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

My First Sale by Nathalie Gray

Nathalie Gray author photoWelcome to the My First Sale series. Each Monday, Dear Author posts the first sale letter of bestselling authors, debut authors, and authors in between. Nathalie Gray writes science fiction and paranormal romance, some of which have won awards (including an RT for best futuristic romance). Nat also creates cover art as Kanaxa. When she's not doing either of these things, she can be found in her impregnable fortress under the arctic ice sheet, plotting world domination.   Her latest stories can be found in The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2.


Thanks for letting me play! I promise not to say (too many) bad words. At the risk of sounding like a goof (which I am, and proudly, too), I began writing not at the tender age of two with crayons held in my chubby fist, but at the substantially less youthful age of thirty. By then, my hand was no longer adoringly chubby but rather well-worn from a career in the military and a brand new baby (they're hard on the hands, the little critters!). After taking stock of the dents in my wall from various encounters of the bookish kind, I foolishly decided that I could do this shit, I could write stories, better stories even, where heroines kicked Le Butt, and crushed the villain. Almost on a dare with myself, I began to write. Ten pages, fifty, six-hundred. I began to send these ridiculous and pitiable attempts to agents and publishers. Some of them must have taken pity, because I began to receive not only form letters, but personal rejections. I received *personal* rejections! Only writers enjoy those.

Mammoth cover high resIn June of 2005, five years after writing my first page, I sent my latest babbling to a publisher. Two weeks later, I received an email from a lovely editor whom I have since then dubbed Madame M., and could I please send the full manuscript.

Could I?!

I'm sure my neighbours remember that day as clearly as I do. So does my dog, no doubt. Unless you live in a strange neighbourhood indeed, it's not every day a gangly woman bursts out of the house, jeans rolled up from cleaning a flood in the basement and spiky hair a mess, waving a piece of paper quickly becoming limp and sad-looking as she dashes through hedges four houses down to her BFF so they can partake in squeeage and OMGitude.

Since then, I have sold books to Ellora's Cave (Hi EC, my very first publisher!), Red Sage, Samhain, Constable & Robinson, and Running Press. If my latest manuscript is accepted for publication, it will become my 40th title sold.

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. My First Sale at Dear Author |
    Dec 20, 2010 @ 06:05:45

    […] I’m with the lovely folks at Dear Author all day, talking about my first sale and how my neighbour almost called the police on me when I sold my first book. Yeah, I was *that* excited. Don’t let me be all by myself, m’kay. Come and chat! […]

  2. Tweets that mention My First Sale by Nathalie Gray | Dear Author --
    Dec 20, 2010 @ 06:30:12

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nathalie Gray, dearauthor. dearauthor said: NewPost: My First Sale by Nathalie Gray […]

  3. Heather Massey
    Dec 20, 2010 @ 07:42:51

    Nathalie, you know how much I enjoy your stories, and I invite your heroines to kick my butt anytime, anywhere.

    Many happy wishes for a long and fruitful career.

  4. Tracey Devlyn
    Dec 20, 2010 @ 08:22:59

    Hi Nathalie!

    Nice to see you again (you recently blogged w/us at Romance University)! Love your first sale story.

    I, too, didn’t start writing until my 30s–for the same reason as you. My subgenre is historical and I always wanted the heroines to lift their skirts and deliver a crushing kick. :)

    And, hey, there’s nothing wrong with being a goof!


  5. Nat
    Dec 20, 2010 @ 09:45:12

    @Heather: merci for stopping by and commenting. I know how busy everyone is this close to Christmas (for those who celebrate it anyway). I have always written strong female characters because that’s all I know from my own family and friends.

    @Tracey: and hi again to you, too! I would LOVE to read a historical romance where the heroine lifts her skirt and delivers a crushing kick. For baguette’s sake, women were strong back then, too! Although I’m sure there are historical romance stories with such heroines!

  6. Saskia Walker
    Dec 20, 2010 @ 12:22:30

    Hey Nathalie! Your first sale story made me chuckle. I love your work and it’s fun to find out how you started. Keep doing what you do, and have a great festive season!

  7. Sheryl Nantus
    Dec 20, 2010 @ 13:11:54

    Nat gives good covers.


    Love ya to death, sweetie… and get ready for a rocking 2011!!!

  8. Estara
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 08:26:45

    The covers are great, and I now own Nathalie Gray steampunk and probably science fiction soon, too. Dipping my toe into a new writer’s voice, so to speak.

  9. Nat
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 14:56:35

    @Saskia: thank you! I have my Caribou-spiked eggnog, so I’m ready to go :)

    @Sheryl: and you give good cover forms. I mean, there was one of yours that had “badass” and “superhero” and “steampunk” all on one form. I almost fainted with joy!

    @Estara: oh, thank you so very much. I hope you enjoy the ride!

%d bloggers like this: