Guest Blogging With Robyn Grady!

We’re thrilled to have as our guest blogger the gorgeous Robyn Grady. Robyn is a very busy lady writing for both Silhouette Desire and Mills & Boon’s Modern Heat (Presents Extra in the US.) But she’s kindly agreed to be available to us this week to answer some questions on writing for two different lines/houses and working with an agent. So, without further ado…heeeerrrrre’s Robbie!

Thanks so much, Yvonne, Bron, Tessa, Maxine, Jan and Paula for the invitation! If the world doesn’t know it yet, let me say again how much I’m enjoying your Diamond Downunder Series. I’m totally hooked!

Agent representation is the topic of the day! It happens to be one of my favourite subjects. After almost eight years of writing and submitting – submitting and writing – late in 2006 I was offered representation by a New York Agent and it made all the difference!

The DDU ladies have kindly put together a few questions. If anyone has any other questions, fire away! I’ll answer as best I can.

Firstly – the big question. How did you acquire your agent?

That’s a good story. Robbie Williams had been touring Downunder. On the Romance Writers of Australia loop there were a pile of messages with the heading ROBBIE!!! A good friend rang to see if I’d finally sold. I explained the misunderstanding and said I was still waiting for The Call. Waiting, waiting, waiting…. My friend suggested I contact her agent in New York. The week before, I’d emailed off a revised manuscript to the London editor I’d been working with for more than two years. Although the editor hadn’t rejected my two previous stories, this was the third manuscript to receive a revision request from her desk. I was going a little crazy: how long would I need to wait this time!? I decided, ‘What the heck do I have to lose?’ So I ran a brief email off to Spencerhill Associates outlining my background, including my working relationship with this editor and my US contest finals, which numbered 13 in 2006. (Contests are a very good thing J) The return email came back so quickly, I thought it was an auto reply. Then things started to happen!

What is the biggest advantage of having an agent (as a category author)?

From my experience, there are many advantages. The biggest would be that I feel I have an expert in the industry in my corner. Editors expect agents to follow up. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll always hear back sooner, but, rather, you don’t have to worry about when or how to approach again if you haven’t heard back. A good agent will be on top of things and keep you up to date. Which leaves more time for writing! J

What do you see as the key requisites in an author-agent relationship?

Honesty, patience, professionalism. I work mainly with Jennifer Schober from Spencerhill and we’re a great fit. I’ll be honest about any concerns or questions I might have, she’ll advise me on what she believes to be the best course of action, although she’s always clear that ultimate decisions are mine. When I say patience, I don’t mean hanging out forever for a reply to an email. I can’t think of a time that either Karen or Jennifer haven’t replied to an email the same day/night. Rather, I mean respecting the other person’s point of view and, from the author’s perspective, looking at the bigger, or smarter, picture.

I also think it’s important to keep in mind that an author-agent relationship is a professional relationship. I’m stoked that Jenn and I get on so well (it wouldn’t suit me to work with someone who’s abrupt or doesn’t share a similar sense of humour), but I’m very aware that everyone’s time is precious. We talk only when something pertaining to work needs to be discussed or addressed or celebrated. But social chit-chat emails I save for others.

How do you manage working for two lines?

 It’s a challenge! But a wonderful one. My first year, I had revisions on my first Desire, plus two other books to write. I also had a 10,000 word online story to write and chat about on eHarlequin for the eight weeks leading up to Christmas, which was fabulous!

But alongside that went line, copy and final edits. Art Fact information to supply. A website to create. I realised there was a lot to do besides writing the book. By late last year I knew I needed to rearrange my life to accommodate the workload. I have someone in to clean my house regularly (I refuse to feel guilty!) Our eldest daughter, who’s in university now, drops off and collects the younger two from school, which means two more working hours in my day. I don’t cook every night. (If anyone else wants to, they’re welcome to it!) But I give myself two nights off a week, more if I’m on a major deadline. The afternoons and early evening I spend with family, but, because I’m a night owl, it’s not unusual for me to write till two or three in the morning. Which is handy for talking to Jenn on New York time J

Why do some stories suit Desire and not Mod Heat and vice versa?

It comes back to the promise of each line – what a reader expects when she sits down to enjoy either a Desire of a Modern Heat (Sexy Sensation Downunder and Presents Extra in NA). Desire promises powerful, passionate, provocative reads – books “filled to the brim with strong, intense storylines”. Although they’re contemporary stories and in every way relevant to today’s women, they’re more traditional in tone. I always feel swept away by the fast-paced plots that impact on the characters and drive the romance to a heart-stopping and inevitably satisfying HEA.

Modern Heats are also gripping reads — but the tone tends to be flirtatious rather than dramatic. The heroes are still alpha — wealthy, dynamic, powerfully alluring — but he can be a bit younger and tends to share his fun side more. Think urban, big-city, jet set, girl-about-town lifestyles, and there’s no need to be shy about being creative with the characters and the passionate romance. When I write a story for either line, I pay close attention to tone (dramatic or flirtatious?), and use of hooks (more traditional or ultra contemporary?). At the heart of both lines, of course, are characters to identify with and care about

What is your schedule like writing for two lines?

 I work pretty much every day, whether it be actual writing or business relating to it. I’m always mindful of upcoming deadlines. I haven’t missed a deadline yet, although I once sent through copy edits at 6.55am, which is 4.55pm New York time after I’d worked through the night. That was a close one! When I was offered the 3 book deal with Modern Heat/Presents in January, my agent spoke with both my editors to make certain it could all be done, and done to everyone’s satisfaction. So I have four books to write this year (two Desires and two Modern Heats – one already complete). There may be another Desire toward the end of the year (fingers crossed!). I have another Modern Heat due in March 09.

Did you ever believe you would be where you are today?

No! LOL. Certainly not writing for my two dream lines, anyway. Eighteen months ago, I was pulling my hair out. I knew I was close but struggled with the idea that, no matter what I did, I wouldn’t be able to cross that shifting, invisible line into Harlequin/Silhouette Publication-land. How I wished someone would please just hand over that magic ingredient! I remember one night, putting our youngest to sleep, lying beside her with tears rolling down my cheeks. All the hours, months, years, I’d put into my writing…would it ever pay off? But, of course, I could never, and would never, give up. (Determination is my middle name J ) Not long after that night, I sold to Melissa Jeglinski and then to Kimberley Young. It’s taken me a year not to wake up and want to pinch myself.

Jennifer Schober of Spencerhill Associates has very kindly offered a three chapter and synopsis critique as a prize to one randomly chosen lucky winner who comments on this blog and if you’re a reader and not looking for agent representation Robbie is giving away a copy of FOR BLACKMAIL OR PLEASURE and a copy of A WILD NIGHT & A MARRIAGE ULTIMATUM to one randomly chosen lucky winner. So there you have it DDU bloggers, we look forward to your comments. Remember to say  which draw you want to go into, i.e. Agent draw or Robbie’s books draw.

UPDATE!!! The agent and book prize winners will be drawn at the end of the week, Saturday 15 March Aussie time (Friday for most of the rest of the world 🙂 )

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154 Responses to “Guest Blogging With Robyn Grady!”

  1. Well I am definitely a reader, writing in school was a pain but I love to read, I always marvel at the detail that writer bring into a story it just captivates you and make you feel as if you are the character. I first read your online read, The Medici’s Pregnant Mistress the on the harlequin website and since that I went to get the Magnate’s Marriage Demand, I want t be entered in the book draw, I would love to win the books you are giving away.

  2. Hey Robbie!

    What great questions (and answers, lol!) I love finding out all I can about how agents work with their clients.

    Your road to publication with HM&B and sale story always inspire me 🙂

    And OMG on all the books you have planned for this year. Huge congrats!

