Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Hot Docs!, Quirky Stories, Reading, The Writing Life

New Kid in Town

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)


20 thoughts on “New Kid in Town”

  1. Great story, Annie! A Mills and Boon in a weekend? 25k words a day? Whoa. I suppose if you didn’t need sleep and you locked yourself away in a castle with no phone or wifi….?

  2. It’s great to have you with us, Annie. What a fab call story too! You could write a book about your dating adventures (if you haven’t already done so!) especially as it has such a happy ending.
    Looking forward to reading your debut M&B novel,

  3. What a great story – a lovely happily-ever-after all around! Congrats on joining the Mills & Boon family – it’s a wonderful place to be! Can’t wait to read your debut 🙂

  4. Annie, welcome and congratulations. You’re not the first and nor will you be the last person to try and ‘knockout’ a book in the weekend and find its a lot harder than that, get the bug and finally, years later get published. Are you still in contact with the friend?

  5. Love your story, Annie – and if your blog writing is any indication of your “voice” I know I’ll love your first book.
    Please throttle that old friend who thinks we write our books over a weekend.
    Welcome to the fold!!!!

  6. Looking forward to reading your book. I think i’ll love your writing style just from reading this post. Congratulations on joining a wonderful group of writers.

  7. Congrats, Annie! Hey our October releases are in a 2n1, just put two and two together on who you were. D’oh. You’ve only been on the loop for so long. Love your cover!

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