Monday, November 8, 2010

Just Published - Maisey Yates

I have the wonderfully talented Maisey Yates here today on Just Published. I've 'known' Maisey for quite some time from the eharlequin forum and had the pleasure of meeting her in Orlando at the National RWA conference. She was sweet and funny and yes, she talks a lot :). Maisey, I know how busy you are, so thanks so much for being here today! Your story is amazing. Would you share with us the details of your first published book?

Title: His Virgin Acquisition
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Harlequin Presents
Words: 50,000
Publisher: Harlequin Mills & Boon
Date Published: North American Publication Oct 2010

Daring Proposal...

When Elaine gives her business presentation to Marco De Luca she thinks she can be cool, calm and collected. She's wrong! The fierce tycoon can see straight through her shapeless suits and scraped back hair to get right under her skin...

Ruthless awakening!

She may have proposed marriage as the perfect business arrangement, but suddenly Elaine's not quite so confident. Marco's made it clear that he's no modern man- if he takes a wife, he wants a ravishing beauty by his side, obedient and willing day...and night!

He quirked a dark eyebrow at her. "You don't allow men to open doors for you?"

"I can open my own doors." She was being pigheaded, and she knew it. She let men open doors for her all the time if they offered.

She saw a glint of something dangerous in his eyes. Something exciting. "Yes, I'm sure that you can. But as of today you are my woman. And that means that I will treat you as I would treat a lover, bella mia."

He purred the endearment and she felt it vibrate all the way down to her toes. Her knees wobbled slightly and she gave in, sinking into the cars plush leather seats to avoid giving herself away.

An arrogant grin lit his handsome features. "Now, let's go find you a ring. Something to show the world that you are mine."

Okay I can tell there will be sparks in this story! So, let's get to it. How would you desribe what you write?
I write Harlequin Presents, which means a strong alpha hero, a heroine who can hold her own against such a man, glamorous settings and lots of passion.
I like dark conflict, and I feel that needs to be balanced with humor. I think life is funny, love is funny, and I bring that to my books. Of course, I like to make people laugh, but I like to make them cry too. :)
What's your writing process in a nutshell?
Hmmm...I'm a plotser. Meaning I fall somewhere between the plotter and the pantser. I never know precise events and scenes. I plot the character journey. I figure out each character and what their internal conflict is. Take the hero as an example, the beginning of the book is the starting point, I know who he is, what issues he brings to the table, then I have to figure out what he needs to go through to work through those issues, and to be someone who can be in a happily ever after relationship. Then I take the heroine and do the same, and I figure out   how they can help each other arrive at that end point.
What has your submission history looked like? Rejections? Manuscripts written?
*looks around nervously* His Virgin Acquisition was my first manuscript. I entered the Instant Seduction contest with a chapter that was never more than a chapter, and while I was waiting for the results of that comp, I started writing HVA.
Three rounds of revisions, with wait times in between, totaling twenty months, and I got The Call. While I waited, I wrote. I wrote a lot. Twelve additional manuscripts, most of which won't see the light of day, but taught me SO SO much.
So, how many years have you been 'seriously writing'?
I've always written, but not seriously at all. I seriously started about three years ago when Harlequin announced the Instant Seduction contest.
LOL and how did you pick your publisher?
I love Presents. Love them. I read over three hundred of them the first year I discovered them. And of course that was what I wanted to write! Then I found out Harlequin took unagented, unsolicited submissions, and I needed that. I was too scared to write anything though, because I was too scared to submit. But when Harlequin announced the Instant Seduction contest I thought, I can do a contest. I didn't place, I didn't get any feedback. But by the time the comp was over I had a half finished MS and I knew I had to see it through and submit it. So I did.
Whats your call story?
It was very early in the morning, and I'd gotten up to use the restroom (ahem...nine months pregnant at the time) and I made a stop to check my email. I had one from my editor, who I hadn't heard from in months. Crap. Emails are never good news. So I opened it. Just a couple of lines: Would you mind if I called so we could chat over your manuscript?  I emailed her back quickly with something super smooth like: yesyesyesyes.  I tried to eat breakfast, but I was both starving (pregnant) and sick to my stomach (nerves). My husband was just staring at me, open-mouthed and saying I was going to be a Presents author. Maybe, I said, I don't know what she wants to talk about!  A half an hour later the phone rang and she offered me a two book contract with Presents.

