Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

My First Sale by Kate Pearce

katepearce09Welcome to the My First Sale series. Each Monday, Dear Author posts the first sale letter of bestselling authors, debut authors, and authors in between. Today we have Kate Pearce, the author of the historical erotic romance series ‘Simply’ from Kensington. The fourth in the series, Simply Wicked, is out in stores now.  ¬†She also writes for NAL, Ellora’s Cave, and Cleis Press.


I hate to start with back story, but I was of those kids who made stuff up all the time, so much so that I had a "slight problem’ distinguishing imagination from reality, a skill that wasn’t much appreciated throughout my childhood. By the time I moved to California from London in 1998, I’d forgotten about making stuff up, being far too busy bringing up four kids, remembering to drive on the wrong side of the road and hoping everyone had a nice day.

And then, I visited my local bookstore and discovered the ROMANCE section. It was huge! I immediately started reading my way through every single author I could find, and I realized that I had found my people. As I couldn’t work in the U.S, I decided to give myself five years to get a romance novel published.

After the usual traumas of a potential publishing career, horrendous contest entries, rejections, more rejections, editors leaving, agents dying the day I signed with them, and so forth, I finally sat down and wrote three books out of my usual steamy historical so-not-selling style. One of them was in first person. It was also 27K long and was an erotic historical romance, I promptly hid it under my bed

Luckily for me, my mentor coaxed me into sending it to Ellora’s Cave and imagine my surprise when one rainy Sunday afternoon in March, I got an email to say they wanted to publish it. It came out as an e-book in November 2005, four years, and eleven months into my five year deadline, I hadn’t quite intended to be an erotic romance writer, but I seemed to have a knack for it, so I just kept on doing it.

In my publishing experience, things either happen very fast or very slow. In early 2006, I sold my first print book to the now deceased Virgin "Cheek’ line. The editor asked me to rewrite the heroine and make her funkier San-Francisco-chic, so I did. That editor left, and the new one, said he was tired of funky hip San Francisco chicks and wanted something else. By the time he finally agreed to buy the book, I’d accidentally deleted version one and had to rewrite the whole thing from scratch. I wouldn’t recommend it.

0758232217.01.LZZZZZZZIn 2007 I signed with a new agent, the lovely Deidre Knight, and she sent out my first NY proposal for what turned out to be the first two books of the "Simply’ series. Within forty-eight hours we had an offer, and I was on my way. As I reminded her recently, since 2007 we’ve sold seven novels and two novellas to Kensington, one to Virgin "Cheek’ and three paranormal historicals to NAL.

As you might have noticed, I certainly wasn’t an overnight success. It took me seven years to get to the "big time’, and I’m still working at staying there. I’m sure that my ability to dream has helped me keep the faith and deal with all the setbacks, because I’ve realized that a publishing career really is a marathon rather than a sprint. I also know you need good friends, picky critique partners, a great agent and perhaps a dash of luck along the way.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Maria Geraci
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 04:12:13

    Agents that die the day you sign with them? Ah, Kate, I remember that story;) I am soooo excited about your paranormal historical series! And I just got Simply Wicked in the mail from Amazon and can’t wait to read it!

  2. RKCharron
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 08:11:12

    Hi Jane & Kate :)
    Thank you for the great First Sale story.
    I find these inspirational.
    What are the three paranormal historicals? – they sound intriguing!
    All the best,

  3. Robin L. Rotham
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 08:17:45

    You know you have a great career ahead when agents are dying to represent you. ;-) You’re an inspiration, Kate!

  4. Karen Erickson
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 09:26:17

    Hahahaha at what Robin said.

    Love you Kate! I just wanted to tell you that.

  5. dunnettreader
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 09:49:23

    A clarification – “Simply Wicked” is the fourth, not the second novel, in the Simply series.

  6. Louisa Edwards
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 09:50:25

    Yay, Kate! I love this story. I adore how fast the Simply proposal sold–that’s so exceptional. But then, the books are exceptional too!

  7. Jane
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 10:14:00

    @dunnettreader Thanks. I made the change.

  8. Kate Pearce
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 10:35:24


    Hi! And thanks to Jane for asking me along to do this blog. The paranormal historicals are Tudor Vampire stories based around the six wives of King Henry VIII-the first one is tentatively scheduled for Sept 2010.

  9. Jennifer Leeland
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 10:35:38

    As always, Kate, you’re an inspiration.

  10. Yvette Davis
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 11:02:10

    We like you! We really really like you!

  11. Jennifer Haymore
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 11:02:27

    Wonderful story, Kate–thanks so much for sharing it. I can’t wait to read your Tudor Vampire series!

  12. Kendra
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 11:08:19

    I love the “Simply” Series. Can’t wait to read Alex’s Story. Great blog today!

  13. Jeannie Lin
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 11:12:01

    Great story! Congrats on your success and I can’t wait to see what’s coming in the future for Kate Pearce.

  14. ArkansasCyndi
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 11:15:25

    You do look at little dazed in that picture! LOL

    Thanks for sharing your story and not giving up. What a loss to the genre it would have been.

  15. Janine
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 11:25:23

    agents dying the day I signed with them

    Oh noes! What bad luck. I’m glad you found a good and living agent! This was a lovely story so thank you for sharing it.

  16. fallon hadley
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 12:33:16

    Thanks for taking the time to share with us Kate. You are truely an inspiration.

  17. Voirey Linger
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 14:12:34

    I adore you, Kate. I want to be like you when I grow up. Without the dead agent part.

  18. Lucinda
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 14:47:10

    Yey, Kate! You go, girl!

  19. Lilli Feisty
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 15:01:18

    Kate’s always been an inspiration to me! Great story! :)

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