Please join me in welcoming author Emery Lee as the special guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress.
Emery’s debut book “The Highest Stakes” is in stores in April. Here’s a brief synopsis of the book: “All thoroughbred horses in the world to this very day can trace their blood back to three specific Arabian stallions imported to England in the early part of the 18th century. Against this backdrop comes a painstakingly researched novel with breathtaking scenes of real races, real horses, glimpses of the men who cared for them, and the tensions of those who owned and controlled them.
In 18th century England and Colonial Virginia, when high-spirited stallions filled the stables of the lords of the land and fortunes were won and lost on the outcome of a race, a love story unfolds between a young woman for whom her uncle's horses are her only friends and the young man who teaches her everything about their care and racing. When she's forced into marriage, his only hope of winning her back is to race his horse to reclaim all that was stolen from him—his land, his dignity, and his love.”
Thanks to Emery and Danielle at Sourcebooks I have two copies of “The Highest Stakes” to giveaway to readers leaving comments between today and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7. Be sure to include her e-mail in the comments if it’s not included in your profile. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.
Emery has stopped by today to talk about how her Georgian era drama/romance book with an equestrian theme came about.
I truly envy writers who walk around with their heads constantly filled with fantastic ideas for books. Although I have always dreamed of writing, and even made an initial attempt at a romance novel back in 1986, I never got past page one. It then took me almost twenty five years to finally come up with what I thought was a worthy premise, an idea too unique to ignore: a novel combining thwarted love, blind ambition, political intrigue and horse racing!
The idea for The Highest Stakes just kept churning around in my head during the day and invading my dreams at night, until I actually dared confess it to Dina, a good friend of mine, while riding up a mountain on horseback.
Diana said, “Just do it! Write the book.”
“But I’ve never written anything creative in my life. I don’t have a creative bone in my body, “I argued.
“God works in mysterious ways. If it’s keeping you awake at night, he’s givingyou a gift,” she answered back.
A few days later (coincidentally on my birthday), I found a package from Diana on my front porch. It was a book on how to publish a book. I don’t even remember the name of it now, but it was all the extra push I needed.
After fourteen months of blood, sweat and tears, (well…not so much blood… unless you count paper cuts) I completed my first draft of a Georgian era drama/romance set against the backdrop of early Thoroughbred horseracing.
What do I do with it now I have it completed, I thought (panic now sinking in). I didn’t know a single writer. I had no literary contacts. I unburied the book on publishing from beneath at least three reams of first drafts (that I dared not throw away in case the garbage man should steal my best seller.) I then decided to seek out a literary agent (thus began the sweating part).
Thirty-plus queries later, with as many rejects following, (This is where the tears actually came in.) I finally decided that none of these agents were even worthy of representing my masterwork. While looking for other opportunities I learned that Sourcebooks is one of very few publishers who still accept un-agented queries.
My query email was promptly answered by acquiring editor Deb Werksman.
“Jackpot!!!” I cried (only tears of joy this time).
Fourteen months later (and after much more profuse sweating throughout the editing process) I am delighted to announce that The Highest Stakes has finally come to fruition.
Emery, thanks so much for sharing this. There is so much hard work that goes into writing and getting published.
A little background on Emery. She is a life-long equestrienne, a history buff, and a born romantic. Combine the three and you have the essence of her debut novel: a tale of love, war, politics, and horseracing. A member of Romance Writers of America, she lives with her husband, sons, and two horses in upstate South Carolina. For more information on Emery check out her website at http://authoremerylee.com/.
Have you combined your love and hobbies to be included in your writing?