Friday, February 1, 2013

One for the Road: The Making of The Closer You Get

As an author, one of the questions I'm most often asked is:  Where do you get your ideas?  And my answer?  Anywhere and everywhere.  The idea for THE CLOSER YOU GET actually came about during the return trip from Pennsylvania after moving my mom there from Texas. While navigating my thirty-three foot RV through the narrow streets of one small town at midnight, sixty miles from home after driving too many miles to count, my co-pilot and good friend, Judy, mentioned that if I decided to give up writing, I could always hire on as a bus driver for a country music star.  Hmmm....  Female bus driver, hunky country music star, oh, yeah... and you see where that led me, straight into author mode.

I guess the most remarkable thing about that little story actually has little to do with the story itself.  It's the time frame in which that scenario took place--back in 1994.  Yep, almost twenty years ago.  I did go on to finish the book, entered it in a couple of writing contests, and even earned a finalist spot in the 1996 Golden Heart, Romance Writers of America's competition for unpublished authors.  After that, I received two rejections, frankly because I only submitted the manuscript two places and gave up--not because I became discouraged, but because I kept hearing industry voices saying entertainers don't sell, particularly country music singers.

Fast-forward eighteen years.  I've sold thirty-five books, but I never have given up on that story everyone said wouldn't sell.  Country music is now huge, so I decided to bring the book out, dust it off, and submit it again, this time to my publisher, Harlequin.  And darned if the wonderful Superromance senior editor didn't buy it.  I admit, I have learned quite a bit in the past twenty years, so I did have to heavily revise the last two-thirds of the book, but the story is essentially still the same--feisty female accepts a temporary job as a bus driver for a gorgeous, tortured country music superstar.  Romance on the road.  Close quarters. Combustible chemistry.  Two people who want two different things, but want each other more.  Oh, heck yeah...

I suppose the moral of this story--especially for any aspiring authors out there--do not throw anything away.  This is not to say you'll sell everything you write; I certainly haven't... yet.  But times change, trends change, and sometimes a story is simply written before it's time.  I firmly believe if your heart is in a book, it's worth the effort to try again.  THE CLOSER YOU GET is just that, a book straight from my cotton pickin', country music lovin' heart.  
The Closer You Get--Harlequin Superromance,  Available February 1, 2013
For more information go to Facebook-The Closer You Get or Kristi Gold's Website