Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Bandits Welcome Tessa Radley!

posted by Beth

Today I'm thrilled to have fabulous Silhouette Desire author (and dear friend *g*) Tessa Radley join us in the lair!

Where is Your Personality Rooted?

My Saxon Brides series is set against the background of a successful family-run winery, called Saxon's Folly. (Spaniard's Seduction, the second book in the series, is out this month, YAY!). And while I was writing the series I thought a lot about the French concept of terroir. It's the notion that the land from which grapes are grown gives a wine its specific personality, giving the final product unique qualities that are rooted in a firm sense of place.

Something about this called to me. I mean, isn't that true of people too? Aren't we all influenced and colored by places we visit or live in?

I know I am. I have clear memories of some places that have left a permanent stamp on me. So my sense of place, my terroir, is a little different from that of a wine in that it comes from more than one unique place. I've visited Boer War battlefields where today the veldt is deserted and only the cree-cree of cicadas break the African heat. The only evidence that blood was once spilled here are the metal ammunition cases that can still be dug out the ground—and the sense of desolation.

Across the world in New Zealand, a walk through dense bush that ended at the sight of ancient Kauri trees spearing upward to meet the sky gave me another moment in a place that I will never forget. That grove of leafy giants demanded respect. For some reason the idea that these trees had already been alive before William the Conqueror arrived on English shores had a profound effect on me. I felt humbled and incredibly fortunate to stand in their presence. And then there are those marvelous, miraculous moments of laughter at the edge of the wavelets on a beach near my home with my family that will forever be part of me. So many places that have shaped my opinions and contributed to the person I am.

So share with me the places that have had a huge impact on you. I'll draw one name from the comments section to win a copy of Mistaken Mistress, my Silhouette Desire October release. I'll be back in a while to talk some more.


Thanks, Tessa! Okay, dear readers, let's hear from you!


flchen1 said...

Hi, Tessa!!

flchen1 said...

Wow, what a thoughtful and thought-provoking post. I guess the place I think has shaped me the most is my parents' home, where they've lived my whole life, and where they still live now. I have so many memories there, even though they've since remodeled, and some of the rooms don't look as I remember them when I was young. And about ten years ago, I had the chance to go with my parents when they revisited the villages where they had grown up in China--it was amazing to see the land and people there, and the feel a sense of connection from all the stories my parents had told me. That's an entirely different kind of connection.

Congratulations on your Saxon Brides series! I'm not much of a wine-drinker, but love reading about wineries and the whole art of wine-making and its connections to the earth.

jo robertson said...

Hi, Tessa! A big hearty welcome from the Banditas!

Can you tell us something more about your Saxon Brides books?

I have to agree with Flchen about the home you grew up in. Whenever I visited my parents, even as a grownup with children of my own, I felt as though I'd returned home at a very primal level.

One of the most beautiful places I've visited is Guatemala. We drove a jeep up a windy, narrow road, passing lush vegetation and huge finkas (tobacco plantations or farms) on all sides. Lovely, lovely country.

limecello said...

Hi Tessa- thanks for visiting with us today! I'm loving your Saxon Brides trilogy :)
Hm... as for a place that has huge impact on me... :X home - where I grew up. And tonight/this morning, I'm really proud of my state :D

blackroze37 said...

hiya banditas
thought i drop by and see what lovely authors yall had today
and i sure got a good one huh hey tessa ,love the sound of your books

Minna said...

Hi, Tessa!
The places that have had a huge impact on me... Hmmm. Well, Rocky Mountains, certainly.

Miljoonasade: Marraskuu (November):

Helen said...

Congrats flchen he must have been missing you have fun with him

What a great post Tessa so moving I haven't had the pleasure of much travel one day I hope to travel and get to see some wonderful places.

A place that means a lot to me is The Blue Mountains in NSW the trees are so big and it is so peaceful there I do love to visit and seeing as it is only about 1.5 hours drive from my place not too far to go either,another place I love to visit is the beach we have some lovely beaches and I am always in awe of the waves crashing on the beach and walking along on a cold day and seeing what is thrown out of the ocean caught in the seaweed all the little bits of driftwood I sometimes wonder how long some of it has been in the ocean.

