It's nice when you start seeing your work come together in a way that makes it real. After all the writing, contract signing and edits, an author can start to wonder why did I decide to do this. Then the book cover arrives, and you let out a little scream of delight. Yay, now I know why I do this, because I love writing and creating stories that might entertain and interest others. For me it's not until I see a cover that I realise I'm actually doing something tangible. I'm not just spending endless hours sitting at my computer playing author. I'm actually being what I want to be.
So, today the cover arrived for The Cougar Club, the first novella in my Sydney Cougar Series. Unlike the initial cover art for Finding Angel (which made me cry, because it was just so inexplicably horrid. It did get revised, thank god.) I screamed with delight when The Cougar Club cover landed in my inbox. Zeke looks like I imagined him and so does Jasmine. The are soooo sexy. I just want to hug them both. Well maybe I could do a bit more than just hug Zeke :)
Life sometimes takes you on a bit of a curve. You can go off on a tangent that sometime works out, other times the tangent leads to disaster. The Sydney Cougar Series, more specifically The Cougar Club was a tangent for me. I was trying to get Finding Angel contracted with a publisher. It seemed like that would never happen. As I was looking at submission guidelines for different publishers, I found Secret Cravings Publishing (SCP). They had a call out for submissions for a new line of books. Their new Hot Flash imprint. Stories about older women and younger men. Cougar stories up to 20,000 words. I decided to give my self a break from the endless grind and worry, write a story, then submit it and see what happened. Jasmine and Zeke came to life, so did the club, and there crazy friends. I had the best time working on the novella, it just basically fell out of my head onto the page in about 4 days. I submitted it, expecting a huge wait to hear back. OMG, a week or so later I had a contract. My first publishing contract. I decided it was fate. It was meant to be. I could use this as a learning experience for when Finding Angel got a home. It didn't work out that way exactly, because Angel got published and came out before this, but, oh well. I've still learnt a lot from SCP, they're a terrific company to write for.
And SCP is continuing to be a first for me. My tangent is paying off, they recently offered me a multi book contract. Three more of the Sydney Cougar Series novellas. I didn't intend for The Cougar Club to be part of a series, but it has. The secondary characters from the book grabbed my attention. They needed their own story. I wanted to let people know what happened to some of Jasmine and Zeke's friends. I mean 20k words doesn't give a lot of detail, inquiring minds (like me) needed to know more of what was going on. When I submitted the second novella, Catching a Cougar, to SCP they asked how many more were in the series. I replied two more unnamed titles. I know who they will be about, but as for how the stories will unfold, that's still jottings on paper. So, SCP offered me a multi-book contract for the remaining three novellas. How cool are they, and how excited was I? I'm still smiling.
I haven't got a definite release date for The Cougar club yet, but it is in February, so only a few weeks to wait. If you'd like to have a sneak peak at what the books about, visit my website. The link is on the right hand side of the blog page. I hope when your read The Cougar Club that you find it's just the right amount of good storyline and wickedly sexy fun.