I have had many good moments with Steeple Hill, and it is hard to narrow it down to just one so I have decided to give you my top ten Steeple Hill moments.
10. Selling my fiftieth book, Don’t Look Back, my March 2008 Love Inspired Suspense. I only have fifty more until I get my hundredth book! I need to get cracking and write those fifty books.
9. Writing a long short story, When Night Falls, for a Love Inspired Suspense sampler. What great promotion for the line and me! The other day it arrived in the mail and I was thrilled to see it. You would think I had written a whole book rather than a 10,000-word story. And I never thought I could write a story in such a short format. The things we learn about ourselves even after all these years of writing. Thanks, Harlequin.
8. The annual Harlequin parties at the RWA conference. I have really enjoyed dancing the night away. I probably spend over three hours on the dance floor dancing to music from the 80s, 90s, this century (the only opportunity I get to dance the whole year). The food is delicious, and since I’m on vacation, the calories don’t count. I’m sure I ate a week’s worth in that one night.
7. Working with some wonderful editors who have challenged me to improve my craft. All the editors at Steeple Hill are excellent and committed to the lines, which have grown a lot in the eight years I have been writing for Steeple Hill. When I first sold to Steeple Hill in 2000, Love Inspired was the only line, three LI books a month. Now there are three series lines—Love Inspired, Love Inspired Suspense, and Love Inspired Historical—as well as a program for the longer books. Way to go Steeple Hill!
6. Selling my first Love Inspired Suspense, Heart of the Amazon, which is a book of my heart. I love the jungle, and I got a chance to tell a story placed in a rain forest that was full of adventure.
5. The first time I was asked to be a part of a continuity series, Tiny Blessings. Boy, I didn’t know what I was getting into. It was a lot of hard work, coordinating with other authors to tie the books together. I must not mind. I’ve done five continuity series. But then again the caliber of authors is excellent, which makes it easier to do.
4. The group of writers for the Love Inspired lines. They are so supportive and helpful to each other. I love seeing them at the RWA and ACFW national conferences. It’s part of the reason I attend. I feel like I belong to the Steeple Hill sisterhood (sorry, for the couple of men who write for the line).
3. The eHarlequin boards are a fun place to hang out. I have met some really nice people on the forums and have enjoyed getting to know them. I love the opportunity to interact with readers from around the world.
2. Selling my first inspirational romance to Love Inspired in 2000. The Power of Love was a story that was inspired by the Lord. This sale changed the direction of my life. The story was about a child with a disability and his effects on different people. I love writing about people with a disability. I taught Special Education for twenty-eight years, and the children I worked with were wonderful. They showed me the world through their eyes, and I loved what I saw. I’ve had an opportunity to share that with my readers.
And my number one moment is (a drum roll, please):
1. Writing for Harlequin’s Steeple Hill has given me the opportunity to write about something I’m passionate about—the Lord. I am able to write about the power He conveys in people’s lives and how He can make all the difference in the world in some gritty situations.