Congrats on the new book sounds great.

Have Fun

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Miss Tessa! Brilliant to see you here. Whoo-hoo! Welcome to the lair. You're a wild one, you'll fit right in, my friend ;-)

What a lovely post. I think you're so right about terroir for people as well as wines. A lot of the founding experiences of my life have been near the sea. I'm still at my happiest near the ocean.

Fedora, excellent catch on the chook! About time he came back to you!

Anna Campbell said...

Tessa, would you share your writing journey with us? We love stories with happy endings in the lair!

Helen said...

I too love the sea Anna I can always relax I love listening to the waves.

Have Fun

Maureen said...

I never thought of it but it is interesting to think of all the places that have affected me through my life from the house I grew up in to the college I went to and the town I raised my children in.

Gillian Layne said...

Congrats, flechen!

Hi Tessa--- I love Silhouette Desire's, and look forward to adding yours to my pile. :)

I'm echoing Anna, please tell us about your journey. And what's your writing process? Do you bounce ideas off of trusted CP's and have a lengthy outline, or do you plunge in alone with only a thought and a prayer?

Thanks for visiting today!

Gillian Layne said...

Oh-places that impact: Pike's Peak in Colorado, because it took every bit of my courage to take the train up (I'm terrified of heights), and Franconia Notch state park in New Hampshire. Both places hold such a sense of timelessness, like you could expect dinosaurs appear at any moment.

Inara said...

Hi Tessa, and thanks for being here! Can you tell us a little about how you started writing? We love a call story, too (hint, hint!). :-)

I have a couple of places that have really left a stamp on me. One is the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina, where I did a lot of backpacking and camping when I was in college. The beauty of that place and the friends I made there changed the course of my life. It was the first place I ever camped overnight, the place I made the best friends, the time I felt most loved and supported by people around me. So I really feel connected to NC and Pisgah.

The other place is Baja Mexico. I spent three months backpacking and camping across Baja and though I loved the beauty of the desert, I was terribly lonely and missed home and my family while I was there. My deep memories of that place are tinged with sadness, and also with the recognition that I'm not an island, and I need my family and friends around me.

Whew, deep thoughts for early in the morning! Thanks for being with us! The Saxon Brides series sounds great! :-)

ArkieRN said...

I am deeply rooted in the soil of our family farm land. The oldest tract of our land was deeded into our family over 100 years ago and many generations of my folks have worked it. No matter where I live, the farm is - and always will be -home.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Tessa! Welcome to the Lair! We're so glad to have you with us. :>

I love the answers to this question everyone. Really cool.

The places that have had the biggest impact on me are home - the mountains of North Carolina - and Kenya, Africa. There are lots of places that have affected me to some degree, but those two places have had the greatest impact.

I'm looking forward to hearing how our other Bandita's answer this...

Beth said...

Good morning and welcome again to Tessa!

Congrats on the GR, Fedora! I know you two have a special bond *g*

How fantastic you were able to visit China with your parents! That must have been an amazing experience :-)

Jo, I agree about the home you grew up holding special memories. I'm lucky that my kids are able to go there often and also have wonderful meories of the house I grew up in.

Hi, limecello! My husband and I have considered moving in the future but I know I'll always consider my hometown home *g* But I wouldn't mind living somewhere a bit warmer ;-)

Beth said...

Thanks for stopping by, blackroze! Tessa's books are fantastic *g* She's not so shabby herself either ;-)

Hi, Minna! I'd love to see the Rocky Mountains. It's one of my dream trips *g*

Helen the Blue Mountains sound lovely! And I love the beach too. My dream is to have a beach house someday. One that can withstand any size hurricane *g*

Beth said...

Anna, once I get my destruction-proof beach house, you must come for a visit *g* Hmm...actually, I'll make sure it's big enough for a full on bandita invasion :-)

Maureen, isn't it funny how certain places hold specific memories? Sort of how a song can take you back to a certain time in your life.

Gillian, good for you on facing your fears! Sounds like Pike's Peak was well worth the trip :-)

Beth said...

