Lucky, I say, because without Twitter I would never have made the many wonderful connections in the writing world I now have, and I would never have heard of the various Twitter pitch parties (and other contests like Pitch Madness or Nightmare on Query Street), one of which was directly responsible for my very first publishing contract, with Swoon Romance. It all started about six months after I joined Twitter with #AdPit, a pitch party exclusively for Adult manuscripts. At the time, I was hoping for some interest from agents. In fact, in my naiveté, I didn't even know publishers also participated in pitch parties. But all of the requests I received that day were from publishers, and I was open to going that route. So off I sent the requested materials and prepared to wait. Since I had queried (and been rejected) before, I knew to expect a while before a response.
I continued on with my plans, looking into other contests and researching more agents to query, but three weeks later, there in my inbox was a response from Swoon Romance. And not just a response, but an offer. So in my case, I didn't get a call. Georgia and I actually didn't speak on the phone for the first time until nearly a month later. In some ways, it was better this way, since I didn't end up making a stuttering fool of myself over the phone. I had a chance to process, to write out (and re-write) my questions, and to remind myself that this wasn't yet a done deal. First I had to contact the other publishers who had my full, and meanwhile I sent Georgia my first set of questions. I received another offer fairly quickly, which is of course both a lovely and nerve-wracking place to be as a writer. Suddenly I was comparing deal points, deciding what mattered most to me and on what I may be willing to compromise, and emailing back and forth with both publishers. (Without exaggeration, I was probably saved by the fact that I could express myself in writing rather than extemporaneous speech — no matter how prepared I may be for a phone call, I always forget something or am distracted by an unforeseen tangent. Email is so much easier.)
Ultimately, Swoon Romance's offer was a better fit for me and for Mending Heartstrings, and I accepted two weeks later. Still, I didn't celebrate — yet. Nothing was signed, and I'm just superstitious enough that I don't like to jinx things. First came a three-hour conversation with Georgia and then detailed contract negotiations. It wasn't until the paperwork was signed, nearly three months after the initial offer, that I let myself truly believe and finally celebrate that I'd received my very first publishing deal.
Aria’s writing story started when her seventh-grade English teacher encouraged her to submit a class assignment for publication. That piece was printed, and let’s just say, she was hooked! Since then, Aria has run a literary magazine, earned her degree in Creative Writing (as well as in French and Russian literatures), and been published in a few collections. Her novel Mending Heartstrings released December 2014 from Swoon Romance. Though her first kiss technically came from a bear cub, and no fairytale transformation followed, Aria still believes magic can happen when the right people come together – if they don’t get in their own way, that is. Other than all things literary, Aria loves spending time with her family, including her two unbearably adorable nieces. She also dabbles in painting, dancing, playing violin, and, given the opportunity, Epicureanism.
Mending Heartstrings on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21896429-mending-heartstrings