Over seven years ago, I was on a holiday and after reading dozens of Sabrina Jeffries, Julia Quinn and Eloisa James books, I conceived an idea about four friends who were all the spare sons to rich aristocratic families. None of them want to inherit, but do inherit their father’s titles and in the process fall in love with their perfect heroines.
I wrote ‘The Spares’ series, a four part sexy Regency series, and went in search of a publisher (without ever having spoken to another author - crazy- I know!).
After initial rejections from the big 5 (surprise, surprise) I got a contract with a small New York publisher, who will remain nameless, and joined both a local writing group and many, many online groups.
This is where I found out about head hopping, POV and showing vs telling. Imagine my dismay at the prospect of re-writing that 200K words.
I began edits with the first of the series - then called The Reluctant Duke, and had the book published, to minimal sales and praise. No big deal. It was my first book.
But as I was readying the second book for publication, news hit that the publisher was going down, but with a fight. They wouldn’t respond to my emails, refused to pay royalties and were getting vicious with people.
I eventually had the story taken down from everywhere and sent in my retraction notices, as was stipulated in the contract.
I was lucky enough to now have learned a lot about writing and re-edited The Reluctant Duke - renaming it Sarah’s Duke, and published it with a small Australian publisher who also published other works of mine. It sold well and I was really excited about finally getting Archie’s story out.
Disaster again. My small Australian publisher closed down, but they gave me my rights back instantly.
I still had a series of four stories, and three of those stories had yet to see the light of day, and meanwhile my writing had dramatically changed in both voice and style, yet I was determined to publish these stories.
I re-branded under the new pen name Fiona Miers at the end of last year and re-released Sarah’s Duke after more extensive edits.
Then, mid-way through this year, I finally got the edits back on Archie’s story - Lady Charlotte’s Marquess. I got a beautiful cover and self published Charlotte's story.
Relief and rapture followed, despite mediocre sales.
And now, I am 10 days away from releasing Lizzie’s Earl - Rupert’s story. My big, cheeky rake, and I am thrilled.
Finally, after seven years of toing and froing, losing rights, gaining rights, long, long waits for edits and ups and downs, my stories are out in the world, and I have full control over them
The final story is next on my list and when it's done, all four of my original heroes will be out in the world and I will have print copies on my book shelf, pleased and proud as can be.
Lizzie's story can be pre-ordered here.