The story behind the story

Blueprint For Love - high res

Available from Amazon here

By that I don’t mean the research which went into writing it or even the blurb, but instead the story of how my novella came to be published. Blueprint for Love, a sweet romance mystery (so, no beheadings in this one, folks), is now out as an e-book through the imprint Choc Lit Lite.

This is the digital only arm of my publisher Choc Lit, and it aims to publish novels or novellas between 30,000 to 100,000 words, not necessarily featuring the hero’s point of view. You can see their guidelines here.

But I digress. How did this story get out there in the end? Well, I’d been a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme for a number of years, and although I was getting very good reports from the readers, my writing wasn’t “quite there yet”. After yet another positive report on a full length novel which failed to make agents and editors sit up and take notice, I thought that perhaps I wasn’t meant to write longer fiction and decided to write a novella instead. It went through the NWS, was read by the extremely helpful Cara Cooper, and I then sent it to My Weekly Story Collection, which is part of the publisher D. C. Thomson.

Again a few positive noises were made but sadly it wasn’t for them. Frustrated I shoved the story in a bottom drawer while I figured out what to do with it next, and in the meantime signed a publishing contract for a full length novel with Choc Lit. When they later announced the launch of their Lite imprint, I dusted off the story and sent it to them. Fortunately the Tasting Panel liked it, and Choc Lit accepted it!

My advice to anyone trying to have their work published is never to give up. Just because a piece of writing isn’t suitable for one publisher doesn’t necessarily mean that the story is bad – often it’s a case of being in the right place at the right time.

So here is Blueprint for Love, finally seeing the light of day. And don’t you just love that fabulous cover designed by Berni Stevens?

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11 Responses to The story behind the story

  1. Another for my horrendous To Be Read pile, and yes, what a super cover, Henri and Berni.

  2. That is superb that it has now seen the light of day. Congratulations are definately in order and a sip or two of bubbly. The cover is lovely too, Henri.

  3. I started it yesterday, Henri!

  4. Well done, Henri. You’re absolutely right. Never give up. Persistence pays.

    • Thanks, Freda. I didn’t give up on this story as it was written, but other novels I’ve had to shelve. No writing is ever wasted, though, because often we can use bits from an old, unpublished book, in a new book.

  5. Jackie says:

    Keep meaning to look at Choc Lit Lite, Henri thanks for the reminder. I see The Elephant Girl is out on kindle too – another TBR to add to my list.x

  6. Zana says:

    Great perseverance, Henri and yay too for ChocLit for being just that little different and diverse. But no be headings this time? Why not? What sort of romance writer are you 🙂

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