“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” -Hermann Hesse
Love In Cardwell
A Christmas Romance
A lively and humorous Romance Novel
Just when Jason is settling into a new self-imposed lifestyle that does not include romantic love or even the prospect of dating, a chance encounter on Main Street makes him question his solitude, his sanity, and his will power.
This light-hearted romance novel will make girls giggle, women swoon, and
will definitely make men want to punch me in the face.
Sorry guys, blame Connie White.
She's the one who made me write this.
For those who know me, the idea of Mark Geatches writing a romance novel is, well, just plain crazy. Romantic is probably not the first personality trait that comes to mind when you think of me. Goofy, crazy, and abnormal definitely come closer. For those who care, this is how it came about.
I frequent the office at the trailer park that adjoins my property. Jack Wimpey is the owner, my 93 year old neighbor, and my drinking buddy. There are also a cast of characters worthy of their own books that either visit like I do, or work there. Connie White manages Jack's park. Talk about a character. She is outgoing, fun, and has an infectious character that people want to be around. She also happens to be an avid reader of romance.
As it happens, I was in between novels and was going through one of my, I think I'm going to shit-can this insane writing malarkey in favor of committing myself full-time to drinking beer, phases. Connie, although I'm sure thought that was probably a good idea, said, "Why don't you write a romance novel instead?" After laughing enthusiastically I noticed that she was being serious. She informed me that women read more than men and that romance was the best selling genre. After a few clicks on my keyboard later that I night, I found she was absolutely correct. Not to be outdone, I repeated those exact stats to her the next day as if they were my own, and all that was left was to come up with a plot, a character set, and sit down and write.
It also happens that that's not how I write. All I do is turn on my awesome stereo, any music will do, and start writing. That's what I did. I got ahold of Dave, my editor, telling him to prepare for several months of pain and agony, and before long we had the makings of a novel. I learned two things during this process -- 1) that I like writing romance, and 2) that a romance novel can be about 25% shorter than most other genres of literature. I really liked that, and about eight months later I had a completed novel. I let Connie, my dad and his wife Beth, my girlfriend Sherry, and my sister read the story. They all gave it 5 stars, which meant it was probably somewhere around a 2 star in reality, but that was good enough for me.
Having had Tamar & PJ published and A road to Redemption accepted by World Castle Publishing, I figured I had an in and eagerly sent them the finished product for consideration. It turns out I did have an in, but also something expected. The in was that Karen graciously put me to the front of the submission line. The something unexpected was the out that was her response. She wrote me an emotional and scathing rejection, with the upshot that she didn't get past the first page.
WOW! Talk about blown away! The first page for God's sake? Doesn't she already like my writing? Did I say, WOW!? I once again considered devoting myself entirely to leisure and beer, but I'm much too stubborn for that. First of all, I knew Love in Cardwell (titled When You Least Expect it at the time) was an entertaining book. But more importantly, there was no way I was going to accept that kind of hasty and thoughtless rejection. All I had to do to fix her main concern was to rearrange the first three chapters. Which I did. (If you're reading this, Karen, thank you for publishing, A Road to Redemption.)
So I began sending it out to other agents and publishers. I, of course, got several rejections, but there was also interest. Several agencies asked for the entire manuscript and others were even more interested. One publisher accepted it unconditionally if I would rewrite it to her specifications. After much consideration, I decided not to do that. Wordwooze Publishing, however, wanted it just the way it was. And they got it.
So, many thanks to Connie for her great idea. Thanks to Dave for being a friend, a fan, and a great editor. Thanks to my sister for thinking so much of me, no matter what. Thanks to dad for supporting my writing efforts and at least acting like he enjoys my stories. (Dad is old school -- he'd rather I was working with shovel in hand. I will admit - I'd be making a lot more money if I did.) And thanks to Sherry for loving her side of the house as much as I do mine, and for letting me do my thing.
Now you know the rest of the story. Talk about a writer -- Paul Harvey was amazing. It's 10:45 am. Is it too early for an ice cold Corona?
I'm waiting for Connie to come up with a new and bright idea for another humorous romance. Hurry your ass! (Now who said, hurry your ass? You'll have to read Love in Carwell to find out.)