Giving thanks to Desiree Holt and Lori Foster’s RAGT
Three years ago, we were on a transport bus from the airport to the Cincinnati Marriott to attend the Lori Foster Reader Author Get Together for the second time. The first time we attended, we went as readers and had an absolute amazing time. But the second time, we came cocked and loaded with a manuscript (a terribly written one) and the dreams of getting a contract. We climbed on the bus and sat in front of a smiling woman with white hair and a black streak going through the front. She immediately introduced herself as Desiree Holt and from that moment on, we would be forever in her debt.
Desiree treated us with such kindness and actually offered to read what we had. Even though it was riddled with mistakes, tense issues, and the fact we weren’t even supposed to bring it with us to pitch meetings (being the publishing virgins we were) she saw potential in our story. The first thing she taught us: “It’s all about the story.”
After pitching to several houses that weekend, we ended up with an offer from one of them. We hit the ceiling screaming and then emailed Desiree. Again, she spread her wings and pulled us into her loving grasp; helping us with contract questions, editing, and how to promote our work. The second thing she taught us: “Promote every day and everywhere.” She was invaluable to us that first year and if not for her, we wouldn’t have done as well as we did.
A year later, we had the opportunity to pitch to Ellora’s Cave. We jumped at the thought of being with EC and they accepted our Blood Feud Series. That was the year Desiree “ordered” us to step into the EC photograph at Lori’s. The level of elation we felt was unmeasurable! Now with books 1 and 2 out and trying to get book 3 finished, we again look back at what Desiree and Lori’s RAGT mean to us.
They were the beginning of our journey to achieve our dream of being writers. Without either one, we wouldn’t have created Infinite Betrayal, Infinite Surrender, or the world of the Coteri.
The stories keep coming but the time to get them down is scarce. The third thing Desiree taught us: “Get a routine down and follow it. Always find time to write.” As new writers and ones that have forty hour a week jobs in addition to writing, as well as families to care for, finding quiet down time to put our thoughts on paper hasn’t been as successful as we would like. We know there are tons of you out there dealing with the same issue and we don’t have an answer for you. All we know is sleep is scarce, the bags under our eyes are bigger, coffee is the nectar of life, and honestly; nothing could be better than seeing your work published!!
We read a review of Infinite Surrender the other day and it was fantastic. Nothing fancy, not paragraphs long, and not from a review house. It was three simple sentences from a reader: “Stop whatever you are doing and read this book and the previous book. They are AWESOME!!!!! Motorcycle scene was my fav!!!” This is total and complete bliss! To know that someone, somehow heard about our book, bought it, read it, and took the time to put a review on Amazon. Complete bliss!
And that bliss is partly due to Desiree Holt. Had it not been for her kindness and willingness to help two virgin writers achieve their life’s dream, L. Dean couldn’t have enjoyed the exceptionally hot motorcycle scene in Infinite Surrender!!
The last thing Desiree taught us was: “The Romance community is an extremely supportive group. Be good to them and they’ll be good to you.” And let us get an “Amen” to that! The women we have met over the last couple of years have become wonderful friends and endless supporters of us and of our work. If not for them, again, we wouldn’t have achieved what we have.
So I guess, back to the original premise of this article: Getting ready to see Desiree again and attend our 5th Lori Foster RAGT convention. We are so excited about this that we want to share the love (and some prizes)!
#1 ~ Are you attending Lori Foster’s Reader Author Get Together this June? If so, you have a chance to win a sterling silver James Avery cross – the symbol of our Blood Feud Series. To enter to win, all you need to do is find us during the convention and get the password from us. Once we give it to you, go on Facebook and send Gayle Donnelly a Private Message stating the password. On Saturday evening (June 8th), we will pick a random winner and announce on Facebook. We will meet you in the lobby where we will present you with the cross! Good Luck and remember to get the password!
#2 ~ Not attending Lori Foster’s Reader Author Get Together this June? Well, we can’t leave you out! Please comment below on your favorite Desiree Holt book. Include your email addy. Once we return from the convention, we will choose a name from the comments to win a Coach coin purse and an e-copy of both Infinite Betrayal and Infinite Surrender.
Thank you again!!
See you soon!