    Christina
    (please enter me in the agent draw! Thanks!)

  3. Stephanie B Says:

    Robbie, I really enjoyed this writing piece… I’ve been considering Modern Heat and your crystal-clear clarification of what those books need to focus on, and the types of hooks, really helped. Thank you!

    Please enter me in the agent draw!

    Steph (Bosey)

  4. Rita Oberlies Says:

    Thank you for the terrific insight, Robbie. I loved your online Harlequin read – it prompted me to pick up The Magnate’s Marriage Demand at Borders (which I also loved).

    As a struggling writer who just contracted my first ms with a small electronic and print publisher, I’m learning how difficult the business side of writing can be (targeting the right publisher/the right line).

    Please enter me in the agent draw as well. Somehow having an agent read a partial ms strikes more fear in me than an editor 🙂

    Thanks,
    Rita Oberlies

  5. limecello Says:

    Hi Robyn!
    I really enjoyed reading about your writing/submitting experience. Congratulations on all the new books – what a writing schedule! Good for you for always being on time with your deadlines!
    I’d like to be entered into the reading/books contest. Eventually I’d like to write- but as for now, I’ve got to focus on school!

  6. Hi Robyn,
    What do you do when you’re in a rut? How do you get your creative juices flowing again? Please enter me in the book draw, thanks.

  7. You obviously have a great agent and I would love to enter the agent draw.
    You certainly have a busy schedule but seem to have organized your life accordingly.
    This is a great blog.

  8. Robbie, it’s wonderful to have you here, and with such a great post too. You’ve done so well since you sold and I know there’s a lot of hard work in there, both before and after The Call. Boy, can I relate to that sense of despair when you’re trying so hard to sell and nothing is working. Then bam! One day it happens.

    Actually I’m still amazed at the amount of work to do after we sell a book. There’s sometimes revisions to be done, either minor or major. Then line edits, then final edits, and all the time your mind is in the next book. It’s certainly a juggling act. And definitely one I wouldn’t swap for anything, in case any of you are offering 🙂

  9. By the way, Robbie and I have the same agent and I can definitely attest to Jennifer Schober being excellent at what she does, and a really nice person too. And no, I’m not saying that just in case Jennifer is lurking. 🙂

  10. Patricia Cochran Says:

    Robyn,
    Thanks for all the great information! As a reader, it is of interest to me to know a bit of
    how you wonderful authors bring your stories into being. It makes me appreciate even
    more all those books that I enjoy! Please enter me in the reader’s drawing.

    Pat Cochran

  11. Hey Robbie!

    thanks for answering the questions – you have your family well-trained LOL. Like Maxine, I’m a little amazed what else you have to do besides writing the book… it helps to be able to switch off writing-mode and turn on editing-mode, promo-mode, brainstorming-mode… 😀

    ATM I’m in procrastination-mode (oh, and website-fiddling-mode…)

  12. Mary Jane Campbell Says:

    Hi Robbie! I simply loved your blog. I believe I have all of your bookd (thank you so much!) and I am not sure if my writing is good enough for an editor yet, so you don’t have to put my name in either enveloped. I love your writing style and your books and hero’s are hot!!! (Just the thing to thawl me out after the 12+ inches of snow we received in the last 24 hours.)

    Please keep writing them as your books are so enjoyable and a fast read and I loved your on-line read. The followup was perfect. mj a.k.a. BettyNeelsWantabe

  13. Hi Robbie. Thank you so much for this blog entry. Your story of determination is definitely inspirational. I’ve never even thought about agent representation since I only write category. Now you’ve got me re-thinking that plan. 🙂
    (please enter me in the agent drawing)

  14. Robbie, you’re such a wonderful example of the power of the dream to be published, and with both your dream lines too! I’m in awe of your forward schedule and appreciate how organised you have to be with family and deadlines all needing attention. When I was office manager in a small law firm I used to write in the evenings and when I stopped to write full time it meant I could be ‘with’ my family in the evenings instead. I find now that I’m most productive creatively after about 11:00 am and through to the early evening, but there are always so many interruptions through the afternoon. It would be nice to be able to flick on a ‘creative mode’ switch for different times of the day 🙂

    I really like your comments on working with, Jennifer, your agent. Do you discuss story ideas and concepts with her before submitting them to your editor/s or does she purely handle the business/contract side of things for you? I know there are quite a few agents out there who give editorial advice on submissions and I was curious to see how your relationship works.

    Paula, I so hear you on procrastination mode! I have five weeks to complete the first of my three newly contracted books, which wouldn’t be a problem if the words would just pour forth and onto my computer screen :D. But I did manage to update my books page on my website (thanks for all your emails Dec and Jan and your hand holding!) and even created a new page for recent excerpts!

  15. Tina Joyce Butts Says:

    What a great blog topic, Robbie. I, too, am amazed by how much you’ve accomplished! Four books in a year. Wonderful. I’m looking forward to reading them!

    I never thought about needing an agent for category writing, but I can see how it would be helpful for your career (as well as for your sanity). So please enter me in the agent drawing.

  16. Hi Robbie. Thanks so much for accepting our invitation to guest blog at DDU and for answering our questions. Love that beach cover of Blackmail or Pleasure; the colours are so vivid, his face so intense. Gorgeous.

    Bron

    (can I enter the draw for yr 2 new books? no?? rats! :-))

  17. azteclady Says:

    As a reader, I always find it very interesting to see a bit of the “behind the scenes” workings of the publishing world, and the different perspectives writers have about their writing.

    Thank you, DDU ladies, and Robyn!

    Please enter me for the book drawing. Thank you.

  18. Avi J! Thanks so much for your post. I’ve always loved reading too, although I remember from a young age liking to shift my words around until they seemed just right. Thanks heaven for PCs! I often wonder how writers coped before electronic screens?? I’m so glad you enjoyed Medici’s. Did you get to read the epilogue? Hope you enjoyed my Magnate too. And good luck with the draw 🙂

    Robbie

  19. Hey Christina! Great to see you here 🙂 It’s certainly a journey…each person’s road to publication. And you can never be sure which turn will finally land you there, or when! Good luck with the agent draw. It’s a great prize. Thanks again, Jenn 🙂

    Robbie

  20. Bosey! I’m glad you got something from my explanation of the difference between the two lines. I remember saying on Bronz Blog last December that, to me, it’s kind of like the difference between “Pretty Woman” and “An Officer and a Gentleman” [and, yes, lol, I do like Richard Gere. It’s the walk 🙂 ]
    Best of luck with the Agent draw, Bosey, and your Modern Heat sub! The editors are actively searching for authors for that line.

    Robbie

  21. Hey, Robbie, welcome and many thanks for agreeing to do this for us. Your call story is such an inspiration, and quite emotional (sniff.) Sometimes I feel a total fraud when I appreciate the time and effort people like you and Maxine and Yvonne and Paula – and many others – put into making your dreams come true. Good on you all and I’m proud to know you!
    I haven’t given a lot of thought to an agent but do you think they could help me organise my time better? Because I am quite hopeless at it myself…

  22. Hi Rita! It’s wonderful to hear you enjoyed the online and Magnate too 🙂 Congratulations on the sale!!! That’s terrific! And, yes, there’s a lot to work out when you step over onto the other side, lol. Thank heaven that today’s newly published writers, as well as yet to be published writers, have the advantage of being able to join loops and attend conferences to speak and share with others.

    Best of luck with the Agent draw and your career! I understand about the quaking boots, lol, but a motto that works for me is “feel the fear and do it anyway!” “Onward and Upward” is a good’n too 🙂

    Robbie

  23. limecello – Jennifer – I knew I knew that name! Thanks for the congrats 🙂 School can be pretty full on, huh. My oldest daughter is in uni this year, and suddently the 14 yo has all this homework for “us” to do. I’ll be so glad when “we” finish senior, lol. But then there’s the five year old to worry about!

