ALL FOR ONE
When I first began working on what would eventually become my Sometimes in Love series, I was writing in that happy little bubble of pre-pubbed bliss. I hadn’t signed with an agent yet, and definitely didn’t have a book contract or editor, which meant I was writing according to my rules and whims. Which also meant, when a group of five best friends enjoying the vacation of a lifetime showed up in my head, I didn’t question putting all five of them on the page.
As I worked on the series, fleshing out the stories of these five girls, I came to know each of them very well. Not just the role they played within the group of friends, but as individuals; each unique and fascinating with their own blend of quirks and foibles and strengths and weaknesses. It is not a stretch to say they began to feel like real people to me—like my own friends.
So when the day finally came that I got “the call” from an agent, it is not surprising that, despite my excitement, when the agent cautioned that a five book series, especially for a debut author, was a very hard sell and suggested possibly trimming my group of five friends down to three, I adamantly refused. It is important to note at this point I hadn’t signed with the agent, and yes, was potentially shooting myself in the foot by disagreeing with her advice. But throughout the publishing process, you learn what you are and aren’t willing to compromise on. And on this point, I wasn’t budging. These girls were a package deal. My three—er, five—Musketeers. All for one, and one for all.
In the end, my—let’s call it artistic stubbornness—worked in my favor. The agent, who did end up offering representation, noted part of the reason was because she admired how passionately I fought for my characters. And when the time came to send that five-book proposal out on submission, my choice paid off again. As my agent had predicted, the offer was indeed for three books, but the editor was interested in taking what I had originally planned to make the fifth book in the series and moving it up to being the third (something I was willing to compromise on). But what if I’d decided to give up two of the friends? Books four and five wouldn’t have been part of the proposal and perhaps the editor would have passed.
All I know is I stayed true to what I felt was right for my characters and their stories. With the triple release of the first three books in the series, Cassie (GETTING HOT WITH THE SCOT 4/30), Bonnie (SMITTEN BY THE BRIT 5/28), and Sadie (ONCE UPON A BAD BOY 6/25) will all get their happy endings. Eventually, one way or another, Ana and Delaney will too. My artistic stubbornness—and dedication to this group of friends—will make sure of it. All for one, and one for all.
[new-release title=”Smitten by the Brit” author=”Melonie Johnson”]
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