FINALLY!! (or a lesson in outlasting asshats)



FINALLY!! I've been waiting since 2001 to see my first novel, GODDESS BY MISTAKE, published by a "real" publisher with a "real" editor and "real" distribution. It has been a long, frustrating journey since I mistakeningly (pun intended) allowed an inept small press (not all small presses are inept - example: Ellora's Cave is fabulous) to publish GbM. Basically, it's been a lesson in outlasting asshats, as well as a lesson in how Karma can kick ass. Anyway, here's a summary of how GODDESS BY MISTAKE became DIVINE BY MISTAKE, and why it took so many years for the book to be available (almost exactly five).

DIVINE BY MISTAKE, which was released by LUNA this month, used to be GODDESS BY MISTAKE and is set one hundred twenty-five plus years before the events of ELPHAME’S CHOICE and BRIGHID’S QUEST. Okay, stay with me here. It might get confusing...

DIVINE BY MISTAKE was my very first book. It was published in August 2001 under the title GODDESS BY MISTAKE by a small press with a tiny print run and very limited distribution. At that time I was a naïve first time author without an agent or any experience (I also wonder if I might have been without sense, too, when I look back on that dreadful first contract!). So my book was released, and I’d already almost finished its sequel, GODDESS BY CHOICE, and had a third book outlined, GODDESS BY DESIGN – and, Wham! Out of nowhere I get a 4 ½ star top pick gold review from Romantic Times Magazine, and GbM finals in The Holt Medallion, Prism, Laurel Wreath, and National Readers’ Choice Award. It eventually wins all of these except the NRCA. This wonderful attention helped me sign on with my incredible agent, Meredith Bernstein, and within four days she had an offer from Berkley for the trilogy. As you can imagine, I was deliriously happy – until I was informed the small press refused to sell the rights to GbM, thereby ‘holding hostage’ the second and third books in the trilogy.

I like to believe out of negatives can be born positives, which is definitely what happened in this case. Because my Partholon series was temporarily dead (and sitting under my bed) I was forced to come up with an idea for a new series of books, which became the Goddess Summoning Books for Berkley.

Meanwhile, I never forgot that I had a fabulous trilogy in limbo. For years my agent diligently attempted to get the rights of GbM back, and I waited...and waited...and waited...and wrote other books while the wretched small press held GbM, GbC, and GbD hostage.

Then I heard about Harlequin’s new fantasy imprint for women, LUNA, and knew my Partholon books would be perfect for it. But, again, the small press wouldn’t release my rights. So I got mad and did some serious brainstorming, which is when I came up with the idea to take my basic plot plan for the third book, GODDESS BY DESIGN, and set it in the future so that I could have the beginnings of a new series which refers back to and is based upon the events of GODDESS BY MISTAKE as history. And that is the idea LUNA bought in a three book package: ELPHAME’S CHOICE, BRIGHID’S QUEST, and CIARA’S DESTINY.

Soon after my sale my agent was finally able to get the small press to agree to sell my rights to GODDESS BY MISTAKE (I won't even go into the details of the small press's greed and the ridiculous amount of money I had to pay to get my rights to this book back, let's just suffice to say that Karma is already eating them alive), and LUNA quickly bought the book and its sequel. It had been four years since GbM was first published. Who said good things come to those who wait? I think fantastic is a better word than simply good!

So why the title change from GbM and GbC to DIVINE BY MISTAKE and DIVINE BY CHOICE? That was a condition of my contract with Berkley. While I’m writing “goddess” books for them the word goddess can’t appear in any of my other titles.

Does that clear things up? I think it’s easy to understand when you read the books. So we’ve had Elphame’s and Brighid’s stories – now we’re going to get Shannon Parker’s story, and the Fomorian War. Then there will be a sequel to DbC, DIVINE BY BLOOD and another book, DIVINE BY DESTINY, wherein I tie all the Partholon books together (DIVINE BY DESTINY was originally titled CIARA’S DESTINY). Hope you’ll come along for the ride!

QUESTIONS? Did I totally confuse you?
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