Years 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.
My 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my historical romance story, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR BARON, into the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart contest for unpublished writers.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.
That 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.
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Find my books HOW TO TRAIN YOUR BARON and LOVE REKINDLED AT CHRISTMAS on my Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Diana-Lloyd/e/B07F8FNZ9V/