I don’t know how many people told me NOT to write Brazen Angel. An editor at a conference. More than one agent. Critic partners. Contest judges. Every single one of them said that any story set around the French Revolution wasn’t romantic, would never sell. One of my critique partners joked that it was the tale of springtime in Paris with Robespierre. Yeah, very funny.
I wrote it anyway. And look what happened. It won the Dell Diamond Debut–which came with a publishing contract. It was nominated for two RITAs, Best First Book and Best Long Historical. It won for Best First Book. Brazen Angel, the book I wouldn’t have written if I had listened to everyone else, ending up being the story that launched my career. The one everyone told me not to waste my time on.
This is why you, if you believe in a story with all your heart, and you know it is THE story you have to tell, then you must tell it. Write it from the heart and tell it. I wrote this book on fire–the story would not leave me alone. I Had. To. Tell. It. And it was mine to tell.
So is your story.
Now, 18 years later, I still write–every day because I can’t not write. And always, I stick to crafting the stories that intrigue me, the characters who won’t leave me alone, the plot that leaves me breathless.