Inara, it sounds to me as if you found your true self in both places! Honestly, they both sound wonderful experiences :-)

arkiern, you are so lucky to have such a rich family history! Thanks for joining us!

Hey, Jeanne! What was it about Kenya that moved you so?

Nancy said...

Hi, Tessa, and welcome! This is an intriguing post. I agree that the places that ground us are important. I grew up in a small, southern college town, and I think the values and atmosphere there shaped my world view. After the Carolina Piedmont, the midwestern plains feel alien to me. So do the Colorado Rockies, where the dh's family lives, even though the Appalachians are as comfortable to me as a second skin.

The beach always makes me think. So I guess the various facets of the Carolinas have probably had the most influence. As for most grabbing my imagination--that'd be the Lake District, Devonshire, and the Cornwall coast. The scenery there seems to spur endless "what if"-ing. Not that I've been there lately. *sigh*

The dh wrote a book a few years back about the ways the works of children's authors reflect the places they lived. He'll love this post.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome to the Lair Tessa! And THANX to Beth for crawling outta the writing cave long enough to invite her here.

GREAT POST! But tough for me to answer. As you know, Aunty's been most everywhere (INCLUDING the Franconia Notch AND the Blue Mountains), and LURVED most every place. As for places that influenced me, well I'm definitely a product of late 20th century California. :-)

Like several others have said, I love the ocean, even though it scares me. Whenever I'm stressed out or looking to relax, someplace with a beach is always foremost in my mind. Maybe it's something as basic as most of the earth's surface is covered in water and a majority of the human body is made of water.

feeling the need for water (as in a shower) right now

Minna said...

And then there's Lapland, of course. I'd love to go there again.

Minna said...

Annel Nieiddat:

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Beth, I've printed out the invitation so you can never rescind it ;-) I think a beach holiday for the Banditas sounds like a great idea!

Anna Campbell said...

Tessa, we have a lot of aspiring writers who visit the blog. Do you want to share some tips for anyone aiming at the Desire Line?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Beth, I want to come to the beach house! :>

Hey Tessa are you a beach girl or mountains gal? I know you mentioned the beach, but although I've had some wonderful experiences at the beach and love it, its the mountains that pull my spirit home. I've decided that most people like one or the other better...so which is it for YOU?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Beth I just backed up and read your questions...

What drew me to Kenya...hmmm. Well, the people were fantastic. Beautiful and friendly and warm. I love the sheer volume of life. It's like God created the beasts on the third day (or was it the fourth? I forget) and She started in Kenya and gave them some of the neatest, coolest and most prolific animals known to humankind. There are birds EVERYWHERE. The hawks and eagles there are magnificent. There are falcons and songbirds and water birds and even the vultures are amazing. THen there are secretary birds and ostriches.

Don't even get me started on the cats - lions, cheetahs, leopards etc. - or the monkeys, or the antelope. There are somethign like 35 different kinds of antelope.

The US teems with wildlife too, but not in such an blazingly wide variety. Sure, we've got mule deer and elk and whitetails, but they're in different parts of the country. You can count 15 or 20 of those 35 species of antelope in one grazing area in Kenya.

And yes, we've got leopards and mountain lions in small numbers in the US, but they are waaaaay few and far between. Wolves? They're coming back here, but in Kenya there are jackals and hyenas and a type of wolf and a type of wild dog. "Real" wild animals over there are like squirrels and raccoons and possums are here - a dime a dozen, so to speak. They don't treat them that way, of course since they depend on us wide-eyed tourists, but oh, my...

Giraffes. Did I mention the giraffes? Zebras? I never knew there were two kinds of zebras and three kinds of giraffes, did you?

Okay, I'll stop now...

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hi, Tessa! I love the concept of terroir. For me, I think it happened in reverse though. I never felt at home in Michigan, which is where I grew up & while I haven't traveled extensively, I did kick around the country for a bit after college. I got tired of being rootless after a while & thought hey, maybe I was wrong. Maybe I do actually belong in the upper midwest.

