First off, I’m sorry I’m not here “live” with you today to answer questions, but I’m expecting a new baby boy any day now. So, I’m frantically putting together the crib (last minute of course), washing a million teeny tiny baby onsies, and generally waddling around like a chicken with her head cut off trying to get ready for his arrival. I promise I’ll be back live in a few months when things settle down a bit in the Halliday household. Sooner if he’s a sleeper! (Pray I get a sleeper. I have too many deadlines to have a night-owl baby.) Okay, on today’s post…
I got my first publishing contract in 2005 with Dorchester Publishing. They had great distribution at the time, and I loved working with my editor there, but the advances were lousy. So, as soon as I sold to them, I started working on a new proposal to sell to another house for hopefully more money. (A girl can live on Top Ramen only so long.) During that time I wrote several proposals and was rejected several times. It took me five years before another house offered me a contract, by which time I’d developed several story ideas that went nowhere.
One of those idea was for as series called BOND GIRLS. It centered around a former runway model turned P.I., Jamie Bond. A lighthearted, women-driven, action/mystery series. I got interest on it from several editors, but for one reason or another, it was always passed on. Then, I sent it to my manager in L.A., who handles all of my TV and film sales. She loved it and thought it might make a good TV series. So, I turned my proposal into the BOND GIRLS pilot. In addition to the pilot, I wrote out the show bible with character sketches and plot arcs, and I plotted out an entire season of episodes. We packaged the whole thing and sent it around to various producers and networks. The response was great! CBS loved it! Fox loved it! Everyone loved it… but budgets were tight, and with me being a Hollywood unknown, no one loved it enough to risk putting it on the air.
So, BOND GIRLS went into that dark, dusty drawer under my bed with all of my other dead ideas.
Fast forward a couple of years. With self-publishing taking off so well, some of those old, dusty manuscripts of mine have crawled out from the under the bed, been given shiny new rewrites, and turned themselves into money-making, published books. But poor BOND GIRLS had never even been finished. I had a finished pilot… but I only had a manuscript proposal – roughly the first 70 pages. As much as I loved this story and these characters, I just didn’t have time to finish it right now with all of my other commitments.
But Jamie kept bugging me.
And that’s when a good friend of mine started telling me bout his many co-authored projects he’d been working on, and how much fun he was having with them. I had never thought of the idea of a co-authored project before. Writing, to me, felt like a solitary thing. And I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a bit of a control freak. But I looked at poor Jamie languishing beside my dust bunnies. If I had a co-author, maybe she would get finished after all?
As soon as the idea took root, I thought of a name immediately who would be the perfect co-author fit for me. Jennifer Fischetto. I’ve e-known her for years from the Romance Divas writer’s forum, and have had the pleasure of reading a few of her unpublished works. Her style was similar to mine, and I knew she had the writing chops to take on a project like this. Lucky me – she was interested! I was beyond ecstatic. So, Jennifer and I embarked on a co-author odyssey to finish Jamie’s story.
I’ll admit, I had my doubts going into this. (See control freak comment above.) I had to consciously let go of my vision for the book and let it become something new. It’s sort of like envisioning your baby as a doctor, but then realizing he’s actually an artist. You have to shift your vision. But I’m so glad that I did, because Jennifer did an amazing job of running with the character that I had created and making it her own as well. Jamie is a great blend of both of us now, and I think she’s even better than I could have made her on my own.
BOND GIRLS is out now for Nook, and will be out on July 26th in all other formats!
(Yes, we’re doing the Nook first program with BOND GIRLS, so I will report back and let you know how sales went!)