It was amazing. Surreal. Incredible. And for the rest of the day I kept asking my husband if I'd dreamed it again, because let me tell you, I spent a lot of time imagining that call!

That is such an awesome story. Did you have an agent when you sold? Now?
I did not have an agent, and I still don't. For the moment, I'm happy with that.

Whats it like working with a publisher and editor? Are revisions really as bad as you hear?
It's amazing! Always exciting. And as for revisions...I love them in a way. They always strengthen my work, and I want to deliver the strongest book possible to my readers. That means rolling up the sleeves and rewriting if I have to so I can get the very best out of each MS.

How did you feel the first time you saw your cover? How much input did you have?
With category, we didn't really have any at the time. (though that's changing in our editorial office) But I was thrilled. I love the cover. There's so much involved in it for me. Presents was my dream, and to see my name on that cover, in that style, with that branding, was a realization of that dream.

So, what was release day like?
Well, my very first release day happened in August, overseas, but people were so nice and sent me pics of my books on the shelves! I was so nervous, realizing people were reading it. It was just incredible. Still is.

How did you market your book?
I do a lot of blogging and twitter work (heh). Harlequin has been great that way. They got me a very good interview on Valentine's day in The Guardian, they let me do an interview in romance magazine, the iheartpresents blog is another fantastic source for us. And truly, with category, the brand itself is such a huge factor in the exposure you get. A big help to an unknown author!

Whats the most surprising thing you learned during the publishing process?
I don't know that I've been surprised yet. I'm just sort of absorbing it all. Everything is new to me, and I love learning all I can. Conversely, I also just love doing what I've always done: keeping my head down and writing.

What do you think were the factors that got you published?
Right MS, right editor, right time. Talent is important, but there's a luck factor involved. With my MS, there was a twist that my editor connected with and she was willing to work with me to help make a better story because she saw a little something there that she believed in. If not for her, I wouldn't be here now.

What's your 5 year plan look like?
I know I want to be writing Presents still. I love it. I'd maybe like to add another line, as I am a fast writer. For now, category suits me. As a reader, it's a format I connect with, which makes it so much fun to write. I write what I want to read in a lot of ways.

So, what's next for you?
Ah, so many things! My third book will be out in the UK in February and is called The Inherited Bride. I loved writing that book. It was all about forbidden love and lust. Desire vs. duty. It was a theme I so enjoyed.

My second book, which released in the UK in October, will be released in North America in April under the title An Accidental Birthright. And, in the UK in April my fourth book, Marriage Made on Paper will be released. (Confused? I am...)

Well, perhaps not so much confused as in awe! That's amazing. You must be so excited. What's the best advice you can impart to writers aspiring to be published?
Try. Aim for the publisher or agent of your dreams. Submit. Don't let fear stop you.

That is such sound advice. If you want to write and be published you do need to get yourself out there. It can be a hurdle, though! Maisey, thank you so much for agreeing to be here and for the insights you'e shared. Your story is truly one that fairytales are made of!

If you'd like to reach out to Maisey you can find her at!


  1. Maisey, I loved reading your interview, especially your call story! It's always fun to hear how each author got that first start! Congrats on your debut, and looking forward to picking it up for myself!

  2. flchen, glad you enjoyed! It's been a ride, and it's been awesome. ;)

  3. Maisey, what an awesome call story! And thanks for clarifying that we dont really need an agent. Otherwise it is an extra!
    Looking forward to reading His Virgin Aquisition!

  4. Maisy, amazing call story! I think I would have gone into labor ;). I'm very impressed by your drive and your writing speed. Best of luck in your future!

  5. Nas, for category you really don't *need* an agent, though, some people I've talked to love having one. I just haven't felt the need at this point.

    Rula, I think it was the revisions for the second book that put me in labor. ;) And it's not hard to make time for something you love. Most of the time (hehe) it doesn't feel like work!

  6. Great interview Kaily! And as always, Maisey, I love hearing about your journey. The book was fabulous, kudos on that, and I canna wait to read the rest of your work as it comes out.

  7. Oh, and yes, Kaily, and I do talk a lot! LOL! :D

  8. Congratulations Maisey and all the best. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    Kaily - hopped over from the Blaze forum - great interview!

  9. Oops! Heh! My hubby was signed in! Thank you, Robin!

  10. Congratulations, Maisey! I look forward to reading your book!