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This meme seems to be going around today (see here, here and here) so I thought I’ve give it a go…a potted history of Mel’s writing career aka the stuff I can remember writing enough of to qualify as a book or intended to be a book rather than a short story. The year is the year I finished the first draft (or started the book if it’s unfinished) and everything that’s been submitted has probably had at least three drafts…so hopefully I’ve more than clocked up that million words figure people bandy about.

1981. (I think…Grade Three anyway) My first books. I wrote a series of three or so stories about a family of unicorns with a friend. Taught me the perils of collaboration and secret babies.

1984. Rlent’s Journey Very bad derivative fantasy which owed a lot to Anne McCaffrey. Wrote some chapters on and off and then at some point realised that it was derivative. Interesting concept though…

1989. The Fantasy Book (still no real title). I wrote the first four or five chapters of this in my last year of high school and my friends loved it. Cough-teen years later I’m still trying to write the darn thing. Romantic fantasy with slight leanings towards epicness. I love this book and will get it right one day.

1989. My First Romance (no idea if it had a title). Wrote this as a 3k story for an English assignment. A reunion romance between a actress/director who’d had an affair in college when he was a visiting professor. Have at various times played with it since then but not sure I’ll ever do anything with it.

2001. The Bride’s Bargain. Category romance. Wrote the first three chapters in a burst around 1995 then it sat when work/study took over for a few years, tried again in 1996 and ditto. Sometime in 2001 I realised if I ever wanted to be a writer, I’d better finish a book and finished it. The full got a very form rejection from Silhouette but the bug had bitten. Another reunion romance. Has potential but I’m kind of scared to look at it now lol.

2002. Convincing Callie. Category romance. My first ‘gift’ book. The hero was a minor character who kept wanting to take over in TBB so I decided to give him a book. Which he then ran with and it just flew out. Won a few competitions but has been rejected by all three offices of HM&B in various guises which is a pity because I love the hero. Got me my first ‘please send us something else’ rejection from Desire. Ditto from ModX a few years later after revising.

2002. Take A Chance On Me. Category Romance. The book I wrote to submit to Desire as my something else. Another reunion. Got a very encouraging rejection from the editor who wanted to work with me on the next one.

2002. Be My Downfall. Category Romance. Nanowrimo book. The h/h are secondary characters from TAC so it won’t get properly revised/submitted unless I ever sell TAC.

2003. Don’t Stand So Close To Me. Bombshell/Action Romance. Wrote the partial and sent it off then wrote a few more chapters but didn’t want to write the rest unless I got a request (at this point I knew I could write fast when I needed to). It got rejected. Yet to be finished but could be a fun single title. My first experiment with first person. 2003 was also the year of revising many things for submission or comps. I lost both my grandparents that year and the writing was hard.

2004. Getting Wise. Category Romance. The book I was writing for the Desire editor. Who then left the company which threw me for a loop and GW turned into the book from hell, possibly cos it was angsty and I was grieving. I’ve rewritten it a few times but it eludes me for now. Never submitted. I probably also revised CC and TAC in 04 for comps and to submit elsewhere. I think TAC was my first GH entry that went nowhere.

2004. Be My Downfall. Romance. Nano book. I thought it was category but it’s kind of bigger and more complicated than that. To be revised/written properly someday.

2005. Can’t Stand The Heat. Category Romance. I’d had the idea of this sometime in 2004. Wrote it very fast in 2005 after an online editor pitch, did okay in comps. I really like this book. Another GH entry that got better scores but didn’t do anything. Got me another ‘please send more’ rejection from ModX and a revised version of the partial is currently at Blaze after pitching it at last year’s National.

2005. Me and Mr Jones. Romance. Possibly category but not sure the idea would work for them. Unfinished. Needs re-thinking.

2005. Steamy Weather. Single Title Romance. Another gift book that was flying out until I stupidly took it to critting too early and got stalled at just over 100 pages. I will finish it one day when I figure out how to get the girls to stop sulking and get back into the groove of it. Up until then I’d never had a problem having first drafts critted before the book was finished. Now I rarely show anyone any part of the first draft until it’s done, particularly if it’s flowing well. So it’s the book that changed my process.

2005. The Deadly Pool. Romantic Fantasy set in kind of an alternate England/Scotland/France with a tech level about equivalent to the Regency period and similar society with magic. Not finished and shelved until I have time to do it but I like it.

2006. The Ex-Factor. Category romance. Reunion romance (yes, I like reunion stories). Finalled in the Golden Heart but had already had a revision request by the time it finalled. Revised partial in London.

2006. The Wolf Within. Urban Fantasy. I think I wrote the first bit of this late in 2005 then another forty pages maybe early 2006 when I probably got the rejection on CSTH and wrote TEF. Put it into a ‘cold read’ session at the RWOz 06 conference with Miriam and she requested the partial. Turned into a gift book when I sat down to finish it and wrote the rest in about six weeks. Finalled in the 07 GH and won/finalled several other comps. Got me my agent and is currently out there doing the rounds.

2007. The Dark Side (sequel to TWW). Urban Fantasy. About to start revising.

2007. Wolf 3. Urban Fantasy. One chapter written but on hold till I revise Wolf 2 for a few things so I can get the ongoing threads right.

2007. For One Night Only. Category romance. Not finished as I started writing it when I hit my tooth pulling/I have too many wips going on/day job project from hell/nothing is flowing period late last year. One to come back to.

2008. Witch 1. Urban Fantasy. First draft done and will be revised after I revise Wolf 2.

2008. Planned – revise Wolf 2, do something romance-y, revise Witch 1, then it’s a toss up between Witch 2 or my other urban fantasy idea. All in the lap of the gods and what happens with what I’ve got out on submission.

And now I know what I’ve been doing with the last few years of my life…typing. By my count that’s ten books (not counting the unicorns!) with at least a complete first draft (and I’d say all but one of those has had 2-3 drafts) and another five or six in various stages of completion. Not too shabby for just under seven years of serious writing. I think I need a lie down : )

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