Although rejections aren’t pleasant things, writers do recover from them. Some better than others. Rejections just make me mad, and I develop a stereotypical reaction along the lines of “oh yeah? Well just you wait and see. I’ll show you.” Then I would turn around and work harder. A publisher never rejected Kismet, but my agent nixed the first draft. If you think it’s tough to have a publisher say no to a work, try having your agent say it to you. But Deidre did the right thing in telling me the initial draft of Kismet wasn’t up to par.
And it wasn’t. It was some of the worst writing I’ve ever done. It was cold, forced, and just difficult to wade through. But then Kismet is a book unlike any other I’ve ever written. Kismet isn’t a book of my heart. It’s a book of my soul. When I wrote this book, I did so in hopes of writing to a trend. When I was writing the book, erotic romance and erotica was pushing the envelope in so many ways. I saw a discussion about forced seduction and how it was a fantasy for some women.
I understood why some readers might find such a fantasy exciting to read. After all, the reader is in control during a fantasy read, they can put the book down and walk away. In reality, the survivor of such an act cannot walk away. We are left with scars that sometimes don’t break open for years. Wounds that you think are healed, but really aren’t. My attempt to write a forced seduction scene was a miserable failure. But there is always a positive in every negative experience. We can learn from our pain, and the initial draft of Kismet forced me look deep inside myself. It became a cathartic experience that enabled me to deal with demons I’d not dealt with for a very long time.
The initial draft of Kismet was so painful to write that when I was finished, I wanted to push it aside and never touch it again. I wanted to write it off completely. But I’ve never been one to give up on something. So almost a year later, I couldn’t stop thinking about the book. Despite the lousy writing, I loved the characters. I pulled the manuscript out again and forced myself to read through it (or at least parts of it). To my surprise, there was almost half a book that was salvageable. Determined not to give up on the story, I rewrote the first half of Kismet. I turned it into my agent the second time then waited on pins and needles for her comments. Her initial reaction was “Taking off my agent hat and reading just for pleasure.” I could have asked for a better review. I hope readers will have the same reaction to Kismet, because it truly is the book of my soul.
Tell me about something bad that’s happened to you and how you were able to turn things around—make lemonade from the lemons.
Back cover Blurb
It was a gamble she was born to make…
Raised in a brothel at a young age, Allegra Synnford quickly learned that survival meant taking charge of her destiny. Now, a renowned courtesan skilled in the pleasures of the flesh, she chooses her lovers carefully—vowing never to be vulnerable to any one man. Until a mesmerizing Sheikh strips that control from her…
With a man who wasn’t used to losing.
Sheikh Shaheen of the Amazigh has been hiding from his past for a long time, but not enough to forget how another courtesan made him abandon his life as the Viscount Newcastle. It’s why the yearnings this dangerous temptress ignites within him are so troubling. Worse, thoughts of Allegra pervade every fantasy, threatening to undermine his cover. With old enemies circling, experience tells him he must resist her charms at all cost. In fact, he’s betting on it. That’s a risky wager when it comes to a woman of pleasure. But Allegra has her own reasons for playing games…with a man who can’t afford to lose.