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Posts tagged with: With Love in Sight

Meet 2017 Golden Heart Finalist Christina Britton!!

It’s another big week with the Rebelles, with Rebelle guests today, tomorrow, and Thursday. Today we’re welcoming 2017 Golden Heart Finalist Christina Britton, whose manuscript WITH LOVE IN SIGHT is nominated for Best Historical Romance!

Christina Britton developed a passion for writing romance novels shortly after buying her first at the tender age of thirteen. Though for several years she turned to art and put brush to paper instead of pen, she has returned to her first love and is now writing full time. She spends her days dreaming of corsets and cravats and noblemen with tortured souls.

She lives with her husband and two children in the San Francisco Bay Area. A member of Romance Writers of America, she also belongs to her local chapter, Silicon Valley RWA. Her Golden Heart manuscript is going to be her debut novel: WITH LOVE IN SIGHT is set to be released by Diversion Books in early 2018.

Here’s a blurb for WITH LOVE IN SIGHT:

Miss Imogen Duncan has had her London Season, but her desperate shyness destroyed any chance for a match. Now an aging spinster, seeing ahead of her a life of servitude to her overbearing mother, she believes her chances for excitement are well and truly past. But a case of mistaken identity and an unintended kiss brings an excitement into her life that she never dreamed of.

Burying the guilt he suffers from his brother’s death a decade ago beneath a life of debauchery, Caleb Masters, Marquess of Willbridge is content enough to meet willing widows in dark gardens to numb the pain. But he is wholly unprepared when an innocent miss stumbles into his life, turning his superficial world on its head.

 Drawn to the quiet, kind girl, Caleb forms an unlikely friendship with her. Soon, however, desire for her begins to invade their time together. Refusing to let Imogen be tainted by his demons, he does everything in his power to fight the growing attraction. But when friendship turns to passion he finds there’s more to Imogen than he first thought. Can Caleb convince Imogen to give him a chance – and to perhaps heal his soul in the process?

 I’m so excited that this will be published soon!! It sounds very romantic (I love mistaken identity and unintended kisses)! Congrats, Christina!!!

It sounds like WITH LOVE IN SIGHT FORCES the heroine Imogen out of her comfort zone. Christina’s here today to talk with us about how she learned to do that herself, with her writing career.

Take it away, Christina!!

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Getting Out of Your Safe Space

For me, becoming a published writer is a dream I’ve had for two and a half decades. Which basically means my dream is a fully mature adult who’s been legally able to drink for several years. It was carefully nurtured in my youth when it was just a seed of an idea, made big and robust with grandiose goals and visions of success. I scribbled away whenever I could, even hiding away in the back room at work. I finally managed to finish my very first manuscript. And then…

Nothing.

That manuscript lay moldering in a box for years. The physical remnants of the faint wisp of a dream. Why didn’t I do anything with that hard-won book? Why did I abandon it?

Life happened, I suppose: work, marriage, children. But I can’t blame my failure to move forward on any of those things. Now that I can think clearly about it, I can see there’s a certain comfort in the dream. There is possibility in it, a chance that it might someday become reality. Even with my manuscript laying dormant, gathering dust in storage, there was still that glimmer of hope that it could one day find its way onto bookstore shelves.

Keeping it in the box is safe.

But, as we’ve seen when heroes and heroines are too protective of their hearts, being safe does not guarantee happiness. It’s stale and stagnant. And I was so safe with that fledgling manuscript. I even went so far as to stop writing completely.

Until.

I do love that word. It implies all sorts of possibilities. I was a stay-at-home mom by the time my ‘until’ came, with my youngest about to start school. What was I going to do now? I agonized over it for weeks. Until…

There’s that lovely word again. Until I went to clean out an overstuffed drawer. Where I found the letter my late grandfather had written me years before. And I read forgotten words penned in his loving hand, his belief in me that one day I would be a published author.

That was my light bulb moment. A moment I can remember so very clearly and that decided my future. With the full blessing of my husband and kids, I poured myself into my writing; something I had let go fallow, yet now was rested and full of new life, the soil rich and ready to make the dream a reality. I pulled out that forgotten manuscript, and scrubbed and polished it until it was ready for the world.

I’d like to say a publisher fell in love with my book, offered me a contract with a huge advance, and now I’m a bestselling author. Of course, if that were true, I would not be so very blessed to be a 2017 Golden Heart Finalist and part of an amazing sisterhood of talented women. Instead I sent that manuscript in to agent after agent, casting aside my fears, shrugging off the confines of the safe path I had stuck to for so long. It was frightening. And heartbreaking. Because, though there was some interest, it was ultimately rejected. Many times. But I had started on this path, and I had people who believed in me. I couldn’t stop. The big question was, what in the world would I write now? I’d been cultivating the same book for two decades. The thought of starting something new terrified me. But disappointing my family was an impossibility.

Then something incredible happened: I came in first in the Romance category for the Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Contest. Not only was this an affirmation to me that I was on the right path despite all of the rejections I had received, but I also realized that the heroine from that short story was haunting me. She needed her own full-length book. And so I took that character, turned her hero into a rake of the worst sort, and in short order wrote ‘With Love in Sight’.

That book brought in its fair share of rejections as well. But then – finally! – a light at the end of the tunnel. I was offered a publishing contract. I signed with an amazing agent. I could almost taste the finish line. My gamble in emerging from my safe place was finally paying off.

But my journey wasn’t over. And it was about to get more difficult. The publisher closed, and I was left floundering, practically back at square one. Only this time, the hope that had sustained me before had been dashed to pieces.

I might have given up writing at that point. I certainly considered scurrying back into my safe place, where everything was calm and orderly and free of heartache. It was a very dark period for me. But I had so many people in my corner. My family, who continued to cheer me on. My writing crew, who made sure I got my butt in the chair and my hands on the keyboard. My agent, who worked tirelessly at re-homing my manuscript. I kept writing, even when it broke my heart to do so. Soon the future began to look a little brighter. I finished another manuscript. I even entered a little contest called the Golden Heart (you might have heard of it), in the off chance I might final. I was going to see this dream come to fruition no matter what.

Then, in an amazingly short period of time, I received two calls I only ever imagined getting. One, telling me I was a Golden Heart finalist. The second, from my agent telling me I had been offered a three-book deal.

It’s a frightening thing to put your heart on the line. That’s essentially what you’re doing when you hand your creation over to the world. It’s instinctual, I think, to keep it hidden and safe. But by taking a chance to see your dreams become reality, you’re also opening yourself up to an entire realm of incredible possibilities. My journey is far from done. I know there will be ups and downs. But I can’t wait to see where it all takes me. I am so very glad I left my safe place. And I don’t plan on ever going back there again.

 What about you, readers? Everyone’s journey is different. What inspired you to leave your safe place and put your heart out there?

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Connect with Christina Britton on social media:

Website: http://christinabritton.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChristinaBrittonAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cbrittonauthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cbrittonauthor/

 

The Latest Comments

  • Jennifer Bray-Weber: Great tips! Love what you did with this. Thanks so much!
  • Bev Pettersen: She really is amazing. I’m learning a lot, Beth!
  • Elizabeth Langston: What a great idea–and I think you’re really close! A meticulous Horseman of the...
  • Lydia Stevens: I went and grabbed the revised pitch from the first post and this is what we came up.with: When mother...
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