Married in the Nick of Nine is my third child, however, unlike her siblings (my debut novel, Daughter Denied, and second novel, Dancing Her Dreams Away), she was not planned. Daughter Denied, loosely based on my childhood, is about a precocious 7-year-old girl growing up in a dysfunctional family. Dancing Her Dreams Away, loosely based on a time when I wanted to be an actress, is about a young woman seeking fame and fortune to fulfill a deep hole within.
So where did the idea for Married in the Nick of Nine come from? The answer is in Book Secrets. But even more interesting than what prompted me to write my third novel, is how the narrative evolved. In early 2011, I began putting together a skeletal outline for a story about a young, smart, and successful woman who was determined to meet, fall in love with, and marry “The One” within nine months. In addition to the outline, I created bios for the characters, and I looked on the Internet to find people who reminded me of them, so that I would have a clear picture when penning the tale. Before I was able to complete the outline, I was so excited about this new yarn, I started writing. Not only would this be my first romance novel, it would be a very interesting twist on an age-old old story. One problem—I didn’t have an ending and I barely had a middle. I always make it a rule to know where my story is going before I begin.
In spite of these issues, I forged ahead anyway. Around the time I was writing the book, I was launching Dancing Her Dreams Away, so after writing about thirty-five pages, I put Married in the Nick of Nine on the shelf. Dancing Her Dreams Away launched June 2011, and I was laid off my corporate job of twelve years in September 2011!
The Friday of the week I was laid off, I decided to query agents regarding Married in the Nick of Nine, just to see if anyone would be interested. Usually I have to query about three-hundred agents before I get a handful of responses, so I didn’t expect to get any replies, let alone any positive ones. So I submitted one query letter to one agent. To my amazement, the agent requested the entire manuscript. I was filled with glee and dread because there was no manuscript. I barely had forty pages. But this was an opportunity of a lifetime, so like Bradley Cooper in Limitless, I started writing. He had NZT and I had faith. I stayed up writing the book for four days straight, and by the following Monday I received an email from the agent asking if the manuscript had gotten lost in cyberspace. I told her I would get it to her the following day. So four days after the manuscript request, and one week after being laid off, I had completed Married in the Nick of Nine. Long story short, I submitted the book, got great feedback, but no cigar. After countless revisions, more submissions, requests, and rejections, I decided to once again self-publish! And I’m glad I did. Just think if I hadn’t submitted that one query letter, Married in the Nick of Nine would still be on the shelf.