Am Writing

Now What? Updates on the Publishing Journey

Last month I had BIG NEWS. BIG NEWS is exciting. It gets lots of shares and likes and newsletters sign ups. BIG NEWS brings flowers.

But after the BIG NEWS is the long slow grind of being a soon-to-be-published author. It’s a grind that I’ve craved and signed up for. But there are no flowers other than the emojis I attach to my Tweets as I sit at my desk in my yoga pants.

Here’s what I’ve been up to in the month since I announced that I signed a three-book deal with Carina Press and that my first book would be out in October:

Invited to read at Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC

I was thrilled (yes, I cried) to be asked to read from The Billionaire’s Prince at New York City’s only romance-centric reading salon. Reading in New York…yes, I will be wearing my beret. The event will be July 24, during the Romance Writer’s of America conference, and the incomparable Brenda Jackson will be the special guest. Pinch me. Then come watch me read.

Headshots

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I’ve never worn fake lashes before. New photos coming soon!

Discussing new titles and series title

One of the cool things about having a signed contract is receiving official email from your publisher asking for stuff. Yes, obviously, the allure will fade, but as a person who’s wanted this for over a decade, it’s really cool right now.

I filled out sheets breaking down the particulars of the three books in the series – The Billionaire’s Prince, The Millionaire’s Rock Star, and The CEO’s Body Guard – and editorial is currently trying to save me from myself and come up with better names for the books and series. I LOVE The Billionaire’s Prince, but the other two titles are a little lame. If anyone else can come up with titles that represent the trope twisting of the books — the money belongs to the women — I’d love to hear it!

Turned in info for cover

It’s remarkable to watch this creation you brought to life while sitting alone at your computer being worked on by editorial, publicity, marketing, sales… Publishing professionals earn a bit of their paycheck working on these letters I strung together in a Word document. Weird. I sent a dense document about my image concepts for the book and I should see my cover by the end of April. You can check out their image inspirations here.

See more images that inspired   The Billionaire’s Prince   on  Pinterest

See more images that inspired The Billionaire’s Prince on Pinterest

Writing and editing

Among all the excitement is the continued day-to-day work. I spend the bulk of most weekdays until 1 p.m. writing the second book in the series. The Millionaire’s Rock Star is about Sofia de Esperanza– the sister in my first book – and the man who made her swear off love. It’s due to my editors in late summer. In the afternoons, I work on my editor’s requested edits for The Billionaire’s Prince. I also work on my book marketing and planning my book launch – which is probably when I feel most shaky about this endeavor I’ve started on.

But I marveled recently about how…content I’ve felt while the world news has been endless amounts of demoralizing yuck. I’m exercising again after a wicked bout of sciatica, my family is safe and healthy. But mostly, I think it’s because of the words. The words, when they come well and swiftly, provide a pillow of comfort. I’m literally doing with my life what I’ve always wanted to do.

Giving closing speech at Washington Romance Writer’s retreat

In a couple of weeks (eep!) I’ll be giving the closing inspirational speech at the Washington DC’s Romance Writer’s Retreat, “In the Company of Writers.” I’ve been going to this writer’s retreat since 2003 and it means a lot to me. It’s where I’ve made my best author friends. It’s where I met my agent. It’s where I got the encouragement to believe I could be a writer. And when I started going, Nora Roberts gave the closing speech!! It’s been a few years since she’d given it, but I still feel like I have some BIG shoes to fill.

With me luck!


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Gantz Family Vineyard: Where "The Billionaire's Prince" Was Born

Gantz Family Vineyards , the inspiration for “The Billionaire’s Prince”

Gantz Family Vineyards, the inspiration for “The Billionaire’s Prince”

My mother and stepfather did the craziest thing in 2009. They bought a vineyard. Or rather, they bought land with the intention of planting a vineyard.

I was OPPOSED! They had this awesome house on the beach south of San Francisco and why in the world would they want to move away from the city and farm? I didn’t get it, I didn't want to get it.

