As the saying goes, I’m a real author now. I’ve had a manuscript rejected. And it’s taken me how long? to be able to write this blog post. It’s taken me exactly as long as it’s taken to finish the next manuscript.
The feedback I received on the story of Meg and Jon was partly that it wasn’t a good fit for the line (the hero was too harsh) and partly that their reasons for the fake relationship (core trope!) wasn’t strong enough. I completely agree with the second criticism, which makes it difficult to work out what to do with the story. I could edit it up and send it to other publishers. But I’m inclined to move on.
While I was waiting for feedback on my submission, I decided to continue writing what was supposed to be the second in the series. I knew it was a risk at the time, but the characters were talking to me. When I received the rejection, I had to do a bit of rejigging, but I couldn’t have done anything else. I adore these characters.
I started writing this book as a second crack at the Harlequin Romance (Mills and Boon True Love) line. That meant from day one I needed my hero to be a gentleman. And I have loved crafting the conflict with a hero who is truly admirable. I wonder if I’ve previously fallen into the trap of an overbearing and harsh alpha hero to create conflict. Keeping Diego swoon-worthy while making the conflict real has been a new challenge.
And boy is he swoon-worthy. I’ve just gone through a painstaking edit of the manuscript and I’m still not sick of him. He’s a complete good-guy who sacrificed for his friend and makes the right choices rather than the easy choices. He had a difficult relationship with his father and I’ve loved letting him rediscover his roots. He listens to the heroine as no one else does. He communicates through touch. He can dance salsa and flamenco. He speaks Spanish and English with a Spanish accent. Sigh.
Unfortunately I have to send him into battle (i.e. submit the story to Harlequin) for me, soon. At least I’m not sending him alone. He has the heroine by his side and she is kickass.