 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Maggie,

All the best,

Suzanne

December 12, 2009 at 12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maggie, Just wanted to stop by and congratulate you on your placement in the Harlequin Presents contest. Well done and I look forward to reading your chapter.


Chris.

December 12, 2009 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Maggie,

Just wanted to come over and say congrats on your win. It's nice to discover cat. romance all over again, isn't?
Looking forward to reading your chapter.


Barbara

December 12, 2009 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Congrats, Maggie! Thanks awesome. :)

December 12, 2009 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger Trish Morey said...

Congratulations Maggie!

Awesome achievement.

December 12, 2009 at 11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What fun to dash off this lovely "a little chapter (that practically wrote itself) and then become a finalist!"

Congratulations. It didn't take you long to work out out exactly what the editors were looking for. Any chance you might share your findings? A blog post on how to write a winning first chapter for Harlequin would be so helpful to those of us still struggling.

Elin.

December 13, 2009 at 12:58 AM  
Blogger Sandii Manning said...

Super congratulations on your win, Maggie. Such an awesome achievement! I can't wait to read your chapter and hopefully soon, your book.

Best wishes
Sandii

December 13, 2009 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Sandii Manning said...

Super congratulations Maggie on an awesome achievement.

Sandii

December 13, 2009 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Kerrin said...

Congratulations! Can't wait to you read your chapter on the harlequin blog! :)

December 13, 2009 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Sandii Manning said...

Congratulations Maggie on a wonderful achievement. I hope this is just the beginning of your Harlequin career.

Best wishes
Sandii

December 13, 2009 at 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Christine said...

Hi Maggie, I wondered if there is an actual finished book to go with your two chapters, and if so, when will we be able to read it?

December 13, 2009 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Nell Dixon said...

Congratulations, Maggie! How wonderful - fingers crossed that this will be the start of something wonderful for you.

December 14, 2009 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger Finny said...

Congratulations, Maggie!!! :)

December 14, 2009 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Katie Reus said...

Just discovered you on Divas. :) Mega congrats!

December 14, 2009 at 6:02 PM  

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