    Good luck with the draw, and your studies!
    Robbie

  24. Hi Jane! Thanks for your post 🙂

    If my writing brain’s not working, I either watch a good movie or go shopping. Any kind of shopping will do, lol. Inevitably as soon as I’m away from my keyboard, ideas will start to bubble.

    Last night my husband and I went to dinner with our 5 yo daughter. When Tabitha went up to order with her dad, I had this brainwave on how to fix a plot problem. I had to steal the back of her colouring book and a texture to jot it down before it vanished! (And believe me, sometimes they do.) Which reminds me, I’d better go find it or my blackmail twist will be lost among the stuffed toys and puzzles forever 🙂

    Good luck with the draw, Jane!
    Robbie

  25. Thanks, Suzanne!! Glad you enjoyed the blog 🙂

    You’re down for the Agent draw. I can’t wait to hear who wins!!!

    Robbie

  26. Hi Robbie,

    Just thought I’d stop by and say a huge congrats to you on your success with Mills & Boon and HQ. Woo hoo! You don’t need to enter me in the drawings, because I’m already buying your books, but wanted to stop by and wave!

  27. Hi Maxine!! It’s my absolute pleasure to be here.

    Oh, yes. I know you can identify with the looooong road to finally receiving The Call, lol. (Or Email in my case 🙂 ) As do many writers. While I was submitting and waiting, I liked to keep stories like yours and Yvonne’s in mind. It really gave me strength.

    One important thing I learned…(cue another motto of mine, lol)… I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who believe in you – if you have family, friends and CPs who truly believe in what you’re doing, it makes a big difference.

    Looking forward to reading your Mistress!!!

    Robbie

  28. Hi Pat! Thanks so much for your message 🙂 I agree. I love to hear all I can about others people’s writing process. One of my fav books (and he certainly doesn’t write romance!) is Steven King’s ON WRITING. I found it fascinating to get to know him this way, and appreciate even more his talent.

    Best of luck with the draw, Pat!
    Robbie

  29. Virginia H. Says:

    Enter me in Robbie’s book draw. I am a reader and could never be a writter. I just don’t have what it takes to be a writter. I am lucky just to be able to make comments on blog. I really enjoyed the interview though.

  30. Sharon A Says:

    Hi Robbie

    Well done on clearing your time for writing with your home organisation. I think you’ve been very sensible with your practical approach. With the schedule you have with deadlines you’ve obviously conquered the procrastination monster, too — got any tips for me?? I’m a master procrastinator! LOL

    Love your books! Keep up the great work!

    And to the DDU ladies, thank you so much for having Robbie to visit!

    Could you put me for the agent draw, please? Thanks

    🙂
    Sharon

  31. Hi Robyn,

    Thank you for blogging on this topic. Such great insight into writing multi-line and a testiment to your endurance and optimism! They’re both lines I’ve started reading and your description of the differences in hero between the two lines is intriguing. Will be watching for younger, more ‘fun’ heroes henceforth!!

    Please add me to the barrel for your book draw.

    xx
    NIKKI

  32. Loretta Kelly Says:

    Hi Robbie

    Your interview was as easy to read and as pleasurable as your writing. Must be in the blood no doubt at all. The tips you gave were wonderful but more importantly I believe is the faith you kept in your writing and for would-be writers showing that never giving up is the key to getting published.

    Your info on getting an agent was great as it is something I have wondered about and I remember Allison Rushby telling me her story about never giving up trying to get an agent here and I think it gives so many writers hope.

    Darlin’ you deserve a cook, cleaner and a gardener too – a bit of a looker like the one from Desperate Housewives!!!

    Hey if you have to write and look up for a break sometime might as well make it a pleasant one right? 🙂

    Can’t wait to read your next book as you know I am a big fan of yours.
    I would love to be in the barrel for your book draw as my muse scarpered with my youth a few years ago.

    xxx
    Loretta

  33. Margaret A. Golla Says:

    Good morning, Robbie,
    Rachel pointed our online goal group to your blog. Of course, she dangled the agent crit in front of our noses! Needless to say, I’m biting. 🙂
    But I do have a question for you, Robbie.
    Does the stress and pressure of your deadlines ever shut you down?
    What do you do if you feel that way?
    Thanks,
    Margaret

  34. Morning Robbie. Loved the interview. It was very informative.

    One thing I’m curious about is when you said:

    “Although the editor hadn’t rejected my two previous stories, this was the third manuscript to receive a revision request from her desk.”

    I’m a little slow this morning (not enough caffeine). Did this mean that it wasn’t the same editor who rejected the first two ms’s? Or that you had three ms’s in at one time? Just curious as I’ve heard that HQ frowns on more than one sub to a particular line at a time and I know that the process can be a very long one as you wait to sub another story. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your story. I enjoyed it and I wish you continued success.

    Jennifer

  35. Hey Robin….enjoyed the info and candid answers….I’m at the point where I’m deciding whether or not to query agents….I love the modern heat line and have work that would be suitable….I think!!! Love your books and I so enjoyed the online read a few months back!!!
    Keep up the good work….please enter me into the agent draw!
    Julie

  36. Teresa W. Says:

    I’d like to be included in the reader’s draw, I’m not a writer but an avid reader of all genres. To all the writers out there keep up the great writing!

  37. Hey Robbie – thanks so much for doing this blog. It was really informative – and inspirational! I would like to be entered in the conest for the agent critique. Thanks!
    SueB

  38. Thanks Robyn for all the interesting info. You answered one of my major questions…as an unpub’ed who is targeting category, on more than one occasion, I’ve been advised that an agent would be of no use (and one of these was an agent). Your section on having an agent when you are a category author made a lot of sense. THANKS.

    If it’s not too late, I’d late to be entered in the contest for the agent critique.

    Thanks

  39. limecello Says:

    Robyn,

    Haha – yes, you found me out! Oh high school… I’d go back (although most people seem to have horror stories galore.) My parents made it very clear I was on my own. I’d go back to college too in a heartbeat. (Ironically, at this point I sometimes got help from my parents- with Chinese.) I forgot to mention – I also read The Medici’s Pregnant Mistress online, loved it (I’d wait eagerly for the updates)- and I ordered your other books :D.
    I’m always afraid I won’t remember “simple” things, and won’t be able to help my (future) children. I teach a few days a week, and find myself racking my brain for 4th-5th grade lessons in history and civics.
    *laughs* I’m glad your 5 yr old was willing to share her coloring book with you. 😉 – I sometimes get terrific ideas, but don’t write them down and forget them. Sad.

  40. Hi Robbie

    What a beautifully generous blog 🙂 It’s so great for those of us still in pre-published uncertainty to really understand what you went through to achieve your dream.

    Your books are WONDERFUL and you must love being part of such a great group of writers at Desire and Modern Heat.

    All the best for a *fabulous* year.

    Barbx (who would LOVE to be entered in the agent draw!)

  41. Great interview, Robbie 🙂

    And fabulous prizes!

  42. Oops forgot to say in my comment above which drawing, if it’s not too late I’d like to be in the agent drawing. Thanks.

    Happy writing,
    Jennifer

  43. Hi everyone! I’ve updated the blog post to say that the agent and book prize winners will be drawn at the end of this week, Saturday 15 March Aussie time (Friday for most of the rest of the world 😀 ) so keep your comments coming! The winners names will be announced on the blog so stay tuned to see if you’re one of the lucky ones.

  44. Hi Robbie,

    I don’t need to be entered into either draw but I wanted to say hi and what a great blog post. You make it all seem so simple and clear. Loved the story about your 5yo’s colouring book!

