Happy Spring everyone! As I’m writing this, it still feels like winter in north-central Alberta, Canada. The windchill was -20C this morning. I’m ready for warmer weather.
No matter how often I’m on the Tule blog or how many book release days I celebrate, I’m still as thrilled as I was the first time. Today I’m here celebrating the release of Spring’s Magical Promise, book three in my Maidens of the Mystical Stones series.
This has been such an interesting series to write. It’s definitely made me refocus on appreciating the blessings in my life and not envying others. We truly don’t know the struggles people face inwardly or behind closed doors. Outward appearances can be deceiving. The grass is always greener. The four young maidens who enter into the magical pact to live one season in each of their friends’ lives, certainly learn that hard lesson and to be careful what you wish for.
Whenever I’m featured on the Tule blog, of course I want to discuss my new book and promote my current series. Writers, even those who tend to be introverts, still like to talk about their stories. Since this is the middle book in the series and I’ve already given you the general premise, I’ll tell another story.
During book launch events, school, library, or book club visits, one of the most frequently asked questions is how I became a published author. I especially love telling how I began my journey with Tule.
It was a dark and stormy night…Ha ha–– no it was actually a bright summer August day in 2015 in Calgary Alberta. I was attending When Words Collide, an annual readers and writer’s festival.
I’d heard about the event a month earlier. I registered and happily anticipated going. Diana Gabaldon was speaking and I was an Outlander fan long before the television series. Yet, as the date approached, I became hesitant, as introverts tend to do. The weather was also hot. I’d developed a sun intolerance a couple of summers earlier. The thought of driving a few hours in the sun to be in warm crowded rooms just didn’t appeal. My husband, Mark, eventually talked me into going. I’m really thankful I listened.
I’d self-published two novels with Friesen Press, a Canadian publisher. Mark and I had decided to go with one more. The books were doing reasonably well. I’d had lots of positive feedback, but we agreed if we weren’t seeing more sales, we couldn’t afford to go beyond that third book, even though I had so much more planned for the characters in the Irish Witch Series.
After receiving the agenda for the Calgary festival, I realized there were pitch sessions with publishers. By then they were almost all booked. I managed to get in to one who mainly published fantasy. At the heart of my stories is romance, but the romance genre is so huge, I thought drawing on the fantasy aspect of my books might be a better way to find a traditional publisher. I went to the Saturday pitch session but that publisher really wanted more horror than fantasy and absolutely no romance. I knew we wouldn’t be a good fit.
When I was leaving, the door attendant stopped me. Maybe I looked disappointed or maybe it was destiny… because I don’t accept coincidence. She told me there’d just been a cancellation for the next day––an opening with Tule Publishing. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of Tule. She said they were a relatively new romance publisher from California. I thought it couldn’t hurt, so I gladly took the spot.
That night I read up on Tule and found most of their authors wrote contemporary romance and my books were historical fantasy. But, I figured pitching my series again would still be good experience. The next day, when I got to where I was to meet with someone from Tule, the room had been double-booked. My pitch session, scheduled to start in about seven minutes, was now in a completely different building. I hightailed it through three buildings and across two parking lots. Did I mention it was hot outside? Canada’s renowned for our cold temperatures, but summers can be brutally hot.
Anyway–– I arrived on time, overheated and breathless. The designated room was locked so I sat on a nearby bench. (Collapsed might be a better word.) Sitting next to me was a young woman who looked nearly as exhausted as me. She laughed because she, too, had raced across the complex from the other location.
I learned she was from Tule and I’d be pitching my series to her. We chatted while waiting for someone to unlock the room. I felt at ease by the time we started talking books. Danielle was absolutely the kindest, loveliest person.
I told her I doubted my stories would work for Tule, but she explained their publishing company was branching into some fantasy and historical books under the Muse imprint. She liked the sound of mine and said they might be just what Tule was looking for. She took my information. I left not feeling exactly hopeful, but it was a positive experience.
Danielle contacted me a week later asking for my first manuscript. The first was my shortest book and ended with a cliffhanger so I sent the first two books in my Irish Witch Series, The Farrier’s Daughter and The Witch’s Daughter.
I eagerly waited, but when weeks turned to months, I presumed I wouldn’t hear from Tule again. Imagine my elation when in December, Danielle emailed me saying the editorial team at Tule had read both my books, loved them, and wanted to discuss signing a contract.
After a lengthy telephone conversation by the end of the month, I’d signed with Tule. They’d republish the first two books with different covers for a branded look, plus they’d publish book three. I was ecstatic! It’s every author’s dream to become published. That day, I did the happy dance.
After the first three books, we signed for the next three in the series, then added a seventh. I know… it sounds cliché, but the rest, as they say, is history. And I do love history!!!
I’m beyond delighted to say Spring’s Mystical Promise is my eighteenth book with Tule in my fourth series. There are two more installments in this Maiden’s series, Summer’s Celestial Plea and Fate’s Final Season, plus I’ve started writing another five book supernatural series. I couldn’t be happier. (Well maybe with a huge bestseller or a film deal!) After fulfilling my dream of becoming published (even if it was at age fifty-seven) I’m continuing to reach for the stars!
My Witches of Time series is available in audio books and the first two in the Maidens series, Autumn’s Magical Pact and Winter’s Haunting Pledge will be released in audio format, April 4th and April 11th respectively. I’m crossing my fingers the remainder of the series will be made into audio books as well.
I can’t wait for readers to discover what’s in store for Rhianwyn, Selena, Elspeth and Lilliana in the remainder of the Maidens of the Mystical Stones series and to eventually be introduced to Fiona and Lorcan in the Witch/Demon Hunter series.
I’ll always feel indebted to Danielle, and to Jane, Meghan, Nikki, Cyndi, and all the amazing people at Tule I’ve worked with through the years. The other Tule authors are wonderfully supportive, too. I’m also so grateful to the faithful readers who’ve reached out to let me know they love my characters and stories and that they want more.
I still have the coffee mug from that 2015 literary festival. Whenever I use it, I remember how this all started and I count my blessings again.
Till I’m back to celebrate the release of Summer’s Celestial Plea in June.
About the Author
Leigh Ann Edwards’ fascination with history, romance, magic, fantasy, time-travel and Ireland sparked her interest in creating the Irish Witch Series and her growing collection of published novels. Growing up in a very small Manitoban village on the Canadian prairies left a lot of time to create stories and let her imagination soar.
An author for nearly thirty years, Leigh Ann has almost completed writing her fourth series with Tule Publishing and will soon begin a fifth. Besides writing, Leigh Ann loves spending time with her four grandchildren, reading, traveling, doing intuitive readings and reiki. Leigh Ann and her husband, their two cats, one large dog and their Boston Terrier puppy, live near Edmonton Alberta, Canada.