Today, I am delighted to have the talented and multi-published author, Lisa Mondello, as my guest blogger. Lisa didn’t start out writing novels. She attended University of Massachusetts at Lowell for Sound Recording Engineering and managed the Boston Rock band called Childhood for 4 years, recording multiple EPs and winning band competitions. In 1987 Childhood won the WBCN Rock-n-Roll rumble and were interviewed by M-TVs Julie Brown. Soon after the band opened for The Fixx at Boston’s legendary club The Channel, Lisa left Childhood and began writing romance novels. She published her first novel in 1998 and continued on, selling 4 books in her Texas Hearts series to Avalon Books. Lisa’s 12th published novel, an Inspirational Romance called In a Doctor’s Arms was published March 2011 by Love Inspired Romance. Lisa is currently Indie Publishing her backlist of books and co-writing a screenplay.
The Story Behind the Story by Lisa Mondello
Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Maureen! My name is Lisa Mondello and I’m the author of 13 books. Today I’m going to talk about how my new series Fate with a Helping Hand came to be.
No one takes the same road to publication and I blazed a trail that was quite different than many authors early on. First of all, I write just about everything. As a freelance writer by trade, I’m used to bouncing around from one project to the next. It’s no different for my fiction writing.
After several years of writing and submitting to publishers, I was hit with my first “almost” sale to Harlequin with All I Want for Christmas is You, the first book in my Fate with a Helping Hand series. Every author wants to hear praise for their work and at the same time knows that rejection is part of the business. But to hear high praise and rejection all in the same letter is…well, depressing in a way I just can’t describe to anyone other than an author.
I had a 24 rule back then. With every rejection, I’d allow myself 24 hours to fuss and cry and each chocolate ice cream and then I had to get my manuscript out the door again. The problem was that since I was targeting series romance, Harlequin was pretty much it unless I wanted to significantly change the length and storyline of my novel. This was back in 1998 and eBooks were just being introduced at the time and only by small presses. None of the bigger New York publishing houses were releasing eBooks. But I believed in the story and decided to set off into the unknown world of small press ePublishing.
All I Want for Christmas is You made its debut in 1998 to a very limited audience along with the second book in the Fate with a Helping Hand series, The Marriage Contract.
Soon after I took a big turn and started writing cowboys. I sold 4 books in my Texas Hearts series to Avalon Books and in 2007. But I never gave up on my ultimate dreams of writing for Harlequin Books and that dream was realized when Love Inspired Suspense published my inspirational romantic suspense, Cradle of Secrets. I’ve published a total of 5 books for Harlequin Love Inspired since then.
I’ve just quickly brought you through 12 years of writing and publishing. Trust me, the road wasn’t as simple as that and it certainly wasn’t a straight shot, but that’s publishing. I’ve loved every minute of it though. But let’s get back to Fate with a Helping Hand, shall we?
When eBooks took off with the general public, I was thrilled. Not just because my Harlequin Love Inspired books are available in eBook, but because I was starting to have trouble reading tiny print on paperbacks and LOVE how the ease of reading eBooks on my Nook Color and Kobo e-Readers brought the joy of reading back into my life! You see, although I’ve been an avid reader of all types of books my whole life, I noticed my reading habit had fallen off considerably due to difficulty in reading. I knew other people had that same problem. So as soon as I could, I bought an e-Reader and it opened my reading world back up for me.
That got me thinking about my Fate with a Helping Hand series. I’d released two books, but there was a third “almost sold” book that was still sitting on my hard drive. That title is The Knight and Maggie’s Baby. I wanted to give some life to that story because I truly loved writing it.
Having always done something a little “different” in my life, I decided it was time to blaze a new trail in my publishing path and I entered the world of Indie Publishing on September 1st, releasing the entire Fate with a Helping Hand:
Book 1: All I Want for Christmas is You
Book 2: The Marriage Contract
Book 3: The Knight and Maggie’s Baby (Never before released)
All three books are standalone books that feature a little “someone” who gives fate a hand to push the hero and heroine together in order for them to realize they’re in love
I’m still writing for Harlequin Books and hope to have more books published in the future. But Indie Publishing has been exciting and fun and I hope to release more Indie titles soon.
I love hearing from readers! Visit me at http://www.lisamondello.blogspot.com.