  45. Hi Robbie!
    Great to read about your road to publication – potholes and all!! I don’t need to tell you that I LOVE your writing, those online chapters were brilliant! I’m so pleased that all your hard work is paying off. Cheers!

  46. ps – please enter me into the agent draw

  47. A brand new day! It’s wonderful to see all the messages. 🙂

    LOL Paula. I’d like to think I have the family well trained. Late last year, my thoughtful dh decided he’d help by doing the laundry. He stuck an expensive black delicate, which I’d thought an age about buying, in with the regular load then tossed it in the dryer on hot for an hour. I thanked him very much but said he could leave the washing to me.

    I’m looking forward to your DDU book, Paula. And, again, *fabulous* website here!

    Robbie

  48. MJ/Betty, thank you for your beautiful post! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my stories. I have lots of fun writing them. But please can we put your name down for the agent draw? Pleeeease! There’ll be a monumental cheer go up in eharlequin land when you sell. Who knows if this might be the turning point!

    Robbie, with another saying – Cast out your lines and see what comes back. (Yes, I had a lot of them going at once, lol)

  49. Hey Mary Beth!! It’s great to see you here 🙂 Re agents and category…lots of authors don’t see a need to have agents represent their category work. I absolutely respect and understand that decision. It’s about doing what’s best for you, for where you are at the time. As I said in my post, I can only go on my experience with my agent, which has been a great move for me. 🙂

    Best wishes, Mary Beth, with the draw and your writing! See you on Subcare 🙂

    Robbie

  50. Wow Robbie, what a fascinating post and gives hope to us out there dreaming of publication and someone to clean the house!
    Can I please be entered in the agent draw.
    Many thanks
    Sandii

  51. Hi Robbie

    Thanks so much for a very interesting and informative blog entry. It is an excellent tale for would be authors like myself to see that with hard work, determination, positive thinking and persistence the dream can happen. Not only that but you can produce highly entertaining and emotional reads with the bonus of great covers to draw in the readers (makes rearranging shop shelves easier – not many copies are ever left). It certainly serves as a source of inspiration for me to keep writing and dreaming.

    Cheers
    Tracey

  52. Hey Yvonne! You and I have the same fantasy. A creativity button we can switch on at will, lol. Normally, after fiddling around and rereading all morning, I get this great surge of energy on the page about an hour before the kids come home from school. Then it’s family stuff till sometime around nine.

    Re discussing the actual work with my agent… I can submit straight to my editor, or go through my agent. My last Desire contract, Jenn read my partial and offered some advice which was spot on. So if I’d like her opinion, she’s happy to do that. But there are no rules. We work together to try to achieve the best results. Kind of like a marriage only I don’t have to cook! 🙂

    Robbie, off to check out your updated books page and excerpts!

  53. Hi Robyn,
    What a great post — so glad I followed the link from eHarlequin.com! Thanks for all the great insight and I’d love to be entered into the agent draw.
    Thanks,
    Christyne

  54. azteclady Says:

    Oh my God, Robyn, I can so relate to this:

    Late last year, my thoughtful dh decided he’d help by doing the laundry. He stuck an expensive black delicate, which I’d thought an age about buying, in with the regular load then tossed it in the dryer on hot for an hour. I thanked him very much but said he could leave the washing to me.

    While I was in the hospital for the birth of my daughter, my then husband wanted to surprise me by cleaning and doing laundry, with rather… spectacular results. Only in my case it was fuchsia with the whites, and hot water. But never fear, it was mostly his underwear that turned pink 👿

    (Poor man *chuckle*)

  55. Robbie, great blog.
    and thanks so much for giving us your definition of the lines, it really helps clear things up, especially suggestions such as dramatic or flirtatious and traditional or ultra contemporary hooks. Helps definite things.
    I can so relate to the wait!
    I’m absolutely thrilled by your success and in awe at your handling of your busy schedule.
    happy writing
    Jane Beckenham

  56. Robbie, meant to applaud you earlier for treating yrself to a cleaning lady. I did the same, at a time when I was struggling to cope with everything. Best, best thing ever…and not only because it leaves enough time for me to do the laundry. Wincing at your expensive lace but smiling at the pink undies, azteclady. 🙂

    And I second Jane: yr distinction between the two lines is very clear and succinct. So many writers struggle with finding the right market those questions to run by their proposed storyline — is the tone dramatic…or is it more fun and flirtatious? Are the key hooks traditional or more like a contemporary twist on them?

    Thanks, again for joining us here. You rock.

    Bron

  57. Hmm. Reading back my post I see I got lost in the middle of that last sentence. But I guess you can see what I meant, she says hopefully. 😎

    Bron

  58. Suzanne Welsh Says:

    Hello Robyn, congratulations on getting your dream to come true after all those years of hard work! And I’m looking forward to reading your books. With all these projects in the works, do you ever get time to read? And if so, do you stick to your genre or do you try to read outside you chosen area?

    Your definition of the author-agent relationship being a professional one, matches the one I’ve been seeking over the past year or so. A wrtier needs an agent to enthusiastically represent their work and free up more precious time for them to write. The agent, I would assume, would want a writer who can produce excellent work with the minimum of hand holding. Sounds like your author-agent relationship is working out perfect for you!

  59. I love your books and you write in 2 different styles.That is not only a challenge but also shows how great an author you truely are.Keep it up because readers like myself enjoy your books very much.

  60. Tina!! Thanks so much for dropping in 🙂 Four or five books a year does sound like a lot when I say it out loud. lol But thinking about it, having a deadline helps me to really push forward and have the story unfold as (hopefully) it should. There comes a point in the story where I might think it’s going to go that way and suddenly *that* happens and I think, well, of course! lol Guess that makes me half plotter, half panster 🙂

    Got you down for the agent draw, Tina! Good luck!

    Robbie

  61. Bron! Thank *you* for the invite. It’s my absolute pleasure being here 🙂
    Yes, isn’t that Blackmail beach scene gorgeous! Editors/writers talk about sexual tension…I feel it about to explode right there on that cover! Ka-pow! He sure makes my knees go weak 🙂

    Glad the distinction I made between the two lines came across okay. And, as you know, there’s so many wonderful individual voices in each line. We each take that ‘promise’ then apply our own style, which I guess explains the continuing success of category. If you pick up a Desire, for instance, you know what you’re ultimately going to get…a HEA. But opening the first page, you can only anticipate the thrills of the ride.

    Robbie 🙂

  62. Azteclady, glad you enjoyed the blog! And LOL on your dh’s pink underwear!! They might stuff things up, but at least they’re sweet enough to try, huh. Maybe we women should start a Laundry Bootcamp for Men. Can’t you see the guys giving up Monday night football for that one 🙂

    Robbie

  63. Hey Jan!! You know, I think as much as unpublished writers get from hearing about struggle stories like mine, it’s equally uplifting to hear of wonderful call stories like yours. It still takes determination and focus. I’ve heard such fabulous things about the Kara Writing Course, held in New Zealand by Robyn Donald and Daphne Claire. Lightbulbs go on all over the place! I’d love to go to one.

    Thanks for having me, Jan. Very much looking forward to your DDU installment 🙂

    Robbie

  64. Am late commenting here it seems – geez, I thought I checked my ‘blogs’ regularly but obviously not! Thanks Robbie for all your interesting insight into agents and the lines you write for. I’ve read your first Modern Heat so far and am a FAN for life!!!

  65. Hi Michelle W! Thank you so much for dropping by 🙂 And if you’re reading my books, I’m certainly reading yours. Her Irish Warrior is one of my favourite historical reads.

