by Leigh Court
First off, I want to wish Karin a great big Happy Birthday, and hope she’s relaxing on her day off from blogging! I’ll try to entertain you all while she (hopefully) sips Pina Coladas by the pool…
I’ve admired Karin ever since I started entering her First Line contest a few years ago, but I finally got the chance to meet her face-to-face at the Literacy signing at the RWA Conference in DC last month. She had a cute Sarah Palin look going J You betcha she looked great!
But the real reason for my visit today is to tell you how Karin’s First Line contest helped me sell my sexy Victorian novella, called THE BET, to Red Sage Publishing, and to celebrate its July release in the Secrets Volume 27: Untamed Pleasures anthology!
My first line, “I can make a woman come using just my mouth,” was not the salacious boast it initially appeared to be, but it definitely grabbed Karin’s contest judge’s attention. And that’s what a good first line does, right? It grabs an editor’s or an agent’s or a reader’s attention, and makes them want to keep reading. So I was equally thrilled when the subsequent lines I submitted for that First Line contest enabled me to make it as far as the “Fabulous Fifteen” round.
Getting so far in the contest gave me the confidence I needed to start submitting the story to publishers. Red Sage bought it soon after, and now THE BET is actually in print!
My story was a novella, and ironically, Karin’s contest taught me another valuable lesson. One of the best (and probably hardest) things about novellas is that since the format is so short, every line has to be important to the story, just like in her contest. Every word has to count, and has to move the story forward. But you know what? That lesson applies to single titles as well. Give your story that sense of urgency and action, and you’ll have agents and editors banging at your door J
Karin’s contest is an incredibly valuable tool to help writers hone their skills, and I’m happy to be one of the success stories that shows the First Line contest can lead directly to a sale. If I can do it, you can do it!
On a side note, I was recently interviewed by NBC Nightly News about how romance novels sell hotter than ever in times of recession. Here’s the link if you want to take a look: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/#32157747 My “sound bite” ran only 8-seconds (so don’t blink!) but they DID show the cover of my book, so I was thrilled!
Thanks for letting me share my excitement with you today, and if you want to read an excerpt of THE BET, please visit my website at www.leighcourt.com!
Leigh, thank you so much for stopping by today! I’m so excited for you and so very happy my First Line Contest helped you on your road to publication! I’m adding Secrets Vol 27 to my Amazon order! I can’t wait to read your story.
Readers, feel free to ask Leigh questions bout Red Sage and her process!