Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Very Happy to be Part of the Heartwarming Group! by Kate James

Greetings!

Nineteen months ago, I made the admittedly daunting decision to leave the full-time corporate world and focus on my writing. I was very fortunate to almost immediately meet Harlequin executive editor, Paula Eykelhof. Paula shared my work with senior editor Victoria Curran, who we know and love as the indomitable driving force behind Heartwarming. That led to an exciting end to 2013, as I signed my first contract with Harlequin. I owe Victoria and Paula sincere thanks for giving me this opportunity to work with them and the rest of the amazing Harlequin Heartwarming team.

I love the fact that the Heartwarming series is specifically created for readers who enjoy wholesome, tender stories, and I feel privileged to be able to join such a talented, committed group of authors. I am grateful for the warm welcome I have received from a number of you, and the many hours of reading pleasure your books are providing me.

My first Heartwarming book will be a Christmas release. I sent the edited version of the manuscript to Paula just yesterday. I am grateful to her for being such an amazing source of feedback and inspiration. It seems the calculated risk I took to focus on my writing is paying off!

In closing, I want to say thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my work. You have made it possible for me to do what I truly love.

I wish you much love and happiness!

Kate

40 comments:

  1. Welcome, Kate! I'm really impressed that you left such a polar opposite kind of life and work world and now you are writing full time. God Bless you for pursuing your passion. I wish you all the best of luck! It's a fabulous ride!

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    1. Thank you for the warm welcome, Catherine. I'm impressed by your success! Congratulations!

      My decision wasn't an entirely easy one, but I had a lot of support. I also didn't leave the corporate world entirely. I now sit on boards. This enables me to dedicate most of my time to writing, while allowing me to still be involved in business. I consider myself very fortunate!

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  2. Welcome to the group, Kate! We're happy to have you here. Wishing you all the best as you pursue this new career. I envy you being able to go at this full-time - I wish I could :)

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    1. Thank you, Amy! I am thrilled to be part of such an amazing group of authors, and I am grateful for all the support and encouragement. I'm not quite full-time as an author yet, but it is a significant step in the right direction.

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  4. Kate, Welcome. Isn't it wonderful that we can have more than one career in our lives? Or even two at a time. I can't say enough good things about working with Paula and Victoria and all of the editors in Toronto. I love holiday stories. Can't wait to read yours.

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    1. Thank you for the welcome, Roz! When Paula first mentioned Heartwarming to me, yours was one of the first Heartwarming books I read!

      I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to work with Paula and Victoria. It doesn't hurt the relationship that they both love animals (nearly) as much as I do!

      Thank you for the support, and I would love to get your feedback on my debut for Heartwarming.

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  5. Hi, Kate! Congratulations on your sale. Christmas stories are my favorite read, so I'll look forward to your book. Your experience in the corporate world should be a great story resource. How nice that all that hard work can be turned into work that's just as hard but probably more fun to do. We are all fortunate to work with Victoria and Paula. Animal nuts are among the best people!

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    1. Thank you, Muriel. Needless to say, I am thrilled. The timing worked out perfectly, as I was offered the contract in November, and I was able to write the manuscript over the holidays - obviously inspirational for a Christmas story!If you do get to read it, I would love your feedback. For us animal nuts, it does feature a couple of furry, four-legged characters.

      As for my work experiences, yes, they provide a wealth of story ideas . . . as long as I sufficiently fictionalize the facts!

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  6. Kate -
    You are such an inspiration and Heartwarming books is lucky to have you! It is exciting when people step out of "the routine" to follow a dream only to have it exceed their expectations. It sounds like Heartwarming books is where you are meant to be! Your story is heartwarming. :0)
    Have a super day, all!

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  7. Thank you very much for taking the time to visit the Heartwarming blog and for your kind words! I feel honored to be among so many talented authors at Heartwarming, and everyone at Harlequin has been very welcoming and a dream to work with.

    Thanks again, and I hope you have a wonderful day, too.

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  8. Yay! So happy to see you here, Kate! Welcome to the group!!! :)

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    1. Thank you, Rula. It's a pleasure to be here!

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  9. Kate,
    Welcome. I, too, envy you :) I keep thinking "I'll quit my day job when Mike's out of college."
    Christmas books are great fun.

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    1. Thank you, Pamela.

      Before you get too envious, it seems that I am working more hours now than I did before. On the plus side, I love everything I am doing.

      Can I safely assume Mike is in college now?! It could be a long wait if he still happens to be in kindergarten!

      It was fun writing a Christmas-themed book over Christmas.

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    2. Nope, Mike is in 3rd grade. It will be a long wait.

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  10. Congratulations on selling your first Heartwarming, Kate! It has been so lovely getting to know you since we discovered we share an editor, and I can't wait to read your Christmas release!

