Monday, July 20, 2009

Guest Blog - Pauline Trent!

Over the last several months, I have been invited to write at many different blogs. As a new author, each one has been a treat and an honor. I’ll let you in on a little secret though: each one is a little intimidating. Not only are you introducing yourself to a new group of readers but you really shouldn’t embarrass your host. None, however, have been quite as intimidating – or as big of a treat and an honor – as guest blogging for Lucy Monroe. See, Lucy Monroe and I go way back – even if she doesn’t know it. I’ll explain…

Four or five years ago, now, I sold my first novel to the Dafina imprint of Kensington books. Only for various reasons, after we had contracted with Dafina, they decided to send me over to Zebra. Fine and good. What did I care? I was going to be published. Except that my Zebra editor looked at the story with a very different eye and told me flat out she couldn’t, she wouldn’t, publish it as it was. It needed too much work. Yes, I had talent. Yes, I could write. But wow…this one wasn’t going to see the inside of a bookstore any time soon.

We decided I would start on the second book in the contract. Give her something fresh rather than edit the first book. However, before I started writing on that second book, my editor was going to send me a few novels to read. She didn’t want me to model my voice after this author or try to write like this author. She did want me to pay close attention to how this author resolved conflicts, developed characters, gave out information. Surely by now you’ve figured out who this author was. Lucy Monroe.

I read a lot of Lucy’s work. I read a lot of other authors’ work, as well. I read good romances and bad romances and mediocre romances. I learned from all of them. But Lucy became a favorite, became a novelist whose skills I admired.

By the time I submitted that second book, my voice was strong and my writing ten times better. FALLING IN LOVE, the story of a small town woman and a world-weary Green Beret, came out last February, to deeply satisfying reviews. The second novel in the Lambert Falls series, FALL INTO ME, about what happens when an old-fashioned Southern gentleman and a headstrong Yankee woman collide, is scheduled for release in March. And I’m working on the third Lambert Falls proposal now. Thanks in no small part to Lucy, I’m actually a romance novelist.

Just last month, Kensington released that first novel back to me and I decided that I would work on it this summer. Tweak it and get it ready for submission to another publishing house. How much work could it be? It sold once, right? Wrong. When I read it again, after so many years, I was shocked. It’s really not very good. It will be, because my Zebra editor was right; I do have talent. But right now? It’s not very good. And I am reminded just how much I learned from Lucy Monroe – even if she doesn’t know it.

So, to be guest blogging for her is a bit of a dream come true. To be doing so right now, while I am reworking that first novel, is a lovely twist of fate. Leave me a comment about a time life handed you a twist that actually brought you full circle (or on any other topic) to be entered into a random drawing for a copy of FALLING IN LOVE and a Champagne Life on a Beer Budget goodie bundle. You can also check out what else I’m up to and get more Champagne Life on a Beer Budget tips at www.paulinetrent.com.

For now, I’m just happy to be here, introducing myself to you, and writing for Lucy. Because, after all, I love Lucy – even if she doesn’t know it.

~ Pauline

17 comments:

Maureen said...

Hi Pauline,
Congratulations on your first published book and your upcoming ones. I think it's wonderful that Lucy's books helped you, they are some great stories.

Amy said...

Great Blog Pauline, both your books sound like great reads. Congratulations

traci said...

Hi Pauline! Your book is sitting on my mantle right this minute and when I saw it today, I smiled at the thought of you on your new journey! You're movin' on up girl and doing a beautiful job of it too! I'm proud of you, not that that probably means much considering but proud of you I am indeed! Peace.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Pauline. Your books sound great. Love the cover to Falling in Love.

RachieG said...

Hi Pauline! :) Glad to see you on Lucy's blog. HUGE congratulations on your first blog!

Here's a mistake that kind of turned out to be good..for me I guess! A few years ago I was interviewing for scholarships to go back to school. It wasn't the easiest thing to do, and I was nervous. EVERY single one I said almost the same thing...how I was trying to get my Business Administation degree and why I thought I'd be a good candidate.