Turns out I was right. Michigan still wasn't a fit (much to my mother's chagin) but Minnesota was juuuuust right. Everything from the politics to the climate to the people (found my husband here, though he ironically isn't a native either) suits me right down to the ground.

Funny how you just know when you've come home.

Which doesn't mean I still don't get the urge to move every now & then, just for the heck of it. :-)

Authorness said...

Hi, Tessa! What a fascinating setting for your series. I can't wait to read it.

One city that will always be close to my heart is Savannah, Georgia, where I got married. It's a looong way from where I live in Australia. In the daytime, the streets in the historic district were lined with pink and white azaleas. At night, with all those antebellum mansions and cemeteries, the place was deliciously spooky. I'm looking forward to going back some day to celebrate our anniversary.

Jane said...

Hi Tessa,
Congrats on your two new releases. One of the places that has impacted me is Thailand. We went to Bangkok for a friend's wedding. We went on a river tour and saw so many people who live in stilted huts. The river is their only water source. The child sex industry is a major issue. We were walking on the street and we were bombarded with offers of children for sale. It was scary and sad.

Congrats on the GR, Fedora.

Pat Cochran said...

Hello to Ms. Tessa and all the
Ladies of the Lair,

History, especially in Texas, is
what calls to me. Sites of most
interest to me include the Alamo/
Mission Trail (begun in the 1700s)
in San Antonio; the site of the
Battle of San Jacinto, where in 1836 Texas's independence was won from Mexico; and Washington on the Brazos, the site of the signing
of the Texas Declaration of
Independence and site of the home
of the last president of the
Republic of Texas.

Pat Cochran

Annie West said...

Hi Tessa,

I like the sound of this current series of yours. You've got great inspiration all around you with Auckland's fantastic vineyards - I still have magical memories of a day on an island outsie Auckland and a couple of hours sitting gazing across the vineyards and the water, eating and drinking the local produce (sigh).

I agree that the places we've lived or visited can play a big part in shaping us. I was driving recently from an inland town and went through a valley with bush covered hills, ramshackle fences, paddocks in the centre with a small creek edged by casuarinas. There was an old homestead (not ancient or stately, just your average farmhouse surrounded by old fruit trees) and I couldn't help but think how it felt like home, and like Australia, as I'd spent so much time in places like that. I think some of those special places for me are the Aussie bush, especially when you can stand on a hill and look out and see no sign of man's presence - it's wide and wild and beautiful. Plus also some towns in Europe with their centuries old half timbered buildings and steep roofs that looked like they were straight out of the fairy tales I read as a child!


Annie West said...

Hi Tessa,

I like the sound of this current series of yours. You've got great inspiration all around you with Auckland's fantastic vineyards - I still have magical memories of a day on an island outsie Auckland and a couple of hours sitting gazing across the vineyards and the water, eating and drinking the local produce (sigh).

I agree that the places we've lived or visited can play a big part in shaping us. I was driving recently from an inland town and went through a valley with bush covered hills, ramshackle fences, paddocks in the centre with a small creek edged by casuarinas. There was an old homestead (not ancient or stately, just your average farmhouse surrounded by old fruit trees) and I couldn't help but think how it felt like home, and like Australia, as I'd spent so much time in places like that. I think some of those special places for me are the Aussie bush, especially when you can stand on a hill and look out and see no sign of man's presence - it's wide and wild and beautiful. Plus also some towns in Europe with their centuries old half timbered buildings and steep roofs that looked like they were straight out of the fairy tales I read as a child!


Trish Milburn said...

Waving at Tessa! Seems like just yesterday we met on a KOD tour, doesn't it? Congrats on your success.

Though I'm a southerner, the place that has had a profound effect on me is the wild open spaces of the American West. I just love all that open space, the being able to see forever, the huge sky. I feel so totally free and amazingly connected to the land and the history of the country when traveling through the west. Yellowstone National Park is one of those places that's just amazing to behold, and I love exploring it every chance I get.

Trish Milburn said...

Pat, I love San Antonio and particularly the Mission Trail. I love the architecture and all that rich history.

Another historic area I love is Colonial Williamsburg.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Trish! I love Colonial Williamsburg too. :>

Anna Sugden said...

