Once upon a time (because that’s the way all the best stories begin…) I published my first novels, six traditional fantasy stories. When it came time to write my next book, my agent suggested that I write the entire thing (rather than a mere synopsis), so that I could “level up” — obtain a contract for substantially more money.
And write the entire thing, I did. I wrote a grimdark novel before grimdark was popular. I tortured my characters. I murdered my characters. I forced my characters to give up every single thing they held dear, all in the service of fighting an evil so terrible, so despicable, that death was a realistic alternative to appeasement.
And after a year of shopping it around, my agent reported that my deep, depressing fantasy tome had failed to sell.
I was disappointed. I didn’t write for a couple of months. (Ultimately, years later, I concluded that the grimdark book had severe structural flaws; I’ve decided it will remain permanently hidden in the locked files on my computer.)
When I finally settled down to try my hand at a new project, I was determined to write only a synopsis. And that synopsis was going to signal a very different story than the one that had died an untimely death.
My synopsis began: “Jane Madison has a problem. Or two. Or three.”
I thought my librarian-who-discovers-she’s-a-witch would sell to a fantasy publisher. After all, witches (at least the type I was writing about) weren’t real. But shortly after receiving my synopsis, my agent called me with an offer from an unexpected corner: Red Dress Ink.
Red Dress Ink was a Harlequin imprint. It was Harlequin’s chicklit imprint — their answer to the Bridget Jones craze. Red Dress had never published a paranormal novel, but they thought my tone would be a perfect match for their line.
Ultimately, Red Dress Ink bought three Jane Madison books — Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft, Sorcery and the Single Girl, and Magic and the Modern Girl. And after Red Dress Ink shut up shop, I went on and wrote two more Jane Madison novels, a couple of short stories, a spin-off vampire series, a spin-off warder series, and a spin-off supernatural-hospital series… Jane Madison’s Magical Washington has been (one of) my literary home(s) for the past fifteen years.
And now, I’m thrilled to share those first three books with you — for the special price of $0.99. But hurry! This deal is only available from Book View Café. And it’s far too good to last forever!