    See you on Subcare!
    Robbie 🙂

  66. Virginia, thanks for your message. I’m so glad you enjoyed the question/answers. Consider yourself entered in the book draw!! 🙂

    Cheers!
    Robbie

  67. Robbie,
    A question. If you’re writing 4-5 books a year, do you set yourself a daily word count to achieve.

    Regards
    Jane Beckenham

  68. Hi Robyn,

    Great post! It’s interesting hearing about your relationship with your agent. Some writers I’ve discussed author/agent relationships with tend to think their agent should be their friend. In my opinion, it’s a business relationship that needs to stay that way.

    I would love to have an agent, and one day that might happen. Fingers crossed.

    (Please enter me in the agent draw!)

    Cheryl

  69. This is such a fantastic post! Thanks for sharing your experience. And am slightly jealous that Jennifer is your agent. 🙂

    Angelle

    P.S. Please enter me in the agent critique drawing. Thanks.

  70. Hi Robyn
    I did get to read the epilogue from The Medici’s Pregnant Mistress, the only thing I was disappointed in was that it was not a longer story(LOL). I also enjoyed the Magnate story as well. I am always pleased when I discover a new author’s story who I never read before in the book store. Your book is definitely on my keeper shelf looking forward to more stories from you.

  71. Hi, Robyn!

    I wish I had a question for you but you’ve answered all the ones I was going to ask, especially the difference between the two lines. Thanks for sharing your experience with us! 🙂

    Cassie
    (please enter me in the agent drawing, thanks!)

  72. Jacquie Wilson Says:

    Robie, your comments were so clear and useful. I had never before thought it necessary to have an Agent when writing for category. Now I see the advantage – more time to write (lol) Thanks for sharing your experiences along the way to being published. Best wishes and lots of inspiration for your future writing. Loved your Magnate!
    Regards Jacquie.
    Please enter me for the Agent draw. Thanks.

  73. Hi Robyn,

    What a fab post! I’m also enjoying reading the Q&As in the comments too. Your story is a real inspiration for those of us who are aspiring to write for category.

    Please can you enter me into the agent’s draw and thank you for giving us this opportunity.

    Sue 🙂

  74. Hi Robbie – inspiring post, thanks for sharing. So, about that magic ingredient…. Seriously though, it’s inspiring to read of others who’ve persevered and had that perseverance pay off. You deserve it. Love your writing.

  75. A NOTE FROM AGENT, JENNIFER SCHOBER:

    It’s an honor to be posted on your site! I love this series, and in anticipation of my critique giveaway I wanted to say good luck… I am thrilled to be involved in this contest and definitely looking for new category authors. Writing for category is a fantastic way to develop your career… it’s a great place to begin the transition to professional writer– learning the ropes of publishing, working with editors and
    deadlines and getting a paycheck too!

    Keep writing those saucy heroines and sultry alpha males!

    All best. Jennifer Schober

  76. Welcome Robbie!!

    Great to have you here! I loved the advice you gave about managing your time. You made me feel a lot better. I’ve been finding that I’ve had to become pretty ruthless allocating my time, or the writing simply doesn’t happen.

    Lovely to see so many familiar faces in the comments sections too ::::waving::::

    Robbie, do you find that writing different types of stories for different lines keeps you fresh?

    Tessa

  77. Hi Robbie

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. It’s always wonderful to hear how it happened for another writer, a great way to keep the faith that all the hard work will, maybe, pay off one day. I have my fingers crossed for the agent draw – wouldn’t that be a great story to look back on – I owe it all to Robyn!

    Got to say, the thought of one day having someone else clean my house so that I can write will keep me faithfully at the keyboard, too! Sigh…

    Thanks
    Anne

  78. Hi Robyn

    Wow – what a great story – it’s so good to hear how other writers have worked so hard in their goal to be published! I often get that feeling that I will never quite get there, but giving up is not an option, no matter how much I would sometimes like to . . . and sometimes threaten to.

    Look forward to reading all those books you have coming out soon.

    Soraya
    (Please enter me in the agent draw – what a fantatic prize!!)

  79. What an informative topic for today! Can’t wait for the rest of the week to see what ‘gems’ you produce for us. 😉

    I have an agent pitch coming up so my question to you is this:
    I’ve heard that in writing category one doesn’t really need an agent. I can tell by your responses to yours you think highly of Jenn. What do you think as far as others who don’t write cross genre? Agent or no.

  80. Oh- do I need to request the critique? Ok, please enter me in the drawing.

  81. Hi Robbie,

    Great advice on managing time, you must be one very busy lady writing for the two lines. You brought a tear to my eye when you wrote about laying on Tabitha’s bed, the tears rolling down your cheeks. You deserve every bit of your success. All the best and please enter me for the Agent critique.

    All the best,
    Sharon

  82. Hi Robyn,
    Really interesting blog. You’ve certainly not done things by half when it comes to achieving what you set out to. Or do you have ven bigger and better plans?
    It was interesting and really showed with perserverence and hardwork things are possible.
    Please enter me for the agent critique.
    hugs, bec

  83. Robbie,
    I am so impressed with your amazing work ethic.
    You are an inspiraiton to all aspiring writers
    I am so happy that all your hard work paid dividends
    Well done
    Please enter me in the agent draw

  84. Dear Master Procrastinator… lol Hey Sharon A! You are absolutely in for the wonderful agent draw! Hope you had a lovely time with your visitor last week. Now *Robbie cracks her whip* get back to work! LOL 🙂

    Robbie x

  85. Hey there Nikki!! Glad you liked the post 🙂 With all the contest finals you’re raking up, I’ve no doubt your right behind me! Got you down for the books 🙂

    Robbie

  86. Loretta! Thanks for those very kind words =*) I hate to admit it, but I haven’t watched Desperate Housewives yet. I’m going to have to check it out now for that housekeeper. Equal opportunity, and all that 🙂

    You’re in the book draw! Thanks, Loretta 🙂

    Robbie

  87. Actually it amazes me how all these writers manage to fit it in. Super gals, that’s what. Are you a plotter Robbie? I would expect you might be given that youv’e got such a work load.
    regards
    Jane
    (oh and i forgot to add before, yes please add me in to the drawer for the agent critique.)

  88. Hi Margaret! Thanks for your post. Yes, the crit prize is very special. Many thanks to Jenn again, and Maxine for organising it 🙂

    Does the stess & pressure ever shut me down? Margaret, some weeks are more challenging than others and I can see the “to do” list growing longer and longer in my mind. If ever I start to feel overwhelmed (and it happens to most of us at some time in our lives, writers or not – we’re all so busy these days) then I remember what’s most important (family) and have a night off then attack the new day with my priority task. Tonight, however, I’ll being writing some brand new pages 🙂

    Best of luck with the draw!
    Robbie

  89. I meant, of course, I’ll be writing some brand new pages 🙂

  90. Robbie,
    I have really enjoyed reading this blog. I loved reading your books too. It’s great to see you story up there. How wonderful.

    I am saving all the diamonds up to read at at once. Can’t wait until they are all out and I can have a Diamonds fest.

    I totally agree with you and Maxine about the wonderfulness of Jenn. She is the best and I feel so lucky to have her as my agent too.

  91. Hi Jennifer!!! Glad you liked the post. 🙂

    You asked me to clarify this:

    “Although the editor hadn’t rejected my two previous stories, this was the third manuscript to receive a revision request from her desk.”

    Back in Dec 2004 I received a phone call from Kim Young asking for revisions to a ms. To cut a long story short, I didn’t do them well enough. We spoke again on the phone and she said she would keep that ms aside to work on more later, but she wanted to see my next manuscript. We spoke again on the phone about revisions to #2. But I didn’t do the revisions to that one well enough either. She didn’t reject it however, and wanted to see a third ms, which received revisions too. The third ms sold and the previous two might still be rewritten one day.