Popping in briefly because I couldn't let Tessa's visit go by without hugs and squeals! Can't wait to see you again soon.

The sea/ocean/water has always drawn me. I always feel more relaxed when there is water nearby. Don't know if this goes back to my school days on the cliffs at Brighton, or is just a love that has built of the Caribbean and other tropical seas.

There is something about the personality of places that draws me too - Charleston, Denver and Vancouver all touched me and made me want to return.

Nancy said...

Arkiern, I envy your family being so rooted. It sounds wonderful.

Minna, you always send through the coolest video links!

Gillian, the dh went to college in Franconia, NH (at the now-defunct Fraconia College). Not long after we were married, we took a driving tour of New England and visited Franconia Notch. This was before the Old Man of the Mountain fell down. That's beautiful country. I was impressed with all the rivers in New England.

Nicola Marsh said...

At the risk of sounding 'odd', I think most places have a 'feel' to them.

I've been affected by strolling over a tiny bridge in Venice, canoeing up to a glacier in Alaska and strolling with my boys to a nearby park.

It's lovely when a place or a feeling stays with you :)

Beth said...

Nancy, my dh and I are from the same area so luckily, we both feel comfortable in my hometown. But we both have a yen to explore other areas, especially those in the South *g*

AC, I think there also might be something soothing about the simple movement of water. The whole back and forth of the waves, the calmness of a still lake, ripples on a pond - just seem to inspire a person to stop and enjoy :-)

Beth said...

LOL, Fo! Now all I have to do is get that beach house. Guess I'd better learn to write faster :-)

Jeanne, I had no idea there were two kinds of zebra or three kinds of giraffes! Kenya sounds amazing! And I was tickled to see three deer in my front yard last night

Susan, how wonderful you found your place - and your husband - in Minnesota *g*

Beth said...

authorness, I so want to travel to Savannah. It just seems like such a lovely, old-world place. And from the sounds of it, the perfect place to get married *g*

Jane, isn't it sad to realize how some children are treated? And I can't imagine living in a house on stilts and yet those people probably can't imagine living any other way.

Pat, I love historic places as well. There's a very old church where my husband I attended a good friend's funeral years ago. And while the situation was heart-breaking there was something so peaceful about this wooden church set back in the woods. Something inspiring to see how it's withstood the test of time for so long.

Beth said...

Annie, your recent drive through the valley sounds so lovely! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us *g*

Trish, my town is surrounded by hills so I can't even imagine all the openness of the West! It's sounds gorgeous though :-)

Anna, you'll be right at home at my as-of-yet-imaginary beach house *g* Oh, Charleston! Another city I'd love to visit.

And I made a quick trip up to Toronto last year but it was mid-winter and I was attending a meeting so I didn't get to see much. But I'd love to get up there again when I have time to take in the sights.

Rachel said...

Hi Tessa! I feel I *belong* to my hometown, and even though I don't live there anymore, I get ridiculously sentimental when I visit. So I completely understand the French concept.

And Nic, I agree about places having a feel. I remember visiting one thriving town that felt 'empty'. I found out later that it'd been mined under where all the houses were.

Minna said...

There is this shop in Toronto where they sell all kinds of Finnish stuff...

Maureen Child said...

Hi Tessa!!

Great blog! You're making me think about something other than the WIP, so I thank you!! =)

Caren Crane said...

Tessa, welcome to the Lair! What a thought-provoking topic today. I agree with you and Nancy that where we grew up definitely affects us. I grew up in Nashville, TN and we moved away when I was a junior in high school. I have never wanted to move back, yet when I'm in Nashville and see the rock faces looming over the interstate (where they blasted through the rock to lay the road), I feel at home.

I also feel a keen kinship with the mountains of TN, though curiously I don't feel quite as much for the mountains of NC. Then again, both sides of my mother's family were from the mountains of TN since the Revolutionary War, so I suppose I should feel connected to it.

A place I've never been to that beckons me is Cornwall. I long to go there! (Rosamunde Pilcher may have had a bit to do with that. *g*)

I love to read about everyone's special places!

Caren Crane said...

