Monday, July 25, 2011

Welcome Harlequin Intrigue Author, Dana Marton

Today, I'm bringing you a guest post by Harlequin Intrigue author, Dana Marton. If you're an Intrigue fan, you've probably read some of Dana's heart-stopping, action-packed books. Today, Dana tells us a little bit about her writing career.

You Don't Always Get What You Want - But What You Get Can Be Much Better

A friend of mine and I were talking about our jobs over the years. He’s had two. I had a dozen in the same amount of time. A few of my jobs disappeared due to company closure. A few I had to leave due to moving because of my husband’s job. I have to say, I never once quit and walked away just because the work was hard and the pay was low, and most of my jobs fell in that category. My last traditional job ended when the international company I worked for closed their U.S. office. I can honestly say that was one of the best things that had ever happened to me.

I decided to keep my office hours while I was looking for work. I sat down by my computer at 8 a.m. and didn’t get up until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. In between sending out resumes, I started to write SHADOW SOLDIER. I’ve been writing on the side for about a dozen years by that point. But being able to give concentrated focus to my writing at last made a huge difference. SHADOW SOLDIER became the first book I ever sold. I didn’t get the steady, comes with benefits job I was looking for, but I got to see my dream of being a writer come true. I truly believe that sometimes God has something so much better in store for us than the thing we’re praying for.

Now that I’ve written 25 books, I keep dreaming of that BIG contract. I have fabulous author friends who’ve gotten calls from publishers with offers that would make me faint flat on the kitchen floor. Some have even gotten movie deals. I can spend hours daydreaming about that one, picking which A-list actor would play my action hero. But instead of the fame and fortune thing, a quiet, wonderful thing started to happen for my writing lately.

I started direct publishing.

I wrote GUARDIAN AGENT and released it straight to my readers. No publisher backing, no PR fanfare. Just a note here and there to the people I know like my writing. And, amazingly, they bought the book. The feedback has been fantastic. Yesterday, GUARDIAN AGENT, a story of a commando soldier who, in a high-stakes chase, comes face-to-face with the woman who’s been in love with him for the last decade, was #27 on Amazon’s list, out of all romantic suspense books currently in print. It’s not like being a New York Time’s bestseller, but it sure is a good thing and kept me smiling all day.

In GUARDIAN AGENT, instead of the rogue soldier he thought he was chasing, the hero gets this fireball of passion from his past. Which brings me back to my initial thought… We don’t always get what we want, but sometimes what we get can be oh so much better!

For more information on Dana and her work, check out her website.


Gregory Payne/Alex Carreras said...

Very inspirational! Congratulations Dana.

krisgils33 said...

thanks for the great guest blog! i bought this book and have not had a chance to read it yet. LOVE the cover model!!

Dana Marton said...

Thank you so much for your kind words, Jana, and for having me here. You know I'm your biggest fan. Just love, love, love your Intrigues and the Mudbug books are a stich. Best romantic suspense I've read in a long time.

Thank you all for the warm welcome! And, Kris, some readers and I are plotting a backyard BBQ with the cover models. (Wait until you see the covers of the next 2 books.) It might never happen, but it is sure fun to daydream about! Consider yourself invited. :-)

Christie Craig said...

Great post. Great story. Good luck. And I love the cover.


Paula said...

Ooo, can I come to the backyard barbecue! I'll bring a couple of cover models myself and we can go wild!

I think sometimes when we start writing, all we think about is the fun part--talking to people in our heads who talk back and putting them in situations we can control.

But what separates published writers from wannabes, I think, is that hard work. Like keeping office hours for your writing. Putting yourself on the line and taking the hits from editors who don't think you're quite ready yet.

It takes mental toughness to do what we do, and I think part of it comes from learning how to make the most of what happens to us, even if it's not what we might have hoped for. Sometimes things go wrong for all the right reasons.