    Waiting can be agonising (don’t I know it! lol) but I wouldn’t recommend writers send in a second manuscript to any one office until you’ve heard back from the first unless you’re invited to. I don’t think anyone would frown upon you sending a submission to London office, say, and a *different* one to different line in New York office.

    Hope that made it clearer, Jennifer 🙂 And you’re in the agent draw!

    Robbie

  92. Hi Jules!! So glad you liked my online read and are enjoying my books. Thank you 🙂 To agent or not to agent… There’s no right or wrong answer, only what’s right for you 🙂

    And in the meantime, you’re in the draw for the crit!! Best of luck with the Mod Heat line 🙂

    Robbie

  93. Hey Teresa!! Thanks for your post and encouragement. You’re in the draw for the books 🙂

    Robbie

  94. Going back to your not sending a ms say to London when u already have one there, i can so relate to that at the moment. I’ve a histoircal with Kim at the moment – full requsted – and she’s had it nearly 10 months. I’ve my next one fired up and ready to go to her, but wait??? That’s a hard call

    Jane

  95. I’ve heard through some people dealing with the London office that they are pretty snowed under at the moment with the Presents contest so maybe that’s why you haven’t heard in so long, Jane. Fingers crossed for you.

  96. Robyn Grady interview is great, she is full of enthusiasm and this comes over in the report. She is up front and honest about the fact that it is hard slog to get published and her books are fabulous, hard to put down to answer nature’s call or eat. An incredible lady who is willing to pass on her experience to us all.

  97. Catherine Cockburn Says:

    Hey Robbie! Great blogpost (somehow insert smiley face…) Although I know your Call story it was great to hear how you work with your agent and about slotting your family duties in and keeping some sanity time to yourself. (insert smiley face with tongue stuck out ‘cos I still don’t know how to do that!)
    Remember the Melbourne conference when I introduced you to a certain author you’d admired for many years? You were so nervous and shaking in your shoes and overcome that such a famous author would talk to little ole you. (insert another smiley face…this is getting tiresome – just how do you do those things?)
    I’m looking forward to the conference when I introduce an aspiring writer to you and see them react in the same way!
    You’re doing great and deserve all your success, hon. (insert kissing smiley face – if there’s such a thing!)

    (please enter me in the agent draw)

  98. Crystal B. Says:

    Hi Robin. Great post. Thanks for sharing about the agency/author relationship and for giving us the difference between the Desire and Modern Heat lines. I always wondered what the difference is. I love the cover of For Blackmail or Pleasure. Very colorful.

  99. Crystal B. Says:

    I forgot to say I want to be entered in the book drawing.

  100. Ooh, I want to be message number 100.

    Great blog, Robbie. It’s great seeing everyone here.

  101. MAXINE!!!!!!!
    That’s not the first time you’ve dont that to me…..insert one of Catherine’s grumpy faces…..we’re on different time zones and I get to be first, since I’m 2 hours ahead. You’re just sneaky!!!

    Hey Robbie, bet when we asked you to do this blog (innocently bats eyelids) you didnt think you’d have to work quite so hard…heh heh your cheque’s in the mail…

  102. I meant – done that to me – momentarily distracted by Maxine getting her nose in front AGAIN!

  103. Virginia H. Says:

    Great interview, please enter me in the drawing.

  104. Jan, that Maxine’s a cheeky one, isnt’ she! LOL Maybe next time pretend you’re on Western Australian time, lol. High fives for snagging 100, Maxine! 🙂

    Jan, I’m having a ball! 🙂 It’s wonderful to have so many responses. I thought I’d zot down to say a big HELLO to Tessa! We ‘met’ when I was managing the 2002 RWA Opening Chapter Contest and have been friends ever since. 🙂 Tessa asked:

    Robbie, do you find that writing different types of stories for different lines keeps you fresh?

    Good question! I know it’s great when I get what I think would be a good idea for a story but I can’t swing it for one line, but know I can use it for the other. For instance, my latest completed Desire ms, ‘Baby Bequest’ was a custody issue story. I got to pull the hero’s heartstrings by bringing in a tiny bub. There were some lighter sexy moments, but primarily the story delivers (I hope) the powerful emotional promise and fast-paced plot of a Desire. It’s my favourite Desire so far (little plug there, lol), but could never be a Modern Heat.

    Other side of the coin…the Modern Heat I’m currently writing has a ‘woman in a man’s world’ premise (go the ladies!!) and will be a little different in structure. I’m hoping my London editor goes for it. Meanwhile I’m having fun with the sassy dialogue, and his younger alpha character… the heroine has him a little confuzzled. I’m onto chapter 4 and it’s heating up nicely 🙂

    Tessa, I wanted to say here how much I enjoyed your DDU book. The story and charactes swept me along and I literally couldn’t put it down. And if my March Desire pack doesn’t arrive today with Maxine’s book, I think I’m going to scream! 🙂

    Robbie

  105. I have a good mind to courier you off a copy of mine, just so, for once, I beat that Maxine Sullivan to something!!!

    Tessa and Bron have set the series up beautifully, haven’t they? And you’re gonna love Maxine’s too!

  106. Thanks for sharing your story Robyn. It was inspiring for me to read how you stuck with it even when you couldn’t see a way through. That’s about where I am now. And I loved what you said about your relationship with your agent. Have to admit I’m in awe of how much writing you have in front of you this year. I’d better get back to mine.

  107. Robbie I don’t have any questions, but am loving your answers to everyone elses… also, forgot to add on my earlier comment, please enter me into the agent draw.

    🙂 RACH!

  108. Hey SueB! Thanks for your post. So glad you enjoyed the interview. You’re in for the draw!! 🙂

    Robbie

  109. Hi ArkansasCindy! Glad my answers helped. If that agent said she couldn’t help you as a category writer, then she was being honest from her agency’s pov. And, again, lots of category writers do very well indeed without an agent. It’s a personal choice. Neither decision is right or wrong.

    But if you are aiming at category and are looking at the possibility of getting an agent, it pays to do your research. There are some not so reputable ‘agents’ out there. If you love an author’s work and how you perceive her career to be going, see if you can find out (though websites, loops, ‘word of mouth’, conferences) if she has an agent and who. See who else she has on her books. And don’t ever, ever pay for an ‘agent’ to read your work.

    That’s just a friendly warning most writers are aware of these days 🙂

    You’re in the draw for the crit, Cindy. Best of luck, and with your writing too!

    Robbie

  110. Ruth Logan Herne Says:

    Robyn, great story. Seriously. The part about lying down with your little girl, wondering when, the tears…

    Wait.

    Gotta get some tissues. I’m all ver klempt.

    😉

    You give me hope, Sistah! Great post and I love that you’re managing to do a stellar job for two lines and having a ball doing it. You are my kind of gal.

    And I’d give away a small but potty-trained child to get tossed into that agent critique drawing.

    Maybe two kids if Jenn’s looking to really expand her family.

    Thanks for hanging out today.

    Ruthy

  111. Kirsty C Says:

    Hi Robbie,

    Thanks for providing all this great information about working with an agent and the Modern Heat line, which I would also love to write for (so please throw me in the agent draw).

    I really enjoy the lighter feel to the Modern Heat books and the humour – which you do so well. I like to have a good chuckle when I read!

    I also wanted to say well done on delegating the household work – someone wise once asked me, “when you’re laying on your deathbed 50 years from now, will you wish you’d done more vacuuming or written more books?” That comment always helps me keep perspective whenever I start to feel a bit guilty about my cleaner!

    Best of luck with your timetable. It must be tricky to organise (but what a lovely problem to have!) Please keep up the wonderful Modern Heats.

