Thursday, September 06, 2007

Julia Templeton on Her Path to Publication

Julia Templeton
Return to Me
Publisher: Berkley Heat
Pub date: August 2007
Agent: Kim Lionetti

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Author Web site:

I just blogged over at the Idea Boutique ( about my new release, Return to Me, an erotic vampire historical, so rather than repeat myself here, I thought I’d talk about my long, hard path to publication instead.

My path to publication started when I tried my hand at writing a time-travel/ghost story set in Regency England. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but I enjoyed the process. It took me almost a year to finish the book and it was quickly rejected by every New York publishing house.

I discovered RWA shortly thereafter, and went to a workshop given by Linda Lael Miller. Linda mentioned she started out writing short contemporary stories for publications like True Love magazine, in order to build her publishing resume. Although I wanted to write historical romance, I figured I’d give first-person contemporary short stories a try. I finished the first story a few weeks later, and sent it out. Imagine my surprise when weeks later I received an acceptance letter. I was over the moon. Motivated by my success, I ended up writing a total of six stories for the same publication before I tried my hand at writing another historical romance.

Unfortunately, before I could finish that second historical, I became deathly ill with a chronic bowel disease, had a radical surgery, and basically lost all desire to write. It was the darkest time of my life, and it would take many months before I finally sat down at my computer and wrote a dark Regency historical romance. Six weeks later I sent it out to Kensington, and I received a call shortly after from an editor who said she loved it and wanted to buy it for their new Precious Gems line. I’ll never forget the exhilaration I felt at that moment, and I can honestly say I thought I was well on my way. However, every proposal I submitted to my editor from then on was rejected, and soon I started to lose confidence, but I never stopped writing.

Looking back, I should have been spending time trying to land an agent, but I think my lack of confidence got the best of me. I continued to submit stories on my own, but with little results. I also finished the second historical romance I had put aside during my illness, and eventually sold it to Hard Shell Publishing.

About this time, a good friend of mine told me about a new company called Ellora’s Cave, who was publishing spicy stories. Since I wrote sensual stories, EC seemed like the perfect publisher for me. My friend and I decided to cowrite a Regency historical romance and submit it under a pen name, and we were thrilled when it sold. We went on to write another book together, but also submitted and sold our solo work as well. My publishing credits with EC helped me land my first agent. We got along famously, but I didn’t receive a lot of feedback from her, and because I was getting rejected from some of the NY publishing houses, I felt I needed something more. Though it was extremely difficult, I decided to let her go. I took my time researching agents, and asking a lot of authors about their agents. Kim Lionetti’s name came up and I decided to query her.

While I was submitting to agents, I queried a NY publishing house about an erotic historical romance I was working on. I was pleasantly surprised when I received a phone call from the editor the very next day. She told me her company was starting a new erotic romance line, and she noticed I’d been writing erotic historical romances for Ellora’s Cave, and wondered if I would be interested in writing a novella for a historical anthology. I couldn’t say yes fast enough, and I have to say Border Lord was one of the easiest books I’ve ever written.

Kim signed me shortly thereafter, and sold my medieval romance The Bargain to Berkley. I’m currently working on my third book for Berkley, and I hope it’s just the beginning of a long, fruitful relationship.

So there it is—the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s been a long, bumpy, frustrating road . . . but I love writing, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing - I love to hear stories about real people & how their successes are made more real (and maybe sweeter?) with the frustrations that all of us face.

Kate Douglas said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Julia, and congrats on sticking with it! It's not always easy, but oh, so satisfying when it all comes together. I honestly think the struggle to publication is part of the joy, the fact that when it finally happens, you know you earned it. Wishing you many sales and a long and wonderful career in this most fascinating business.

Jolie Mathis said...


Great post about your road to publication! Before I sold my first book, I thought once I sold it would be smooth sailing! In some ways, the life of a writer just gets more difficult -- but as Kate said, more rewarding at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Deanna! And yes, I think success is even sweeter after facing a few obstacles. ;)
BTW, love your website!

Anonymous said...

Hey Kate!
I'll always be grateful to you for turning me onto Ellora's Cave.
Thanks for the kind wishes, and congratulations on all your success! I'm SO happy for you. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Jolie!
One thing I've noticed is that we (authors) all seem to go through the same ups and downs. Thank goodness we have each other to help us through those times!