    I've also recently picked up my first few Heartwarming books (thanks to you introducing me to some Heartwarming authors whose books sound fabulous!) and I'm excited to dig in, as soon as I send off my own next book proposal. :)

    Elizabeth Heiter

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. Yes, it's been a great pleasure getting to know you. I loved HUNTED, and I am looking forward to reading VANISHED. Although we are extremely fortunate to have Paula as our editor, the only downside is that you are keeping her very busy with all your upcoming releases! :-) Speaking of which . . . congratulations again on the contract for the additional two books.

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    2. Thank you so much, Kate! (And I agree...I feel so lucky to get to work with her!)

      And I can't wait to hear more details on your release...looking forward to learning what you pick as the final title!

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    3. We have the title! As of today, I can communicate it. I am very tempted to announce it right now, but I'll hold off and do it with a bit more fanfare. Watch for it!

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  11. Kate, welcome to our humble party. Can't wait to read your Christmas release!

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    1. I am thrilled to be part of the group, Mel. Thank you! I also appreciate all your support on Twitter.

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  12. I admire you for stepping out on faith and writing full-time. The best I can hope for is to get enough books published to do that well down the road. I can't imagine doing so without a contract or two (dozen) under my belt. You obviously have the talent to back up your leap of faith. Christmas stories are some of my favorites. There's nothing like a feel good Christmas story to make my day. Looking forward to your release!

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    1. Thank you, very much! As I noted, it wasn't an easy decision, but it helped to know that my first book was getting great reviews and I still had my board work. There were a couple of times when I questioned if I made the right decision. Fortunately, these times were few and fleeting. Most importantly, making the connection with Paula early on and sensing that she believed in me was invaluable!

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  13. Kate, Congratulations and welcome from another fellow animal lover! I agree with the comment above that your own story is heartwarming and hope it inspires a story or two for you in the future. Looking forward to your Christmas release!

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    1. Awww . . . thank you, Carol. I am grateful for all the positive comments, and pleased to be part of such a talented, supportive group. I hope your recent release is continuing to do well!

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  14. I'm so glad everything worked out for you, Kate! It's interesting to hear how you got your start. You're such a lovely person and a great writer!

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments, Dale. I am so glad we connected on Twitter, and I am grateful for all your support.

      I hope you are having a terrific evening!

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  15. Congratulations, Kate! Having read 'Silver Linings' - one of my treasured novels - I'm so looking forward to reading your next one. There is no doubt in my mind as to the reason that the Harlequin Heartwarming group chose to publish you :-) Catch you in the stream.

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    1. Thank you, Dody. As always, I am very appreciative of your kind words about my writing, and all your support. I think I've mentioned previously that you should consider a second (third?) career in PR!

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  16. Hi Kate!! As you already know I'm a Heartwarming reader and enjoy visiting their blog as often as I can. Everyone has been so wonderful and gracious to me.... such a creative and fun-loving group with the greatest camaraderie. I am enjoying the line so very much. I know you'll make a wonderful addition to their family of talented authors. It's nice to hear how you became a HQN HTW author. Congratulations!!

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    1. Thank you, Laurie. I am very happy that we connected on Twitter, and I am grateful for your kind words.

      Heartwarming truly is a very special series and, in my humble opinion, it will only become more, more successful. I am thrilled to be joining such an exceptional group of authors and publishing professionals.

      Thanks again!

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  17. Welcome to the Heartwarming group, Kate! So glad Paula brought your book to our attention. And if we need to have an animal rescue competition, I'm in!

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    1. I feel honored and privileged, Victoria, and I thank you and Paula for the opportunity.

      As for the animal rescue competition . . . dogs may need more space than cats (not to mention more food), but keep in mind that I have a large property, thus LOTS of room for them to play!

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  18. So sorry to post late! I'm on a bruising deadline, but better late than never :) congratulations, K! We've been friends for a year now and I already feel like you're in my family- my Heartwarming one too :)

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    1. Has it been a year, Karen?! I value your friendship and support, and wish you continued success with all your wonderful books!

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  19. Kate
    I loved “Silver Linings.” The characters and settings are so engaging. Can’t wait for the next release. Congrats on becoming a Heartwarming author.

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    1. I am so glad you enjoyed SILVER LININGS, Joan. I am thrilled to be writing for Harlequin. Thank you for taking the time to post a comment and for your support!

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  20. Hello Kate. Sorry for my late post. Thank you for inviting me to this blog and introducing me to your book "Silver Linings." You already know I think very highly of the book. I look forward to future books and your posts here. Thank you for your feedback as well. I believe you made a good decision by committing to your writing full time. Surely it was not a easy decision.

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    1. I appreciate you taking the time to visit this blog and sharing your comment. Thank you for your kind words and support.

      You are correct that leaving a full-time job I enjoyed and found rewarding wasn't an entirely easy decision. It was a calculated risk and I left it for a combination of things (writing and board work) that I enjoy even more!

      I wish you all the best wish your writing, Rhonda!

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