    Kirsty

  112. Jennifer/limecello, how wonderful your parents could help you with a language! Isn’t it ironic, but I’m not much chop with anything other than English. When I was 19, a friend and I would meet at a Spanish restaurant in town with view to moving on to a French class afterwards. Didn’t make the class too often, I’m afraid, but the sangria was good!

    Thanks so much for mentioning you enjoyed Medici 🙂 I see he’s on the India site, but without the epi, which is a bit of a pity. Hope you enjoy my books, Jennifer!

    Robbie

  113. Hey Barb!! Thank you for your beautiful message. And you’re absolutely right. It is fabulous to be part of the Downunder Desireables family! As well as the Modern Heat crew, who, as you can imagine, are also heaps of fun 🙂

    You’re in for the agent draw, m’dear. Good luck!!

    Robbie

  114. And speaking of the Mod Heat crew…Hi Nicola Marsh! 🙂 Thanks for your message. It *is* a fabulous prize. And I believe you have some fabulous prizes going off on your website at the moment!

    Mistress to the Tycoon is out this month in the States. Bet it leaps onto the Bookscan figures just like your book last month!

    Robbie

  115. Hi Rachel! 🙂 Thanks for your message. And I transferred my idea from that colouring book, lol. When Tabby hit five, suddenly she was obsessed with colouring in and staying within those lines. Given she usually talks non-stop (where did she get *that* from?) now when we go out to dinner, dh and I can actually have a grownup conversation! 🙂

    Robbie

  116. Mel, hi!! 🙂 Thanks for your lovely message. (This blog is very good for my ego, lol) Your name is in the draw for the agent. Oh, this is gonna be hard. I wish you all could win!

    Robbie

  117. Hi Sandii! Yes, I must say it’s been a dream of mine for a while not to have to do the floors. My mother can’t quite understand it. She’s 68 and vacuums, dusts, does the bathrooms – heck, she cleans her house every day. You should’ve seen her move thirty years ago! The SILs call her ‘The Wipe.’ But in a loving way 😉

    You’re in the agent draw, Sandii. Good luck! 🙂

    Robbie

  118. Cathleen Ross Says:

    I found your journey interesting and liked the way your agent could hurry it up. Do you miss the freedom of the pre-commitment?
    Cathleen Ross
    (agent read please)

  119. Cathleen. hi! Y’know, some days I think fondly of pre-commitment days. I still wrote hard, and I wrote long (hours), but whatever deadlines I had were self imposed. 🙂 The thing I do miss is not having time to read if I want to. I read and love my category, but my other reading suffers, which is a great pity. So if anyone has a fabulous suggestion for a ST or mainstream title, please pass it on! 1st April I’m going to indulge =)

    Cathleen, thanks for the great question. You’re in the agent draw!

    Robbie

  120. Mary Jane Campbell Says:

    Hi Robyn a.k.a. Robbie I think I have changed my mind. Please put my name int he drawing for the agent if it is still an option. Thanks!

  121. Poor diddums, Jan, can’t you be content with other kiwi achievements? LOL. You’re first to see in the NY, you have the most fabbo scenery, you’ve got a wonderful Antarctic Centre (am planning a trip next year with 7yo!) and you’ve got no western Sydney sweltering heat 😉

    Tracey O – I’m like you – I hate waiting for the next installment in a series and save up fave authors/series and read it all in the one go!

  122. limecello Says:

    Robbie,
    LOL – well Sangria is Spanish, right? Doesn’t that count? ;-). I took Latin in HS, and remember nothing. “Britannia est insula.” (I actually did a ton of latin stuff, JCL being one of them.)
    My parents love mocking me, but they’re great. They sent me off to chinese school for sooo many years as a kid, and I hated it. School six days a week? Blech. I didn’t learn anything anyway :X. Ironically, Chinese was one of my majors for undergrad – don’t know how that ever happened… my parents still make fun of me for being illiterate. 😛

  123. So many things for a writer to think about. I just like to read the great stories.

    Please enter me for the reader prize.

  124. Gail Fuller Says:

    Robbie, you’re a marvel and an inspiration for all writers. Keep those wonderful books coming! The sexual tension is For Blackmail … Or Pleasure is fabulous! WTG! You have worked so hard and deserve every bit of success that has come your way and will continue to come your way. Go, Robbie!!

    One question – Is there a push for authors to write for more than one line? Or is it a personal decision based on what a writer can produce? Okay, maybe that was two questions. 🙂

    Thanks for posting your wonderful insights. I’d love to have my name put in for the agent draw. Thanks so much! Waving to all!

  125. azteclady Says:

    *jumping* Hah! I’m commenting on 125. Take that, Maxine!

    *giggling, ducking and running*

  126. Joanne Graves Says:

    Hey Robbie,
    Enjoying your comments on the blog. Off the topic a bit but I’m curious, have you got an idea for a single title lurking there in the future?
    Joanne.
    (Agent draw)

  127. Hi ladies! My internet was down yesterday, which is a tragedy at any time, but more so this week 🙂

    Hi Joanne! Do I have a ST lurking away deep inside…. If I ever wrote a ST it would have a paranormal lean to it somehow. A bit of mystery too. I really like Wendy Roberts and could see myself writing something along those lines. Might be a few years off though, lol.

    You’re in the Agent draw, Joanne. Good luck! 🙂

    Robbie

  128. Hey Gail! Thanks so much for dropping in 🙂

    To answer your question, I think it’s kinda the opposite. When you’re bought by a line, they usually like you to concentrate on really building your name there before you branch out in any way. My situation was different, I think, a) because I’d been working with the London editor for a couple of years and they were, and still are, seriously looking for the right voices for Mod Heat b) Desire guidelines had changed recently and I luckily fitted in there too c) both lines are passion lines. So if a reader picks up a book written by me from either of those lines, the tone and hooks might be different but the level of passion, and intense focus on the developing relationship, are similar. For instance, at the start of my career, they wouldn’t have gone for me writing for, say, Romance and Spice. And, as I say, as a general rule, if you’re picked up by any Harlequin or Silhouette line, celebrate hugely!! Then expect to concentrate on building your name there. That’s why it’s important to write what you like and are comfortable writing, IMHO. You might find SSE way too sweet, or Blaze way too hot, but feel you can write those stories to ‘get in’. If you really believe in and love the type of stories that you’re targetting, it will show in your stories and ‘work’ will be the best day (and night) job you’ve ever had! Is everyone nodding off to sleep now? lol

    You’re in the agent draw, Gail 🙂

    Robbiex

  129. Kirty, hi! Thanks for your lovely message 🙂 I’m with you on the ‘day we depart.’ “Here lies a woman who had a really clean house whenever I happened to drop in.” Or “She was a woman who went for it!” 🙂 Let me say, though, I do respect women who love to keep a beautiful home and enjoy cooking gorgeous meals. I guess my thing is, I also respect a man who loves to keep a beautiful home and enjoys to cook. Motto: Do what makes you happy 🙂

    Robbie

  130. Good for you, Maureen!! You’re down for the reader’s draw 🙂

    Robbie

  131. Gail Fuller Says:

    Robbie, thank you so much for your wonderful response!! That’s good to know. Plus, there was no nodding off whatsoever. 🙂 Thanks again for taking the time to answer.

  132. It’s getting close to the time for the drawings for the agent critique and also Robbie’s books, so good luck all!

  133. Oooh, the suspense is killing me! 😀 Good luck everyone! Both prizes are absolutely fabulous!

  134. Robyn, thanks for the clarification. That’s an amazing story. So what eventually happened to those first two manuscripts that the editor hung onto? Did they ever see the light of day?

