Guest Author: Diana Lloyd and How to Train Your Baron

Diana Lloyd headshotYears ago, before I got up the nerve to submit any of my stories to a publisher, I entered several writing contests. I never won, but I did get some encouraging feedback that urged me to continue writing. But for my friend Diana Lloyd, her entry into RWA’s Golden Heart Contest (sort of the Oscars of romance writing), won her recognition as a semi-finalist, as well as a three-book contract with Entangled Publishing! All of us in our local writers group are proud of her success, and I asked Diana to tell us a bit about her road to publication.


Hello! I’m historical romance author Diana Lloyd and I’d like to thank the hound and all the foxes for letting me play on their blog today.

Writing in a historical setting requires research. Lots and lots of research. Luckily, I enjoy falling down that rabbit hole. I was one of those nerdy kids who read the dictionary for fun and asked for word-of-the-day calendars for Christmas. In school, I was one of the few students who was secretly glad when the teacher assigned a term paper instead of a final exam.

How to TrainMy road to publication was paved with dumb luck and naïve enthusiasm. In November 2016, on a whim, I entered my historical romance story, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR BARON, into the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart contest for unpublished writers. Then I moved on with my writing, played around and scribbled down ideas for new stories, started another project and forgot about the contest. When I got the phone call from RWA that I was a finalist, I made them repeat the news three times before I believed it.

Being a finalist changed my attitude about writing. I wanted to learn EVERYTHING about the craft of fiction writing and be a better writer. My story didn’t win the contest, but a weird thing happened. Suddenly, agents and editors were contacting me! Based on that single contest, I sold that book, signed a contract for two more, met another author under contract to the same publisher and decided to contribute a novella to her holiday-themed anthology.

LRaC for PROMOThat anthology, LOVE REKINDLED AT CHRISTMAS, broke into the top 100 holiday anthologies on Amazon and attracted the attention of the USA Today Happy Ever After Blog. Like I said, dumb luck.

Writing strong heroines in a historical setting requires a delicate balance between navigating the societal constricts in the time period and pushing the boundaries just enough to make the character unique yet believable. I write heroines who outsmart misogynistic rules, unfair laws, and society’s judgements to grab the happily ever after they know they deserve.

Whatever you enjoy reading, writers appreciate your feedback. Leaving a review on Goodreads, BookBub, or Amazon is a great way to let an author know that you enjoyed their story. I’d like to thank readers everywhere for their support of romantic fiction. Contact me through my website or on Facebook and on Twitter. You can also find me on Goodreads, BookBub, and Pinterest.



About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
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5 Responses to Guest Author: Diana Lloyd and How to Train Your Baron

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    Welcome to 4F1H, Dianna.
    Always gratifying to read a success story.
    I’m totally envious of your high placing in the Golden Heart contest. I’ve forgotten how many entries they received each year, but I know those packets absolutely filled the offices of RWA.
    I entered for 3 or 4 years, back during 2007-2010 (about) — but never got a nod. Of course, at that point in my young fiction career, the ms. I was submitting wasn’t really of high enough quality. I recognize that now. I often wonder if I could zoom back in time, take one of my more recent novels and submit THAT to RWA’s GH contest.
    Oh well. I think I read somewhere that this contest has been — or will be — discontinued. Is that correct?


    • diana-lloyd says:

      Sadly, RWA has announced that 2019 is the last year for the Golden Heart. I hope they replace it with something new and exciting for unpublished authors. Unpubbed authors still make up the majority of RWA membership and there needs to be something for those folks.


  2. Welcome, Diana! And congratulations on you success.
    To be frank, I know of you, (and read you) in the USA Today Happy Ever After blog. I started reading it because because I know another of the writers who also contributes there. ( I also almost had a piece in an article in USA Weekend, but, alas, that publication folded before it came to fruition.)
    So nice to have you with us today!


    • diana-lloyd says:

      Thank you, it was fun letting people know how quirky, subjective, and improbable the road to publication can be. I was lucky to be asked to contribute a novella to the anthology. Mine is LET IT SNOW. That story was my first try at a novella and, dang, it is hard to write short!


  3. Pingback: Guest Author: Diana Lloyd and About an Earl | Four Foxes, One Hound

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