Thursday, November 10, 2011

We're Thankful for New Authors

Here at the Craftie Ladies of Romance, we have so much to be grateful for. Last Wednesday, we highlighted Julie, one of our beloved readers. Today we’re honoring the two newest additions to the blog:

They’re here to tell you about themselves and how they traversed the road to publication. So, without further ado, let’s see what these two ladies have to say.

They’ve done it like an interview, how cool!

Rhonda Gibson

Sherri: So, Rhonda, when did you sell your first book, and to whom?

Rhonda: My first book sold in 2003, to Barbour Publishing. Mine was the first novella to receive a contract at the Annual ACFW Writer’s conference.

Sherri: Wow! (For those of you who might not know, Barbour, in order to support new authors, grants a contract each year at the ACFW conference. It’s a BIG DEAL to win this award!) What an honor. How many books have you sold since then?

Rhonda: I am blessed to have three publishers so at this time, and I’ve sold 10 books. A Biltmore Christmas is out now, The Marshal’s Promise will be released May 2012 and The Midwife’s Apprentice releases in June of 2012.

Sherri: You are one busy author! Can you give us a brief description of your May release from Harlequin Historical?

Rhonda: Yes! I’m thrilled to be a Love Inspired Historical author. The title is: The Marshal’s Promise. Rebecca is a mail order bride who, when she arrives, discovers that her intended has been killed during a bank robbery. Seth is the Marshal who has to deliver the news to her.

Sherri: Sounds awesome! Tell us about ‘The Call’ from Harlequin.

Rhonda: I’m blessed to have an agent who called several times while I was in the movies... I knew it was important and my heart was beating out of my chest because I knew we were waiting to hear from LIH. So when I called her back I was hopeful but when she didn’t immediately say LIH wants this book, I was disappointed. But then she gave me a few more details and I realized that yes! They did want the book! I screamed like the girl I am and sputtered to my DH and anyone else who would listen that I was finally a LIH author. To celebrate my sweet husband took me to my favorite ice-cream shop. I have to confess the girls were a little confused at all the dancing and squealing that filled their shop.

Sherri: I like your agent already! You have several wonderful ‘call’ stories. Not many people can pull that off.

Sherri Shackelford
Rhonda: How about you, Sherri, when did you learn you wanted to be a writer?

Sherri: The summer of 2007. I liked to read, and my youngest was a year old. I knew once he went to kindergarten, I'd have to have at least a hobby to make people think I did more than eat bon bons and take bubble baths. I joined my local RWA chapter in August 2007. I almost fainted I was so nervous.

Rhonda: Laughing, yes I understand that nervous feeling of starting a new adventure. So for the readers out there who want to be writers - Be brave and do what Sherri did, join a writers group and get busy! So Sherri, How did you come up with the idea for the book you sold to LIH?

Sherri: In December 2010, Harlequin sponsored So You Think You Can Write - and they wanted something you hadn't shopped around before. I kept seeing this winter scene with a woman in labor. So I sent it off. And four weeks later they rejected it. But I loved those characters, and I knew I had to write their story. I'd never written a western or an inspirational, but it 'felt' right.

Rhonda: So did you rewrite and resubmit?

Sherri: Sort of. I tweaked the opening scene – but not much. I decided to enter a few contests and get some feedback. See if I could figure out what Harlequin didn’t like. I ended up finaling in a few.

Rhonda: And they bought it?

Sherri: Long story short, yes. But there were many ups and downs along the way.

Rhonda: I’m happy that you stuck to it and can’t wait to read your book! So tell us, what does your family think of your writing?

Sherri: Great question! I have the most supportive husband/family/extended family you can imagine. My husband fully supports my efforts, and always makes sure I have enough 'quality time' to write. He's amazing. What about you? Does your family support your writing?

Rhonda: My family is wonderful as well. My husband has supported me since the beginning.
[There’s a short little aside here where Rhonda gives me some more publishing tips, and we discover we have the same wonderful editor!]

Sherri: Are you working on your next book?

Rhonda: I set up The Marshal’s Promise as a series and am currently working on the proposals for the next two books. What about you?

Sherri: I have a proposal in for the next book, but it’s completely separate. While I’m finishing up the second book, I’m working on a proposal for a for a 3-book series.

Rhonda: Wait! You forgot to tell us about ‘The Call.’

Sherri: Okay, this is funny. The editor from Harlequin introduced herself and started off by telling me how much she liked the book and enjoyed the characters...and I'm thinking, blah, she’s going to say, “But you’re not quite ready. Revise and resubmit.”
Instead she says, "So we'd like to buy it." I couldn't wrap my head around the news! I kept giving her tidbits about the book to make sure she was calling the right person. (This must be a mistake, right?) She finally said, “Do you want me to call back later?” “No!”