    Jennifer

  135. Add me to those waiting in suspense for the announcement of the winners. This has been a wonderful thread–our most viewed to date. Thanks Robbie for being such an open and inviting guest. Thanks also to Jenn for so generously agreeing to critique a winner’s submission.

    Bron

  136. What a great blog and so interesting, pity I didn’t find it earlier 🙂

    I’m amazed that you can write for two lines Robbie, I love the different feel you achieve with both lines.

    Congratulations to whoever one the prize with the Agent.

  137. Don’t know if I’m still in with a chance being a late comer but I’d be in for the Agent draw 🙂

  138. Oh boy ‘won’ I meant ‘won’ the prize. That’s what happens when you have a 3 year old pestering you when you are typing 😀

  139. I really enjoyed the interview and questions. I am lucky enough to have a subscription to both the Sil Desire Line and the Present line. I have loved the Diamond’s Down Series. Please enter me in the book drawing if I have not joined in too late

  140. Morning everyone! Yes, I’m on hanging out too!! I’ll just clear up some questions, then onto the draws 🙂

    Suzanne, I squeeze in my reading, which is not only important for me as a writer but as a human being! lol I *always* carry a book with me wherever I go. 🙂

    Lisa, having an agent, no matter what you write or how much you produce and for whom is totally your choice. There are many category writers who very happily write for one line and have agents, and those who don’t. Also having a not-so-good agent, who isn’t working for you and isn’t on your side, is, IMHO, worse than no agent at all. Again, do your homework and aim big!! 🙂

    Bec, who knows what’s ahead 🙂 I do know that I’m *very* happy doing what I’m doing now. 🙂

    Hi fives there, Tracey O! We all waiting eagerly for your good news 🙂

    Catherine, I remember that conference very well! It was Helen Biachin, and, frankly, I’m still in awe of her 🙂 She’s a fabulous writer and one of the loveliest, most generous women I’ve ever met. 🙂 Good luck!!

    Just had to LOL at Ruth’s message 🙂 🙂

    Soraya, NEVER GIVE UP! 🙂

    Hope I’ve answered everyone’s questions. Be back very soon with the you know what 🙂

    Robbie

  141. Two more question answers 🙂

    Jane B, do I have a daily word count I try to achieve? It starts out small and gets bigger as the deadline gets nearer, lol. But that’s okay, coz it’s the first chapters, really discovering your characters (who they are/why they want what they want/why they act as they do) that takes the biggest chunk of time, IMHO. When I’ve got that, the word count speeds way up!

    Jennifer, those 2 manuscipts are still sitting in a file on my ‘puter. (I haven’t deleted any of my pre published stories – think there were 9.) I really like the stories but I’m not sure if they’ll ever be published.

    Robbie

  142. Finally!! you all say 🙂

    But first! I’d like to thank all the DDU ladies for inviting me here to chat this week. I’ve had the absolute best time. There’s nothing more rewarding for a writer than to receive great feedback on her stories. Thank you!! And to all those in the agent draw – I have my fingers crossed for every single one of you. Three words… Dream, believe, achieve. Just ask the Diamonds Downunder ladies!! And a HUGE congrats, Maxine, on your book leaping on the Waldies bestseller list at #3!! 🙂

    The WINNER of the books draw is

    MAUREEN!! Congratulations! 🙂

    Maureen, please contact me via my website http://www.robyngrady.com and I’ll shoot those books off to you! Hope you enjoy 🙂

    Thanks to everyone who entered. Please do visit my website because there’s a FABULOUS contest on till the end of the month with myself, the very talented Modern Heat author, NICOLA MARSH, and equally talented medical author, FIONA LOWE. http://www.robyngrady.com for details on how to win books from all three of us!

    Now the agent draw…

    The winner is SANDII !!! Congratulations, Sandii! 🙂 Please contact me via my website and we’ll tee this up 🙂

    Thanks again to Maxine for organising this wondeful prize with Jennifer from Spencerhill and to Jennifer for offering her time and expertise. 🙂

    IMPORTANT NOTE******Anyone who was down for the agent draw, PLEASE feel free to contact me via my website if you need any more information on Spencerhill Associates. As Jennifer said, they are seriously looking for talented authors to represent – category, ST and mainstream.

    Thanks again, everyone 🙂 It’s been fabulous!

    Best,
    Robbie

  143. azteclady Says:

    *applause* Congrats, ladies! Good luck, Sandi!

    Thank you all, ladies, for having us here.

  144. Sandii, mega congratulations on winning the agent critique! That’s awesome news!!! 😀

    And Maureen, you’re so going to love those books. Robbie is a brilliant writer. Congratulations!

    Robbie, thank you so very much for your generosity of time and honesty in your responses to everyone. It’s been so neat having you guest blog with us here on the DDU blog. You’re just gorgeous!

    And big thanks to Maxine who co-ordinated the agent prize with Jennifer at Spencerhill Associates. big round of applause!
    All the best!
    Yvonne

  145. Congrats to Sandii and Maureen and thanks so much to Robbie for chatting!

  146. Congrats, Maureen. And Sandii!! That’s Sandii in CA, right? (who else spells their name with a double-i?) OMG how excellent!!

    Thanks heaps, Robbie. We’ve gotten an amazing # of emails on the blog and the Q&A has been wonderfully insightful.

  147. OMG, I know Sandii in CA too! This is the same Sandii who just sold her first Confession story, right? Sandii, wow! Congratulations.

    And Maureen, congratulations on winning Robbie’s books. They’ll be a great read.

    Robbie, you are a wonderful lady. You’ve done marvellous here on this blog and I’m sure everyone has enjoyed it so much. Thank you!!! Hugs and kisses.

  148. Sandii! Congratulations!!! It’s a wonderful prize…Jenn is utterly lovely.

    And congrats to Maureen too on winning Robbie’s books. ENJOY!!! 🙂

    Robbie, I’m absolutely thrilled that you enjoyed PRIDE & A PREGNANCY SECRET…thanks! You know, I was thinking about it today…I’ve made some GREAT friends through writer’s contests…can’t wait to see you again-when we get onto the same land mass. LOL.

    Thank you so much for popping in and sharing all your knowledge. I found the difference between Modern Heat & Desire fascinating.

    Take care,
    Tessa

  149. Adding my congrats to Maureen and Sandii, enjoy your prizes.
    And Robbie, what can I say? You’re a true heroine. Thanks for giving up your valuable time, you have made a lot of people very happy this week. And will continue to do so, plying your talent for many years to come. Lucky us, I say!
    Very best wishes for a reading-filled break after your deadline.

  150. Congratulations Maureen and best of luck with Jennifer, Sandii. I hope this leads to something wonderful for you!

    Thanks Robbie for taking the time out of your busy schedule to give us all so much information. I feel like I know so little about the publishing ‘game’ and hearing others’ experiences teaches me so much. I think you’ve given a lot of us a nice motivational boost to keep at it.

    Happy reading, and especially happy writing.
    Kirsty

  151. limecello Says:

    Congratulations to Sandii and Maureen! Thanks for chatting with us, Robyn!

  152. Wow! Thank you all so much for your kind words and wishes. Yes I am the two ii’d Sandii swaning around in California. 🙂

    Robyn I can’t thank you enough for this opportunity and taking the time to blog and answer our questions.
    Thanks again,
    Sandii

  153. Gail Fuller Says:

    Congratulations to Maureen and Sandii!!!!! 🙂

    I think we’re all winners for having you answer our questions, Robbie. And Bronwyn, I finally started reading Vows and a Vengeful Groom today. The book has been calling to me ever since I bought it earlier this year. Wow, WTG! Talk about sucking a reader in right from the start! You rock! I can’t wait to read all the books in this series. 🙂 Wishing everyone the best!

  154. Thank you!! I can’t wait to read the books.

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