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My First Sale: Erin McCarthy, An Author Who Can’t Resist a...

My ImmortalErin McCarthy started her writing career by penning fun, breezy, contemporary romances. She then transitioned to fun, breezy, contemporary paranormals. More recently, with My Immortal, McCarthy tackles a dark look at redemption. Her first sale story is a microcosm of her overall writing career, one filled with meeting the challenges that are presented to her.


I sold my first book back in late 2002 after entering a contest on Lori Foster's website. Selling I way I did was a complete accident and a total shock. I was bored, playing online, and decided to see what Lori's upcoming releases were. I'd been writing seriously for a year and a half, and had several projects out to publishers. I was at that point of feeling I was so close to selling I could taste it, having won contests, gotten requests for full manuscripts, and even a phone call from an interested editor. I was excited but edgy, ready for that big moment. I saw the Brava novella contest on Lori's site and thought I would give it a try. I wrote the entry (750 words) over the next day or so and sent it to Lori before I could change my mind. She emailed me back immediately to say she loved it and that I had a strong voice and asked if I had finished the novella. Well, uh, no, since I'd only written the first three pages the night before. :-D But then Lori wrote words that changed my life. She said if I ever finished it, she would love to read it. If? If? She didn't even know it, but she threw down the gauntlet. I had a NY Times bestselling author saying she would read my work, and there was no way in hell I wasn't going to finish that novella. There was just no "if–? about it.

So I wrote the novella in ten days and sent it on to Lori. She read it that night, bless her heart, and sent me an email to say she was halfway through and loving my novella "Hard Drive.–? She told me to watch my inbox, which got my adrenaline pumping along with a healthy dose of fear. I wasn't sure exactly what she meant and I was basically freaking out, so to distract myself I went off shopping at Target. I bought towels and cookies, the vanilla sandwich kind (yes, the day is burned in my memory). I got home and there was an email from Kate Duffy at Kensington asking me to call her. I did, hoping that she was going to request I send her the whole novella of Hard Drive.

Instead, she said she'd read it, loved it, wanted to buy it. Hello. I had no idea that Lori had emailed her the whole novella already. It was a beautiful, beautiful moment. After babbling incoherently, I then had to cut her off because I was my daughter's Girl Scout leader and I had fifteen 9 year olds waiting up at school for me. They brought me back to reality pretty quick.

But it was an amazing start to a fabulous career and I'm eternally grateful to both Lori and Kate.

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. Rhonda Stapleton
    Sep 14, 2007 @ 06:46:24

    Erin, I never tire of hearing this story. And your first sale is well deserved!!! YAY FOR YOU! :D


  2. Christy Carlson
    Sep 14, 2007 @ 10:43:37

    This is proof that taking chances in this industry can make all the difference. And never giving up helps, too!! Thanks for sharing, Erin.


  3. Kelley Nyrae
    Sep 14, 2007 @ 11:31:16

    What a great story, Erin!!

    Wanted to let ya know I read My Immortal. Wow! I loved it. I read it in one day.

  4. Karen Kelley
    Sep 14, 2007 @ 11:39:33

    What a fantastic sory, Erin! Lori Foster is ythe coolest author and has helped so many unpublished make that first sale.

  5. che
    Sep 14, 2007 @ 12:33:27

    Was that entry The Lady in the Lake? It had me LOL from the first page and I loved it. Also loved Mouth to Mouth– I’m deaf myself.

  6. R
    Sep 14, 2007 @ 14:19:54

    I love your books, Erin McCarhty! Keep writing!! And thanks to Dear Author for this wonderful post.

  7. Lisa Freeman
    Sep 14, 2007 @ 15:08:08

    You are a great author, Erin, and we are eternally greatful to Lori and Kensington for recognizing your talent.

  8. Lori Foster
    Sep 14, 2007 @ 15:14:24

    Erin, it IS a fun story, for both of us. And it was such a nice bonus to become your friend as well. :-)
    Every story you write is exceptional. I’m glad I was there for that initial nudge, but I don’t have a single doubt that you’d be right where you are now, with or without me.
    Happy Friday!


  9. Judy F
    Sep 14, 2007 @ 15:16:01

    I still remember it all too. Its great being at the beginning of your career and getting to know you as well. Kudos

  10. Erin McCarthy
    Sep 14, 2007 @ 16:12:01

    Thanks everyone! That day is still so clear in my mind, and wow, so many awesome things have happened in the four years since. I love writing my stories, and friendships like the one I have with Lori have been a bonus I never expected. Not to mention all the readers, especially the bookjunkies and vamps and scamps who have become true friends.

    Che, the story was actually Hard Drive in Bad Boys Online. Glad you liked MTM and Lady of the Lake!

    Have a great weekend,

  11. Dianne Harper
    Sep 15, 2007 @ 11:13:43

    Kudos, Erin!
    Your talent got you where you are today!
    You are not only a gifted writer but a great supporter of people like yourself doing what they love to do! We are all better writers having known and learned from you.
    Dianne H.

  12. Janice Maynard
    Sep 16, 2007 @ 20:17:43

    Erin – I know I’ve heard the story before, but it always gives me goosebumps. You never forget the first time your were pregnant, and you never forget your first sale. A wonderful, surreal feeling!!!

    I’m a huge fan of everything you write.

    Janice Maynard

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