Rhonda: Too funny! I think that is wonderful, before we stop and allow our readers to ask us their own questions, what is the title of your book? And when is it being released?

Sherri: Winning the Widow’s Heart releases in June of 2012 from Harlequin Love Inspired Historical. Widowed Elizabeth Cole is alone and in labor when a relentless Texas Ranger searching for an outlaw barges into her life. Forced to rely on the handsome lawman, Elizabeth fears she holds the key to solving the ranger’s case, and the truth threatens to tear apart her fragile security. We’d like to thank the Craftie Ladies of Romance for allowing us to do this fun interview together. God has truly blessed our careers and lives by bringing us into the LI family!

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  1. Rhonda and I had so much fun interviewing each other! I had about fifteen pages of transcripts from our IM meeting. I condensed our conversation for the Craftie Ladies :)

  2. Hi, Sherri and Rhonda. So glad you all could join us.

  3. Welcome, Sherri and Rhonda! You're part of a whole new family now!

  4. Welcome Rhonda and Sherri! It's great to meet you and welcome you to Love Inspired!

  5. Hi everyone! We did have fun doing this interview/blog and I loved getting to know Sherri. You are right Regina, we are a part of a whole new family and it is a great family!!

  6. I just love meeting new authors and read their stories. Can't wait to read your books.

    Peace, Julie

  7. Hi Sherri and Rhonda! Congrats to both of you for your hard work and perseverance. Looking forward ti those release dates!

    And the chocolate party. I am invited, right? :-)

  8. Of course Cheryl!!! We do love our chocolate!

  9. Hello Margaret and Regina, it's great to be here!

    Christina, so nice to meet you :)

    Rhonda, thanks for letting me interview you!

  10. Great interview, Rhonda and Sherri. Both books sound fabulous! Can't wait to read them.

  11. Love those stories about "The Call." One of my friends received the Barbour contract at conference a few years back and we all got to celebrate with her. That's so much fun. Can't wait to read your books.

  12. Julie, I love the LIH line. It's amazing to be with such fabulous authors.

    Cheryl, it's not a party without Cheryl and Chocolate!

  13. Di,
    At lunch the day after the Barbour announcement this year, I sat next to the person who received the contract. She was still glowing!

  14. Sherri, girl, you are awesome! I can't wait to read your book.

  15. Ladies,
    Welcome to the Craftie Ladies. We're so glad you're here. I've known Rhonda for awhile. We're also Barbour Babes. But, Rhonda comes to AZ every once in awhile and sometimes I get to meet up with her for lunch.
    So, Sherri, this means to catch up, to really catch up to Rhonda, you'll need to come to Arizona for a visit.

  16. Hi, Rhonda,
    This was such a good idea--a double interview. Best success to both of you.

  17. Great interviews, Rhond and Sherri. Look forward to reading both of your books!

  18. These both sound like good books and just what I like reading. I enjoyed reading about The Call.

  19. Great interview and I loved both your stories about the Call! It's been fun to "meet" Sherri here, and Rhonda and I have been friends for ages. I'm looking forward to reading those books!

  20. Hey Rhonda,
    Great interview with Sherri! And congrats to you both. Just remember us Bards as you hit the big time!

  21. Me? Forget the Bards? NEVER! I love you guys!!

    Waving to Diane, Jacqueline, Dora, Janet, Vickie, Robin and Carol! Thanks everyone for stopping by.

  22. Hey Sherri and Rhonda, loved the interviews! Can't wait to read your books!

  23. What a fun interview, Rhonda & Sherri. So excited for you both!

  24. Pamela, I think Arizona sounds like a marvelous field trip!

    Jacqueline, double interview, double the fun :)

    Janet, WOW! What else can I say??!!

  25. Vickie, Can't wait to read your next release. You and Mary get the most awesome covers!

    Robin, Thank you! Love your profile pic :)

    Carol, It's fun 'meeting' you too!

  26. Hello, Aaron, Nice to meet you :)

    Thank you, Lynette! Nice to meet you.

    Lyn, What can I say? It's an honor!

  27. Sandra, I had SO much fun during the Harlequin meeting at ACFW. Maybe a little tooooo much fun. Can you even have too much fun?!

  28. Welcome Rhonda and Sherri, Good to see new LI writers.
    Sorry so late to greet you been a busy day here.

  29. I love this style of interview!!! ANd call stories are SO exciting. Thanks for sharing, ladies.
    Sherri, I'd love to hear the long version sometime. I bet it would be very encouraging. :-)

  30. Jessica, the long version is interesting. I swear at my soon-to-be editor, have a request retracted, and get rejected and published on the same day.

    It's an interesting business, that's for sure!

  31. Great interview with each other and such a fun idea. Someday, if I get through some other commitments, I'd like to write for LI. Love their books.


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