Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Knight Errant

Hi! I decided to jump on the Blog bandwagon as part of a site redesign at my website. I thought it would be a good way to get to know my readers.

I'm Angela Knight, and I write erotic romance for Berkley, Red Sage, Loose Id and Changeling Press. You'll find my website at www.angelasknights.com.

I was first published by Red Sage, a small press, in 1996, but those were novellas for the Secrets series. I'd never managed to complete a novel, despite the fact that I'd been trying since I was 9.

Finally, in 2000, I decided I was going to write a novel and finish it. I did -- a book called MIDNIGHT'S MASTER, a vampire novel. I shopped it around to about 10 agents and got back a bunch of form rejections. The vampire wave hadn't started to crest then, and vamps were still considered poison.

I got frustrated and griped to my Red Sage publisher, Alexandria Kendall, that I wanted to get the book published by the time I was 40. I was 39 then. Anyway, Alex said, "Well, I've been thinking of publishing novels. Let me take a look at it."

I did and she bought it. But it wasn't quite that easy. Her editor read it and sent me a 12 page single-spaced revision letter. By the time I finished making the revisions, only 100 pages survived of the original 400. The rest was completely different.

I thought it was brilliant. I sent it to Alex and waited to hear back from her. Finally, she called me on a Sunday when I was working. I sat back, expecting to hear that she loved it -- Alex usually likes my stuff a lot.

She hated it.

"You know when your hero tries to kill himself in Chapter 2? He should have succeeded. I hate him!"

I was crushed. She had some ideas about how to fix it, but the core of the book would have been completely different. I was seriously considering buying it back from her when her editor, Claire, sent me another revision letter. "We can fix this," she said. "You've already done most of the work."

This letter was only five pages single spaced. I did the revisions. Remember the 100 pages that survived? Gone. But the result was much stronger. We retitled it FOREVER KISS.

We were still going through the editing process when I got an e-mail from a lady named Cindy Hwang. My radar went off when I saw the address: Penguin Putnam, which is the publisher for Tom Clancy and Nora Roberts, among others.

Cindy said she'd read my Red Sage books and a couple of my e-books, and she liked the way I wrote. Would I be willing to try to write something for Berkley, a Penguin imprint?

Uh, YEAH. I called as she requested and arranged to pitch two books to her that Monday. That was on Friday. That weekend I worked frantically to outline two novel ideas which became JANE'S WARLORD and MASTER OF THE NIGHT.

I pitched them, she said she was interested, and I sent her the first 50 pages of JANE'S WARLORD. She bought them, and asked me to write a novella for an anthology called HOT BLOODED. The antho would also feature Christine Feehan, one of the hottest names in romance.

So I wrote the books in a frenzy. Both turned out much easier than FOREVER KISS, because I'd committed all my worst mistakes in the early drafts of the first book.

All three books came out this year. Jane was published first, in June, followed by FOREVER KISS in July. Both sold well, but in September, HOT BLOODED came out and immediately hit the New York Times best seller list. That exposure got me a lot of attention, so when MASTER OF THE NIGHT came out in October, it hit the USA Today list.

In late December, BITE hit the shelves. This is an anthology featuring Laurell K. Hamilton and Charlaine Harris, my two favorite vampire writers of all time, and I was thrilled to be included. It's already selling very well, and I have hopes it will hit NYTimes.

Meanwhile, Romantic Times Bookclub gave Jane's Warlord, Forever Kiss and Master of the Night Top Pick honors. All three books were nominated for Reviewers Choice awards, FK for best Erotic, Jane for Best Futuristic, and MASTER OF THE NIGHT for best Vampire novel.

I'm thrilled! I just hope I don't screw it up!!

Thanks for reading,

Angela Knight

5 comments:

Samantha Reynolds said...

Angela,
Anyone would be crazy NOT to LOVE your books! They are fantastic! I love them!
Kudo's sweetie and keep the faith!
Hugs,
Sam

Angela Knight said...

Thanks, Sam!

C said...

Angela - I'm a huge fan of Christine Feehan so I had been reading her story in Hot Blooded and thought your story looked interesting too...now I'm hooked! I loved the imagination behind the Mageverse. Of course, I then had to see what else you had written and visited your site. This is just a guess but I think I'll be reading books from one author for a long while *hint hint* ;) One thing though, I was really interested in the book with the two sister authors - their protagonists are actually real and whatever the sisters write happens to the guys, until the guys decide that they've had enough and get their hands on the sisters - then I saw that it was an online book and when I tried to get ahold of it, it was no longer available. Am I looking in the wrong place? If you can help, would be much appreciated! Aside from that, love your writing and I just wish that what you write about were true! It kills me each time I finish a book and have to go back to my regular world *sigh*.

Mai Christy Thao said...

Hi Angela,

Wow, interesting to read about your writing and how you got to where you are now. Wonderful blog, hon!

I'm curious, what did happen to that book that Red Sage bought? Did they print it? You didn't mention.

Anyhow, you're amazing. One of my real life heros *that I actually get to hang out with and talk to!*

Mai

Angela Knight said...

Yep, it was published as FOREVER KISS. And it did really well too. Thanks for the compliment!