Thank you so much, Maria, for hosting me today.
She was the heiress determined to never marry. Yvette Stapleton is wary of fortune hunting men and their false declarations of love. She’d rather become a spinster than imprisoned in the bonds of marriage.
At first, she doesn’t recognize the dangerously handsome man who rescues her from assailants on London’s docks, but her reaction to Lord Sethwick’s kisses soon have her reconsidering her cynical views on matrimony.
He was the nobleman who vowed to make her his own. Not a day has gone by that Ewan McTavish, Lord Sethwick and Laird of Craiglocky, hasn’t dreamed of the beauty he danced with two years ago; he’s determined to win her heart.
On a mission to stop a War Office traitor, he unwittingly draws Yvette into deadly international intrigue. To protect her, he exploits Scottish Canon law to declare her his lawful wife—without benefit of a ceremony.
Yvette is furious upon discovering the irregular marriage is legally binding, though she never said, “I do.”
Cameron's charismatic characters and fast-paced plot blend flawlessly for a hard-won happily ever after.
~Award winning Regency author Regina Jeffers
Maria: Check out this cover, guys! I heart it! Collette informed me it's currently in a cover contest on AuthorsdB and now in first place for romance. I'm not surprised. Collette, I’d love to hear a little bit about your journey to publication.
Collette: I started writing seriously in February 2011. I finished the first draft of Highlander’s Hope in six months while teaching full-time. It was 156,000 word monstrosity! I submitted it to three publishers and received polite no thank yous.
I rewrote the novel, drastically cutting it to 85,000 words, and then pitched the new draft at a conference. I had four request for partials and one for a full from editors and agents. Again, I was told no thanks, but this time, the agent that requested the full, gave me some very good advice.
So, back I went to my computer and rewrote the book . . . again. In July of 2012, I submitted a query to Soul Mate Publishing. Four days later, I had a request for a full. Four days after submitting the full, I had a contract offer.
I’ve contracted with them for The Viscount’s Vow (September 2013), the second book in the trilogy. I’m currently about half done with The Earl’s Enticement the final book.
Maria: How long have you been submitting your work to editors and/or agents?
Collette: My first submission was in November 2011.
Maria: How many years have you been writing?
Collette: Two and a half years. This past school year was my last to teach full-time. I’m only going to be substituting very part-time from this point forward so I can spend more time writing.
Maria: Do you have any advice for authors as yet unpublished?
Collette: I think it is very important to learn about the industry and read about the craft of writing. Get involved in writer’s groups (I belong to several) and attend workshops and conferences.
I had to learn so much so fast, it was overwhelming. I don’t know what I would have done without the support of other writers and authors.
Oh, and if you don’t have any, get some critique partners and beta readers. I didn’t have any critique partners for Highlander’s Hope. I’m convinced that if I had, I would have been saved a great deal of rewriting.
For my last two books, I’ve had three fabulous ladies, all of whom also write historical, and just recently, I joined a Regency critique group. I’m rather in awe to be a part of that elite bunch of writers.
Maria: What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Collette: Don’t take critiques, reviews, or comments personally. Assess them to determine if they have any merit and if they can make your story/writing better. If so, take the advice. If not, disregard it.
Not everyone has the same taste or appreciates the same writing voice, descriptions . . . even romance genre.
I’ve had some people that don’t particularly care for my abundant descriptions, and yes, I have a tendency to be wordy and over use adjectives and adverbs. (Two critique partners nail me on that!) But, that being said, many of my readers love my descriptions, and my editor for The Viscount’s Vow wants more.
I write what I like to read, and I understand that means there are other people who won’t like it. That’s okay, because truthfully, I disliked (and in a few cases, hated) every single book I had to read for my American Literature class in my undergraduate program. And yes, I do mean hate.
Maria: What are you working on now?
Collette: I’m writing The Earl’s Enticement, the third book in the trilogy. After that, I have several more novels (10-12) all based on secondary characters from Highlander’s Hope.
Maria: Will you be attending the RWA Nationals?
Collette: Not this year. I just went on a Caribbean cruise in March, and I’m going to Hawaii in August. Next year though, watch out!
I’ve “met” so many fabulous romance authors through RWA, The Beau Monde, Faith Hope and Love, Inc., even Facebook and Twitter, I can’t wait to meet them in person.
Maria: Where can we find you on the web?