Ooh, I want a seat on the "I love colonial Williamsburg" wagon! I also recall touring historic parts of Philadelphia, PA when I was in high school. It is quite atmospheric and wonderful (despite being, you know, in Philadelphia *g*).

Caren Crane said...

Nicola, my sister and I had a great cemented-in-the-brain experience driving around Nova Scotia. We were on Cape Breton and drove through the highlands on the upper end. We stopped at a trail (as we had done all day) and took a short hike through a dense, fern-laden wood. At the end of the trail was the Lone Shieling, a reproduction of a Scottish shepherd's hut. The Lone Shieling has haunted me ever since. I felt an incredible connection to it. I'm not sure if it was a remnant of a memory from Scottish ancestors past or what, but it was powerful. Thanks for making me think of it!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oooh, oooh, I wanna go to PEI and Nova Scotia!! :> Of course I also want to go to Scotland in the worst way. :>

Tessa Radley said...

It's wonderful to be here

Tessa Radley said...

Ohmigoodness, sorry about that...

I've been struggling to remember my password the whole morning.

I had a eureka moment...but I hadn't finished the post.

But it IS wonderful to be here. Thanks for inviting me Banditos and I have to say this is the most gorgeous blog--I love the decor.


Tessa Radley said...

Thanks for the wonderful comments. I'm utterly riveted. What interesting places and stories...and best of all so many of my VERY favourite people in one place!

Fedora and Limecello lovely to see you both here. Limecello you darling, you made my day! Fedora your post is so moving. Have you ever thought about putting those stories your parents told you down in a kind of personal history?

I love the 'art' side of wine too. And the thought of the seasons and cycles and the men and women who work on that...um...terroir!

Jo, thanks for the welcome. When I was talking to my editor about where she wanted my book and told her I had a yen to set in a vineyard (I love visiting wineries) She loved that so I started thinking. I started off with 3 brothers...and a sister. The idea being that each brother would have his own story. But it didn't quite work out that way...and I can't say why cos it would wreck the first 3 chapters of the first book MISTAKEN MISTRESS for you.

So then I started thinking about writing Megan (the sister's) story but she kept protesting that she didn't want her story to be set at Saxon's Folly. And I wanted to set all three stories there. But she kind of convinced me in the end and Megan's book will come out next year.

But the women in the series, the three Saxon Brides, really appealed to me. Mostly because each was so different from the other. Even the way each talks is different. They were such a pleasure to write about. Then of course there were the Saxon guys--arrogant, entitled and just waiting to get their come-uppance. It was a lot of fun to write.

I'll talk a bit more about my first sale and writing process a little further down.

Tessa Radley said...

Blackrose thanks for visiting, and Minna, I see there are a fair share of mountain people here today. I've always wanted to visit the Rockies...one day. Gillian, Pikes Peak sounds fabulous too, and Helen I agree about The Blue Mountains. I'm a tree lover too so I totally get that.

And I love the ocean as well. Is it something to do with the vastness of it?

I grew up in a thatched roof house in the lea of a hill (actually more a ridge) but it gave that anchored feeling that a mountain can give one.

Tessa Radley said...

Anna Campbell! Wonderful to see you! Maureen Child so glad you're here too. And Annie West (bought your latest sheik at the airport the other day) But I'm not allowed to read it yet--it's a treat for good behavior (shshshhhh AnnaC). And Beth. And Anna. And Nicola. And the fabulous Trish M.

Tessa Radley said...

Okay, my first sale story.

I'd been writing for several years. Every time a new line opened I thought *opportunity*, every time I heard that a line had started acquiring I thought the same thing. The result was I had a SIM, some BLAZES, a BOMBSHELL, a TANGO an RDI, a litelitfict and a whole lot of other trendy things too. Then I wrote a book for Presents and the editor who rejected the book gave me some invaluable advice, she told me to focus. So I did. I wrote another Presents. It finalled in the Golden Heart and the Emma Darcy Award and it got a good rejection from London. Then I wrote another short sensual contemporary with an alpha hero (focus remember?) and around that time Desire changed their guidelines.