And then…I fell in love with it.

They asked me to set up a website and social media for their newly christened vineyard, Gantz Family Vineyards, and by some weird happenstance, I realized that I liked doing more than drinking wine. I liked learning about wine growing and winemaking. I liked tracking the evolution of our little vineyard. I liked being a minuscule part of this story about fruit being grown from soil and sold to one of the most prominent Pinot Noir winemakers in the United States. I liked helping my stepdad in our small, personal winery.

And honestly, who’s going to be the butthead that resists going here for family vacations?

So it was with true good fortune that I was there in 2015 when the idea of The Billionaire’s PrinceWhat if the billionaire was a woman?—came to me. As I searched for a profession for my struggling prince, I looked up from my phone and saw the sunlit vineyards. Suddenly, my prince was a world-renown viticulturist (vine scientist) with a kingdom of struggling vineyards. Suddenly, I had a self-made billionaire businesswoman and a prince with his hands in the dirt.

It was simple and complex and delightful and a way to honor this crazy thing my parents had created.

Last week, I had the supreme luck to announce the sale of The Billionaire’s Prince to Carina Press while visiting my parents at Gantz Family Vineyards. I was taking a UC Davis class for growers with my stepdad, being taught by the same academics who would have been friends with my prince. It was all a little surreal and dreamlike.

Kind of like being a midwestern girl who suddenly finds a California vineyard plopping into her lap in her 30s. Thanks so much for the opportunity, Mom and Clay! Even if I was a bit of a butt about it in the beginning…

I'm Going to be Published!!!!

Writing is always that thing I could do. Other people are good with numbers or can hit a three-point shot or can tie a scarf and instantly look Parisian. I could write. It was my thing.

In the fourth grade I told my mom I wanted to write but — a pragmatic little Virgo — I was afraid I wouldn’t make a living at it. She suggested that I pursue journalism.

So I did. I got a journalism degree at a fantastic university and went on to work for an incredible paper. Journalism forced me to write quick and with impact and — side note — it also was how I met my husband. So, bonus! I’ll never regret the side trip into journalism.

But now, after writing “arthur” when the kindergarten teacher asked what we wanted to be when we grew up, after learning how to spell “author” and practicing at it pretty hard core for the last 18 years, after a whirlwind year of finishing a book and signing with agent extraordinaire Sara Megibow, it’s finally happened.

I’ve been signed. I have a publisher. My book — with a cover and a dedication and a price tag — will be available to purchase. And not just one book. I’ve signed a deal for three books.

I’m not crying. You’re crying.

My book, The Billionaire’s Prince, will be published fall 2019 with Carina Press. The Billionaire’s Prince is an enemy-to-lovers story about a billionaire businesswoman who makes a baby deal with a prince in muck boots. It’s outlandish. It’s a tiny little story about how hard we work to protect our hearts. It has winegrowing and greasy pizza eating. We travel from the top corner office of a San Francisco skyscraper to the vineyards of a village kingdom in Spain to a small town in Kansas.

I hope you fall a little in love with my billionaire and prince. I hope you get a little hot as they “work” on their baby deal.

Tee-hee.

You can keep up-to-date on what’s happening with The Billionaire’s Prince — and receive a free book — by signing up for my newsletter here. However, if you just want a reminder when The Billionaire’s Prince is available for purchase, you can sign up here.

Regardless, thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for caring. Thank you for cheering me on as I’ve loved and hated this journey.

Thank you.

A Free Romantic Short Story For You

A Free Romantic Short Story For You

AN ORIGINAL SHORT STORY BY ANGELINA M. LOPEZ - Sam was her husband's best friend and the man who got Rosemarie and her daughters through the worst two years of their lives. Now he was Rosemarie’s best friend, and he always picked up the phone when she called, no matter what, no matter when.

But when she calls him a few days before Valentine’s Day to ask for the one thing their friendship isn’t providing, will she destroy their relationship forever?