Wow, what can I say? This is the first time that Dear Author has hosted royalty on the site. I mean, we’ve read books about Princes (usually angry bitter ones that are healed by the love of a woman who pretends to be brazen but is really a virgin who gives up her job so that she can provide the requisite heir and spare to the Prince) but this is definitely the first time we’ve ever posted anything by a Princess. I started reading Princess Mia’s diaries way back in 2000 and I got to meet Meg Cabot* who I think is Mia’s social secretary or something in 2002 in New York. When I read that Princess Mia would be writing a historical (and a steamy one at that), I literally laughed out loud. Brilliant. I hope you all enjoy HRH’s First Sale story.
I’m not going to lie. Being a princess is pretty awesome sometimes. I mean, I get invited to things like balls and movie premieres, and I get sent beautiful clothes from top designers-‘for free!–to wear to all these events.
You would think, when it came to getting my own historical romance, Ransom My Heart, published, I wouldn’t have a problem, right?
Wrong. Big problem!
Because I didn’t want Ransom My Heart to be published for its sensationalist value–just because it happens to have some scenes, and it’s written by a royal who’s had two movies made based on her "life" (although considerable liberties were taken with the story), yadda yadda yadda. I wanted it to be published-‘or not-‘on its own merits.
That’s why I sent the manuscript out under the pseudonym of Daphne Delacroix. Which if you ask me is a really nice name. It has just the right mix of romance and professionalism.
But unfortunately not many publishers seemed to think so. Or maybe they just didn’t like Ransom My Heart. Because it got rejected by every publishing house in America-or so it seemed, when for months I would come home from school (or Princess Lessons) and find a rejection letter waiting for me.
And most of the time they weren’t even personalized! They were just a form letter that said Dear Author-. Or even my own query letter with the words No, thanks written on it!
One publishing house even said if I paid them, they’d publish it. So rude!
Let me tell you, I was almost ready to give up. I mean, I really thought maybe I had no writing talent at all and I should just face the fact that I was destined to be nothing but a princess for the rest of my life. Which is a very nice thing to be, but it’s just something you’re born to do. It’s not something you earn through talent and hard work, like being published author.
Plus it totally didn’t help that at the time I was going through a very difficult period in my life, which I’m not going to get into right now, but it involved not knowing where I was going to go to college next year, my dad’s election to the the Genovian parliament, my nosy grandmother, and whether or not my ex-boyfriend still liked me.
So you can imagine how I felt when my mom woke me up the morning of Senior Skip Day to tell me that someone named Daphne Delacroix had a phone call:
An editor from Avon Books was on the line, saying she wanted to publish Ransom My Heart!
I was so surprised, I could barely process what was happening! I do remember I asked if I could call the editor back in five minutes. Especially because she wanted to know pretty much right away if Daphne Delacroix was my real name. I was so shocked, I said it wasn’t, and told her my real name was Mia Thermopolis!
By the time I called back I’d managed to wake up a little and get control of myself (after screaming excitedly for five minutes straight). But unfortunately in that little amount of time, the editor had Googled me and figured out who I really was.
But she said it was okay, that we could still publish the book under my pen name if I wanted. Because I explained to her that I didn’t want anyone buying the book just because of my celebrity, and also that I was donating my advance to Greenpeace, my favorite charity.
She pointed out that if that were the case, more people would buy the book if I used my real name-and that it would make more money for Greenpeace. Which was true!
So I decided to go ahead and let Avon publish the book under my real name, instead of Daphne Delacroix.
Then I called every single person I knew (except my ex-boyfriend. I told him in a dignified manner at lunch) and told them my good news. Well, more like I screamed it. As loud as I could: I’M GOING TO BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!
And that’s the story of my first sale! Well, there’s more to it than that, really, but it’s all locked away in my diary. And no one gets to read that but me. Sorry!
* (You can read Meg Cabot’s First Sale story here).