Monday, April 4, 2016

Precious Gems and Me by Connie Vines

I remember “the call” from Hilary Sares.  It was February and snowing heavily in New York.

Unfortunately, my manuscript arrived wet making the final third of the novel unreadable.  I promised send her a new copy and started to hang up the phone.   “Wait! You don’t understand.   I want to purchase your novel.”  She said she wanted it in print by July.  We discussed the contract, fee, and overseas rights.   She said Pino would be the cover artist and John DeSalvo would be the cover model.

I did not know what to say.  This was the publishing equivalent of being struck by lightning!

Pino Daeni was an Italian-American book illustrator and artist.  Considered one of the highest paid book illustrators of his time, he created over 3,000 book covers, movie posters and magazine illustrations.

John DeSalvo is an actor and renowned cover model.  His had appeared on over 1,500 romance covers and won 1994 “Mr. Romance Cover Model Competition”. So, as you can see in 1998, this was a big, big deal to have John DeSalvo gracing the cover of your book!



“Rachel and the Texan” was my first published romance (I had been writing and publishing in children’s and YA fiction).  Kensington Precious Gems line garnered me my first overseas royalties and the first time I’d had a novel translated into more than dozen languages.  I was able sign copies of my novel at Romance Writers’ of America’s conference and join PAN.  And, of course, participate in the Kensington Bash for the Precious Gems authors, hosted by Kate Duffy at the Disneyland Hotel.  Dinner, drinks, and a photo with Hercules (Disney’s newest release).

In 2000, I decided to dip my inky fingers into the world of digital (eBook) publishing.  First as a freelance editor, and then as a novelist.  In 2001, Hard Shell Word Factory published my first digital novel, “Whisper upon the Water”.  I am currently under contact with BWL, and I am happy to say that my novels appear in eBook and in print.



Over the years, the wonderful members of ‘Precious Gems’ have kept in touch on the Yahoo Loop.  I am excited to be part of Gems in the Attic blog.

Thank you for stopping by.

***

Connie Vines is the author of the Rodeo Romance Series, writing contemporary romances and romantic suspense about cowboys, sassy heroines--a stories that tug at your heartstrings.  While her YA novel “Whisper upon the Water”, Native American Series, was a selected as Teen Chapter of the Month for the public library system. Connie wrote under the name of Addison Murray for Precious Gems. Currently residing deep in the quirky suburbs of southern California, Connie is a member of RWA, E.P.I.C., and scbwi.    Connie has published with Kensington Books, BWL (Books We Love, Ltd), Thomson Gale Educational Series, Novels Inc., Benjamin Franklin Library, Hard Shell Word Factory, and Muldania Press.

Click on the links to my website, blog, Amazon Author Page, and BWL for additional information.

15 comments:

  1. Hi Connie. Great post! It's so much fun learning about everyone else's first sales, and their paths to publishing. So glad you are here!

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    1. Thank you Maddie. I agree the stories are delightful. It is such a blessing to still be able to keep I touch here at Gems in the Attic.

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  2. I love your analogy about getting a call and offer from Hilary. Thank you for sharing. When I got my call I hung up after the good news and stood frozen in the kitchen, saying to myself, "Holy sh--! And at the time I wasn't one for swearing.

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    1. Oh, Lynn. Poor you! I wonder how long Hilary stared at the phone before calling you back :-)

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  3. Great post, Connie! That must have been sooo exciting!

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    1. Thank you Liz. It was exciting--I still enjoy the memories.

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  4. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this Connie. That WAS a big deal! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank Jenny. It's always good to have you in my cheering section!

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  5. Precious Gems did have some great covers, didn't they? If you want the original artwork from his estate, it costs about $35,000. now!

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    1. Wow. I didn't know that, Becky! I remember we could have purchased the original art back in the day...for I think $500???

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    2. Wow! 35,000? Maddie, I see I'm not the only one who regrets not purchasing the orIginal art for $400.

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  6. Great post, connie. Ah, the good old days! Life seemed more simple, like 'the call'.

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    1. Thank you Kathleen. I do miss not receiving 'the call'.

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    2. Congratulations on your lightening strike. It's a beautiful cover.

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  7. I'm catching up on my blog reading tonight because I don't want to miss any of these posts. Loved reading about your publishing journey, Connie.

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