I was so excited when my next guest e-mailed to ask if there were spaces left in the 12 Days contest. I remember stories she used to tell about her early days of writing and working and juggling time, and now her career is just flying.
So without further ado, here's Julie Elizabeth Leto with her "not a cinderella story"!
I don't have a stepmother, have never been blonde and wouldn't know how to clean a fireplace if ashes were stacked to the flue. But my road to publication didn't come overnight or without a lot of disappointment. Yes, I have my Prince Charming (and a little Princess to boot), but other than that, Cinderella and I have nothing in common. Of course, my becoming published did have a lot to do with finding the perfect fit, so who knows? Maybe I do have a fairy godmother somewhere out there.
Born and raised in Florida to a close-knit family of Italian and Cuban descent, I learned never to give up or give in -- especially when in pursuit of a lifelong dream. I worked over eight years before Harlequin Temptation bought my first book. But what an adventure it was!
A romance reader from age 16, I knew what kind of stories I wanted to write. I started my first romance in 1988 while in graduate school. Soon after, I joined the workforce as an English teacher in Catholic school, which people always get a kick out of. I wrote at night and on weekends. During breaks. I grabbed every free moment I could.
In 1996, I retired from teaching, joined my family's manufacturing business and gave myself more time to write. "The call" from Harlequin came in March of 1997 with an offer to publish SEDUCING SULLIVAN, my fourth completed novel.
I discovered my niche with Temptation's sensuous, sexy tone and character-driven stories. My desire to "push the envelope" worked even better when Harlequin launched the new Blaze series, longer books that gave me the freedom to explore sensual stories with a more intricate plot. In 2003, I sold my first single title series to Pocket’s Downtown Press, which is female action-adventure rather than straight romance--though the sequel and subsequent books will be released in mass market paperback as romantic suspense. I’m also doing novellas and special projects for Harlequin, including the occasional Blaze.
Clearly, all the rejection letters and years of working to improve and hone my style paid off. Over the course of nine years, I've sold over twenty-five projects to three major publishers. All hot, all sexy and all fun!
So to be honest, sometimes I do feel like a certain fairytale princess.
Julie has sent a copy of her latest single title release, PHANTOM'S TOUCH, for the prize pack!
You can read more about Julie on her website, www.julieleto.com
Today's clue is Angels
Send the clue to firstname.lastname@example.org - one entry per day please! And tomorrow, we're down to our last guest author! Don't miss it!