Greetings from (slightly overcast) Sussex from yet another in the flock of newcomers to the Medical Romance fold. I feel a bit like I am signing up to a dating site: a bit shy, a bit nervous and terrifically excited all at the same time. Which was EXACTLY how I felt this February when i was wandering back from the cow barn, covered in poop and my phone rang with a number from London. It was an editor from Paradise Road: That’s right, Mills & Boon were on the line.
I received ‘my call’ after a rather fractured series of attempts to join the wonderful world of Mills & Boon. (Cue: bowl of cherries = life)
My (writing) story began some time ago when a friend idly wondered aloud if a Mills & Boon couldn’t be written in a weekend. I decided to haul myself off to Death Valley and give it a go. (I know – a little weird – but I ended up going on a hike with a hot dentist and finding some fool’s gold….he didn’t call, I gave the ‘gold’ to a friend). The hotel room was cowboy themed, the air con barely worked and fudgesicles were 25 centsat the gas station across the road (and it was THIS century). Long story short – it takes longer than a weekend (particularly with the distraction of a widowed dentist from San Francisco pulling you away from your keyboard). I made it to somewhere in the neighbourhood of chapter five and –
Life ensued. I was transferred back to the UK after three years working in Los Angeles, had a nosedive of a relationship (a real turkey – he swore I’d never finish one of my writing projects. Ha! Take that you party pooper!). Then I got a new job, met and fell in love with my own Highlander (oh sweet heavens – just keep rolling those r’s for me honey) and, on a two week break between jobs wrote and finished my first real romance. It is a combination of exotic, magical and not entirely terrific (it’s called The Doctor’s Princess, is written by my even more exotic alter ego: Tabitha Fife: Yes. It’s self-published on amazon) and caught the eye of the Mills & Boon editors. Their interest was piqued– but they weren’t head over heels with Tabitha’s work and thought I should give it another go in the form of a contest – which I duly joined. Thus was born – The Surgeon’s Christmas Wish – the story that finally gave me the proverbial writing legs I’d been longing for and pole vaulted me to a three book contract. I love it – every single pulse-racing, nail-biting, lip-locked moment of it. Writing about falling in love every day? I was made for it and am incredibly grateful to be a part of this fabulous group of story weavers. Lovely to meet you all and see you again soon – Annie O’Neil (@annieoneilbooks and http://www.annieo’neilbooks.com)