The Senior editor was taking online pitches over at eHarlequin. It was very scary...the rooms kept disappearing. You'd be waiting in a room with a bunch of people then they'd disappear and you'd go into the lobby looking for others and then your waiting room had disappeared and you didn't know where in cyberspace to go. Kind of like the triwizard tournament in Harry Potter.

Eventually I found Melissa Jeglinski, Desire's senior editor (MJ is now an agent at DKA). By that time my nerves were shot. I pitched, we chatted. She asked for a full. She was absolutely lovely.

In the meantime there was this agent that I really really wanted, Karen Solem. I had a very short wishlist with 3 agent names on it, but I couldn't seem to get past my #1 agent. I loved all the authors she represented. So I decided this must be a good time to send her a query. It was.

A week later I had a first sale, a first agent and a first editor. It was a rollercoaster experience. And that GH finalling book? Well that sold to Desire (with HUGE revisions) less than a month later.

So the editor who told me to focus gave me the best piece of advice of my life.

Moral of the story? Always pitch at eharlequin on line pitches--they are seriously looking for authors. Secondly, it was great working with a very decisive editor. And finally, I believe an agent really helped me. I don't think it would have happened quite the same way without an agent.

There are lots of great agents out there...you just need to find the right one for you.

I'll be back in a while...

Kate Carlisle said...

Sneaking out of the cave a little late, but I wanted to say hello, Tessa!! Thanks for visiting today. I can't wait to read your Saxon Brides series. Desires are my absolute favorite reading material. :-)

Ooh, and speaking of Desires, there's Maureen Child! Hellooo, Maureen!

Well done, Fedora! Hope you had a good day with the GR!

Tessa Radley said...

Hi Kate...thanks! Nice to see you.

BTW loved your cover for Homicide in Hardcover. It definitely sticks in one's mind.


Tessa Radley said...

"Funny how you just know when you've come home"
Susan this is so true--loved your story about finding the 'right' home.

Arkiern-I love that idea of being linked to family ground. Jo spoke of how primal it is to return to the place you grew up if your parents still live there. But this is happening less and less, isn't it.

Tessa Radley said...

Maureen, you're not allowed to think about anything other than that book. LOL. Love the sound of your Officer & A Millionaire.

Caren, I've also always had a bit of a yen to visit Cornwall.

But some of these places are making me shi-shiver. Scotland and Nova Scotia, Alaska...and Lapland sound so cold. Please tell me the have wonderful warm summers?

Trish, I'd love to see Wyoming one day. Partly because Mary O'Hara gave the impression that it's open...but again there are the mountains. The great divide...

Jeanne, I'm more a beach girl. There are quite a few of us oceanites. AnnaC, Anna S, Nancy, Helen...and Loucinda that scariness makes it more ambivalent, more compelling, I think.

Jo, you make Guatemala sound absolutely seductive.

Anna S, what is about Charleston? I've always wanted to see that city. And who mentioned Nashville. There's a Nashville RWA conference coming up soon, I can't wait!

Beth I like warmth too :-)

Nancy what's the title of dh's book? Sounds utterly fascinating.

Inara, thanks for sharing, that brought a lump to my throat. Was it the utter openess that make you feel so aware of the desolation?

Jeanne, that TOTO song AFRICA always brings up the Kenya visuals for me. I'd love to visit there one day. Did you ever read Kuki Gallerman's (sp?) I Dreamed of Africa?

Authorness what a wonderful setting. I want to go there!

Jane, that's definitely a life impacting experience. I visited Bangkok when I was very young so I wasn't aware of a lot of that happening. I just remember the market on the river and the beautiful temples. I'd love to go back because I believe it's all changed so much.

Welcome Pat, Texas history sounds awesome. Again it's all so big.

Nic, I agree with you. And don't you find that you remember those precious moments years later?

Annie, what a wonderful contrast the wide open bush and those historic European towns. I love it. That's almost a metaphor for a clash of opposites Presents hero and heroine isn't it?

Tessa Radley said...

And Rachel, that really sounds like a ghost town. Positively spooky!!

kim h said...

congrats on teh new release and great reviews

kim h said...

any winner