In one, I didn't think I was talking with teh people who were going to interview me. We were all kind of sitting in a reception area. I was just so tired and worn out, I wanted to unwind, so I had a long long discussion about my puppy with the two people. Then a lull in the conversation happened and the gentleman stood up and asked me if I was ready for the interview...and lo and behold, it was with him!

A few months later, thinkign I had blown it with all the small talk and silliness, I got a letter congratulating me...and at the bottom it said they appreciated me being real! :) So I got to go back to school and got the scholarship...a good mistake that helped me get far.

rachie2004 @ yahoo (dot) com

Pauline Trent said...

Maureen ~ Thanks for your comment! Lucy's books are great, aren't they? How could I *not* learn from her???? lol

Amy ~ Thank you. Hopefully, once you read the books, you will think they are even better than they sound. :)

Traci ~ I'll always take your pride. Thanks for stopping by!

CrystalGB ~ I was particularly pleased with the cover as well. Thanks.

RachieG ~ I'm glad to be here. And I LOVE your story about the job interview. Sometimes just being ourselves is the best thing we can do.

kim h said...

congrats ont eh books
such a lovely cover
did u always want to write

Armenia said...

Pauline--congratulations on your first book.

I met my future husband at my company's Christmas party one year. A friend introduced us, and I was thinking..hmmmm definitely not my type; too corpy, stuffed white shirt, too nice. I was young, stupid, not knowing what I wanted, and still into "bad boys."

Well, two years later, fate handed me another chance meeting with him with my coworkers at a restaurant. He asked me out, and I was done with self-centered men, and so done looking for love in the wrong places. I thought, why not. To my surprise, we had a great time and had more in common than I had originally thought. He asked me to marry him after 2 weeks. I made the best decision in my life and we've made a wonderful family together for 19 years, which still feels like 5. He's the one that makes me laugh. He's my "nice guy" with wicked ways.

Pauline Trent said...

Kim H ~ Thank you. And no, I didn't always want to be a writer. I actually wanted to direct theatre or be an attorney. But here I am. :)

Armenia ~ What a great story! Life hands us second chances sometimes, and thank goodness for it, huh?

lastnerve said...

Hi Pauline! I read Falling in Love and LOVED IT! It was a fun read and I still think about the characters. I know I can't enter because I already have the book but would like to answer the question about coming full circle. I remember growing up and now, my daughter is 17. My life has truly come full circle and I am facing the same issues only this time as a parent. When did I get so grown up?

Val
lastnerve2000@gmail.com

LORETTA CANTON said...

Hi,

You couldn't have a better mentor then Lucy Monroe even through she didn't know that she one.The book sounds great.

loretta
lbcanton@verizon.net

Pauline Trent said...

Last Nerve ~ Thank you so much! There are very few compliments grater than being told my characters have stayed with my readers. And of course you're still entered in the contest; there's more to the prize than just the book. I often wonder how I ended up a grown up, as well.

Loretta ~ I think you're right. And thanks.

And a notice to everyone: The contest will officially end at 11:59 pm (PST) on Saturday, July 25th. I'll pick a winner Sunday.

limecello said...

Hi Pauline,

Thanks for visiting with us today and congratulations on getting your book published :) I'm glad there will be more Lambert Falls books. I definitely remember "Falling in Love" - there's a certain quality about it that makes it distinct from other books.

Good luck with re-working the first one!

limecello said...

Oh right :) please don't enter me into the drawing for this book - I've already read and reviewed it :X

robynl said...

I love the sound of the book and congrats on being published.

Pauline Trent said...

Thank you everybody for playing along! And congratulations to Amy, the second commenter, who won the random drawing for the signed book and Champagne Life on a Beer Budget goodie bundle. Amy, email me though my website so we can arrange shipment.

Finally, many thanks again to Lucy Monroe, for everything.

Pauline Trent said...

Amy, I can't find your email address. :( Please be in touch with me because I really want to get you your Champagne Life on a Beer Budget goodies! If I haven't heard from you by midnight on Saturday, August 8, I'll pick another winner so...write me. :) You can reach me at pauline(at)paulinetrent(dot)com. I do hope to hear from you!