Being a Belle by Kate Willoughby

Kate profileHi, my name is Kate Willoughby and I am a wallflower. School dances were unpleasant and when I was single, bars were not a frequent destination. I am a lousy athlete, too—one of the last to be picked for a team in P.E. Yeah, I know, you’ve already gotten out your violin and are playing sad music. LOL

But on my road to publication just last year, I got the chance to be a literary belle of the ball, and it totally rocked.

In April of 2013, Carina Press held an event at which authors could pitch their books to them via Twitter. We were allowed two tweets, a total of 280 characters. Even though I was new to Twitter, this sounded like my kind of pitch, since face-to-face pitches always made me want to vomit.

Most of the writers were tweeting mini blurbs. Because my book was difficult to sum up in a blurb (or maybe because I suck at blurbs), I opted to try for more of a character study of my hero, Tim…

NHL News: Nurse accosted by irate fan while in line for an autograph. San Diego Barracuda Tim Hollander defends her. ‪#CarinaPitch 1/2

Hollander after the fight, “You don’t treat women that way. Ever.” ‪#CarinaPitch ‪#HockeyRomance 2/2

None of the participating editors responded at first, so I did what any aspiring author does when faced with real-time rejection. I panicked. I berated myself for trying to be too creative with the pitch. I jammed that wallflower hat a little more snugly on my head and prepared for more @Kate_Willoughby Twitter-feed silence.

OnTheSurfaceAnd then…Melissa Johnson indicated she was interested. Joy! Mallory Braus said she was too. OMG! Two editors! Then Angela James, the executive editor herself, joined the conversation. I couldn’t believe it. Writer friends noticed the tweeting and congratulated me. I felt triumphant, validated and…popular. I may not have been the it-girl in school or a woman who turned heads when she walked down the street, but by God, those editors saw something in my writing and it felt really good.

A year and half later, On the Surface, book one of the In the Zone series, is selling quite nicely. Across the Line, book two, came out on August 11, and book three, Out of the Game, is almost finished.

So I guess, the moral of the story is, it’s not only the dogs that have their day. We wallflowers can take center stage and shine too. Don’t be afraid to take a chance and try something crazy that no one else is doing. You just might succeed.

Kate Willoughby happily writes her hockey romances in Southern California. She is married and has two sons, a dog, and a betta fish. When she’s not writing, she’s watching hockey. When it’s not hockey season, she whines a lot.

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